This was a wedding week that was very much unexpected. “All of our family and friends cancelled the week of the wedding as the NSW government had announced that no one should travel unless it was for essential purposes. Our wedding reception venue had to close due to restaurant closures and the new restrictions for five people (including the couple) at the ceremony were introduced.”

So if you have learnt anything this October, during The Elopement Issue, let it be that you can elope in whatever way it suits you – because today? We’ve got yet another kind of elopement, a COVID made us do it kind of elopement, with Siobhan and Julie. What we’re sharing today, is not their wedding. The couple married when only five people were allowed at a wedding, so while they said their legal vows in the backyard of their Air BNB (with their two best friends as witnesses and the help of celebrant Michelle Shannon), they chose to share their vows, in a pre-wedding session with Tennille Fink. That special session? That’s what we get to share today.  “Our family and friends told us to reschedule our wedding to the following year, but being only 1 week away from the wedding, we had looked forward to being married so much that we decided to elope. We had a private portrait shoot with our photographer Tennille, then had a garden ceremony with our celebrant and two witnesses present”.

Before we get into the story though, let’s set the scene with how Siobhan and Julie, who met on the dancefloor at a warehouse party, came to be engaged. Siobhan reminisces “I took Julie on a picnic at the Botanical Gardens in Sydney and popped the question with Sydney Harbour as our backdrop! Luckily Julie said yes and we celebrated that night in the city!

Julie completely surprised me on the day of our wedding by performing a magic trick and producing a ring for me out of a ball of flames. This was just before our ceremony and it was so amazing”

Siobhan found a last-minute, blue sequin gown at Carla Zampatti , explaining “I  had planned to wear a white wedding gown by Toni Maticevski but 3 days before the wedding, we realised our wedding was not going ahead as planned due to COVID and we changed our plans to elope. So I went out and bought a light blue Carla Zampatti dress which I thought would suit better for our low key elopement style wedding.” Julie had her blue suit and crisp white shirt custom-tailored by Shane Ave.

Honouring each other, Siobhan and Julie read their cows to each other, deep in the Byron Bay Hinterland, and exchanged rings. It was a beautiful prelude to the “official” wedding. Siobhan and Julie explaining “Because everything we had planned fell through at the last minute (because of COVID) we ended up just getting married with our celebrant and two witnesses present in the backyard of the Airbnb that we stayed at. Because it was only us and our two witnesses present, it allowed us to fully focus on each other and to be truly in the moment for reading our vows to each other. It worked out perfectly.”

Siobhan and Julie, share how COVID-19 completely threw their wedding on its head. “We are from Sydney and because we love the beach, we had planned a destination wedding in Byron Bay.

We had arranged to have our wedding ceremony on Belongil Beach and we had a wedding reception booked after that at a nearby restaurant. We had 65 people who had RSVP’d, then the week before the wedding, COVID-19 really blew up in NSW.

When we say a wedding is often magic, this one? It actually had magic! Julie performing a magic trick and presenting her new wife with the stunning diamond ring!

Congratulations to you both Siobhan and Julie! I am so glad you decided to tie the knot whatever life threw at you! Thank you to you both for sharing your story and thank you to Tennille Fink for today’s beautiful images.