So you’ve decided to run away and get married amongst the trees in The Californian Redwoods in the Great Otway National Park? Here at Big Love Elopements, we think this is a brilliant idea! The Redwoods is such a magical place and every time we visit, we find it instantly melts away the stresses of the day and invigorates the soul. The streams of light that filter through the super tall trees is ever changing and even on a rainy day, it’s so beautiful to watch the drops glisten in the light. But I’m not here to convince you how gorgeous The Redwoods are! You already know that, hence why you’re choosing to exchange vows under the canopy of beauty. So we have compiled some great tips to make your planning process super easy and have all your questions answered!
Here are some awesome reasons to get married at The Redwoods!
- Your photos will be STUNNING (if you choose The Big Love Elopements Team of course)
- The entrance to the forest is easily accessible from the carpark and is relatively easy to walk through once you are in the forest (you may just have to lend a hand to your 94 year old Nan like we have done a few times!)
- No styling needed as the forest backdrop will be all you need. We strongly discourage adding anything to the landscape which is also stated on the permit you must submit prior to your wedding day (more on that below)
- There is an eco friendly toilet available nearby (BYO hand sanitiser!!!)
- There are 2 big picnic tables by the car park for a little celebration afterwards (or you can bring your own fold out tables for drinks and nibbles in the forest) unless others have snapped them up already
- Hopetoun Falls is only a couple of minutes’ drive from The Redwoods in case you want forest AND waterfall portraits all in one (although chuck those boots on and get ready for a few hundred steps…)
- The canopy of trees act as protection from the elements so a super sunny day won’t be ruining your photos and if it’s raining it may not be so heavy in the forest
Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your elopement at The Redwoods.
- The Redwoods is a public space and a VERY popular tourist attraction so there are always going to be people around. So avoid weekends, school holidays or public holidays as they are generally pretty busy. We have also experienced film crews and busloads of photography enthusiasts on some days as well as road works nearby just for a little added tranquility which are obviously out of our control. You also aren’t able to reserve a certain spot for your ceremony so perhaps have a couple of favourite spots up your sleeve or let your photographer pick your spot for you
- Dogs are not permitted in The Redwoods
- There is very limited parking so please consider car pooling or arranging a van or mini bus for your guests
- Obviously this is an outdoor space and there isn’t any alternative nearby for a wet weather contingency plan, so be prepared to embrace the weather (we supply clear umbrellas for photos) or opt to book a gorgeous Airbnb that may be able to accommodate you and your guests should the weather not play ball
- There is little to no phone reception out there so make sure all your guests know exactly where to meet you and do everything you can to minimise getting lost!
Here at Big Love Elopements, we’ve lost count of how many elopements we’ve done at The Redwoods and no single ceremony is the same. So we’ve learnt a whole bunch along the way and have compiled some hot tips to ensure you have the most amazing experience on your wedding day
- PERMIT – you must apply for a permit to Parks Victoria at least 8 weeks prior to your ceremony date. If your total number of people attending is under 30 then you will receive a notification from Parks Victoria stating you won’t require a permit (but you still need that confirmation in writing) and Big Love Elopements can supply a guide on how to apply for your permit.
- Try and limit your guests to under 20 (if you choose to have any at all) as we personally don’t think the space lends itself to using a microphone for the ceremony. It doesn’t go with the beautiful tranquil vibes of the forest and to respect others out enjoying their forest walks. You’ll understand what we mean when you get in there!
- Limit the amount of chairs you bring (only for those who may need it) so that your guests can gather around and soak up the gorgeous relaxed, romantic vibes
- It’s generally a few degrees cooler in the forest than what the weather predicts so bring a nice faux fur!
- Although there isn’t much accommodation in or around Beech Forest, there are some gorgeous places within 30 minutes to an hour’s drive to The Redwoods. Check out the surrounding areas of Forrest, Apollo Bay, Johanna, Glenaire or Gellibrand for options
- If you are keen to pop the champers and whip out a little charcuterie platter or cake for you and your guests, we recommend using plastic cups and plates to avoid any breakages and you must take all rubbish home with you.
- Consider an afternoon ceremony as there are less log trucks travelling along those winding roads that is soooo frustrating to get stuck behind, and it is generally busier with visitors in the forest late morning and a little quieter in the afternoon.
- If you still want the forest vibes and a waterfall within walking distance you should definitely check out Stevensons Falls as an alternative location for your elopement. The forest is gorgeous and the waterfall is an easy stroll!
ELOPE WITH BIG LOVE!
Here at Big Love Elopements, we sure know what we are doing when it comes to a glorious ceremony in The Redwoods, Otways. So here is what we offer:
Big Love Package: 2 hours of photography (capturing the ceremony, mingling time with guests, family photos and portraits of the couple) with the option to add an additional hour of photography
Mega Love Package: 4 hours of photography (getting ready photos (dependant on location) or First Look, capturing the ceremony, mingling time with guests, family photos, portraits of the couple, capturing the first part of the reception dependant on location) with the option to add an additional hour of photography
We charge a travel fee for elopements at The Redwoods so contact us for our current pricing
Portable Bluetooth speaker to play music through
A round jute rug for the couple to stand on
10 clear umbrellas if needed
Your photographer can be a witness to the marriage and we can organise an additional witness for a fee if you choose not to have any guests
For more info on pricing and packages jump on www.bigloveelopements.com.au and run away with us! We promise you won’t regret it!!