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Cara Gallagher is a Byron Bay Wedding Celebrant. Modern, unique and fun wedding ceremonies delivered with style.

Michaela and Joel's Love Drenched Sunrise Elopement


Real weddings, ceremony tips and local insight about venues and outdoor spaces from Byron Bay marriage celebrant, Cara Gallagher, of Modern Love Ceremonies.

Michaela and Joel's Love Drenched Sunrise Elopement

Cara Gallagher

Earlier this year, on Valentines Day, I had the pleasure of helping Michaela and Joel get married in front of two witnesses and their photographer friend, Nathan O’Donnell.
I asked Michaela to give me a little information about why they chose to elope, and the gorgeous woman practically wrote an entire blog post for me, so here it is, in Michaela’s words:

“Some girls dream about their wedding from a young age, collecting images of wedding dresses, writing guest lists, choosing their bridesmaids and all before meeting their Prince Charming - I was one of those girls...

But when I met Joel none of those things seem to matter to me anymore. I knew that just being his wife was going to be my dream come true and all the bells and whistles didn't seem so important.

We did talk of our wedding day and how we wanted it to be a big party on a property in the hills (with a pool of course), some food trucks and a DJ, but as it does, life goes by so fast and with a blink of an eye we went from being engaged, to our baby being due in only a matter of weeks.
Being somewhat traditional, we both wanted to be married before the arrival of our small human.

So through the power of instagram we met Cara, this energetic, love magician got the wheels in motion in a minutes notice.

Let the elopement begin!!!

Joel and I are absolutely hopeless with remembering dates so we chose Valentine's Day as a fool proof plan to never forget our wedding anniversary.

We then chose the Lennox headland as the backdrop to our ceremony as it's our home and I had hopes of a beautiful sunrise looking fab in our wedding photos.

And once again through the power of instagram I contacted my friend Nathan and asked him if he'd be interested in photographing our wedding. Luckily for me, he said yes with only two weeks notice and the expectation of being up at 5am to catch that sunrise.

But my hopes for that picturesque sunrise were soon to be drowned, literally.
After three months of no rain over summer, Mother Nature had decided to open up the heavens.
Bang on 6am as I walked up the hill of the Pat Moreton lookout, a black cloud rolled over my head and torrential rain began to pour.

My girlfriend Laura and I walked along the cliff face with inverted umbrellas to meet the boys who greeted us with see-through shirts and matching inverted umbrellas.

There, in the pouring rain, we laughed at the irony and said our vows.
It truly was our happily ever after, and six days later we met our beautiful son, Thomas Barry Saye.”

“On February 14th, 2019, I married the love of my life, witnessed by my beautiful friend, Laura, and Joel's brother Julian.

38 weeks pregnant in a beautiful custom made dress made by my girlfriend Celestial Campbell, and I did my own hair and makeup, and then the rain had a go too. 

Married by Cara Gallagher from Modern Love Ceremonies.

Photographed by Nathan O’Donnell - minus the sunrise. 

Clutching some beautiful blooms by NIKAU flower bar.”