Just us. The two of us, because we're...
Goin' to the chapel and we're gonna get married Gee, I really love you And we're gonna get married Goin' to the chapel of love
––Song by The Dixie Cups
What Does an Elopement Mean?
As tradition would have it, eloping would refer to a couple sneaking off to get married, their family and friends unaware until they came back and yelled, "Surprise!".
As the movies would have it, that often meant sneaking off to Vegas, perhaps to the Graceland Wedding Chapel, the most iconic spur-of-the-moment chapel in Las Vegas. Here, they would be wedded by none other than the King of Rock n Roll himself, Elvis Presley––oh, sorry, the impersonator. Whether or not they remembered their elopement the next day, only the dawn would tell.
It was all about rebellion.
Fast forward to today, and the definition of elopement has shifted. While they are still fairly intimate, with usually just the bride and groom and those invited to bear witness, they are now often thought of as a "small wedding" in a beautiful location, and less of a surprise!
What are the Benefits of Eloping?
While they're subjective and entirely dependent on the couple involved, you can't look past the cost.
According to Moneysmart, the average Australian wedding costs $36,000––ouch! The survey found that 82% of couples dipped into their savings, 60% plunged into debt and got a loan, and 18% used their credit card––giving themselves an otherwise avoidable debt.
Compare this to eloping, and you'll see first-hand that the benefit primarily lies in the cost. The average price of eloping in Australia is between $5,000 and $15,000, and if you're money savvy, you could even do it for less than $5,000. It all depends on how you work in expenses such as the celebrant, location, dress, flowers, and photographers, to name a few. Ultimately you have the benefit of a flexible budget that will allow you to enjoy your day your way.
What Makes an Amazing Queensland Elopement?
Location. Need we say more? Australia's sunshine state, in all its glory, from the dazzling lights of the Gold Coast to the white sandy beaches of the Whitsundays and everywhere in between, sets the scene for eloping in Queensland.
Gonna get married? Let's take a look at the top destinations for eloping in Queensland.
Hamilton Island, Queensland: Qualia
Qualia overlooks the Coral Sea and the surrounding Whitsunday Islands, tucked away in an exclusive precinct on Hamilton Island's northernmost tip. With a maximum group size of eight, the luxurious adults-only retreat best suits intimate wedding celebrations.
Palm Cove, Queensland: Alamanda Great Barrier Reef Chapel
If it's a beach elopement you want, then Palm Cove is where it's at. The palm-fringed seaside village is as romantic as it is picturesque. While you're spoilt for choices, the Alamanda Great Barrier Reef Chapel is Australia's only purpose-built beachfront chapel. Intimate and private, it provides panoramic views over Palm Cove beach and the coral sea that meets it.
Heron Island, Queensland
Beach or Jetty? The choice is yours. Located on a true coral cay in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Heron Island offers an elopement destination unlike any other. Part of what makes this destination so unique is that the reef experience is exclusively for guests. Your ceremony will be casual and relaxed on sandy white beaches with crystal clear waters and colourful coral.
Port Douglas, Queensland: St Mary’s by the Sea
Another top destination for those thinking about eloping in Queensland is Port Douglas, a coastal town located approximately sixty kilometres north of Cairns.
The iconic St Mary's by the Sea chapel is located within the picturesque seaside town. Within its doors, a glass altar window offers breathtaking views of the beach, Coral Sea and rainforest-clad mountains. It is non-denominational and perfect for elopement.
And to seal the deal, the church bell rings on your wedding day––this is love.
Whitsundays, Queensland: InterContinental Hayman Island Resort
Private island luxury. If your heart is set on eloping in Queensland, then the Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort is one to consider. The resort offers a selection of indoor and outdoor venues across the island. Your elopement can take place anywhere from private beaches, canopied gardens, iconic pools to onsite chapels–– get ready to elope!
What You Need to Know About Eloping in Queensland
As with all marriages, you'll need to ensure that you meet all laws and requirements to ensure that your elopement is legal. Your celebrant will be there to help you along the way. They will conduct the marriage ceremony and submit all legal paperwork to the Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages on your behalf.
Let’s Go Elope!
So there you have it, a peek into the top destinations for eloping in Queensland. Oh, and if you're travelling to your destination, don't forget your insurance. We’re all aware of travel insurance, however it’s important to point out that jewellery isn’t always covered, and if it is, the coverage can be limited.
Protect your precious engagement ring that started this whirlwind elopement, with comprehensive standalone jewellery insurance from JewelCover. With worldwide coverage, we've got your back.