Beth and Stephen’s perfectly paired back park elopement was very different from what they had planned and envisaged for their wedding day. Nothing conventional, and very low key, but in the end, so very beautiful and intimate. It was a day to really focus on what was important to them – getting married! There to capture their celebration was Anchor & Hope Photography. Below, the couple shares their love story and how their day unfolded.

We met in 2010 in Beijing while on a study tour as part of our law degree. We went to the same university (different campuses) but it took a trip to China to cross paths!

We were married on October 20, 2020 (how’s that for a date – 20.10.2020). We actually chose that date only a few days before as it was our eighth anniversary. Of course, it was an unforgettable day, but there’s no forgetting the date now!

We got ready together, which we loved.. Whilst this is traditionally bad luck for a bride and groom, we really enjoyed getting ready together over a glass of bubbles and driving to the gardens together.

We loved some of the minor details on the day. My friend Lucy brought me something ‘borrowed’ and ‘blue’ to go with my ‘something old’ and ‘something new’. We didn’t have a signing table, so we just signed our certificates on each other’s backs. While I didn’t wear my white dress, I was able to still rock my wedding shoes and jewellery! We did a lot ourselves. Hair, makeup, picnic, music, confetti – all DIY! Out of necessity rather than choice, but it all worked out perfectly.

We wanted a relaxed, heartfelt and intimate ceremony. One that suited the changed circumstances, but was still special and genuine to us. Fortunately, over the course of the planning process, we got to know our celebrant, Lara Williams, really well and she knew exactly how to make our day so special and feel like us.

We had our friends, Lucy and Brendan, as the wedding party, the witnesses, the guests – the whole lot! Of course, the star of the show was the flower girl (Murphy, our groodle puppy). We loved having our dog Murphy with us. If we had the day as originally planned, we would have missed having her there.

Lucy was kind enough to hand-make us bouquets. They were a pink and red mix of delicate flowers and bold natives.

Steven says the most memorable part of the day was definitely the ceremony itself and speaking our vows to each other in the picturesque setting of the gardens. The entire day up until that point (and after) was a very relaxed and unconventional day (relative to our original plan). But for this part of the ceremony, it felt like an original part of our wedding plan and it was so great to be able to hold on to a part of what that original day would have been.

Our favourite part was the intimacy and the relaxed vibe of the day. As there weren’t formalities to be nervous about, we weren’t nervous or distracted. We were really able to enjoy each other and focus on us.

Relaxing for a picnic afterwards with our friends was so fun, and it really topped off the afternoon.

We loved the bubbles and the picnic, as we were just able to hang out with our friends. We didn’t have a reception but we were able to cut into a mini version of our wedding cake, and in true 2020 style, ordered a Grossi a Casa Italian feast at home for our first dinner.

My dress was originally bought for our recovery day BBQ, however with those plans quashed, it fell to the wayside in the cupboard. On little notice, it was the perfect last minute number! It wasn’t the white dress and veil that was planned, but it was fun, bright and happy – exactly the vibe we were going for on the day. In a nod to my original wedding dress, I still wore the jewellery (by Stephanie Browne)
and shoes that I had planned to wear on the day.

Stephen wore Country Road. We went for a casual but classy look (a bit different to the custom tux we had planned!). There was some last minute tailoring on the day which, for an ordinary wedding, would have stressed us but we just rolled with it and laughed!

Cam Grove from Anchor & Hope Photography was our first preference of photographer and the first vendor we booked. We were so glad that we chose Cam as, not only is he an incredible photographer who made us feel so comfortable, he was so flexible and understanding during the tumultuous year of 2020.

One of our favourite photos we both love is the photo of us standing on a corner of a cool old building in Fitzroy.

Our advice to you? Not everything will go to plan. For example, a global pandemic might crop up!

Ms Floral Says: Congratulations on your marriage and tying the knot in 2020! I love that your day focused on you as a couple, and placed the importance on the ‘getting married’ part versus the big wedding. It looked like a super special day!