More and more couples are now choosing to elope and what better place than the magical island of Madeira, surrounded by nature and with stunning views over the Atlantic.
Here is the story about Rob and Liz's wedding, planned by Madeira Weddings with Becky de Sancha conducting their ceremony.
Rob and Liz first met when they were living in Sydney, and in those first few years they filled their time with lots of travelling and adventures, together with their cat Oscar. So when they decided to elope, they knew they wanted to go somewhere different, somewhere surrounded by nature and somewhere special. They picked the island of Madeira.
Their priorities were to have a personal ceremony in a beautiful location overlooking the sea. They wanted the event to be relaxed, fun and romantic. So the planning began.
We organised a classic Rolls Royce to collect them from their hotel which drove them to an amazing cliff top location on the east side of the island near São Laurenço. Travelling behind I drove with the photographer and guitarist. The guitarist serenaded them as we prepared for the ceremony and the photographer was there to capture every minute.
Elopement ceremonies become very personal and allow couples to say words to each other that maybe in front of guests they would not feel comfortable. Rob read a poem to Liz which meant a lot to them and Liz shared some words with him before we moved onto the formal Vows.
As part of the ceremony, they chose to have a Hand Fasting. Liz had brought some lovely lace ribbon to use for this.
The Hand-Fasting Ceremony dates back to the time of the ancient Celts. It was used to acknowledge the beginning of a trial period of a year and a day, during which time a couple were literally bound together - hand fasted.
In those ancient times this temporary agreement of marriage could be made permanent after the trial period, if both parties agreed.
Nowadays, couples marry for life and the Hand-fasting ceremony is used symbolically, to express that you are bound in your love and commitment to one another and like the ribbon, which has two individual ends, you are two individuals, yet in essence you are today becoming one.
You will remain joined by the looped ribbon until after the marriage Vows are exchanged - not for a year and a day!
For their Vows, we first started with the I Do’s and then Rob and Liz said personal Vows and promises to each other. Following the Vows the couple exchanged rings and then I had a certificate ready for them to sign. During the signing, our guitarist played more music.
It was now time for Rob to kiss the Bride and everyone to celebrate. The photographer, guitarist myself and the driver of the classic car all joined them for a glass of champagne and a cupcake. We had ordered special cupcakes for everyone and the atmosphere was so fun, full of love and happiness. The photographer even set up the camera on timer to capture a group shot.
The Rolls Royce then took Rob and Liz to a couple of other locations for photos before they returned to Funchal for a romantic dinner at the Nini Design Centre.
They now live in Florida and are expecting their first child. I wish them all the best for the future and thank them for allowing me to share their story.