Miranda & Michael

Every time I see photos of an elopement, I think I’d love to elope, but then I think of how I would miss my very favourite people. So today’s elopement is completely up my alley. Miranda and Michael included just their children, and their partners on the guest list. Even their wedding vendors (including Neiyo Sun) were family friends. And this ease?? It led to spontaneous moments, uncontrollable laughter (that one’s the kids!) and a day that was not about anything more than being together. And that? That has to be the best kind of story to tell. And for these two, who cancelled their first wedding due to helping their children pay for their own big days, it was so very well deserved.

It’s been a long time coming for these two who first met as family friends more than twenty-six years ago. Miranda and Michael tell “We were family friends 26 years ago; our sons are only 4 days apart in age & were playmates. We all lost touch, & both couples separated. Years later Miranda found Michael’s ex-wife via Facebook, & got back in touch with Michael. He’d been like my brother, so when he mentioned in passing how difficult it was to have a relationship when he travelled interstate from Canberra to Melbourne every second weekend to see his kids, I thought about setting him up with my sister or a friend of mine. When I had to look at him like a dateable guy to market him to my sis or pal, I realised how amazing he is, & my heart literally lurched at the thought of him dating someone else !!!”

Miranda and Michael made sure to include special moments in their day, noting “Michael’s wedding ring is made of an American silver dollar from the year he was born. My daughter in law, Belle Hunt, an artist, did our invitations.”

Although not her original plan, Miranda worked with Holly Butler to alter her second-hand gown. “I’ve been married before but not had a wedding dress. They’re not really my style, but I saw a secondhand dress I absolutely loved online at Still White. I didn’t think it would fit me, so I gave up on it. An extremely talented family friend, Holly Butler, designed a beautiful dress for me, but my Rescue Dog, Tink, hurt her leg & looked as though she would need surgery worth several thousand dollars, so I had to cancel my dress. Four of our kids lent me the money to buy the beautiful secondhand dress, Holly altered it to fit me, & it turned out to be absolute perfection. I could not have dreamed up a more perfect gown.”

Miranda spent the morning get ready with the girls and enlisted some help (very last minute!) in the form of hair stylist Foxy Vixen and makeup artist Stephanie Maree Muscat. “I loved Foxy Vixen for stress-free hair, done on the morning of our wedding day, plus months of work to rescue my hair, which was blue only 12 months before! I love Stephanie for agreeing 24 hours prior to do my makeup when I realised I couldn’t do it myself because I never wear makeup!”

The bride’s bouquet was a lucky last minute find! Miranda telling “I suddenly realised I didn’t have any flowers when we were only 20 mins away from the church, so we stopped in Woodend & ran into a lovely fresh grocer’s store. They had a bunch of pink roses exactly the same shade as my shoes! The lady behind the counter asked if we were staying in the area for the weekend – we whispered to her that we were in the middle of eloping; we were just about to go to the church, get changed & get married! She got very excited & told us she & her husband had eloped about 20 years before !”

Miranda and Michael chose the sweet The Little Church At Spring Hill for their ceremony, explaining “As soon as we saw The Little Church at Spring Hill online we fell in love with it! We drove up to see it from the outside twice before booking it. Nicky, who owns it, was absolutely fantastic.”

Miranda walked by herself down the aisle to Mark Knopfler’s “Going Home” explaining “It’s a beautiful piece of music I have always loved, & being with Michael feels like coming home.”

It was really important to Miranda and Michael that their day was filled with people who loved them, their children and their partners the only guests. “My son, Michael’s son, Michael’s two daughters, & everyone’s partners were our guests AND bridal party” tells Miranda. “The only other people there were our gorgeous friend, Jennifer Kent, who married us, & our photographer, Neiyo, who is also a family friend. Jennifer has known Michael for about 30 years & me for about 25 years, so it was extra special to have her marry us.”

The couple chose Jennifer Kent to officiate their intimate ceremony, “We wanted it to be simple, fun, heartfelt, & very personal” tells Miranda. “We included a Celtic hand fastening ceremony, an Apache reading, & a Ring Warming/Ring Blessing where all our kids & their partners held both our wedding rings & spoke over them before we put them on each other. We also included the word “Shenanigans” a lot, because that is one of our favourite things, & our wedding was a reflection of that.”

And even with its intimacy, this ceremony was not serious! Miranda remembers “When our gorgeous celebrant, Jennifer Kent, said “What is love?” with great seriousness in the middle of our very heartfelt ceremony, & half our kids collapsed with the giggles because they heard “Baby don’t hurt me” in their heads, & couldn’t stop laughing. They apologised afterwards.”

Of their chosen photographer Neiyo, Miranda shares “Neiyo is a family friend; she had also done photography for my son & his wife’s wedding. She was fantastic – wonderful preparation; meeting with us twice before & once after. She was very organised, endlessly enthusiastic, creative, calm & cheerful. Neither of us is keen on photos of ourselves, but we adored Neiyo’s photos from the moment we saw them!”

The newlyweds adjourned with their family for dinner at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Miranda explaining “We went for dinner at 3 different places to try & choose where to have our ‘family dinner’ (aka top-secret wedding reception). The third was the clear winner; The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Trentham. Amusingly, we were halfway back to Melbourne from the trial dinner before realising that between finishing dinner, complimenting the chef, & talking to the manager to book the ‘family dinner for 10 people’ for 2 weeks later, we had forgotten to pay! We were horrified, & pulled over on the highway to call them & pay via credit card. Two weeks later we all swanned in for dinner in our wedding clothes, & they remembered us & were astonished it was our wedding !”

And the celebrations continued! “After our wedding dinner, we spent the weekend in Daylesford with all of the kids; just a big, fun, silly weekend. We watched movies (Princess Bride is a long term family favourite) & played board games, ate way too much junk food, & the boys drank Michael’s expensive whisky!” How’s that for bliss?

Oh, a big cheers to you Miranda and Michael! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us. Thank you also to Neiyo Sun for today’s stunning photography!