Meet the Newcastle Startup Helping Low-Key Couples Elope in Style (and on Budget)


Secluded weddings more your speed?

Meet the Newcastle Startup Helping Low-Key Couples Elope in Style (and on Budget)

With the ever-growing costs of weddings, Newcastle-based startup and new kid on the block Anteloping is here to change the game. Think intimate, stylish, fuss-free. This innovative elopement service is exactly what the wedding industry ordered.

Starting out as a simple idea during a car trip home from a wedding, a group of friends began sharing ideas for unforgettable weddings. Equally passionate about their love for the outdoors and an awareness of the financial strains weddings can pose, the pieces of Anteloping began to come together.

So, what is Anteloping?

“[We are] a collaboration of different [wedding] vendors… creating an elopement service aiming for the wilderness/adventurous style, for people who don’t want to deal with all the stress of weddings,” says Ash Wheelhouse, Anteloping’s florist.

In addition to a florist, the team comprises a photographer, celebrant, caterer, and hair and make-up artist. Each forms a part of the included package. In addition, the team is happy to suggest other vendors you can hire to round-out your event, such as musicians, magicians and videographers.

We caught up with two of the team members, florist Ash and caterer Cooper Thomas, to learn how the concept came to fruition, and exactly who’s behind it.

Ash, also known as Film & Foliage, has a three-year history of crafting gorgeous flower arrangements for weddings, specialising in installations and natural bouquets. She’s a lover of “foraged beauty, dried textures and colours.”

Caterer Cooper, or The Wilderness Chef, is the guy behind the wondrous cooking at Anteloping. He incorporates his passion for the outdoors and local produce to create a three-course culinary masterpiece (see drool-worthy examples in the gallery above).

As the eyes behind the lens, Joel Alston is all about capturing a couple’s day of pure emotion and connection in a “candid documentary style”. Running his photography business, Barefoot & Bearded, Joel aims to capture the natural spirit of the day.

Hair and make-up artist and owner of Chic Artistry, Tanya Blundell excels in customising a look that suits each bride’s personality.

The team also work alongside some of the crew over at Sassy Celebrants to assist with that all-important “I do” moment.

With today’s society leaning away from tradition in its various forms, the wedding industry is certainly no different. “The idea of marriage is changing,” says Cooper, on why eloping is becoming more prominent. People are becoming aware of the unneeded stress due to the cost and the expectation of their ‘big day’.”

With vendors wanting to make the most cash from weddings, often hiking up prices as soon as the word wedding is mentioned, Anteloping is filling a much-needed gap in the market. “We just really wanted to do this so much, [so] we make our prices really obvious,” says Ash.

Based in Newcastle, the Anteloping team is always up for an adventure and keen to create a unique day in “Newcastle, NSW, Australia or anywhere.”

“My goal is to travel around doing weddings” says Ash. “We [even] had an enquiry for New Zealand the other day.”

The team is constantly out and about sourcing stunning locations for future clients. Their website recommends several locations, including the Blue Mountains, Barrington Tops, the Watagans, Stockton Dunes, Kangaroo Valley and Mount Hotham. With the team, all lovers of the outdoors, finding the locations is always a fun adventure. “We’ll drive to the end of a road and start walking,” says Cooper.

Anteloping focuses on creating an intimate and personalised experience. It has geared itself towards couples with an adventurous spirit, that are enthusiastic about the wilderness and a relaxed, real and raw celebration of love.

“[It’s more about] having an experience on your wedding day, rather than a party,” says Ash. When it’s just the couple celebrating, there’s no fanfare and yet the attention centres on the couple’s “love for each other, rather than the Big Day,” says Ash.

The continuous growth in the creative sector across Newcastle and the Hunter has seen Anteloping go from strength to strength. Since November 2016, the team have had three spectacular weddings and two styled shoots. With another four weddings booked in before the end of the year, and with features in the wedding magazine Hello May, and local Hunter Hunter, it’s safe to say that the future is looking rosy for Anteloping.

Photography by Barefoot & Bearded

Alicia Poole