Our 12 Tips For How To Plan An Elopement In Sunshine Coast

Having just got married, let me help you plan your wedding day by sharing what our elopement in Sunshine Coast, Queensland looked like.

We literally planned our wedding day in a month which was super stressful, but I feel like we hit the jackpot with all of the Sunshine Coast wedding vendors that we used. We didn’t know of any of them before organising the elopement, and we were pleased with how it all went in the end.

But, one of the reasons why we put off getting married is because we didn’t really know where to start with planning an elopement, and so we just never got around to it until now.

Hopefully this article will help any of you considering eloping in Sunshine Coast and might help it be a stress-free planning process.

1. Elopement packages to consider

We got married in Buderim Forest Park

We honestly thought all we needed to do would be find a celebrant, an affordable wedding dress and hire a suit for Steve and it would be done. Turns out there’s much more to consider.

We started to look at elopement packages, some included the ceremony, photographer, videographer and even picnics too. We quickly realised that even an elopement in Sunshine Coast can become super expensive. We knew we wanted something simple to keep the costs down, because trust me, it’s so easy to get carried away with it all.

2. Finding a celebrant


We searched online to find a Sunshine Coast celebrant and as soon as we found Natalie from Fancy And Free Weddings, we knew she would be our celebrant to marry us. We loved her sense of fun and joy at being a celebrant and wanted someone we could have a laugh with.

She sent us a checklist for what we needed to do to get married which included filing for the Intent to Marry form. I had no idea before but you have lodge the Intent to Marry form at least a month before the wedding which is why we planned our wedding day in a month. Once you sign the form, Natalie will send it off, as well the name change form if you want to change your name.

She offers loads of different elopement packages, the cheapest being the Fancy A Quickie package which costs $990 which includes a 15 minute ceremony and a photographer for 30 minutes. The photographer couldn’t make our day so we ended up getting another photographer for 45 minutes instead. We could have booked a videogapher through Natalie as well but we decided not to do it as it was going to be a quick ceremony anyway.

Natalie did an amazing job and our ceremony was the best part of the day for us, I highly recommend her but I would make sure you go with her first choice photographer. The one we had was super nice but she didn’t really direct us and when we got the photos back, we didn’t get many (see took 1 per minute which I don’t think is many at all).

At the same time, I wish we actually thought about the photos we wanted before the day. For example, Steve’s mum didn’t even get one with both of us which we feel really awful about, she just got one with us individually.

Looking back on it, give yourself plenty of time for the ceremony and photographer. We had planned to arrive early before the ceremony but we ended up getting there all at the same time and it felt all very rushed. If we had got there much earlier, I’m sure we would have taken it all in a bit better than we did.

3. Where to get married in Sunshine Coast

Buderim Forest Park

We wanted to get married somewhere that wouldn’t charge a fee and luckily Natalie helped us source a location. We considered Noosa elopement packages but a lot of the spaces cost to get married (even by the ocean).

But, considering Sunshine Coast weather is very temperamental, we thought getting married by the beach on a rainy day wouldn’t be great. Plus, we knew parking around Noosa isn’t easy either so we decided not to go with that idea.


We loved the idea of getting married at One Tree Hill in Maleny but when we went to check it out, there were like three couples all having photoshoots there at the same time. Also, if the weather isn’t great in Sunshine Coast, it’s going to be worse up in Maleny so I’m glad we didn’t do it there because it rained the entire weekend of our wedding day.

So we chose the boardwalk from Harry’s On Buderim, into Buderim Forest Park. We chose this location because we both love nature and it would be a good wet weather option because there’s a rotunda there to do it in if needed. Plus, taking photos in a rainforest in the rain is kinda cool and not as wet as you’d imagine as the trees protect you from the rain.

4. Deciding on where to hold the reception

Spirit House Yandina

We decided to hold our reception at The Spirit House in Yandina. This is one of our favourite restaurants in Australia, and luckily we managed to get in here for lunch. It’s also a fantastic place to take more photos which we just loved.

