Emily & Tim’s Simple Bushland Elopement

Words by Adriana Sinicropi / Images by Damien Milan
January 18, 2022

Like many couples married during the COVID-19 pandemic, best friends and loved up Sydney couple Em and Tim had to toss their plans of a much bigger wedding in favour of an intimate, lowkey ceremony. Held at McKay’s Reserve with only immediate family by their sides, while their day wasn’t what the couple imagined, they now wouldn’t change a thing. Lovers of life’s small pleasures – a good pub meal and their adorable Golden Retriever pup Maple, the simplicity of an elopement ceremony complemented their relationship perfectly. Damien Milan shares all the intimate details.

McKay’s Reserve Palm Beach Golden Retriever fur baby

Dog's Bow Tie Close Up McKay’s Reserve Forest

Attire, Hair & Makeup

With their new plans to elope in a no-fuss style ceremony, Emily and Tim decided to also change their planned attire. Wanting something lovely and understated, Em turned to Shona Joy, finding a stunning cream cowl neck dress that fit the ceremony’s ‘uncomplicated’ style. When it came to hair and makeup, Em tells us Emma Louise was a pleasure to spend her morning with. “She listened to what I was after and it all looked great without being over the top,” shares Em.

Shona Joy Wedding Dress McKay’s Reserve Elopement Neutral Dried bouquet by The Flowerhead Bride and Groom Portrait Photos by Damien Milan

Flowers by The Flowerhead

Apart from being an incredible photographer, Nastia also doubles as florist The Flower Head! “She was able to find native flowers that not only looked great on the day but also looked amazing in photos, complimenting the colours and style of my dress,” shares Em.

Neutral Dried bouquet by The Flowerhead

Neutral Dried bouquet by The Flowerhead

Neutral Dried bouquet by The Flowerhead

Ceremony Details (with Celebrant Marry Me Zoe)

Choosing McKay Reserve in Palm Beach, under a natural gum arbour with only 7 guests (plus their fur baby Maple), Em and Tim tell us their ceremony was even better than they dreamed thanks to Marry Me Zoe. “She made a point to greet all of our guests by name, went above and beyond to ensure the ceremony was personalised and pun-tastic, and kept everyone smiling the whole time,” the couple share. “Zoe even gifted us a bottle of bubbles and the most delicious cakes (Roseberry Cake Creations) for us to celebrate with.” To make saying ‘I do’ even more special, the lovebirds were gifted an incredible handmade wooden paddle from Tim’s dad at the end of the ceremony. “Symbolising his family’s native Canadian ancestry, the paddle featured a wolf which traditionally represents loyalty, strong family ties, good communication, education, understanding and intelligence,” says Em.

Ceremony at McKay’s Reserve

The groom and wedding guests

Ceremony at McKay’s Reserve

Elopement Wedding Guests

Ceremony at McKay’s Reserve

Ceremony at McKay’s Reserve

Family Shot

Toasting to I Do

Roseberry Cake Creations

Handmade wooden paddle Gift

Photography by Damien Milan

The couple couldn’t say enough about Damien and Nastia, who they felt incredibly lucky to have involved in their day. “From the moment we initially contacted them all throughout the uncertainty of restrictions, they were so awesome and accommodating,” shares the couple. “They are so chilled out and somehow were able to give us direction to get the best photos but were also ‘in the background’ allowing us to have intimate moments together – we could not recommend this dream team more highly.”

Couple Portrait by Damien Milan

Couple Portrait by Damien Milan

Couple Portrait by Damien Milan

Bride's Shona Joy Dress

Couple Portrait by Damien Milan

McKay’s Reserve Palm Beach


Images Damien Milan | Bride's Dress Shona Joy | Bride's Shoes Forever Soles | Groom's Suit Mitchell Ogilvie Tailoring | Groom's Shoes RM Williams | Rings Tok Jewellers | Ceremony Venue McKay Reserve | Celebrant Marry Me Zoe | Flowers The Flower Head | Hair & Makeup Emma Louise Hair & Makeup | Cakes Roseberry Cake Creations |

Leave a Reply

Stay in the loop!