If there was ever a wedding that made you want to run away and elope, it is this one! Childhood sweethearts, Nea and Straughn, tied the knot in the beautiful countryside ‘down south’ in Nannup, Western Australia with cows as their only guests. This day has the most gorgeous details – a stunning wedding dress bought by the bride’s mother years ago, a handmade arbour courtesy of the groom, a ceremony in the middle of a paddock, a buggy arrival courtesy of the property’s owner, and a sweet carrot wedding cake the couple made together. Capturing all the love and special moments on the day was photographer Victoria Baker.
Before we dive into their elopement, let’s find out from the groom, Straughn, how the proposal went down. “We were on holidays in Bacalar, Mexico practising yoga in just our underwear as it was so hot,” he shares. “Post-practice we were chilling out in a hammock in our accommodation, I handed Nea a black pouch that she had gifted me with a crystal… And I asked her to put intentions into the pouch. She handed me back the pouch and I pulled out a ring and proposed, much to her surprise.”
Nea’s bouquet was filled with Australian natives and was arranged by Weeping Willow Floral.
The couple baked their own wedding cake!
Nea’s dress was bought in Byron Bay while on a holiday years ago with her mum. “They walked into a boho clothing store and her mum picked out a dress for Nea to try on,” explains Straughn. “Nea had no idea what she would wear this dress for, however it fit perfectly. Her mum didn’t give her an option and bought the dress before Nea could take it off… It was on sale for a whooping $40! Needless to say it came in handy six years later.” Nea paired her dress with green gumboots, which matched perfectly with the vibe of the day.
As for their elopement location? Nea booked an Airbnb (Tanjanerup Chalets) on a 2000 acre farm in Nannup, after reaching out to the owner to see if they would be okay to host the elopement. The ceremony took place in one of the paddocks surrounded by cows.
The groom DIY’ed the ceremony arbour a week before the elopement. The couple also created Straughn’s boutonnière and Nea’s flower crown.
Nea made an incredible entrance, with the owner of the property driving her down to the paddock in a buggy. She then walked through the paddock to meet Straughn under his handmade arbour.
Their ceremony was intimate and spiritual. “Our celebrant Nikki McCarthy did a wonderful job of intwining her words with ours seamlessly… It was a magical moment in time… Surreal,” says Straughn.
Nea shares, “I remember standing in front of my husband-to-be reading out my vows, feeling so present and full of love that I could have taken flight. There was so much joy!”
After the ceremony, photographer Victoria Baker snapped the couple in the paddocks while the cows looked on. They then went around to a few Nannup sites, before getting cosy and listening to some live music in the Nannup Brewery. “Victoria was exceptional,” says Straughn. She captured the magic of the day. We went on little adventures in the paddock, dodging cow patties and just having fun. It was light hearted and so well guided by Victoria.”
Nea and Straughn’s advice for wedding planning? Make your own choices around how you want your day to be, and try not to be influenced by loved ones or traditions.
Thank you for sharing your amazing elopement with us, Nea and Straughn! We are thrilled that you had such a perfect day – you can see the love and joy radiating out of these images. We’d also like to shout out to the wonderful Victoria Baker for sharing her photography and this story with us.