If you dream of a day that’s carefree, laid back, and absolutely magical, a beach elopement, with the wind in your hair and sand between your toes might be the perfect way to tie the knot. There are so many gorgeous locations near Australia where you can get married by the ocean… this will be your ultimate guide to planning a beach elopement just a short, direct flight away from Australia and New Zealand. I’ve got it all covered for you, from finding the right spot to say your vows, to deciding what to wear, how you can style your day according to your personality and chosen destination, how to pack your day with activities that feel 100% you, and more!
The Best Beach Elopement Locations Near Australia
You don’t have to go far to find some of the most incredible beaches in the world. From Auckland, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, beach elopement destinations are just a hop away. Here are a few ideas for the best beach elopement locations near Australia and New Zealand!
Vanuatu is a really underrated beach elopement destination, with gorgeous shorelines, amazing scenery, secret beaches and swimming holes, and remote, wild beauty! Browse our ultimate guide to get married in the capital city of Port Vila and plan an epic and magical day for the two of you, or island hop and check out the more remote places on the archipelago. Between white sand beaches to black volcanic sand dunes, natural caves and dramatic cliffs, you are bound to find the absolute perfect spot to say I do.
With more than 300 islands, Fiji is an amazing beach elopement location near Australia, with white sand beaches, tropical weather, and plenty of adventures. You can hike, backpack, scuba dive, or just relax on the beach!
Another amazing beach elopement destination near Australia and New Zealand is New Caledonia, located just south of Vanuatu. It’s home to the world’s largest lagoon, and its turquoise blue, crystal clear waters are truly hard to rival. With a charming French twist, this tropical paradise resembles French Polynesia, without the hassle of being as far away. New Caledonia is still often overlooked by travelers, so if accompanied by someone who know the place well and speaks French as a bonus, it’ll easy to find a private, secluded and enchanting place to exchange vows and enjoy the beach! Places like the Ile of Pine for example, will sweep you off your feet and provide a dreamy backdrop to your wedding ceremony.
What Kind of Beach Elopement Location are You Looking For?
When you’re dreaming up your perfect elopement day, there are several kinds of beaches you can choose from! White sand beaches offer a tropical, laid back vibe, while black sand beaches can look more moody and dramatic. There are also beaches surrounded by rock formations or cliffs, which can offer tide pools, caves, and more to explore along the shoreline! Think about what your dream spot would look like, and as an elopement photographer, part of my job is to help you find a place that’s perfect for the two of you.
What to Wear for a Beach Elopement
Finding the perfect attire is important for your elopement day! You want to look your best, but more importantly, you want to feel amazing and be comfortable on all of your adventures. Traditional wedding attire might not be ideal for a beach elopement, since you’ll be walking around and exploring a lot more. Here are some tips for what to wear for a beach elopement!
Dresses for a Beach Elopement
Since a beach elopement typically has a laid back, relaxed vibe, a flowy dress with a loose skirt will match your backdrop, and add to the whimsical, carefree feeling! Flowy styles will also be comfortable for running around on the beach, so I recommend avoiding dress styles with tight skirts that restrict your movement. For amazing dresses that are perfect for a beach elopement, check out brands like Grace Loves Lace, White Meadow, Rue de Seine, and Alma Real!
And, if white isn’t your color, remember this day is yours and yours only, to keep the traditions you want and ditch those that don’t feel like you! Your dress gets to be whatever color you want it to be, be that sexy black, or glittery pink!
Suits for a Beach Elopement
A beach elopement can be as casual or dressed up as your heart desires, so you could go for something as laid back as a pair of shorts and a button up, or go all the way and opt for a three piece tux! Many people wear nice pants with a button up, and have their jacket handy incase it gets cold (the sea breeze can definitely be chilly). Opting for lightweight fabrics such as linen that won’t feel too hot and uncomfortable to go on your adventures can also be a good idea!
In terms of colors, while marine, blue, beige and white seem to be an easy go-to choice, outfits in earthy tones, from ochre to pink can be an excellent alternative if you’re going for style and originality. A flower jacket can also be a super fun and stylish statement piece.
Shoes for a Beach Elopement
The shoes are just as important as the rest of your outfit. For a beach elopement, most couples opt for comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off and won’t get sand stuck in them. Barefoot sandals look great, or you can even just go totally barefoot!
Things to Do During a Beach Elopement
The best thing about eloping is the absolute freedom to make this day whatever you want it to be!! Open the floodgates to all of the incredible adventures you can have, and let yourself daydream of your best day! A beach elopement offers so many possibilities for the chill beach lovers and for the adrenaline, adventure seekers alike. In whichever category you fall -or even if you tick both boxes, your day should be unique to you, and full of fun and magic, so make it personal! Here are just a few ideas for things to do during your beach elopement.
