In case you were wondering where my obsession with Elopements and curating unique Elopement experiences came from, I thought I would share my own experience with you. The idea, like a seed, grew in to something way more grand than I could have ever imagined. Our photographer, Janneke Storm, is the best of the best! And we planned our entire elopement to Tasmania around her availability. This was, by far, our best adventure yet!
An excerpt from my About Me page reads:
Like most gals, I had thought about my own Wedding Day since I was young. The groom was always interchangeable with each new relationship I would enter, but the “aesthetic” remained the same. It was going to be this epic 17th Century Circus themed wedding;
an over-the-top production that was all about the parade, and would have cost me my damn mortgage and then some!
When my now husband and I started to seriously talk about getting married, suddenly none of that “stuff” was important to me anymore. I wanted something intimate, something intentional, and something that meant something to the both of us.
So we eloped.
For a lot of us, when we think about our Wedding Day, we think of that over-the-top production the Wedding Industry has drummed in to our minds – the latest bridal trends, the most lust-worthy tablescapes and that must-have wedding venue with a two year long waitlist. I’m certainly guilty of it myself (heck, you should have seen my Pinterest board before we decided to elope), and my ideas only continued to become more grandeur the more I thought about it! Look, I’ll be honest, I still think my 17th Century Circus themed wedding would have been one hell of a party; imagine it, a big ole circus tent with moody lighting, acrobatic performers hanging from the roof, au d’oeuvres served by moustached strongmen in fancy leotards, and dry ice for days! What a vision!
My vision was basically the equivalent of Mitchs (husband) idea of a nightmare! When we seriously started talking about getting married (I thought I’d do the noble thing and you know, actually include him in the conversation haha) I could see him getting overwhelmed at the thought of guests lists, and party favours and the idea of having to confess that he actually enjoyed my company in front of all of our family and friends. I casually threw the idea of eloping to him, and it was a complete shift in gears. He basically said “f*ck yer, let’s do it!” on the spot.
We skipped the whole engagement thing because, well if you haven’t already noticed, we’re not much of traditionalists – and considered a quiet elopement somewhere grand like Iceland or Norway. The more we started planning our secret elopement, the more I was feeling this dreaded guilt for doing it without my mum (my father had passed away a few years prior), so we re-evaluated and decided to invite our parents and my brothers. That’s the thing I love about Elopements, is that there are no rules! You can do it the way you really want, and spend it with the people you really want to be there (or no one if you that’s the way you want to do it).
We found the perfect property on the East Coast of Tasmania called Thalia Haven. It’s a beautiful stone residence on 130-acres of private wooded peninsula, and an EPIC bathtub overlooking the crystal-blue waters of renowned Great Oyster Bay. Thalia Haven was the perfect canvas to bring all of our epic vendors together to help us create our unforgettable wedding day. We spent a week here just enjoying each others company. Cooking meals in the amazing chefs kitchen. Sipping local wine around the fire, while listening to the waves crash at our door. Watching my brothers fish, and dive for paua (abalone) and kina (sea urchin). It was an ‘off-the-grid’ type of holiday, full of genuine family connection, and it is something I will never forget.
The Wedding Day itself was so relaxed – I spent the morning making cheese platters, and having a bath overlooking that epic view, while Mitch gathered up some driftwood from the beach to construct our wedding arbor for the ceremony. Once we started getting ready, the nerves began to settle in! I waited in my room for the Groom to collect me to walk down the isle – I figured that we had decided to get married together, so it made sense that we walk down the “isle” together. We didn’t have any music to walk down the isle to, so my brothers performed a haka for us, and I swear in that moment I could feel our ancestors rising up through the ground and channelling directly through my brothers with every strike of their chest. We lit a fire during the ceremony in memory of my father, to represent his love and warmth, and we kept the flame burning all night. We also had each family member write a blessing for our marriage on Blessing Stones that they all threw in to the ocean at the end of the ceremony. Just a few little untraditional bits that made our ceremony truly personal and meaningful to us.
During the ceremony, I remember this moment of stillness so vividly, its as though the entire world had stopped for just a moment. I looked up at my soon-to-be husband, tears gathering in the well of his eyes – I turned to my right an examined the look on each of our families faces, the look of pride and emotion on all of them – and then I looked at my father-in-law to see tears streaming down his face and his whole body trembling with such raw emotion. It is a moment in time that I will never forget, and the exact moment that I realised the significance of intimate ceremonies. I would never have so clearly experienced those moments, had I gone through with my big circus performance of a wedding. I would have looked out over a sea of people, and never have experienced the intimate, raw, and honest emotion on each of our loved ones faces.
I know everyone says their wedding day was the best, but ours truly was (lol!). We had the most incredible vendors on board (all listed below) and even had our photographer and videographers feasting at the dining table with us, instead of having them curl up in a corner to eat a stale sandwich. We also had Frank kitchen come out to cook us an amazing 5 course banquet – we all still rave about HOW GOOD the food was!!!!! – and they even left us all the leftovers, so we were able to snack on it for the rest of the week *insert drool face*
Anyways, here’s our Wedding Day – I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!