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Throughout The Elopement Issue, we’ve been diving into all the ways you can make your elopement not just special, but your own and for us? That includes elopement worthy, and elopement friendly cocktails and today, we’re pretty excited for this one!

We were delighted when Grant Burge, one of Australia’s favourite names offered up a bottle of their sparkling wine to celebrate the spring season. Festive, bubbly and a beautiful shade of pink  Pinot Noir Chardonnay Rosé – well we knew we had to build a cocktail around it.

This rosy-hued sparkling wine from the Adelaide Hills is packed with berry flavours, a little spice and a crisp dry flavour. It’s bold, delicious and just the tipple you need for a warm day in the sunshine.

So to play off those berry notes, we designed today’s elopement cocktail – a blueberry and thyme sparkler. To make this one elopement friendly, we recommend making up your syrup (I promise it’s easy. If you’re not an alcohol lover, this syrup goes just as well with lemonade or soda water too!) up to the week before your elopement, and then adding a little to your jars. Chill your bubbles too so that when you’re ready to toast, you just need to fill your glass and chin chin!

 

Ingredients – Blueberry & Thyme Syrup

  • One part blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • One part caster sugar
  • One part water
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • Two sprigs fresh thyme

Method- Blueberry & Thyme Syrup

  1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients
  2. Mash blueberries slightly so their juice is loosened.
  3. Heat until mixture is bubbling, stirring constantly
  4. Turn to low and allow the mixture to thicken until it is a thick syrup
  5. In a sieve or muslin cloth, strain mixture until you remove all the large pieces and are left with your syrup
  6. When cool, pour into a jar
  7. Store in the fridge for up to a week.

Ingredients – Blueberry & Thyme Sparkler

  • 30ml Blueberry & thyme syrup
  • Grant Burge Pinot Noir Chardonnay Rosé (Chilled, purchase your own bottle at Grant Burge Wines or all major liquor retailers.)
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh blueberries

Method- Blueberry & Thyme Sparkler

  1. In your jar, add your blueberry & thyme syrup and refrigerate.
  2. Add three-four blueberries and two springs of thyme the night before, or day of serving to allow flavours time to infuse.
  3. When ready to serve, top with Grant Burge Pinot Noir Chardonnay Rosé
  4. Enjoy!

Catering by The Farm Cafe Made mid banner
As we celebrate The Elopement Issue, we knew we had to dive into one of our favourite elopement traditions – the elopement picnic! When you run away to the middle of nowhere to tie the knot, you deserve to celebrate in style and what better idea to commemorate your vows than with your own homegrown elopement worthy picnic?

Our guide below includes absolutely everything and it’s going to be key for you to edit this down as you see fit to make your picnic yours. Happy as a pig in mud to eat off paper plates? Go for it! Want to grab fish and chips and eat them on the beach? Go for it! These are just ideas and suggestions to make your picnic a little luxe, a little celebratory, a little special. Your ultimate picnic? Well, it’s ultimately up to you!

Choosing the ultimate picnic spot

So while your elopement spot is high on your list of priorities, the spot for your picnic has to be next on your list if you’re celebrating that way.

Sentimental spots are always the go-to: the park where you got engaged, under the tree where you had your first date… But make sure you take into account things like the popularity of the spot, the bug factor, how much shade and wind it gets, and how private it is. If you are scoping out sites, make sure you do it at a similar time to your picnic so you get a good gauge all the factors at the same time.

If you don’t have a sentimental favourite, consider the local botanic gardens of your town or city. There are often plenty of sheltered spots, with plenty of privacy that are pretty failsafe.

Have a backup plan

If your wedding day is blowing a gale, or pouring with rain you’re going to need a back up plan. Make a list of other spots you can set up your picnic. Look for gazebos and undercover shelters that might be just what you need. And the ultimate failsafe option? A picnic on your living room floor (which, if you ask me, is a perfect idea!)

Creating Your Menu

The food

Picnic food options should be transportable and easy to eat without a table. Think finger food like fried chicken, mini sandwiches, pie, quiches and salads. Opt for foods that don’t need to stay completely iced (mayonnaise, for example, is not happy unless it’s chilled).