We also booked Market Bistro for dinner on the wedding day and also Bocca Italian for the night before the wedding. If you’re getting married Noosa way, you’ll have plenty more restaurant options. We looked at Alba, Bistro C, Locale, Bask, and Sails.

Finding a florist


I wanted a bunch of flowers to look like they were picked in a garden, full of lily of the valley to remind me of my mum, daisies and sweet peas.

I found Elsie & Oak in Coolum on Instagram and asked them a week before the wedding to put together a bouquet for me. The day before, they confirmed they had the flowers ready and they delivered them to my door on the morning of the wedding. They were absolutely perfect!

The amazing makeup artist

I had no idea where to start with finding a makeup artist, so I posted on the Sunshine Coast Community Facebook Group and asked for recommendations. The most popular answer was Makeup By Amy Maree so I checked her out on Instagram and booked it.

It turns out she absolutely nailed my wedding makeup! She came to my house and I basically in a panic just pointed at one of her previous looks on Instagram and said I wanted something light that wasn’t over the top.

Best of all, my makeup stayed on the entire day, like literally until I went to bed. I couldn’t believe what an incredible job she did and highly recommend!

Booking a spray tan

Long gone were my uni days of using St Tropez fake tan, but I wanted a glow for my wedding day. So I booked into the Tan Hub in Mooloolaba. The tanning booth reminded me of that episode of Friends when Ross forgets to turn and ends up with an orange face. I tried it out a week before the wedding and was told to get the spray tan two days before the event.

At first the tan as Steve described, looked like I had been in an oven, but after two days looked pretty good. Be prepared though, the first day or two, Steve said I smelt like soy sauce.

Getting hair done


I always get my hair done at The Assembly Hair in Alexandra Headland thanks to my Sydney hair salon, Stevie English for the recommendation. They are fantastic and offered to blow dry my hair on the morning of the wedding which was unbelievably nice of them. If you’re ever looking for the best hairdressers in Sunshine Coast, go see them.



I have only ever had my nails done once before with a full set which lasted like two painful weeks before they were taken off. I decided to embrace getting my nails done for the wedding and literally showed them a picture of a french manicure and they completely nailed it. Honestly, I was super impressed with how well it was done at Mooloolaba Nails.

If you’ve not had a full set of nails done before then I totally advise to get them done at least a month before. I really struggled to do many basic things with my nails on that it made life way more difficult than it needed to be. I ended up getting them taken off a week after the wedding because I just couldn’t function as easily with them on.



I got my engagement ring designed and made by Bert Jewellery who I found on Instagram. Somehow she managed to squeeze me in to make my wedding ring for me which made me feel super lucky. I loved my engagement ring so much I wrote this article: How I Found The Best Engagement Rings In Sydney.

We thought it would be really easy to find Steve’s wedding ring but it actually took us a while to find the right one. We didn’t want to go to a chain like Michael Hill and ended up finding a family owned jewelley shop in Brisbane called Stones Diamond Ring Specialists.

Finding a tux for Steve


Originally Steve was just going to hire a suit for the wedding day but ended up buying one in the end from Ferrari in Sunshine Coast. He tried on the suit in store and it looked great, but they had to send away his sizing to be made. When it came back, it definitely didn’t look like the same suit he tried on. To be honest, this is one of the things I wish we spent more time and money on.

Finding an online wedding dress in a month!


I ended up ordering about six online wedding dresses and ended up going with one from British shop, Needle & Thread which went perfectly with my mum’s wedding veil from the 1960s. I also ordered another Needle & Thread dress off Facebook Marketplace to wear in the evening as we went for dinner at Market Bistro.

Needle Thread dress I bought off Facebook Marketplace

You can read all about how I found a wedding dress in a month and even made money on re-selling one of the six online wedding dresses here: I Ordered 6 Affordable Wedding Dresses Online And This Is What I Chose.

Let us know in the comments below if you need any help organising your elopement in Sunshine Coast!

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