Real Elopement – Mirte and Damon, Heathcote VIC
From all reports it was an epic celebration, but a few important things were missing, such as their dogs, the legal side of the ceremony and their chance to celebrate in a reflection true to their personalities.
So came about their Aussie Bush Elopement! A road trip to country Victoria and an epic location, two witnesses (including the makeup artist), a super talented photographer, an adventurous celebrant in our very own Shannon Jeans, an incredible bouquet, some rings and their two dogs, and voila…a magical day was created.
Get swept up in the beauty of this epic and emotional celebration, as documented by Sabine Legrand.
In Mirte’s words…
Twelve years ago in a small town northern Thailand. Mirte (The Netherlands) was travelling with a friend and Damon (Australia) was living there. Everything went really quick. We travelled together and after just three weeks we decided that I would go to Australia to live with him. Kind of crazy when I think about it now. We then lived in Australia for two years, followed by five years in Amsterdam and then after some long distance we now have been back in Melbourne for three.
That’s an interesting question. I suppose our many months long distance allowed us to proof our love, our commitment and strengthen our relationship. Throughout the first 10 years we had to do that often and it pushed us to clearly word our commitment to each other. Plus, it allowed us to be grateful for what we had, once we would see each other again it made us realise how lucky we were to have one another. But finding the one? You don’t find the one. I think we proof that we are each others “one” choice over and over again through out the many years we have been together. We keep choosing each other through highs and lows and we keep falling in love, over and over again. I am most proud of that. I think you know someone is right for you when you have the ability to do that. Choose each other, learn from each other, grow with each other, give love, sacrifice, celebrate and fall for each other, over and over again. It’s a partnership, always.
At the time we got engaged I was living in Amsterdam and Damon was living in Melbourne. I was finishing up my studies and he was setting things back up in Australia. We had been 5 months apart by that time…
Damon’s best friend kept telling me that Damon was missing me like crazy and that he wanted to surprise him one day by flying me over. One day I got the phone call. “Mirte I’m flying you over to surprise Damon!” I was so excited! But first it was up to me to “lie” to Damon and cover up the 24 hours I would be in the plane to Australia.
I made up a big story together with my friends, how I was going to Paris with a group of girls. We even made photo’s of the car, suitcases and the girl gang. It was the perfect cover. 5 hours driving to Paris is the same amount of time as flying to Dubai so I would be able to make my first call to him at my first stop. “Paris is great babe, but I can’t talk we are going out and then we might not have wifi…blabla” After that I hopped back onto the plane and continue the next 14 hours to Melbourne.
When I arrived in Melbourne I got picked up and drove to the hotel. The plan was simple and Damon’s best friend said he had organized everything. Damon would be in the hotel for a work thing early the next morning so I would just have to wake up, put on my best outfit and walk down to surprise him! But before that I needed some serious shut eye. I got to my hotel room and started unpacking when I heard a knock on the door. It must be room service I thought. But, when I opened the door Damon was standing there, in a suit and he dropped on one knee. “I am sorry” He said. “I know you wanted to surprise me but it was all my plan… Will you marry me?”
I think you know what my answer was…
After meeting in Thailand over 12 years ago, we decided to ‘marry’ back Thailand as a bit of a half way mark for our family and friends. It was an epic celebration, but a few important things were missing:
Our beloved dogs
The legal side to the ceremony (and marriage)
The intimate realness you only get when its just you together. No flashy light, just a few close friends, you and your lover.
So to make it all real we decided on an Aussie Bush Elopement including those final pieces of the puzzle. A road trip to Country Victoria and an out of this world location, 2 witnesses (Jordan & Camilla), a super talented photographer (Sabine), an adventurous celebrant (Shannon), an incredible bouquet, some rings and our two dogs … and voila …. A magical day was created.
For our bush elopement I wanted something simple and timeless… and yes I could not help it… I wanted it to be white. For some reason I wend straight to Witchery, found a dress, ordered it, tried it on the next day and it was perfect!?!
Listening to Damon’s vows. He really thought them through and everything was just so touching. The thought he had put in it. The things he said and had noticed over the years. The man is still able to surprise me after this long.
That and I have to say I will never forget when Shannon (The Celebrant) said “Marriage is when TWO PEOPLE …“ instead of a “Marriage is when a man and a women…” That was pretty special. Finally, Australia, finally.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage is the choice to brave this crazy world together and always choosing “us” before anything else. It is sacrifice, big ones like in my case living on the other side of the world away from family, friends, culture my language. But also small once like admitting he was right and maybe I was wrong… offcourse that rarely happens. It is giving love before receiving. It is being soft when you need to and hard when you have to. It is giving each other freedom to live their own lives and never ever owning each other.
Words of wisdom.
Ultimately, its about you and your lover. Not about what Instagram tells you it should be. Not about what your friends expect from you. Its about you and your partner in live, that moment you guys choose to brave the unknown you are choosing more then just Instagram shots. You are committing to what was, is and will be. Be there together, hold each others hands, make mental pictures and look into each others damn eyes as much as you can. Tick that off first. Then, get a celebrant that you truly connect with. She will tell you your love story in such a way that it really touches you both deep. And because mental pictures are not enough – and your brain will get the best of you one day – find a photographer that notices and understands the little things. Because that is what will count.
We love an elopement! If you’re looking for more super special intimate inspiration, check out Renee and Ash’s day here.
MIRTE & DAMON’S TRIBE
To be honest, we didn’t have to do much. It was our amazing suppliers (and now friends) that made it all happen. It was them and we are so beyond grateful.
Sabine, our dear French vixen and the most talented photographer who knows exactly how to capture such a personal event, knew the perfect spot and would, obviously, make photo’s.
Shannon, our wonderful Aussie maiden and the most sought-after celebrant in Victoria organised mind-blowing flowers from Poppy Culture and wrote the most beautiful words in addition to making things legal, and Camilla, our Italian goddess and the best make up artist with emphasis on ARTIST, well she made me look my absolute best.
Together with them, and our witness, we would elope in the bush and make our marriage real!
Ceremony venue / location: Pink Cliffs, Heathcote
Celebrant/Officiant: Shannon Jeans
Photography: Sabine le Grand
Florist: Poppy Culture
Hairand make-up: Camilla Bassi
The Dress: Witchery
Bride’s shoes: Bare feet
Rings: Larsen Jewellery Melbourne
Groom’s suit: Jack London
Groom’s shoes: Jack London