You could also make your grazing table. Bring cheese, crackers, dips, cured meats, fresh fruit and nuts and add them all to the one board – delicious, tasty and easy.

The dessert

A mini wedding cake is our recommendation – it’s festive and delicious. But if you’re a sweet tooth consider other sweet treats that are canapé sized. Little meringues, little servings of your favourite slice, individual decadent chocolate, and even options like fresh fruit salad.

The drink

Don’t forget to stay hydrated! A large bottle of cold water is always a must (and doubles as an easy way to wash hands or surfaces if the need arises). For something soft, you might also want to consider your favourite juices or soft drink.

Want bubbles? Can we say this is almost an essential? You need to toast your marriage after all! Champagne is the most celebratory, but the lightness of Prosecco (and its bubbliness!) is always a winner too. If you’re not a big drinker and hate waste, opt for piccolo size servings. And for wine? Pick your favourite, but of course – you could even consider the new style cask wines for something easy to transport.

And if cocktails are your jam, instead of lugging along a cocktail shaker, can we suggest pre-mixing your favourites and packing them? Espresso martinis, mojitos, sangria, Moscow mules – all of these pack well and just require a little ice and chilled ingredients to top up. If you’re feeling even more organised and fancy glassware doesn’t worry you, mix up individual serves in canning jars and screw on the lid for a grab and go option.

Too much? Get it catered!

We know that with planning a wedding, even an elopement, the to-do’s can get the better of you. So if they do? Hand over the reins to a caterer. After all, what could be better than unveiling a box of deliciousness you haven’t even had to slave over yourself? Meet some of our favourite caterers here.

Prepping & Packing

The main kit

Whether it’s a large grocery box or a picnic basket you’ve had lying around for years (ask your mates if they have one you can borrow!) make sure you have a vessel to cart it all along. Beautiful straw picnic baskets are the quintessential picnic vibe but don’t forget a chiller bag you can put ice into for your drinks and chilled food.

Inside, you’ll need to make sure you have airtight containers (use tape to tape down lids and avoid spillage if you’re nervous), and icepacks for your food. As well as the aforementioned cutlery, plates and glassware and napkins.

The surfaces

This elopement picnic? There is no need for it to be like an impulsive sojourn you’ve experienced (not that there is anything we don’t love about those) but take the time to invest in thinking though the picnic setup.

Choose a beautiful, soft picnic rug. Maybe it’s sentimental, maybe it’s a rug you snuggle under and watch movies under every Saturday night. Maybe it’s the one you took on your first road trip together, maybe it’s your grandmother’s. A waterproof mat below is always a good idea, especially for morning dew. Make sure whatever you choose can be washed, because you’ll need it on the other side! And don’t forget to throw in a few pillows if you want a little added comfort.

And choose beautiful surfaces. Ditch the plastic plates, you’re married (and it’s better for the environment). Because this is such a special occasion, pack beautiful crockery and glassware. Your favourite champagne coupes (wrap them in tea towels so you can ensure they don’t break!). Beautiful bowls for serving and plates for serving. Don’t forget metal cutlery too.

Want a little extra stability? Consider a small foldable picnic table – these are awesome because they mean you have a flat surface for food prep, and you won’t knock your wine glass over as you reach for the cheese.

The tunes

Perhaps you want to enjoy the sounds of nature, or perhaps you want to add to the ambience. Portable speakers make this so very easy to do (and if you don’t have one, chances are a friend or a family member will let your borrow theirs).

For playlists, we recommend curating your own. Pick your favourite sentimental tunes, the songs that spoke fo your relationship. The melody that player during your first kiss, the songs that you dance together to in the kitchen. And if all else fails, classic French jazz is always utterly romantic and easy to listen to.

Need playlist inspo? Check out some of our playlists over here.

The decor

Again, this isn’t your ordinary picnic. So why not have some fun with the styling? Think about sweet little posies of fresh flowers or a vase of blooms that complement your bouquet. Bud vases with just a little water (transported in a water bottle) bought or delivered fresh on the day would add a little special touch. You could even ask your wedding florist for a few small arrangements.

You might also consider candles for a little added romance (safety first, we recommend enclosing them in hurricane lanterns and checking the fire ratings when you get married!)

