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Wedspiration > Real Weddings > ELOPEMENT: Ben + Tash – Great Ocean Road
Real Weddings
ELOPEMENT: Ben + Tash – Great Ocean Road
Determined to tie the knot in 2020, this couple eloped on a stunning clifftop location overlooking Australia’s southern ocean. It was beautiful, intimate and the perfect warm-up to their bigger celebration later in 2021.
Words by Karina Lowndes
10 March 2021

With COVID putting their original wedding plans on hold, Tash and Ben decided to organise an elopement at a breathtaking location along the Great Ocean Road. It was, in Tash’s words “simple, joyful, intimate, drunken, worth it” and the perfect warm-up to the bigger celebration they hope to host later this year.

Captured by Bianca Virtue, you can scroll their entire VIC elopement below.

How long have you and Ben been together and how did you meet? 

We have been together for six and a half years. We met while working together at a café in East Brunswick, Melbourne in early 2014. Ben was the hot shot (wanker) barista, Tash was the enthusiastic (a little OTT) server on a working holiday from Canada.

Can you tell us a bit about your proposal?

In August 2018, we did the West Highland Way – a week long, 140km  hike – with both sets of parents. At the end, in a little town called Fort William, we checked into a quaint little bed and breakfast and I (Tash) enjoyed a long, luxurious shower, scrubbing the highland grime away. Ben was patiently and nervously waiting on the bed; the parents were all worded up and waiting outside. When I came out of the bathroom, Ben asked the question…

Tell us about your dress/suit, how did you find it? What did you love about it? 

Tash – I was actually inspired by a friend of mine in Vancouver. I knew I wanted to wear a jumpsuit for the elopement and this one with feathers was perfect – it was fun, elegant and a touch of traditional with the ivory colour. The shoes by Loeffler Randall added a bit of sparkle and completed the look while being so comfortable.

Ben – I love the suit I bought for our wedding but it was a little more traditional and I was keen to keep it for the bigger event, so I grabbed a new one online from Suit Supply. Hot tip – order two sizes and they collect whatever doesn’t fit for free.

Was your wedding in your home town or was it a destination wedding? 

Like many others, COVID forced us to reschedule our wedding not once but twice! We knew we wanted to get married in 2020 so decided to organise a small elopement with two of our good friends as witnesses at Point Addis, near Anglesea. We hope to have our big wedding party before long in our original location of Stanley, VIC with all our family and friends.

How did you decide on the location of your wedding and the venue itself?  

We knew we wanted to do it somewhere on Victoria’s surf coast but our photographer suggested the precise location as she had heard it was a great spot for a photoshoot. We completely trusted her and went with it. Turns out it was an absolutely amazing location with breathtaking views and the colouring worked perfectly with our minimal decor.

How many guests did you have?

Two and a half (two mates and their gorgeous baby).

In a few sentences, how would you describe your wedding? 

Only need a few words here: simple, joyful, intimate, drunken, worth it.

Did you write your own vows? How did you find that experience?

We only wanted to say a few words to each other as we would like to do our longer vows in front of family and friends at our wedding celebration so we kept it short and thoughtful. We included special moments that made us laugh, cry and look forward to our future together.

Were you inspired by a particular wedding style or vibe when bringing your day to life?

We wanted something simple and elegant but also a bit spicy and fun! Everything came together really nicely – our outfits and the flowers fit the location perfectly.

Did you partake in any DIY elements to your day?

Given its size, the whole day was pretty DIY! The rug was an old one of Ben’s from his share house days, brought in on the trolley we use for music festivals. Completely by accident, it matched the flowers perfectly. Win!

What was your wedding budget? Did you stick to it? If not, how much extra did you spend? 

Our elopement budget was less than $5k and that included everything: outfits, flowers, celebrant, photographer, HMU, and our mini moon activities. Our wedding celebration budget is quite a bit bigger but that will most likely change after 2020 kicked us in the head and forced us to dip into those savings.

What are some of the most memorable and special moments of your wedding? 

The fact that we could just focus on us!

Any funny elements that just made the day or lead up even more amazing?

Ben did a recce of the location the morning of the elopement just to have a quick look and see exactly where it was. As it turned out, Ben made a good call! The original walk we were meant to do to get to the cliff was a rocky hike, entirely uphill, which we all would have had to do in our heels and outfits. Ben found a shortcut that was a short walk on flat ground via an easy trail. Pictures would have looked different and moods would have been soured!

After the ceremony we went back to our Airbnb with our friends and their baby boy. While we were having a drink before our fancy dinner in Geelong our friend’s baby decided to have a very explosive accident all over his mum’s dress. She didn’t bring a second dress and while we all cried with laughter, it required a hands on effort from all of us to get him and mum cleaned up. Really nothing better than one of your wedding guests having an explosively good time!

Were there any traditions you kept, ditched or adapted?

We’re saving these for the bigger party. I’m Serbian and my Dad makes his own (strong) brandy so that will be flowing. It’s also Serbian tradition for guests to bring cakes, so we are doing that instead of organising dessert.

Do you have any standout suppliers that you would recommend in a heartbeat? Who are they and why? 

Honestly, all of them. Bianca Virtue, our photographer, really grabbed the in-between moments so perfectly. We love looking back at her photos.

Meagan Nash was a last minute call up and did such a great job with our hair and makeup. We have booked her for the main wedding event, whenever that happens.

Nat Shorer of Wild Flos did such an incredible job with the flowers and with a very loose brief. She understands colours beautifully!

Sally Lewry, our brilliant celebrant is an artist and a writer. She captured the essence of our silly and beautiful love story perfectly. She really listened to us and paid attention to the details that made the short and sweet ceremony so memorable. We would not hesitate to recommend her to any couple!

Now that you’re married, what’s the best piece of advice you can give other couples in the middle of planning their own weddings? 

Carve out some space in your event just for you. We were conscious of the fact couples can end up not really spending much, if any, time together during their wedding and we’re planning a few ways to make that happen during ours. Having this moment to hold onto now, though, takes some of that pressure off when we do have that bigger wedding.

Finish this sentence. The best (or most unique) thing we did at our wedding was…

Not tell anyone about it until it had happened.

What are you most looking forward to now that you’re married?

All the same things we were looking forward to before we were married! For us, beyond the extra finger bling, life is no different since our elopement.

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