While many brides and grooms are still intent on the traditional big white wedding, others in 2018 are eschewing a big event for something a little more intimate.
One such couple is Nicole and Michael Clayworth, from Port Macquarie in New South Wales, who decided to abandon a big white wedding at home in Australia, and instead elope to Santorini to tie the knot while backpacking.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Nicole, 29, shared the intimate details of her nuptials, and why she didn’t see her wedding dress until the night before.
The new bride also shared her tips for other couples wanting to elope.
Nicole and Michael Clayworth (pictured), from Port Macquarie, decided to abandon a big white wedding at home in Australia, and instead elope to Santorini to tie the knot while backpacking
Speaking to FEMAIL, Nicole (pictured on her wedding day), 29, shared the intimate details of her nuptials, and shared her top tips for couples who want to elope
She also explained that she didn’t see her wedding dress (pictured) until the night before her nuptials, choosing instead to place full trust in the hands of her photographer and her wedding planner, Ema
According to the bride (pictured on her wedding day), she and her long-term partner had never wanted the costs and stress associated with a big white wedding
They had planned to do a big trip backpacking to Europe to celebrate their eleven-year anniversary and six weeks before they left, they decided to get married while they were travelling too
According to Nicole, she and her now-husband Michael were never the types to have an extravagant lavish ceremony:
‘It was last year and we had decided to do a trip to celebrate our eleven year anniversary,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘We hit on Europe and decided to go backpacking. Six weeks before we left, we also thought why not get married too?’.
And so, telling no one, they enlisted the help of a wedding planner Nicole found on Instagram – Ema Giangreco – who specialises in Italian weddings.
‘Originally, I had Venice and a wedding on the gondolas in mind,’ Nicole explained. ‘I wanted something simple – just Michael and I getting married.
‘But when I was discussing our plans to visit Santorini, Ema suggested changing the location of the elopement, and I’m so glad she did. Santorini is one of the most dreamy, romantic locations in the world.’
And so, telling no one, they enlisted the help of a wedding planner Nicole found on Instagram – Ema Giangreco – who specialises in Italian weddings
Originally, the couple had considered tying the knot in Venice, but they were soon swayed towards Santorini in Greece (pictured) – which is known for its stunning scenery and sunsets
The talented wedding planner started scoping out quiet locations where Nicole and Michael could get married, while the couple backpacked around the UK and Greece.
‘I wasn’t that nervous, because I could see from Ema’s experience that she was talented, and I was happy to leave it in their capable hands,’ Nicole recalled.
‘While I had originally purchased a dress in Australia, it didn’t really fit with my theme of bohemia. So rather than carry and crease a dress around Europe, I took that one back and sent measurements to Ema and my photographer in Greece.
‘I didn’t even see the dress they chose – which was from a Greek designer, Atelier Zolotas, – until the night before. But as soon as I did, I had goosebumps. It was magical.’
Nicole sent her measurements for a wedding dress to Ema and their bridal photographer and left it in their capable hands to find a gown that fitted with the idea of bohemia
‘I didn’t even see the dress they chose – which was from a Greek designer, Atelier Zolotas, – until the night before. But as soon as I did, I had goosebumps. It was magical,’ Nicole recalled
Speaking about her wedding itself, Nicole explained that eloping and marrying completely in secret in Santorini took ‘so much of the stress out of getting married’.
‘We didn’t tell a single person before we left Australia, and we didn’t tell any of our family and friends until we got back – when we had a party,’ she said.
‘This meant that the day was stress-free and totally perfect. My mum was slightly upset that we hadn’t told her when we first got home, but once she saw the photographs and the video, she understood.’
Speaking about her wedding itself, Nicole explained that eloping and marrying completely in secret in Santorini took ‘so much of the stress out of getting married’
The couple didn’t tell a single person that they were going to get married before they left Australia, instead waiting until they got home after travelling to share the photographs and wedding video
When it comes to tips for other couples wanting to elope, Nicole said it helps to have a wedding planner that you trust completely
‘Definitely go for it if it’s what you want and big dos aren’t your thing. When I look back, people will think I’m crazy. But I am so glad we did it,’ she said
Nicole concluded: ‘We followed our hearts and had a magical day that we will remember forever’
When it comes to eloping, Nicole said she and her partner wouldn’t have done it differently:
‘It saved us so much money and so much stress,’ she said.
‘If you are going to elope, the one thing that I would say is make sure you find yourself an excellent wedding planner, who you can trust completely.
‘Definitely go for it if it’s what you want and big dos aren’t your thing. When I look back, people will think I’m crazy. But I am so glad we did it. We followed our hearts and had a magical day that we will remember forever.’
Nicole Clayworth shared her wedding with Easy Weddings. For more information, click here.
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