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ESPACE STUDIO

‘Make it about the two of you’: Why elopements and micro weddings are on the rise in Australia 

When Mary Hackett got married, she didn’t walk down the aisle.

She also didn’t wear a wedding dress or have a professional photographer – she and her husband eloped.

“We eloped because we didn’t want all the fanfare of marriage, you know, all the hullabaloo. And we just wanted it to be a private thing for us,” Hackett says.

The Melbourne jewellery teacher was 27 when she married her husband, Nick. They’d met while they were studying jewellery making in Tasmania more than three decades ago.

An old photo of a young hip looking couple sitting in a friend's livingroom after eloping
Mary Hackett (second left) and her husband Nick were married at their friend’s house.(Supplied)

They had their ceremony at a friend’s house, wore what they had in their cupboard and celebrated with “cheap champagne and pizza”.

“We didn’t tell our family until a month later,” she says.

“They were pretty cross about that bit — happy that we’re still together because we’d been together for three years before that … but not happy that we hadn’t told them about the wedding.”

‘Crazy’ number of enquiries 

Bek Burrows, a wedding planner and stylist based in Tasmania, says, while historically eloping was something you did if your wedding was frowned upon, that’s all changed now.

“Now it’s sort of a very exciting thing to embark on,” Burrows tells ABC RN’S Life Matters.

Because of the pandemic, health concerns, wedding restrictions and closed borders, her business has seen more couples swapping large weddings for elopements and micro weddings. 

She says elopements usually consist of the couple with very close friends or family as their witnesses, whereas a micro wedding is a traditional wedding but on a smaller scale. 

“Unlike elopements that are often just the celebrant with maybe a photographer, a micro wedding will have a full team of suppliers and require coordination and structure — celebrant, photographer, videographer, musicians, catering, venue, hair, makeup, flowers, lights — all the bells and whistles,” she adds. 

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