Modern romance has its own spin on the concept of elopement – wild, free and unencumbered by the norms of the past. In these times, eloping is now more of an intention, where the planned-out formalities of a big wedding are forgotten to create an intimate ceremonial celebration. Special, sweet and a little bit secretive – it creates a sense of freedom. Big weddings aren’t for everyone but you should still create beautiful memories and photos of your special day – and my hidden gem elopement locations in Melbourne will do just that and more! After all, eloping is more than just a ceremony, it’s an adventure! You get to be truly present and intentional about stepping into your marriage.
Did you know that Melbourne elopements are some of my most beautiful shoots? Why? Because as a Melbourne elopement photographer, I get to shoot love in gorgeous settings. Melbourne has clusters of secrets hidden in the far-to-reach stretches of tar that only the adventurous come across. The word ‘escape’ comes to mind, to highlight the freedom one feels in these far-off places, where time stands still and the air smells sweet. Escape from the rush, escape from the big marquees and long lists of guests, escape from the frenetic planning, escape with your soulmate and go on the most romantic quest of your lives.
Do you want to know how to elope in Melbourne? Once you’ve looked into the legality of an elopement, you’ll realise you may either get married beforehand and have a symbolic ceremony or you’ll need two witnesses to sign your marriage certificates. If you’re having a few guests, that’s taken care of, and if not – I, as the photographer, and someone from the venue can step in!
Other than that, eloping is easy, relaxed and rather fun! The exciting part is choosing your adventure. Here I’ve listed a few elopement locations in Melbourne, places that might pique your interest when it comes to choosing the best elopement package for you.
The Redwoods of the Otway Ranges are some of the most picturesque settings you can find yourself in. These stunning giant trees create a canopy of sunbeams and foliage that contrast with your insignificance. The Redwoods are a good example of the beauty of elopement, where one can wander further than a large gathering would allow and find a waterfall for your vows deep in these forests. It’s easy to understand why Otway Ranges elopement photography looks especially captivating.
Permits are required for an Otway Ranges elopement, so coo your lover into getting them for you with your adorable eyes! This park is popular and there are people around, so try to avoid peak times and weekends to ensure you get a bit more seclusion and tranquillity. If the weather is not playing game (and who knows if it will), there are not many ways to get around this. Rent an Airbnb for you and your clan to enjoy, if needed. There’s very little cellphone signal, so be sure to let your entourage know location specifics; the perk is that anyone you don’t want there will never find you! This is a destination good for around 20 guests or less, and as it’s such a beautiful park we don’t recommend microphone ceremonies.
Flinders Cliffs are, for me, one of the most romantic Melbourne elopement ideas and it’s just perfect for a wedding getaway. It feels as if it’s beckoning couples to run away to its dramatic cliffs and wind-blown brush. If you stand still on the edge overlooking the ocean, you can hear the wind call to lovers of all kinds – come and get lost out here together!
The opportunities for Flinders Bluffs elopement photography are incredible and the smaller the setup, the more special it can be. Flinders would need a nearby venue to cater for big groups, but a small elopement lends itself perfectly to a more boutique-style setup with the oceanic backdrop framing the day perfectly.
The cliffs are good for couples that are adventurous, slightly fit and happy to break into a little sweat, as it requires you to walk for 20 minutes up and down the cliffs. It’s well worth it for the experience of salty solitude with your soulmate.
This is perfect for an elopement or a micro wedding, as long as your guests are happy to hike a little and are comfortable wearing flats! There are risks in terms of the weather, but there are good accommodation and reception dinner options nearby should the wind sweep you in that direction.
Melbourne has a little bit of everything and what could be more romantic than to elope to the mountains in Dandenong Ranges where you feel giddy from the elevation, views and perhaps love! Nothing beats the cool mountain air where, as you inhale, you feel the expanse of the ranges fill your heart with even more excitement. There are few crowds there and you can elope on your own terms as it’s just an hour-long ride away. This makes it ideal to go any time of the year; there is never a passage of time when this area is not painstakingly beautiful.
There are walking trails, boathouses, waterfalls, beautifully formed trees and even islands to explore in these parts. As a Dandenong Ranges elopement photographer, I can show you some of my favourite secret photo spots! This is a place for nature lovers but keep in mind it requires a bit of mobility to access. As always, there are accommodation plans nearby for a weather failsafe and it’s worth it to see the mountain ash trees and natural bush in this special part of Victoria.
Cactus Country is a unique experience in itself, but throw in a wedding ceremony and you’ve got yourself something spectacular. When you step onto the dust as you arrive, you’ll feel as if you’ve been whisked off to a faraway land. 12 acres of cacti to be exact! You can share your vows among the cacti, their prickles bearing witness to your love, murmuring as the dust sighs when you embrace your spouse for the first time as newlyweds.
Elopements may be intimate, but they still deserve photographs for posterity’s sake! Cactus Country elopement photography creates some of the most insane photos you as a couple will keep forever. The backdrops of mass cacti and the colour palette of green against the dusty brown contrasted with your outfits will leave you speechless. It’s the perfect location for small groups or even just pairs, and the set-up is casual, relaxed and easy to take care of.
Go wild adding the elements you want – they believe in personalising your day as much as you desire! You can add personal touches such as a neon sign, props or pink couches or just shoot among the desert paths during the golden hour. Take the path less travelled, and do something totally different for your elopement experience – head to Cactus Country!
Wilsons Prom is where to elope in Melbourne for the perfect tropical wedding escape. Hidden beaches, rocky outcrops and beautiful cerulean waters are what set the scene for an elopement at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia.
Wilsons Prom elopement photography packages can include anything you desire from remote bushland trails, golden beach ceremonies, hikes to granite peaks or stargazing at a secluded campsite. The torrent of nature at Wilsons Prom will lure you in and open your heart. It’s a picturesque Melbourne elopement idea and I can guarantee you the photos will speak for themselves. Who knows, maybe a wombat, emu or kangaroo can be the witness to your ceremony! If not, we can arrange a more suitable signatory!
If you’re considering eloping, and I think you might be, then send a message! I’d love to share my ideas, tips and sentiments about your Melbourne elopement photography session and what the whole experience can entail. There are many flavours that elopements can come in, and finding a flavour that tantalises your taste is part of the fun! I have elopement photography packages that can suit your needs so I’d love to find out what you want, and then capture your wedding escape in the most romantic way imaginable!