When Simon and I decided to elope it was actually one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made. When we’d casually had the discussion on our daily walk with Charlie it was almost like we were deciding what brand of milk to buy in the groceries. Having this man as my husband was all I wanted. For us the decision to elope was based on one thing, and one thing only, we just wanted to be a family.
If you’ve read Our Story you’ll know how Simon and I met, on a cruise ship in the middle of the South Pacific. When we got together at the end of 2012 we already had a solid 10 years of friendship under our belts and a connection we never really acknowledged was there. Our relationship wasn’t one of those traditional ones where we hung out first, dated then went next level. Mainly because when we got together Simon was still floating around on the ocean and I was here, in little old NZ, starting Sadie and Co.
Anyone who’s done long distance will tell you it sucks, big time. Skype and the internet makes things a whole lot easier but the fact that you’re very rarely in the same place, let alone the same timezone means it’s a constant game of contact tag.
At the end of one of Simons’ 6 month contracts we decided we needed a holiday, together! So I joined the ship in Sydney for the last cruise and 7 days later we disembarked and headed straight for the airport…bound for Bali. It was on this holiday that things really changed for us, spending so much time together cemented our feelings for each other and sparked what would ultimately become the biggest decision we’ve ever made, as individuals and as a couple.
Simon decided he didn’t want to go back to ships and after 14 years at sea was ready for life on land. I decided this was the man I loved more than anything and didn’t want to go home without him. We both decided we wanted to go into business together and so Photokombi was born, over Bintangs in Bali.
What started as crazy holiday dreams actually became a reality and 8 weeks later we were both back in Spain (where Simon was living) writing business plans, buying a komvi van on Trademe and applying for visas. 6 weeks later, on the 30th June 2013, Simon moved to New Zealand, we drove a bright yellow kombi van out the driveway for the first time and a new beginning started for both of us.
When we took Photokombi out for her first hire at the end of October 2013 (looking far prettier than the yellow beast she was) we were completely unaware that things were about to change for us again. I was pregnant. Starting a new business is one thing, starting it knowing that in 9 months time you’ll have a tiny human to support, is another. It was hectic to say the least.
I think the way things worked out for us is one of the main reasons why we decided to elope. Our relationship has moved fast, we’ve made massive life decisions in very short spaces of time and always done what has only ever felt right. When Simon proposed on my birthday in 2015 all I could think of was being Mrs Eves. The fancy wedding, the dress, the details (that as a wedding photographer I live for) just didn’t seem that important. I simply wanted to have the same last name as my boys.
So we decided that since we were already having a party in 2 weeks time for Charlie’s first birthday we’d just tack our wedding on to that, and elope. It may seem selfish and if I’m honest I was worried about what my extended family would think about missing out (we’re pretty close, like reeeal close) but we knew what was important to us which meant doing things our way. With Simons family all in the UK and Spain and half of mine in Australia, plus friends all over the globe we decided that if we couldn’t have everyone we’d do it in secret.
With just my immediate family and Simons on Skype, two of my best friends (who would have killed me if I’d kept it from them) and our photographers/friends Mark & Fi we became husband and wife on the morning of Charlie’s birthday. What followed was plenty of tears, an incredible meal cooked and prepared by our own private chef Paul Anise and a little photoshoot on the grounds of my Mum and Step dads property. It was then time for Charlie’s birthday party and to share our surprise with our family and friends.
There was a mixture of shock, tears, laughter and screams as each and every guest arrived. With most of them confessing they hadn’t the faintest idea what we were planning. Turns out we’re pretty good at keeping secrets and doing things in a slightly untraditional way. I decided one of the things I did really want was to be a little more dressed up so with Charlie’s birthday outfit picked out on a shopping trip to Australia I set about finding Simon and I outfits to match. Simon looked amazing in a Brothers suit from Hallenteins and I scrubbed up ok in a $25 tutu I found online and a $15 Tempt (GASP! I know) top. A pair of nude heels, already in my wardrobe (a must have staple if you ask me) and the outfit was complete. All in all my wedding outfit cost me $40 and it was exactly what I’d wanted.
Being Mrs Eves is pretty dam awesome. Being part of the crew with the boys and not mistaken for Charlie’s caregiver at the doctors is what being married is all about for me. As a wedding photographer it’s strange to think that I didn’t want all the bells and whistles but having done it once before (now that’s another story) and being a part of over 100 weddings my priorities were simple; say ‘I do’ to the man I love, with some of the people I love, in a place I love, on a day that means more to me than anything.
It just doesn’t get any better than that.
Thank you Mark & Fi for capturing our day for us and to Rose from Ali’s Makeup Station for making me look so amazing.