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Planning an Elopement: making the decision

By Sophia Carlini 6 February 2016 17

On top of my already busy schedule — full time pencil pusher, part time writer for the RiotACT and new business owner — I am also currently organising my wedding for June this year.

I know what you are thinking, and yes, quite often I also find myself thinking how insane I am for trying to squeeze so many things into my life. Let me just tell you, it’s not on purpose; life just kind of worked out this way.

I met Mike in 2007 … and, you know how the story goes: you meet a beautiful stranger for a minute and then life takes you in different directions and you never see each other again. Well 7 years later, Mike and I were lucky enough to run into each other again.

I had just come back from the most amazing overseas adventure with some girlfriends after coming out of a horrible six-year relationship and was attending an awards night that I had been invited to. As we were waiting to be seated, a man turned around and smiled at me, it was Mike! He asked me how I had been, as it was years since we had seen each other and complimented me by saying that I looked beautiful. I didn’t really think anything of it, I was in a really good place in my life and was just enjoying being single.

The next day I received a message from Mike asking me if I wanted to have dinner with him. I was in that really awkward stage where you have forgotten how to even speak to a boy, and so I was really nervous and reluctant to go for dinner, but I also knew it was time to get back into dating.

Three months later, after making Mike the most amazing home-made meal, he asked me to be his girlfriend. It’s true what they say; the way to a man’s heart is through their stomach.

Another three months later Mike and I bought an apartment together. Yes! It was a really big step, and some may say three months is too soon, but it really did just work out that way and we already knew that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together.

A few months later, in August 2015 we decided to open a business together; you can follow the Creating a café series I am writing for background.

In September 2015 we holidayed in India; it was one of the greatest experiences of our lives and we travelled so well as a couple, which was the best.

October 2015 marked our one year anniversary: in a year we had bought a house, travelled together and were in the process of building a business together, all whilst getting to know each other. There is no better way of getting to know someone, then being thrown in the deep end with them; it really is make or break.

We celebrated our one year with a five day weekend in Melbourne. As I said, Mike and I already knew we were going to be spending our lives together and had been looking at engagement rings for a few months. We happened to stumble across the perfect ring whilst shopping in Melbourne and that night after our anniversary dinner, Mike asked me to marry him.

In 2015 fashion, we announced our engagement on Facebook.

Enageged

We didn’t have an actual plan to get married; we had so many things going on that we even umm’ed and ahh’ed about having an engagement party and in then end decided against it. To be honest, it was mostly about money. It’s not that we didn’t want to celebrate the good news; we literally had invested everything we had into a house and a business. We instead asked a friend, the amazing Victor Tawagi, to capture some photos in celebration of our engagement.

MikeNSoph engaged

Mile and I started thinking about the cost of getting married; according to Google the average cost of an Australian wedding is $36,200. Who honestly has that kind of money to spend on one day? Even if we had the money, I think both of us agree that there are just so many other things to be spending it on.

And that’s when we decided to elope.

Over the next weeks and months, Sophia will take us on her journey of planning an elopement.

What’s Your opinion?


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17 Responses to
Planning an Elopement: making the decision
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rubaiyat 8:37 am 14 Feb 16

grumpyoldpom said :

Don’t know why you have to announce your “elopement” online, just do it?? I did it, 16 days notice at a register office, job done, in a different city. Didn’t need to tell the world, takes no more planning than a weekend away. You need 2 witnesses, a nice dress, suit, a decent hotel and a good meal, oh and a couple of rings.

Saves printing the Sophie and Mike invitations, seating plan and catering arrangements! 😀

pajs 1:28 pm 12 Feb 16

Planned spontaneity is the best kind.

grumpyoldpom 11:56 am 12 Feb 16

Don’t know why you have to announce your “elopement” online, just do it?? I did it, 16 days notice at a register office, job done, in a different city. Didn’t need to tell the world, takes no more planning than a weekend away. You need 2 witnesses, a nice dress, suit, a decent hotel and a good meal, oh and a couple of rings.

chrisi 3:55 pm 11 Feb 16

pink little birdie said :

dtc said :

Why get married anyway. Not getting married saves all of the money and hassle and you have exactly the same legal rights.

No you don’t. The rights of next of kin aren’t automatic if you don’t get married.

Every state in Australia will recognise next of kin, even if you aren’t married.
You can be gay, you can be ‘defacto’, you can be whatever you like.

I agree with you that it’s not “automatic” if not married, but it takes very little effort to prove you are in a defacto relationship with someone in the eyes of the law.

Ipso-facto, whether you are married or not doesn’t change your rights regarding next of kin. No need for marriage at all these days. No wonder the Church is struggling to maintain its numbers.

flitness 2:47 pm 11 Feb 16

chiflean said :

I’m glad I’m not the only one that thought a planned elopement was an oxymoron.

