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Rosie & Kyal

Rosie and Kyal live in country South Australia, but eloped in Las Vegas! Having been together since high school. Kyal proposed in New York City and six weeks later they eloped, telling only their parents. It was a bit of a shock when the couple sent a photo back home to their extended family and friends, but they had always planned to do it this way. Rosie tells us more about their romantic and fun day below, which was captured by Jenna Bryant Photography against the backdrop of the colourful and quirky art of downtown Las Vegas.

Kyal and I were in the USA for six weeks, and eloped on the last week of our trip. We eloped in Las Vegas!

I have always thought there was something really romantic about eloping. Just the two of you. About six years ago when I was at university, I heard about a couple who had eloped in Las Vegas and I said to Kyal, “That is SO cool, let’s do that.” And we’ve both stuck to it ever since that. We knew that’s how we’d marry.

We married at the Graceland Wedding Chapel. Basically, I checked out every wedding chapel in Las Vegas, and Graceland Wedding Chapel had the sweetest aesthetic. It was the perfect little chapel to get hitched in in Las Vegas. As we entered the chapel on the day, Elvis walked through from the back after having just married a couple. We didn’t have Elvis marry us but he was pretty cool. Our ceremony went for 10 minutes. We walked down the aisle, said our ‘I do’s’ and kissed. It was all it needed to be. I got the nervous giggles at the start of our ceremony, but Kyal calmed me.

My favourite moment was definitely when our celebrant said, “I now pronounce you husband and wife”. Cheesy maybe, but I remember this moment so clearly. I was thinking, “I over think and second guess absolutely every decision I make in life (food shopping takes me hours!) and I have never once felt unsure or nervous about making this decision to marry Kyal.” It just felt completely right.

When planning our elopement, I used the website, The Knot. I entered the city we were eloping in and it provided me with every local vendor. This was excellent as I hadn’t been to Las Vegas before, and didn’t know where to start! I simply typed in ‘photographers’ and was met with all local photographers. I stumbled across Jenna Bryant Photography and was instantly sold. She and her photos are basically the epitome of cool! Her style was exactly how I wanted to capture our day. Jenna combines modern wedding portraits with a documentary style coverage, and specialises in elopements in Las Vegas. Jenna’s work stood out to me because of her bright colours that show off the quirky street art of downtown Las Vegas, and her fun and relaxed images that aren’t staged, which suited Kyal and I.

I loved my bouquet so much and pressed a few of the flowers in a book I was reading and brought them back to Australia! They’re sitting pretty in a frame on my bedside table to keep forever!

Rosie Posie Flowers stood out from the many florists in Las Vegas, firstly because its name matched mine and I thought that was cool, but mostly because of their work. Their natural florals with neutral colours and full-heavy looking bouquets with freshly cut stems are just gorgeous.

My dress, by Cooper St, was midi-length and full lace. It was bridal but casual at the same time. I felt beautiful in my dress and it was the exact dress I’d always imagined I’d marry in. It had capped sleeves and was modest, all things that suited me. I had my something old, new, borrowed and blue. Borrowed and old was a pearl ring of my mum’s. I also wore pearl earrings because pearls are mine and my mum’s favourite. (My undies were lacy blue!)

Although all of Las Vegas was fun, I absolutely loved the vintage-feel of downtown Las Vegas and Fremont street. The ‘old’ strip. There are neon lights, vintage-feel cocktail bars and beautiful street art everywhere you look. We stayed at the Golden Nugget Hotel on Fremont Street. It’s glitzy and glam and completely over-the-top. We LOVED it. They gave us champagne and croissants for breakfast!

Our elopement had so many highlights! I am obsessed with the TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S and the morning of or wedding, while getting my hair done, Kyal turned on the TV and the one where Ross and Rachel get married in Vegas was on!

I don’t have any regrets from our day. It definitely helped that our families were both so supportive.

Two weeks after we got home, we had a party to celebrate. We didn’t do any formalities like first dance, speeches or cutting of the cake, it was simply drinks, dinner and dancing. This is where we were able to get some family photos. We wore our wedding outfits. The invites to our party were set out like a polaroid that said, “We Eloped! Let’s celebrate!’” with a photo from our day.

My recommendations for couples eloping in Las Vegas would be to go for a walk along Fremont Street, check out all the wedding chapels (including the drive-through ones!), visit the Neon Museum, have a cocktail at one of the many bars and go exploring and discover the street art in downtown Las Vegas.

