Tired of waiting to tie the knot at your dream white wedding because of constant lockdowns and ever-changing Covid health regulations? Perhaps the answer is to say ’to heck with it’ and rather elope.
Indeed, so desperate have once sought-after wedding venues become, that they’re telling love-birds to elope rather than wait around in the hope that the glamorous big-budget wedding day will become a reality anytime soon.
Melbourne wedding and events venue owner, Stephanie Read, is one of those who is encouraging couples to elope to avoid the heartache of yet more cancelled functions.
Read owns the popular Whitestone Events in Bentleigh East and has been forced to cancel or postpone numerous events over the past 18 months.
With the latest lockdown in Melbourne extended again for two weeks, this has led to further postponements and a number of cancellations.
Emotional brides must constantly reschedule
“The heartbreak for couples is real. Our staff are witnessing emotional breakdowns as brides reschedule again and again. We are looking for a solution that can help in these difficult times.” Read said.
“While we cannot hold events during lockdowns, the number of guests when it opens up is usually around 20. We’re saying to our clients: ‘if you want to get married, elope’. We are developing a special package to help these couples make some of their dreams come true.”
Read also owns a floral and styling business, and explains that she was forced to innovate to save her businesses and keep her staff in jobs.
“Both my companies employ a number of people in various roles; all who have been working with brides and grooms trying to make the best of the situation. It’s taken an enormous toll on them emotionally [too].”
She said the costs to her company, as well as the suppliers who provide products and services for a wedding or an event, have been hit hard. “We are on the brink” she warned.
Intimate but properly organised occasions
In case your definition of ‘eloping’ is two people rushing off for a no-frills quickie-wedding in Las Vegas, the modern definition – according to Bride magazine in the UK – is a small but properly organised occasion, usually with a few guests in tow.
“With weddings being postponed and uncertainty around when large celebrations will rule once again, a new trend has arisen for elopement weddings – intimate, meaningful and private celebrations,” the publication says.
Like Whitestone Events, entrepreneurial companies in various countries are offering upmarket, well-organised, tiny events to suit lockdown limitations on numbers.
One of those is E-lope Kent, which is based in the UK and says it offers “personally styled micro weddings” for up to eight people. And yes, the family dog can be a ‘plus-one’.
As Lionel Richie, Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick and others have sung over the years: “Love Will Find a Way”.