Unhurried, authentic, all about us…this is how Krystenna described her and Ashton’s romantic boho elopement set on a heritage estate. With their three gorgeous children in attendance, they exchanged their personal vows, enjoyed a private photo shoot after their intimate ceremony and drank wine in front of a fire with their best friends to close out their special day.
We love when couples open their hearts to us, and today Krystenna shares her candid reflection on their elopement experience. Just wait until you read her beautiful vows to Ashton – we dare you not to cry like we did!
So, what’s your love story?
“We met in high school, and it took me about 2 years to give in and give him a chance. We started dating about a year after graduation. We dated for a few years before realising our paths were going in different directions, Ashton’s career was taking off and he was away a lot and I was studying nursing and wanted to travel. We’d catch up from time to time and check in with each other but never considered getting back together until after the birth of our daughter.
We got engaged in November in the backyard, our daughter Billie said that daddy had a surprise for me and when I turned around, he was holding out a ring and asked me to marry him.”
Why did you choose to elope?
“As soon as we got engaged, we wanted to be married. Ashton didn’t propose because he wanted to be engaged, he wanted to be married the day after. Getting married felt like such an intimate moment to us, those vulnerable minutes of sharing your feelings for one another and committing your lives together and we wanted it to be special to us, not a show for the benefits of others.”
How and when did you announce your elopement?
“We told our closest friends and families before we left on our trip a month prior to the original planned wedding. Everyone else found out on social media the day after.”
How did you choose your elopement location?
“I found it on Instagram and fell in love. I must’ve sent a dozen emails to the venue as I was so impatient because as soon as I saw it, I knew that was the place.”
Who attended your elopement?
“Other than our vendors, we only had our three children present.”
How did you personalise your ceremony?
“We chose to have an acoustic duo perform as we absolutely love live acoustic music. I chose a non-traditional RNB song as my aisle song which the duo did an amazing job of creating an acoustic version. We wrote our own vows and we didn’t bother exchanging rings.”
Would you like to share your wedding vows with us?
“Ashton. Growing up I learnt that love was always conditional. So it’s come as no surprise to you, over the last decade or so, that at the first sign of things being less than perfect, or the first time you had the audacity to beat me in a game of monopoly my instinct has been to run.
Through our children you have shown me just how unconditional love really is and I’ll forever be grateful for this. Thank you for every time that I’ve closed a door on you, or on us that you have somehow managed to find a window to get back in. You challenge me to want to be better everyday, for myself, for you, and for our three wild and amazing children. I cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives growing together, raising our family and challenging each other daily, but I’m telling you now I’ll never get excited over your kale salads.
As individuals, we are not perfect (although I’m pretty close) but I whole heartedly without any doubts believe that we are perfect for each other. I feel incredibly grateful for everything we’ve been through, every up and every down because it’s gotten us to the life we are living today, and what a life, together we are ticking off so many firsts and creating a life people only dream of having. The careers, the house, the family, the love.
You are my best friend, and hands down the most genuine loyal kind hearted and patient person I know, and without a doubt the only person on this planet who can handle my strong and stubborn personality, and do it with a smile. You make my heart so incredibly happy, and I cannot wait to be your wife.
I know you wouldn’t believe me if I stood here today and said that I promise to never run when things feel tough, and I can’t promise that I won’t ever try and close a door on you. But Ashton, I love you more than I’ll ever manage to put into words and I promise you that no matter what challenges life throws at us, I’ll always leave a window open.”
What was your wedding dress shopping experience like?
“I actually didn’t enjoy dress shopping the first day I went – a two month engagement meant my options were limited and whilst not restricted by a budget, I couldn’t justify the cost and wastage of some of the dresses I tried on. Also not a traditionally “skinny” girl, I found a lot of designs unflattering. I kept getting caught up in what I thought I should wear, and not what I wanted to wear.”
How did you know you’d found ‘The One’?
“I liked a lot of dresses I tried and didn’t feel too fussy, but I knew my dress was the one before it was even zipped up as it felt like me. I was comfortable, I felt beautiful and the bow felt authentic to my fun personality. I actually didn’t pull it, a sales assistant suggested it and it was one I had bookmarked but didn’t think it would flatter my body.”
How did you style your elopement?
“I had an amazing event stylist who helped guide me. I really felt like we worked together as she took the time to discuss all the options so I felt a part of the whole process rather than hand balling decisions or being told what to do. I knew I wanted it to be a mix of fun and traditional. She nailed it.”
How did you celebrate after the ceremony?
“We went and had photos just us as a couple, then went back to our Airbnb, put our kids to bed, made a fire outside and drank incredible red wine with two of our friends. It was truly the best night.”
Were there any challenges you faced when planning your elopement?
“Covid. We had to postpone due to covid restrictions impacting my husbands work, but all our vendors were amazing and the new date and plan was even better than the original.”
What did you enjoy most about your elopement experience?
“Every second of the day was about us. We weren’t rushing to speak to friends and family members. We got to be fully present with each other and our children in every moment and it was completely authentic to us and every detail was about us and our personalities. I loved it.”
Do you have any advice for other couples looking to elope?
“1000 percent do it, throw tradition out the window, grab your person and have the best day of your lives.”
Who helped make the magic happen?
Location: White Hill Estate, McLaren Vale, SA| Photography & Videography: Oh Wild | Officiant: Alix the Celebrant |Styling & Planning: Ever After Event Hire | Flowers: The Lost Florist | Cake: The Bake Space | Catering: Bits N Bites Adl | Wedding Dress: Madi Lane from LUV Bridal | Hair: Amy Smith Hair Stylist Makeup: Make Overs by Annie | Suiting: Institchu | Hire: White Marquee Honoured Hire | Neon Sign: Little Neon Boutique | Acoustic Music: Lauren and Ricky Acoustic Duo
How to Plan Your Own Epic Elopement
Eloping might seem less complicated than hosting a traditional wedding, but there’s still a surprising number of questions that need to be answered to plan this special experience. How to Plan Your Epic Elopement will help you work through every detail step-by-step to realise your dream of a private and personal celebration that’s big on love and small on stress.