By Pop Celebrations, August 17, 2023

What Does it Mean to "Elope"?

  • Elopements offer a personal and intimate wedding experience.
  • Historical context: elopements were once secretive/scandalous affairs.
  • Modern elopements in Newcastle and Hunter Valley focus on personalisation and authenticity.

Ever considered the romantic allure of saying “I do” amidst the rolling vineyards of Hunter Valley or the coastal charm of Newcastle? Here at Pop Celebrations, we’ve seen a surge in enquiries for elopements and intimate styled weddings with smaller guest counts. But what does it truly mean to elope in today’s world? 

Historically, the term “elope” signified a secretive escape, often of young lovers fleeing to wed without parental consent. Yet, in the modern social landscape, elopements have transformed. They’ve grown from whispered secrets into beautiful, intimate celebrations of love. Stripping away the grandeur and focusing on authenticity, today’s elopements are all about personalisation and cherishing genuine moments with only those closest to you. Of course, if you’re dreaming of going bold and big for your special day, more power to you! Join us as we explore the evolving charm of elopements and why, for many, less is becoming the epitome of more in the world of weddings.

We Asked Elopement Experts: My Dear Kathleen

We asked our friends and elopement experts at My Dear Kathleen their thoughts on the recent surge in the popularity of elopements:

“We have definitely seen an increase in desire and demand for smaller, more intimate weddings and elopements since the pandemic and we believe there are a couple of different reasons influencing this trend:

  • As with many areas of society, people reassessed their priorities and started to choose experiences over extravagance. Many couples don’t want to spend the amount of money they previously would have on a big wedding, where they are catering for lots of guests, instead, preferring to spend a smaller amount of money on an experience that is really special and unique to them, and having money left over to put towards a life costs like buying a house.
  • Gen Z has also grown up with the likes of Instagram and TikTok, where life should always be lived to it’s fullest! The best way to do that is to show yourself doing something none of your friends have done, or travelling to an amazing off-the-beaten-path location.

It is a combination of these priority shifts that led us to start My Dear Kathleen, where we look to create unique and intimate weddings in locations that are either luxurious or exciting, allowing couples to have a amazing wedding experience but with minimal costs.”

The Intimacy of Elopements: "Micro" Weddings vs Eloping

  • Elopements offer a deeply personal and intimate experience.
  • Legal requirements in NSW: a celebrant and two witnesses over the age of 18 must be present.
  • Elopements focus on the couple’s bond, offering a genuine celebration of love.

From our research and chats with couples planning their big day, we’ve noticed a significant shift in wedding priorities, especially given the current financial climate. We’ve found that there’s a growing emphasis on getting bang for your buck. 

For many couples, this means trimming their guest list to just their closest mates and family. This trend has boosted the popularity of micro weddings and elopements. But what’s the difference between the two? An elopement is typically a more intimate do, often just the couple and maybe a few witnesses or immediate family. It’s a deeply personal affair, sometimes a bit spontaneous, focusing purely on the couple’s bond. 

On the other hand, a micro wedding, while still keeping things cosy, tends to have a few more guests. Our data suggests that micro weddings usually have around 20 to 40 guests or fewer, including close family and friends. Both these styles put personal connections and genuine experiences above all the flash. In a world where every dollar counts, elopements and micro weddings give couples the chance to celebrate their love without skimping on value or intimacy.

Who needs to be at your wedding ceremony to make it legal though?

Legally, in NSW, apart from the couple and the celebrant, you only need two witnesses over the age of 18 to make the marriage official. This could be anyone from your photographer to a close friend. 

Eloping for Cost and Convenience

  • Elopements can be more budget-friendly, allowing funds allocation to other priorities.
  • Planning an elopement can be less stressful and time-consuming.

Every couple dreams of a wedding day that reflects their unique love story and values. For some, this means an intimate gathering, while for others, it’s a grand celebration with a large guest list. 

Both are equally special and memorable in their own right. Elopements and micro weddings, with their smaller guest counts, often come with the advantage of being more budget-friendly. This allows couples to allocate funds to other aspects of their wedding or future plans, like a dream honeymoon or a home deposit. The planning process can also be simpler and less time-consuming, offering a sense of ease and convenience. On the flip side, larger weddings provide an opportunity to celebrate with a wider circle, creating memories with extended family and friends. It’s all about what feels right for the couple. At the end of the day, whether it’s a cosy elopement in a scenic Hunter Valley spot or a lavish celebration in Newcastle, what truly matters is the love and commitment being celebrated.

Elopements Allow For More Flexibility and Creativity!

  • Constraints of larger weddings: set schedules, multiple vendors, venue rules.
  • Elopements allow for spontaneity and unique touches.

One of the standout appeals of elopements is the unparalleled flexibility they offer. Without the constraints of a traditional large event, couples often find they have more freedom to let their personalities and desires take centre stage. So, what are these constraints? In larger weddings, there’s often a set structure or schedule to adhere to, ensuring everything runs smoothly for the multitude of guests. This can mean coordinating with heaps of vendors, navigating venue rules, managing intricate seating arrangements, and sticking to tight timelines for various ceremonies and receptions. While these elements ensure a grand event is executed flawlessly, they can sometimes limit personal touches or spontaneous moments.

In contrast, elopements allow for a more relaxed and fluid approach. Fancy changing the ceremony spot last minute because you stumbled upon a more scenic location? Or perhaps you wish to extend the celebrations without the worry of venue curfews? With fewer logistical challenges, elopements offer more room for creativity, spontaneity, and those unique moments that make the day genuinely unforgettable.

What it Means to Elope, Now vs Then

  • Historical view: elopements were seen with a hint of scandal or disapproval.
  • Modern view: elopements are intimate, personal, and romantic.
  • Elopements are now often the envy of those who had grand weddings.

Elopements have undergone a remarkable transformation in societal perception. Historically, in many cultures and communities, eloping was often viewed with a hint of scandal or disapproval. It was seen as a choice made in haste, driven by rebellion or the need to escape societal norms and expectations. Fast forward to today, and the narrative has shifted dramatically. Elopements are now celebrated as intimate, personal, and deeply romantic ceremonies. 

The beauty of an elopement lies in its simplicity and the focus on the couple’s love story. Many who once had grand weddings now look back with a touch of envy, admiring the ease and genuine emotion that elopements bring. In the picturesque settings of Newcastle and Hunter Valley, eloping allows couples to create a day that’s truly theirs, free from external pressures. In today’s world, where authenticity is cherished, eloping stands as a testament to love in its purest form, often becoming the envy of those who opted for the traditional route.

It's Easy to Book an Elopement with Pop Celebrations

In the evolving world of weddings, elopements have emerged as a heartfelt and genuine way to celebrate love. They capture the essence of commitment, intimacy, and authenticity, allowing couples to create memories that last a lifetime. 

Whether you’re drawn to the simplicity of an elopement or the intimacy of a micro-wedding, remember that your special day should reflect your unique love story. If you’re considering taking this beautiful path, Pop Celebrations has got you covered. We’ve tailored wedding ceremony packages specifically for couples looking to elope or host a micro-wedding in the stunning locales of Newcastle and Hunter Valley. 

Explore our packages and let us help you craft a day that’s as unique and unforgettable as your love story.