Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
(Jess) Andreas and I met at our local church; we’d been attending the same church for about 6 years, since high school, but had never spoken much. We bonded over puppies when I bought a lab and we grew to love each other very quickly. Moral of the story: all good things begin with dogs.
I first noticed Andreas’ big heart, despite the fact that I first thought he would be too cool for me – he has so much love to give, and is the most generous and patient person I’ve ever met. He makes me the best version of myself. (Andreas) I first loved how she care for others. She has a big heart for community and aches for people in pain. She brings light into my life. We love having people over our home and being creative together. We laugh A LOT.
(Jess) I am a social worker and Andreas works in a hospital setting, so we place a very high value on people. We try to live hospitably and ethically, with the choices we make as consumers, travelling thoughtfully and educating ourselves about world issues. Our dream is work in community building projects in Southeast Africa, so we’ll see!
From before we were even engaged, we knew we would elope, there was never really any question! We were living on different continents for the 5 months before we were married; I was in Australia and Andreas studying in Sweden, and we met in Scotland to marry and then both come back to Australia.
We both wanted something humble and simple for our wedding day; it’s the start of our life together and we wanted to begin it with our focus on the central aspect: our marriage and not just the ‘event’ of a wedding day where we would be caught up with impressing other people. We wanted a wedding that matched both our personalities and characters, and the life that we want to live together as a couple: a humble, thoughtful, serving and giving life.
We wanted to focus on the vows we would make without distraction and with the right consideration and commitment that promises like that deserve, and after so long apart we wanted the chance to pursue each other tenderly and grow intimate again, in the most romantic place in the world, away from our usual routines and demands.
Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…
We loved using the coloured smoke products (as we had wanted them for our wedding day but because we eloped we couldn’t transport them overseas!). We’re becoming obsessed with the concept of hygge, which uses candles for warmth and cosiness a lot, so we loved the pillar candles. We also loved the wooden poles, and how organic it was that we just found them there but it worked so well with the rug (we have a very large number of rugs in our house that we kept buying/stocking up on before we moved into our place; never enough rugs!).
We definitely loved that even though it was a styled shoot, Jeff wrote something personal for us (we really connected with him) and that we took the opportunity to show love and appreciation for each other only a few months into our new marriage through actually renewing our vows on Australian soil. Being intentional and nurturing like that is what we believe will help keep our marriage healthy and loving.
We also took the opportunity to write a new letter to each other from the perspective of a few months in (we each wrote letters to each other in a notebook for the 5 months that we were on different continents before we married in Scotland, and we swapped books and read each other’s letters on our wedding morning while we were getting ready). It was special and tender to make use of the opportunity we had and continue that ‘tradition’.
Tell us about your main outfits:
Andreas’ wanted a tweed Scottish suit for our elopement in Scotland, so he ended up going to Edinburgh to get what he wanted from Walker Slater.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
Doing the styled shoot helped remind us not to take things for granted, but to be thoughtful and intentional with each other and our marriage, but also to have fun and just go with the flow. I mean everything about how we went about our wedding was a bit unusual, so why not a styled shoot for a vow renewal too!
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
To us, marriage is a choice. Not just a once-off choice on our wedding day, but a choice we make and renew daily, over and over again, to love and serve each other. It’s the choice to put the other’s needs before our own even when it requires sacrifice, to forgive even when our pride is offended, to love even when the season is hard. In this way, marriage to us is a commitment to do life, together, always, and is centered on caring for the other person not just our own happiness and fulfillment.
We take our promises seriously, but marriage is also extremely fun, a lifelong party with your best friend. Joyful, full of laughter and dogs and bonding over our weird intricacies; it’s a safe place of unconditional love. Make sure your wedding planning and wedding day is full of joy and thankfulness. Our advice would be to strip it back to its bare meaning, what it means to you both, and then build any details and plans around that. For us, this meant eloping and an intimate ceremony, then partying back in Australia with our friends and family.
Photographer: Samantha Heather Photography | Videographer: Cinehaus | Ceremony and reception location: State Mine Heritage Park | Celebrant: Joined by Jeff Celebrant | Styling: Upside Down Events | Flora: Foxglove Flora | Cake: Unbirthday | Stationery: Invites by Veasna Chea | Hair and makeup: Jodie Hair Makeup | Wedding dress: Lost in Paris | Groom’s attire: Walker Slater | Socks: AnonymousIsm | Shoes: Asos | Engagement ring: Brilliant Earth | Wedding rings: Grew & Co.