The games

Not everyone gets bored on a picnic, but it does happen, why not bring along a game of boules? A scrabble set?

The odds & ends

Don’t forget the basics. They’re not pretty but they’re oh so essential. You’ll want to make sure you pack the following so you’re not caught short:

  • A bottle opener/corkscrew
  • A knife
  • A chopping board
  • Napkins
  • Tea towel
  • Matches (for candles or BBQs)
  • Wet wipes (especially useful if you’ve got something sticky on the menu)
  • A rubbish bag
  • Sunscreen and hats
  • Insect repellent
  • Bandaids
  • Hand sanitiser

Let it come together!

The night before, make sure you’re prepped and ready to go. Your drinks and food should be set in the fridge, your bags packed.  Your portable speaker charged. The last thing you will want to do on the morning of your big day is to run around trying to find the corkscrew!

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This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

As with any wedding, an elopement can be planned to the hilt or happily put together last minute. It can be done a million different ways, and we’ll love each one! If your elopement is towards the ‘last minute’ end of the spectrum, and you find yourself keen to carry a bouquet of sorts, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re near a garden, a herb patch or bushland, we know you’ll find something perfect. Follow these simple instructions to put together a beautiful bunch of foliage in 10 minutes flat, without getting your hands (too) dirty.

Check with the garden owners before charging in with scissors, and look for foliage with a woody stem and firm leaves. This will give you a lasting bouquet, one which will likely last well after the final drink.

What You Will Need:

  • Scissors/secateurs/something sharp – most garden stems are reasonably solid, so a cutting instrument is helpful
  • Access to a garden of sorts, with permission of course!
  • String/ribbon/elastic band/hair band at a push
  • Bucket/vase/bowl from under the kitchen sink
  • Water

Step 1. We’re not fussy, but if possible, head out early in the morning with your chosen form of scissors and bucket, filled with fresh water. Go wild with blooms if you’d like! If you’re keen on foliage (a little more reliable), look for stems around 30cm long, but again, don’t be fussy. This is very much a bouquet to celebrate the joy of the day, so if you find a stem you love, snap it up! Plop them straight into the water and leave them – if possible – for an hour or two.

Step 2. Once the foliage has hydrated (or shrivelled, if it has the intent to do so), grab your bucket, and quickly prep the stems. Remove foliage from the bottom half, and group with its foliage friends.

Step 3. We’ve done three options for you that are speedy as anything, starting with the most complex – which is not complex at all. Hooray! The more you add into a bouquet, the trickier it can get to make your posy look the way you would like. So, if you’re keen to have a mix of foliages, start with the bulkiest branches, twirling the stems the same way, like in a spaghetti jar.

Step 4. Add the smaller items around the outside last. We used banksia, grevillea, nasturtium, sage, rosemary and scented geranium. Once you’ve whipped up your fabulous elopement bouquet, tie it together, trim the stems, and pop it back into water until you’re ready to race down that aisle!

Step 5. Now, if that seems a step too far, somewhat tricky, or a little fussy, take heart! The next foliage bouquet you can DIY your spectacular self is this native foliage beauty. Use the same method, but stick to only native foliage. This bouquet uses six stems, and is VERY doable.

Step 6. If you’ve got this far thinking, I’m just after something smaller, scented and sweet, then it’s your lucky day! Our last foliage bouquet uses rosemary, sage, and scented geranium to make the sweetest posy you may have ever seen. Not that we’re biased. Ahem. Use the same method as before, but with smaller, more delicate foliage. Triple points added if they smell herbaceous.

You may not have remembered to throw your bucket and secateurs in the suitcase while heading off for your magnificent elopement adventure (darn it all), but where there’s a will, there’s a way, and if a DIY foliage bouquet would make you happy on your big day, well, there’s nothing stopping you now!

Ms Floral Says: And she’s done it again! What a beautiful bunch of foliage, perfect for a simple and sweet elopement.

About Ms Honeycomb: My heart and home in Scotland and Australia, I am a florist, flower lover, writer, baker, stylist and sew-er of lovely things, with my darling toddler forever keeping me on my toes!

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This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.