My friends had to elope- two months in advance. I can’t remember whether you need to give 2 months notice or it was the only time the appointment was available. I’m pretty sure it was the former. All the same, they went no frills, say the words, hear the words, sogn the form and they’re done. And they had to wait 2 months to do it.

I always loved their idea. I ended up having a wedding with 80pax, including friends and their kids. It didn’t even come close to the “average cost.” Not by a long shot. If you’re careful how you plan, drop the “wedding” phrase off everything (Wedding adds the dollars, party or family reunion makes it cheap) you can get away with a lot more. The money was in the food and drink. If we’d self catered, it would have likely halved the costs! But that was the splurge so we didn’t have to worry. (Mind you, the caterers messed up, the wait staff was appalling, I do sometimes wonder if we should have self-catered and as it turned out to cause more stress! The theory was nice, though.)

And the benefits gained in having my in-laws thrilled about being at a wedding with their whole family have long outweighed the financial costs to us. I’d do it again for those points any day. I wasn’t going to get married, or I was going to elope if I had to originally. Then I realised that benefit and it certainly made it worth it.

chiflean 9:30 pm 09 Feb 16

I’m glad I’m not the only one that thought a planned elopement was an oxymoron.

pink little birdie 4:55 pm 09 Feb 16

dtc said :

Why get married anyway. Not getting married saves all of the money and hassle and you have exactly the same legal rights.

No you don’t. The rights of next of kin aren’t automatic if you don’t get married.

Southmouth 11:08 am 08 Feb 16

Ignoring the semantics, my wife and I went overseas and got married without telling anyone. We had been engaged a few months. It was fantastic, all the more so when I compare it to my sister in-laws big fat Greek wedding with 200 guests, only half of whom the bride got time to speak with. I highly recommend it.

dtc 10:56 am 08 Feb 16

Why get married anyway. Not getting married saves all of the money and hassle and you have exactly the same legal rights.

Ezy 10:13 am 08 Feb 16

This has me puzzled – isn’t eloping meant to be more secretive and sudden and to cut out all of the fanfare and fuss of getting married? Having an engagement shoot and a blog series dedicated to eloping seems to be everything eloping isn’t.

Zan 3:41 pm 07 Feb 16

When you elope you don’t tell anyone, you just do it. That aside when I got married in 1967 we went to the Registry Office on a Thursday and said we want to get married. The Registrar said when? We said oh next Thursday will do. Filled out a form, answered questions and trotted up on the Thursday and got married. Had a impromptu party at BIL’s house. Great fun. Still together.

Apsara 3:34 pm 07 Feb 16

We eloped. Well, sort of. We told close friends and family we were marrying in Bali, three weeks before the day. They could be there if they wanted to, but had to organise and pay for it themselves. We had 11 people join us. It was lovely. Only those really close to us came to our special day. Not the violent uncle who beats up his third wife when he’s had too much to drink, or the embarrassing bogan cousins who just want the DJ to play Khe Sahn, or the girlfriend of a mate who likes to flash her boobs when she’s had too many champers…. all of whom we would have been obliged to invite had we been married in Australia.

The whole thing cost us $2600. Less than what a typical bridal photographer would have charged for the day. That included airfares and 10 nights accommodation for both of us. Yes, it was 25 years ago, but still, it was unbelievably cheap.

I turned up on the day with my wedding dress (which my mother had made) and the rest was provided by the wedding company. We all took our own photos and we paid to have everyone’s films developed, getting double prints, which had enough good shots to make up our own photo album. My BIL took the wedding video.

Looking back, I realise how unique and special it was. Do I feel any regrets? Only when people tell me that because I eloped in Bali, it wasn’t a real wedding. But no, no regrets. I’m looking forward to doing something similar when I meet Mr Right #2.

Blen_Carmichael 8:02 am 07 Feb 16

Masquara said :

Sorry, if you’ve announced your engagement, you can’t decide to elope! You’re simply planning a no-frills wedding.

Thank you, I’m not the only one who thought I was missing something.

MERC600 4:44 pm 06 Feb 16

In case your wondering about the ladder thing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laEwOj5qXNo

MERC600 3:32 pm 06 Feb 16

I think an elopement to save 36k is a good way to start , and certainly gets my approval. However the Uncles will be sore.

Now to go about organising an elopement, you will need a ladder …

Masquara 1:28 pm 06 Feb 16

Sorry, if you’ve announced your engagement, you can’t decide to elope! You’re simply planning a no-frills wedding.

No_Nose 1:03 pm 06 Feb 16

Simply print off the required forms here,
https://www.ag.gov.au/FamiliesAndMarriage/Marriage/Pages/Forms.aspx

Fill them out, get an authorised person to sign them and then lodge them with the registrar.

Job done. Get on with your life.

I can’t see how that requires weeks and months of planning!

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