When Caroline and Tim first contacted me they said they wanted to do something a bit different for their elopement. They loved the water, but the beach didn’t feel right to them. They wanted something simple, but a little bit wild. I suggested saying their vows while standing in the Never Never River in the Promised Land at Gleniffer. They said that was totally their ‘kind of crazy’ and then we shared photos of our pets with each other – and I knew we would get along just fine!

On their wedding day we met at Aniseed Villas in the Promised Land where Tim and Caroline, and her son Seb, were getting ready. Caroline had been busy cooking treats for a picnic, and their celebrant Clare Bath was going over the final paperwork with them. There was such a sense of calm in the air. No rush, no stress, no last minute worries. Just a family excited to be united as one. I watched as Seb sat silently inspecting the rings that he was in charge of, gently trying them on all his fingers.

We wandered down to the creek together with nothing more than a bottle of champagne and a bunch of lavender. There were no lavish decorations, live bands or confetti cannons – just trees, running water, fresh air and bird calls. Surrounded by natural beauty, Caroline and Tim said their vows to one another. Tim then turned to Seb and declared to love and protect him – a moment that melted us all, as Seb looked back at Tim with love and tears in his eyes. As the ceremony concluded the family embraced, standing ankle deep in that gentle, running water – there was nowhere else in the world they wanted to be.

Tim and Caroline had their first dance in the Never Never creek, with their favourite song playing from Tim’s phone in his pocket. The three of them spent time dancing, splashing and hugging in the river together before we wandered up to a nearby paddock as the sun set. This day was perfect for them. It had everything they needed to get married and no more. It’s elopements like this that make me feel so privileged to be able to do what I do, witnessing these days of pure love and commitment in one of the most beautiful places in the world.



Nicola Bodle is an Australian destination wedding photographer. She captures weddings, engagements and elopements throughout Australia and the world. Based on the Mid-North Coast of NSW, she specialises in bold, honest and emotive imagery for adventurous couples and romantic souls.