Would there be anything more completely appropriate for The Music Issue than a wedding where the marriage celebrant is none other than Elvis? When Tess and Pauly’s original wedding plans were cancelled thanks to COVID, they decided life is short, why not elope? “Originally we were supposed to get married 4.4.20 with family and friends from all over the world but then COVID hit” explains Tess. “A few months ago we decided to surprise everyone and elope. The lucky date was 29.07.21, 24 hours before the Gold Coast went into lockdown. COVID couldn’t get us this time!”

And elope they did, in true Vegas, Gold Coast style, with Danielle Knight & Co Photo and Film behind the camera. From neon lights to Elvis’s unmissable charm, this was a day full of rock and roll vibes. “Because we couldn’t have the big wedding we originally planned, we decided to elope true Vegas-style and got Elvis to marry us. Elvis was played by the awesome Bruno, a true legend. We had Elvis inspired vows that included me promising to never step on Paul’s ‘blue suede shoes’ and Paul to take me as his ‘good luck charm’.”

And you know with a plan like that, that these two have epic stories in store for us. And we start them off with the tale of how they met, which happened because of the deliciousness of pizza, laughs Tess. “The love of pizza brought us together. I am Canadian and was working at the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, Canada. Paul is an Aussie who was living in Whistler at the time working as a carpenter on the Olympic athlete village. A mutual friend introduced us at the local pizza shop which was having its first birthday.”

Pauly asked Tess to be his forever when they were holidaying in Lake Como. “We were in lake Como celebrating my mom’s 70th birthday. Paul didn’t want to take away from her birthday week so waited until the very last day of the trip to propose. We went on a solo adventure to a small town called Varenna. As we were walking through the little cobblestone alleyways he pulled me aside and popped the question. Of course, I said yes right away. It only took him 8 years to ask!!!!”

The couple wanted everything about their wedding to be casual and fun, so they chose a photographer who suited just that! “We met Danielle through a mutual friend. We loved her easy going personality and her stunning photos. She was absolutely amazing through COVID when we had to cancel our original wedding date. When we told her about the elopement she jumped right on board. She was up for anything and everything and made sure we were always looking our best!”

“Paul is not one to dress up and needs to be comfortable” explains Tess. “He wanted to look good but also be himself. He added the suspenders and Cariuma shoes for the perfect touch. Cariuma is a Brazilian skateboard shoe company that is passionate about sustainability. Paul loved this.”

The bride wore sparkles! Tess choosing designer Alex Mearing to bring her look to life.  “I wore a very rock n roll, couture gown designed by Alex Mearing who is located on the Sunshine Coast. I didn’t want to wear a traditional wedding dress because that’s just not me. I’m wild and needed something to match my personality. I had seen her work on another bride and knew I had to wear one of her dresses. This one in particular was originally made for a fashion shoot Alex had just done. There was no guarantee it would fit but the second Alex zipped me up we both knew it was meant to be mine. It fit me perfectly.”

Tess’s friend owns The Flower Family, so it was natural Tess asked Georgia, the owner, to create the flowers for the day. “She knew I wanted them bright and loud. Lots of poppies, dahlias and a few roses to add some romance. Paul’s boutonnière was a dried poppy to match and something we could keep forever.”

“Originally my sister and Pauly’s brother and sister were to be in our wedding party. But because of COVID, we couldn’t have the big wedding that we originally planned.

We wanted to keep the elopement a surprise to all friends and family; therefore, two of the legends who own Mo’s Desert Clubhouse, Kim and Emilia, went above and beyond. Not only were they our witnesses but Kim chauffeured me to the venue in her 1978 Lincoln, named Abe, while Emilia kept Paul company at the venue. Kim dressed in matching suspenders to Paul and a beautiful red hat by Feather and Drum while Emilia dressed as your classic Vegas show girl. What a wedding party!”

Mo’s Desert Clubhouse is one of the couple’s favourite venues for live music, and just perfect for their wedding, explains Tess. “We knew we were going to get married at Mo’s Desert Clubhouse in Burleigh the day we got engaged. Whether it be with 120 of our friends and family from all over the world or just the 2 of us. This place is our favourite venue to go to see live music. We have become good friends with the owners, Emilia, Kim and Christian who are absolute rock legends.”

Tess remembers “Originally, My dad was supposed to walk me down the aisle but because they could no longer travel to the wedding and we eloped we did something completely crazy and got Elvis to marry us. I walked down the aisle while he sang ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’”. Adds Pauly “My favourite moment was definitely seeing Tess walk down the aisle in that dress while Elvis sang behind me.”

“We celebrated to Elvis singing “Burning Love” and had our witnesses join us. We finally got married! COVID couldn’t stop us this time!!

“Do it now, don’t wait” advises Tess. “You never know what’s going to happen in this world. Be kind to one another and always laugh.”

Tess’ favourite parts of the day still involved family. “I loved calling my parents after we tied the knot,  telling Paul’s parents the next day and seeing the joy on their faces. I loved laughing throughout the whole day and night because we were so happy.
I loved having amazing people, who have now become close friends help us and be there for us on the day. Most of all, I loved finally getting to marry Paul, my best friend.”

The bubbles started flowing! “A few weeks before our surprise elopement my mom and dad had their 50th wedding anniversary. They sent us a bottle of Veuve to help them celebrate over a zoom chat. We ended up saving it for our wedding.”

Says Tess “It’s hard to pick a favourite moment as we both had the best time of our lives the whole day and night. But being able to finally share a few snapshots and videos with our friends and family that night was the best feeling. Our amazing photographer and videographer edited photos and videos immediately so we could surprise all our closest people. No one could believe it! Everyone was so happy for us. We can’t wait to do it all over again with everyone when the world opens up.”

“I handmade our ‘just married’ sign. And my ‘ just married’ tote bag” explains Tess. “We headed out to a few Palm Beach bars all dressed up with our makeshift sign and bag unannounced. When people saw the sign and bag and asked about the story, they couldn’t believe we had just been married by Elvis and were out on the town for a night of celebrating.”

Tess and Pauly, we are so thrilled you got to tie the knot your way! Thank you for sharing your wedding story with us and thank you to Danielle Knight & Co Photo and Film for sharing with us this beautiful celebration!