Lisa and Gleesha’s Elopement: A Tale of Celestial Elegance and Personalised Touches

Words by Sara Catalano / Images by Dawn Thomson Photography
January 30, 2024

On May 15, 2022, Lisa and Gleesha celebrated their special day in a manner that truly mirrored their personalities and style. Known for their complementary differences and shared values, their elopement was anything but conventional. Embracing a theme of “intergalactic, moody, and edgy”, every detail of their day was thoughtfully selected to encapsulate their unique love story. From the distinct theme to the intricate elements that brought their vision to life, Lisa and Gleesha’s elopement stood as a vibrant testament to their union.

A Night at the Bar and a Decade Later

Lisa and Gleesha’s journey began almost a decade ago, on a night that was as unexpected as it was fateful. Their meeting in a city bar—Lisa enjoying her drinks and Gleesha opting for water—led to an awkward yet memorable first date. Over the years, their opposite personalities balanced each other perfectly, creating a partnership based on understanding and shared priorities. This elopement was not just a celebration of their love but also a testament to their journey together, from that first encounter to a deep and enduring connection.

The Proposal: A Surprise Under the Overcast Sky

The proposal, much like their relationship, was a blend of simplicity and heartfelt emotion. Gleesha orchestrated a weekend getaway at Calignee II, an eco bush retreat, under the guise of needing a break before the hectic Christmas season. Gleesha’s uncharacteristic behaviour aroused Lisa’s suspicions – taking all of the candles from the property outside and telling Lisa his constant trips back and forth were so he could just look up at the sky. The proposal came as they stepped outside to “look at the sky,” under an overcast canvas. In that simple yet beautiful moment, Gleesha asked Lisa to be his partner for life.

Theme: Intergalactic, Moody, and Edgy Inspirations

Lisa and Gleesha’s elopement theme was a unique blend of “intergalactic, moody, and edgy”. This theme was a nod to Lisa’s passion for stargazing, blending celestial elements with a sophisticated edge. Central to the theme was the colour blue, inspired by Lisa’s long-time love for blue roses. The theme came to life starting with a pair of blue glitter heels, leading to a comprehensive 12-page mood board during the planning phase. Every detail, from the attire to the decorations, resonated with this interstellar vision, creating an ambience that was both romantic and mysteriously captivating.

Attire Elegance: Gleesha’s Night Sky Suit and Lisa’s Dream Dress Transition

Gleesha’s suit from Trunk Tailors, mirroring the night sky theme, was complemented by Dune London shoes and a Raymond Weil watch, embodying elegance and matching the elopement’s celestial motif. Meanwhile, Lisa’s bridal attire evolved from an impulsive initial purchase to a dream two-piece set by Bowie Rae, created through online consultations. Her ensemble, featuring Guess shoes, a Kyha Studios bandeau top, and an Unreal Fur coat, transitioned beautifully from ceremony to evening, reflecting a journey from spontaneity to bespoke elegance.

The Vendors: Crafting the Perfect Elopement Experience

Lisa and Gleesha’s elopement was brought to life with the help of a team of dedicated and talented vendors. Photography was expertly handled by Dawn Thomson, who captured the essence of the day, focusing on natural poses and the myriad of details that made their elopement unique. Lisa, with her background in event signage design, collaborated with Gypsy at The Lovers Elopement Co to style the tables. Gypsy’s expertise in floristry (especially from The Vase Floral Co) added an exquisite touch to the decorations. The flowers were not only stunning on the day but were also preserved and sent to Lisa and Gleesha post-elopement, now adorning their home as a beautiful reminder. The stationery and paper goods, featuring hand-lettered designs by Lisa, were digitalised and printed, adding a personalised and professional touch to the special day.

The Ceremony

The ceremony was a profound reflection of Lisa and Gleesha’s personal journey, distinguished by intimate and personalised touches. Amidst the breathtaking backdrop of Lake Erskine in Fiordland National Park, which they reached via a spectacular helicopter ride, the scene was set for a truly memorable exchange of vows.

With over 72kgs of luggage brought to Queenstown, including essentials like candle holders, signs, and styling cloths, the couple’s DIY approach lent a deeply personal and heartfelt ambience to the ceremony. Each element, handpicked and prepared by Lisa and Gleesha, added to the beauty and significance of their special day.

Reception Details

Lisa and Gleesha sought a location that was unique and resonated with their love for the outdoors and mountains, something beyond what Melbourne could offer. They initially planned a lakeside ceremony with family but adapted to an elopement on a mountain via helicopter due to COVID restrictions. This change added an element of adventure and exclusivity to their celebration. The reception was held at the Sherwood, offering a relaxed and low-key dinner, perfectly aligning with the couple’s laid-back yet adventurous style.

DIY Elements: Personal Touches in Calligraphy and Design

Lisa’s talents as a calligrapher and designer shone through in the elopement’s DIY elements. She handcrafted the vow books with watercolor paintings, and personally lettered the place cards, table signage, and even the backpack and door hanger signs. This hands-on approach infused the ceremony and reception with a deeply personal and artistic touch, making each element not just a part of the décor, but a piece of Lisa and Gleesha’s story.

Cultural Significance: Choosing an Auspicious Date

In a nod to their Chinese heritage, Lisa and Gleesha chose their elopement date based on the lunar calendar, ensuring it was auspicious. While the couple is not strictly traditional, this gesture was a meaningful way to honour their backgrounds. The originally planned date was already special, but the final date, coinciding with a total lunar eclipse or blood moon, added an extra layer of significance. This celestial event, aligning with their intergalactic theme, made their elopement day not just culturally significant but also cosmically unique.

Budgeting: Balancing Splurge and Practicality

Lisa and Gleesha approached their elopement budget with a balanced mindset. They didn’t set a strict budget but were mindful not to let expenses spiral out of control. This approach allowed them to splurge on certain elements, like Lisa’s second dress, without compromising the overall financial practicality of their elopement. Their financial strategy was to invest in elements that would last, both in memory and utility.

Words of Wisdom

Drawing from their own experience, Lisa and Gleesha offer valuable advice for couples embarking on their elopement journey. Their key tips include committing to decisions once made, especially regarding the dress or theme, to avoid the pitfalls of endless searching. They emphasise doing the wedding your way, ignoring trends and external influences, and focusing on what truly matters to you as a couple. Financial wisdom is also crucial; they advise splurging selectively and not overspending, emphasising the importance of looking forward to life beyond the wedding day. For those planning a mountain elopement, practical tips like using heat packs and wearing thermals were life-savers for Lisa.


Images Dawn Thomson Photography | Bride's Dress Bowie Rae | Bride's Shoes Guess | Groom's Suit Trunk Tailors | Groom's Shoes Dune | Accessories Freya Rose London | Makeup JET Makeup Artist | Ceremony Venue Lake Erskine | Reception Venue Sherwood Queenstown | Flowers The Vase Floral Co | Stationery/Invitations Fox and Hart | Rings Georgie Brooks | Videographer Woven Images | Styling Fox and Hart | Styling The Vase Floral Co | Brides Boots See by Chloé | Fur Jacket Unreal Fur | Brides Second Top Kyha Studios | Brides Second Earings Lauren Trojkovic | Black Dress NBD | Black Heels Forever Soles | Ring Box Nimbus Box | Planner The Lovers Elopement Co | Cake White Rabbits |

Leave a Reply

Stay in the loop!