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  • Kat Wray

Eloping in Perth

a groom in a suit and a bride in a short beaded gown and flowers, about to cross St Georges Tce in Perth City
Perth City Elopement

When I tell people I specialise as an elopement photographer in my home city of Perth, they often look at my sideways and ask things like…

“What is an elopement exactly?”

“You can elope in Perth?”

“People are doing that?”

So I thought I’d cover what it’s like to elope in the sunny city of Perth, Western Australia (aka my favourite place in the world!). This blog post is perfect for anyone considering the idea of eloping in their own home town, or if they're travelling to Perth to elope, or for the couples who don't feel like big weddings are for them.

So first, what is an elopement exactly?

Traditionally to elope was to secretly run away in order to get married - which might have meant popping down to the local registry office or hopping on a plane to Vegas. But today, the essence of an elopement is just to break away from tradition and consider nobody but the person you love on your wedding day.

A bride and groom stand under a tree at a beautiful Airbnb property in the Perth Hills, with a celebrant officiating the ceremony
Perth Hills Airbnb Elopement

The legal bits

In Western Australia, to get married you need to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage at least one month prior to the ceremony date (I would suggest doing this under the guidance of a celebrant to ensure all the paperwork is done correctly) then have the celebrant officiate the civil ceremony (which in its basic form is an introduction, monitum (reminding you of the legality of the ceremony), and some short legal vows). It’s up to the couple if they would like to have their own personal vows part of the ceremony too. Two witnesses (not including the celebrant) must be present (yes, your photographer can be one of the witnesses!) and then some paperwork must be signed and witnessed.

I've teamed up with some great local celebrants who can guide you through the paperwork and create an intimate ceremony.

A bride and groom eat donuts at Mary Street Bakery with their daughter after eloping
A Mount Lawley elopement with celebratory donuts at Mary Street Bakery

The fun bits

The best bit about eloping is you have an opportunity to break the rules! I am happy to photograph a couples' day however they want to spend it. Do you want to have a drink beforehand? Do you want to go for a small hike and find the perfect spot? Do you want to finish it while watching the sun set? Personally I offer one hour elopement sessions and I am there to photograph the adventure. With a legal ceremony taking as little as 15 minutes, how else would you like to spend the time?

A bride and groom smile at each other while the sun goes down at Scarborough Beach Western Australia
Scarborough Beach Elopement

Yes, you CAN elope in Perth!

Eloping isn’t about running far away (it could be in your own backyard!) it’s more about running away from tradition than a physical distance from home. When I meet with couples to discuss their ideal elopement I usually ask them what they enjoy doing together, their favourite time of day and their favourite places. Finding something completely unique to the couple makes for a really special day. Maybe it’s bushwalking in one of Perth’s national parks, or sunsets on the beach, or eating icecream in Fremantle, or checking out the latest bar in Northbridge. Or maybe you want to create a new tradition that you can revisit as a couple every year on your wedding anniversary!

A bride wearing a leather jacket and a groom wearing a suit and kilt kiss in front of a pink pretzel sea container in Northbridge
Northbridge Elopement

Yes, people are doing that!

Couples who elope aren’t restricted by what is convenient to their guests, so they can get married at any time and on any day (I’ve photographed an elopement at 11am on a Tuesday!). And we are so lucky in Perth that we have such amazing weather most of the year. Because of the nature of elopements being so intimate, couples have the opportunity to get married all year round (yes, even winter!). I would always suggest having a wet weather plan, for any time of year, but so long as you’re happy to ‘go with the flow’ we can make it happen!

A bride and groom on a dirt track in the bush
Perth Hills Elopement

Let’s go on an adventure, together!

I've been specialising in elopements since 2018 because I wanted to offer couples a super easy and intimate way to elope, without having to visit the registry office. I work with a great group of local celebrants who also specialise in intimate elopements, catered towards the couple (I'll give you a great list of celebrants to connect with!).

We've found this one hour, simplified elopement package really works for those carefree couples who want to have a fuss-free day with their special love. Let's make getting married an adventure!

Are you interested in eloping in Perth? Get in touch! I’d love to hear your ideas!


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