Eloping is the name of the game in 2021 and for Sinead and Mitch, it was the most magical way they could marry during a pandemic. “Eloping is such a magical thing” says Sinead. “There is so much flexibility that you can have with a smaller, more intimate wedding. No matter how you choose to get married, make sure you get hitched the way that you want to get hitched. At the end of the day, it’s about marrying the person you love.”

Set in the beautiful Kangaroo Valley, the couple invited just a handful of their favourite people and their daughter, along with photographer Dan Cartwright to bear witness to their marriage. The result was exactly what they wanted admits Sinead. “We tried to go for a minimalist boho vibe with the wedding and were only surrounded by our dearest friends. Everything was relaxed despite getting locked out of our accommodation not two hours earlier and having our two-year-old desperate to show us her dance moves during the wedding ceremony.”

The pair met on everyone’s favourite dating app, Tinder. “It is a 21st-century love story. We started talking on a dating app (Have you heard of Tinder?) and after Mitch wore her down, Sinead agreed to a dinner date a week later. The date went well; we sat at the bar of a local restaurant where we ate a little, drank a little and laughed A LOT. We didn’t want to go home that weekday night and roamed the Canberra CBD for hours after; trying to avoid the reality that we had work in the morning – so that we could see each other for just a little bit longer.

And in a proposal story for the ages, Mitch surprised Sinead with a proposal over a game of cards.  “We had spoken about being engaged for some time and Mitch had managed to sneak off early from work one day to buy an engagement ring. The plan was to have it ready so that he could pop the question at the perfect opportunity. On the 27th of January 2019, we were playing a card game where Sinead joked “If I win this game, you have to marry me”. Mitch agreed and then following this, the most nerve-wracking card game of Mitch’s life had started, completely unbeknownst to Sinead. It was a long and close game where Sinead had become the victor. Mitch walked off pretending to be in a huff so that he could get the ring and pop the question. Mitch walked back in and asked Sinead to be his wife, Sinead replied “Are you serious?” before finally saying “Obviously yes!”. We married the next year.”

Wedding days rarely go on without a small hiccup – this is the story of Sinead & Mitch’s. “We locked ourselves out of their accommodation two hours before the wedding and took an hour to get back in. Neither of us was dressed and Sinead’s hair and makeup had not been started. The only locksmith that could get there was two hours away which would mean that he would arrive when the ceremony started. We got back in with help from one of our witnesses who managed to climb in a window and save the day. That moment was so stressful that getting married after, felt like a walk in the park.”

Sinead bought fresh flowers from the farmers market the day before the wedding, arranging the bouquet herself.

The couple chose Wildwood Kangaroo Valley for their wedding. “We cannot recommend this place enough! We had always joked about running away to have our fairy tale wedding and once we had found this secluded venue hidden in Kangaroo Valley, we knew it was perfect.”

The couple opted out of a wedding party, but their daughter Madeline was the star of the show – complete with gold sparkly shoes.

The couple walked hand in hand down the aisle together. “We chose the song  “Sanctuary” by Joji which is a sweet love song that we heard for the first time together in 2019 and immediately knew it would be our wedding song.”

The couple were married by Jo Novich. “We just went for a relaxed feeling” explains Sinead. “We read our own vows and shared a few tears with our closest friends.”

“Sinead, who was born and raised in Ireland, received a horseshoe as part of the wedding ceremony which is popular to receive for good luck in Ireland.”

Sinead’s beautiful dress?  It was an Asos score. “I went for a full-length, long-sleeved dress with lace detail. The dress fit the vibe of the wedding and at a reasonable cost. The experience of choosing this dress was easy due to finding the dress online and falling in love with it immediately.” And Mitch? “Mitch chose to wear a half suit with suspenders and sleeves rolled up for a more casual feel to the wedding. He wore a bumblebee bow tie from Etsy to match my earrings.”

The newlyweds ate cake and cheese with their guests before spending the rest of the day alone. “We did not choose to have the first dance at our wedding,” they explain. “But we did at our accommodation in private where we danced again to the song we walked down the aisle to.”

Sinead’s favourite part of the day? “Sharing the special event with the people closest to us and having our daughter Madeline be a part of the ceremony.” And for Mitch? “The thrill of walking down the aisle to start the wedding. I remember it being a surreal experience and I reminisce about it frequently.”

How is this for a rave review of Mitch & Sinead’s photographer? “Dan Cartwright. Man, Myth, Legend. Dan created a relaxed environment with his professionalism and his humour. We knew we were in good hands and laughed a lot but it wasn’t until we got the photos back that were just gobsmacked. Some of his shots were so creative and evoked so much emotion. He is the greatest wedding photographer in the business.”

A big congratulations to you both Sinead and Mitch! Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us. Thank you also to Dan Cartwright for sharing today’s beautiful story with us.