When Inner West Mum Ciara posted anonymously in the Facebook group wanting to hear of others’ experiences of elopement, she couldn’t have guessed that just three months later, she would be married – by elopement, of course.
The idea of elopement had much appeal for Ciara and her partner Vinny. While they both wished to get married, there were numerous hurdles to a wedding itself. For starters, Ciara is Irish, Vinny from New Zealand, so there was the big question of where they would hold the wedding. ‘Elopement seemed like a good solution, but we worried about hurting others’ feelings.’
Ciara’s anonymous post in Inner West Mums in March drew more than 30 responses, and all were overwhelmingly positive.
Not long thereafter, on 5 May, to Ciara’s great surprise, Vinny proposed. ‘I was frantically trying to get ready for a family holiday to New Zealand,’ Ciara says. ‘I had clothes everywhere and was midway through applying tanning lotion when there was a knock at the door. It was Vinny, with his grandmother’s beautiful ring which he’d had reset as an engagement ring. It might sound a bit strange but I had always said I didn’t want a public proposal. It was just right.’
Encouraged by the positive feedback she had received, Ciara and her partner agreed right away that they would plan their elopement. On return from their New Zealand trip, Ciara got in touch with a company that organises elopements, Elope to Sydney and the Hunter Valley. There was a slot available just a few weeks ahead. ‘It was a bit sooner than we’d planned, but we just thought why not?’ says Ciara.
For the venue Ciara and Vinny chose McKell Park, an intimate location in Darling Point with stunning harbour views and manicured gardens. ‘The company arranged everything. It was really very easy. We just told them our preferences and showed up on the day.’
Ciara and Vinny married on 25 June in the presence of their one-year-old son and with Vinny’s best friend and wife as their witnesses. After the ceremony, the couple celebrated with their two friends over drinks and dinner then spent the night at a city hotel.
Ciara’s greatest hesitation about eloping had been how her family and friends would react. ‘I ended up telling my mum and sister a few days before we got married – I just had to! We rang everyone else the next day and they were all delighted – especially my Grannies. They all said, “That’s so you!’’ The couple is now planning celebrations with their family and friends abroad next year, when they visit their respective home countries.
‘It was exactly how we imagined it would be. It was just perfect,’ says Ciara.
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