My general advice for couples planning to elope? If eloping appeals to you, DO IT! I hear about women who have dreamed about their wedding day since they were a little girl. I guess in a way I have too, but not in the traditional sense. I like to do things differently and the fact I don’t like wearing long dresses, we love to travel, and the thought of having a big wedding made us both anxious, this just felt right. As a lot of our friends and family have told us that this was very ‘Rosie and Kyal’. Just because when you think ‘wedding’ you have an image in your head of how this is supposed to look (bridesmaids and groomsmen, huge cost, speeches, long dress, tuxedos etc) if this doesn’t appeal to you, you don’t have to do it! You can get married in so many different ways.

Do whatever feels right for you and your partner. After all, the whole point is to be married, which is awesome!

Ms Floral Says: I am so excited that you guys did things your way – the way you always said you would. And what a fabulous way to end a holiday. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story and photos with us, Rosie and Kyal!

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Image: Grape Escape

You’ve popped the bubbly, raised your glasses for toasts, worked your way through the whites, and onto the reds, just in time for some dancing and dessert. If the wedding wine was a big part of your special day, there’s no reason you have to stop there.

Long lazy lunches, afternoons in the cellar door, evening feasting – wine regions are made for honeymoons, and Western Australia’s Margaret River will woo you over in no time.

How to get there
Fly into Perth, pick up a car and head three hours down the coast and you’ll find the Margaret River region. It’s an easy, uncomplicated drive if you take the direct route (make time for a pit stop and a slice of freshly baked lemon myrtle tart at The Crooked Carrot Café at the halfway mark), but if you’re not in a rush, swing by Busselton to check out the famous jetty and Dunsborough for world famous beaches and cute cafes. Wineries are dotted all the way down the 40 minute drive from Dunsborough to Margaret River township, so it’s the region itself you’ll want to explore.

Wine, wine, wine
The Margaret River wine region is famous for bold cab savs and lush chardonnays, but there’s just about every type of drop on offer at more than 90 cellar doors. So how to choose? Don’t, leave that to the experts and hop on a wine tour or two. Not all wine tours are created equal. Geri and Paul from Grape Escape South West Tours are tree changers, leaving Perth and their nine to five jobs to follow their palates and passion. Their small, private group tours are a labour of love for the region, the wine makers and the locals – they’ll hand pick a half dozen stops based on your personal preferences. Even better, the dog lovers have made their tours pet friendly, so bring your pup, or for $5 (which is donated to a local charity), they’ll bring their cute Frenchie Gizmo-Pierre along for the day. The five hours will fly by as Geri shares the low down on the best vintages, the best varieties and the best value for your money. She’ll also stop in at the Margaret River Woodfired Bread so you can pick up a freshly baked loaf of bread for breakfast tomorrow.

Images: Grape Escape

Where to drink
You’ll need a few days to make a dent in the cellar doors of the Margaret River, but here are a couple of our top picks:
Vasse Felix: if you’re after big international heavy weights, make a beeline for the estate that ‘founded’ the region. Save time to explore the manicured grounds, or settle in for a decadent tasting menu showcasing the best local produce – with wines to match of course.
LS Merchants: want to be ahead of the curve? Jump aboard the LS Merchants wine before they skyrocket. Winemaker Dylan Arvidson is making a serious name for himself, experimenting with an array of varieties and wild fermentation. The results speak for themselves. Make sure you grab a bottle of the 2018 We Are Many wine – 100% profits go to bushfire, farmer and wildlife charities.
Cape Grace Wines: one of the best kept secrets of the region, you’ll get to stroll straight into the wine shed to try Cape Grace wines. These heavy hitters have kept their prices very reasonable so stock up while you can – the Malbec is a fantastic surprise of the region.
Windance Estate: the plucky cellar door staff will have you in stitches while you’re sipping these boutique wines from Yallingup. Grab as much of the light Glen Valley Rose if you can get it. The views from this cellar door are just as stunning too, so grab a bottle and settle in.

