You're never too old to elope, happy couple says
A SIMPLE ceremony abroad for a no-fuss-needed wedding was all Wendy Westbrook and David Rudd needed.
The pair met at the Coffee Club at the end of 2012.
"David was babysitting a friend's dog here in Gladstone at the time and considering staying on and finding work here after his home in Christchurch, New Zealand was destroyed in the earthquake," she said.
During one of their first conversations he said all the right things - including that he was a dog person.
"We were inseparable ... we engaged on my birthday on April 13 with the intention of getting married in April next year in Christchurch," she said.
But as they were busily preparing for their wedding at the Christchurch Port Hills, they found an offer they could not resist.
"A cheap getaway holiday in Port Vila, Vanuatu came up and we decided to take a break away,'' Wendy said.
"David suggested we get married there - just the two of us and I jumped at the chance of a simple, romantic, intimate wedding."
During the reception, two staff at the Grand Hotel, Helen and Ywon, were their witnesses and teamed with Pastor Gideon.
Wendy said it had been a wonderful wedding.
"We did not tell anyone before the trip that we planned to get married there, so a great surprise awaited family and friends when we got home," she said.
She said their family and friends were very happy for the newlyweds.
But they still plan to celebrate in New Zealand next year - to the delight of intended bridesmaids Delaney Burke and Tierney Burke.
"It just goes to show you that eloping is not just for the young, anyone at any age can do it!"