Begin With The Sun Rising
Are you early birds or do you simply think you won’t be able to wait another minute for your special day to begin? Starting your day with the sunrise is an incredibly special experience. It’s waking up to a new adventure, to the beginning of a new chapter, and feeling all the excitement and anticipation of the day to come. If you have decided to keep some elements of tradition in your day and have spent the night separately, this quiet time in the morning can be so perfect to sit down and write your vows, do a bit of yoga or meditation, go for a morning swim or simply take in the gorgeous hues of this new day while sipping a cup of tea or coffee and enjoying some tropical fruits. If you have decided to ditch tradition and begin this day together, then going for a swim before enjoy breakfast on the beach is going to feel so incredibly relaxing and set the perfect tone for your day.
Go Paddle Boarding or Kayaking
While you can definitely enjoy the views from the shoreline, there’s something magical about being able to get out onto the water. Being in the middle of the serene views, just the two of you, is an amazing experience, so you can rent a paddle board, kayak, or canoe, and enjoy!
Enjoy Some Snorkeling and Diving
These beach elopement locations near Australia have some of the best underwater views in the world. To see the magical marine life, you can go snorkeling, or even scuba diving if you’re certified, and swim amongst vibrant coral reefs, turtles, stingrays, fish, and more!
Take Otherworldly Photos Underwater
For some truly unique wedding photos, you can get some underwater shots! Underwater couple’s photos are amazing for couples who feel a connection to the water and want breathtaking shots in and under the sea.
Have a Picnic
The beach is the perfect place for a picnic! Have a chat with your photographer about the kind of food you would like, see if there is a caterer who could prepare something special and festive, or simply your favorite. Have it picked up on the way to your location, or set up prior to your arrival. And think cosy. A simple blanket will do of course, but why not indulge a little bit? You could have carpets or throws laid down on the sand, with a few cushions to make it extra comfy. You could have a coffee table brought onto the beach and set up with candles and silverware. You could organise a private artisan rum and chocolate tasting. You could toast with champagne under the stars. The possibilities are endless, especially if you have a photographer on the ground who you can discuss these ideas with, and who would go the extra mile for you.
Have a Bonfire
You can have a picnic at sunset and enjoy the sky lighting up in orange, and once the sun goes under the horizon, you can have a bonfire under the stars, or even set up some lanterns or fairy lights on the beach. The beaches are just as magical at night, and you can celebrate with your new spouse, and maybe a few loved ones under the stars!
Tips for a Beach Elopement
Planning an outdoor beach elopement can be a lot different from a wedding in a traditional venue! Here are a few tips to help you have the best day ever.
Add Some Decoration That Show Your Personality
Always be sure to find out if the beach you choose has any rules or restrictions (or ask your photographer to find out for you), but most of the time, you can add a little bit of decoration for your elopement! Tropical foliage and flowers are great for styling a beach elopement. Add an arbor to say your vows, throw a carpet on the sand, hang some dreamcatchers, some lanterns and fairy lights in the trees around, add a few cushions to get cosy while watching the sunset. And voilà. Your “100% us” elopement is pure bliss and magic. Not to mention how great it’s going to look in your photos!
Take Advantage of Tropical Blooms
Whether you would like to surround yourself with all white florals on your special day, or you want to embrace the colorful tropical flowers every Pacific island has to offer yearlong, there is something about tropical blooms that just add style and a dash of vibrance to any celebration. You can have them beautifully gathered in a bouquet that you could carry around with you on your adventures. You could have them styled up as a tropical flower crown for a typical island touch. You could have them spread on your picnic table for a festive touch, you could have some adorn your champagne glass… there is once more so many possibilities to make your beach elopement a magical experience.
Embrace the Weather
Getting married outdoors means that sometimes the weather may not be perfect! At the beach, it can often be windy, or even stormy, and rain showers in the Pacific are a common thing, but the best way to deal with weather is to embrace whatever happens. Windswept hair will look amazingly moody, romantic and glamorous in photos, and this is all part of your unique, adventurous elopement experience!
Hire an Experienced Beach Elopement Photographer
Your elopement photographer will be a huge part of your day! My job is to document every magical moment, but it’s also to make sure your experience is the best it can be by discussing with you all your ideas and vision for the day, and making suggestions on possible activities to do, itineraries to make the most of your day, and timelines to make it all work together in a seamless way so you can simply relax and enjoy every second of it. Living in Vanuatu, for most of my life, in New caledonia for several years and traveling to Fiji all the time, I’ve explored countless beach elopement locations near Australia, and I’m looking forward to finding the absolute perfect, dream spot for you to say “I do”!
If you want us to start planning your beach elopement, contact me!