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How To: Pop up weddings and elopement

Madeleine Porter

Has it dawned on you that having a big wedding just…isn’t for you?

If the thought of having 150 guests, a band, a first dance and oodles of stationery wrapped up in a tonne of flowers and 20 cake samples terrifies you, there’s an alternative.

Pop-up and elopement weddings are the perfect way to commemorate your special day without all of the ‘bells and whistles’ you might find you don’t want or need.

A pop-up wedding or elopement can be a much cheaper and less stressful process for the bride and groom as, on average, weddings can cost a minimum of $20,000 and usually end up around $35,000. So it’s not hard to see why downsizing the wedding is becoming a popular approach for couples who are saving for a new home, starting a new family or simply would prefer a secluded celebration without the pressure of hosting a large group of guests.


Canberra Small Weddings specialise in creating small, low key wedding that are elegant and affordable. The team will provide you with a professional photographer and celebrant and will help you seek your desired venue. Your ceremony will be the most relaxed, stress-free and memorable day that you and your partner could have ever hoped for.

Check out Laura and Carlo’s wedding for inspiration.

Laura and Carlo's relaxed small wedding. Photo: Canberra Small Weddings

Laura and Carlo’s relaxed small wedding. Photo: Canberra Small Weddings


Want it to be just the two of you but don’t want to travel?

Canberra has a number of beautiful destinations where you can have a private and intimate ceremony with a bit of quirk. Why not take a ride with Balloon Aloft Canberra and exchange your vows in the air or escape to the lush privacy of the National Botanical Gardens’ Rainforest Gully and be immersed in a natural setting?


When you think ‘special day’ do you think about a favourite holiday destination rather than something in your hometown? This can be a great guide to tailoring your big day.

Kylie and Chris decided to eschew a big Canberra wedding for a dreamy elopement to the place they holidayed together for the first time – Queenstown, New Zealand.

Kylie and Chris' Queenstown elopment

Kylie and Chris’ Queenstown elopement. Photo: Williams Photography

“We had been together for seven years and our first holiday was in New Zealand, and we absolutely loved Queenstown, so decided to go back there,” explains Kylie. “We also have a lot of family spread around Victoria and the logistics of having a big wedding at home frightened us.”


If you’re a couple who is feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of a big wedding and just want to get out of town, visit the Elopement Collective.

The ‘EC’ emphasise the importance of the celebration of your marriage rather than actual hosting of a wedding. They’ll help you find the right location, take care of the paperwork, find your flowers and allow you to choose a professional photographer from their stable of greats (including one of our faves, Canberra photographer Lauren Campbell!).

Eloping at its finest // via @michaelbriggsphotography

A post shared by Elopement Collective (@elopementcollective) on

Feature image: Heart and Colour via


Madeleine Porter

Madeleine is originally from the rural area of Hay in South Western, NSW. After spending her gap year in the Northern Territory as a jillaroo on motorbikes and horseback, she decided to move to Canberra to begin her university degree. Madeleine’s currently in her final year at the University of Canberra studying a Bachelor of Communications in Public Relations/Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Although a country girl at heart, Madeleine loves everything to do with fashion and the wedding sector. Her Canberra has given Madeleine great exposure into the wedding industry through launch of Unveiled. When Madeleine completes her university degree, she is ready to venture out into the world and continue to write about her adventures overseas. More about the Author