Where to eat
Where not to eat might be the better answer – the chefs of Margaret River have a dedicated local and global following. You’ve got everything from serious fine dining to charming country bakeries to keep you sated. Start your day at the gorgeous Margaret River Bakery – a cottage filled to the brim with vintage furniture, mismatched chandeliers, cake stands towering with meringues, jumbo cookies, freshly baked doughnuts and jumbo sized breakfast burgers. Long lunches on the deck at the Caves Road Collective are calling out for a couple of cocktails (the Dune Distilling Co. gin is perfect for a sunny day) and some shared slow cooked pork belly. If you’ve got time, make a detour to the brand new Meelup Farmhouse, where beach chic meets country charm onsite at the Wise Winery. We’re talking dreamy outdoor decking, rattan furniture and white walls.

Images: Meelup Farmhouse 

Where to stay
Honeymoons are not about holding back, and the Margaret River has some seriously swish spots to rest your head. Cape Lodge has a long standing reputation for old world glamour. Go for lush beachside chic at the Injidup Spa Retreat, where pavilions have their own plunge pools looking straight out at the Indian Ocean, or hideaway in the cosy Empire Retreat.

Honeymooners, get ready to wine and dine WA style.

Ms Floral Says: How amazing is holidaying in your own backyard. Australia has so many incredible wine regions to discover, and there’s definitely something magical about Margaret River!

About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.

Image via Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa 

Fall into a state of relaxation and enjoy being pampered on your hens day with a few of your best gal pals and make it a spa getaway not to be forgotten. We’ve rounded up some of the best spas around the country so get out those fluffy robes and slippers, it’s time to unwind.

Hepburn Bathhouse – Victoria 

Designed with wellness and socialising in mind, the social spa offering at Hepburn Bathhouse was made for brides and grooms-to-be who love a little self-care in the company of others.

Located in Hepburn Springs, Victoria, your hands and feet will be getting the special treatment before your big day with a mineral foot soak, hand and foot exfoliation, hand and foot masque and a hand and foot massage. It’s the ultimate indulgence and is a perfect escape from busy wedding planning. To make your spa day all the more worthwhile you can stay at the Hepburn Bathhouse and enjoy the range of package they offer guests.

Images via Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa 

Lost World Day Spa – Gold Coast 

Located in the Gold Coast Hinterland overlooking the western McPherson Ranges, Lost World Spa is perfect for nature lovers looking to put their feet up and make a weekend of relaxation. From ‘foot recovery’ and ‘full body relaxation massages’, to express facials you’ll feel refreshed and go home ready to tackle that last minute wedding prep. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, you must check out the 25 metre wet-edge infinity lap pool before you head home.

Images via Lost World Day Spa

Bodhi J – Perth

With 100% natural and organic products, Bodhi J offers beauty therapies, spa journeys, body and healing therapies and yoga classes. The first Bodhi J opened in 2007 and since then, power couple Danny and Tania have successfully opened in five locations. Our top picks of the five for a hens weekend include Highgate, Westin and Indijup.

Highgate

Select from an extensive menu of organic and natural treatment combinations and escape from the city. Relax in a hydrotherapy spa bath, or the outdoor relaxation garden.

The Westin 
As the most luxurious of the five, The Westin is set in the luxury hotel offering world-class treatments. Take advantage of the hotel facilities like the infinity pool and high tea in the Haven Lounge after your treatment.

Indijup

Located by Indijup Beach this secluded spa is perfect for those looking to truly escape the city and be among the natural surrounding beauty. You could extend your spa day into a spa weekend and stay at the retreat.

Images via Bodhi J – The Westin

Images via Bodhi J – Indijup

L.M Spa – Palm Cove, Queensland 

For a girls vacay to the sunshine state a trip to L.M Spa is exactly what you need. Their vast menu of treatments range from a calming facial to complete body wraps, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy their package offerings like the Palm Cove Escape Package where you will feel regenerated after a 90-minute massage, personalised body polish and wrap followed by lunch at the Nu Nu Restaurant. After lunch, return to the spa for a facial and their Alamanda hair and scalp treatment. You’ll also have access to the resort facilities before and after your treatments making this the ultimate spa day for your hens weekend.

Image via Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore, Photography by Kara Rosenlund 

Image via Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore, Photography by Rhiannon Taylor 

Ms Floral Says: Ohhh, these spas look so luxurious and relaxing! Absolutely perfect for a day of indulgence with your bridesmaids and bridesmen.

About Bec Lawrence: I’m an animal lover, sustainability advocate and natural landscape enthusiast. On a good weekend, you’ll find me hiking with my two adorable beagles and my equally adorable husband.