With a wedding planned in Italy Alison and Danny didn’t want to miss out on their love of the Australian bush for their wedding – and what better way to honour it than making your marriage official with one of the country’s beautiful National parks as your backdrop? “We were initially booked to have a registry office legal only ceremony but I cancelled the day before” explained Alison. “I knew we wanted something more adventurous thrilling and fun. I remembered seeing Girraween National Park on Instagram 3 years ago when we came to Australia. I knew it was the venue once we went out to visit it.

Seeing the granite arch, was just so perfect for the ceremony, and we knew afterwards we would love to climb up the pyramid to see the balancing rocks and get some amazing big nature energy photos. We have always loved places in nature that made us feel small and Girraween National Park has it all, big granite rocks, trees, rivers etc.”

Wanting to surprise their families on their Italian wedding day, Alison and Danny eloped in complete privacy – only their celebrant, photographer Green & Wandering Photography (and Ellythea’s mum and sister, who acted as witnesses) were present. The day began with a hand-in-hand walk to their ceremony, before they celebrated at a local pub after a mountain hike.

With the couple both living in the UK at the time they met, it was online that their friendship blossomed. Alison shared “We initially met through a friend and began an online friendship as I was living in Ireland between university in Dublin and home in Wexford and he was in Newquay, England. My friend and I then planned a trip over to visit as we were also planning to go over and work in a hotel for the summer, where Danny also worked. As I was a broke university student it had to be cheap so the cheapest weekend to get to Newquay happened to be Valentines weekend in 2014. Our love has travelled miles and miles since then.”

The pair soon moved to Australia and spent many of their weekend’s camping in the Australian bush, so ofcourse, when it came to the proposal, Danny opted to do it on a camping weekend! Alison remembers “One weekend in November 2019 we were planning to camp on the beach on Bribie Island in Queensland.

Everything was going great as usual but I was concerned about getting stuck in the sand. We hadn’t even gotten down to the beach as my suspicions came true and we did get stuck in the sand. A group of young lads had to help us out and Danny was so stressed and apologising for ruining the weekend I was saying it’s all good it’s all part of the fun and I was having a laugh.

Little did I know why he was so stressed and wanted everything to be perfect. He then took me on a gondola sunset boat trip around Bribie Island, as we came out to view the sunset it was really severely covered with smoke from the bushfires that were going on that year, so I was really waiting and hoping to see the sun and as it was appearing I was trying to snap a Polaroid photo and when I turned back around he was down on one knee! It’s fair to say for 2 or 3 months every time I rang my mother she was waiting on our news as Danny had asked her for her approval.”

The couple were married by  Enchanting Ceremonies – Trish Cuthbert. “It was a very beautiful ceremony by our celebrant, Trish” remarks Alison. “She has a wonderful way with words. We wanted it to be relaxed with just the two of us, and that’s just what it was. We didn’t have any readings. We just loved that we got to enjoy the entire day at our own pace without having to rush around and that we got to include some of our favourite things, adventures and hikes.”

Alison’s fun wedding mini dress was purchased from Lace & beads via Asos. “For my dress I wanted something totally different and fun, nothing like I would ever wear but seeing as we were now on a strict budget my options were limited. Luckily I found the fun dress on Asos by Lace & Beads London. I wore burgundy boots and a black denim jacket, for a fun biker/badass style.” And for Danny? “He wore a burgundy jacket from Connor and a white shirt and chinos with brown shoes and a belt. We thought burgundy would go well with our location.”

“When capturing photos straight after the ceremony in the granite arch, Elly our photographer, asked Danny to whisper the name of his favourite vegetable in my ear and he said tomato and we burst out laughing because I had to inform him that it is a fruit. It was just so funny and the photos of us laughing so hard will always remind me of that.”

“It’s your wedding, forget about anyone else’s opinions. If you’re not having a true elopement then remember to take time out during the day to soak it all in and be present with one another.”

Alison carried a bouquet of dried flowers from Dried Blooms she made into a bouquet. “To elope at the park we weren’t allowed to have seeding flowers etc so I went with dried flowers. I found some inspiration on Pinterest, ordered dried stems on Etsy, and made my bouquet and Danny’s buttonhole myself. I adored how they turned out.”

With so few vendors on their list, those present needed to have the kind of vibe and energy these two wanted, and that’s exactly what they got with their photographer. “The amazing Ellythea is incredibly talented and so down to earth. It was about 2 or 3 months before the date that I contacted her, I found her page on Instagram. I mentioned my ideas and after a phone call from her explaining she knew the park well and had family connections out that way, I just knew she was the perfect fit. She had also been dying to photograph a wedding out there so you could say it was fate.”

Congratulations to you both Alison and Danny! What an honour to be able to share such an intimate day. Thank you to Green & Wandering Photography for sharing this one with us!