What does a couple do when their family and friends are scattered all over the world? When asking them to travel so far feels like a huge obligation that will ultimately lead to a larger, more traditional wedding than what this couple truly want?
Enter the Elopement Collective, lead by husband and wife team Josh Withers and Britt Snow who work to deliver personal and intimate elopements and pop up wedding events. Serendipity struck as EC offered an elopement date in Queenstown around Tash’s birthday and the couple were already planning on going skiing for the occasion. After taking a night to mull it over, Tash and Steve jumped in relishing in the winter wonderland backdrop on nobody’s home turf.
These love doves meet whilst boarding a boat in Croatia. Tash thought Steve was a cute deck hand and asked him to help with her bags. He politely advised her that he didn’t work on the boat with a cheeky grin. Steve admits it wasn’t love at first sight not because of being a mistaken employee but because she was in a Waratah’s rugby cap and Randwick rugby shirt, and he is an adamant Springbok fan. He steeled himself for some ribbing and gloating from this Wallaby supporter. But after a week together he didn’t want to see her go.
The EC team of 4 talented, genuine souls made the couple feel relaxed and comfortable with a well executed plan. Josh Withers, their celebrant has a simple ideology of
Love and look after each other unconditionally. Make the most of every minute together and laugh a lot.
His wit enriched the atmosphere of their little ceremony. As huge fans of the Lord of The Rings, EC took Steve and Tash on a road trip to see the scenic film locations. After the ceremony and photography Heart and Colour, they dined at a table for 2 at True South Restaurant at their luxury accommodation The Rees Hotel. Food and wine was all locally sourced, grown and made. Steve’s highlight was having his wife all to himself from the moment he woke up to the moment he fell asleep.
Jason Ree made a brushed palladium wedding band with Tash’s finger print engraved in rose gold on the inside. Tash declined on a wedding band and instead has two engagement rings inherited from family. Diamonds from her mother and grandmother’s rings were reset in a wedding ring she wears on her left hand. On her right hand she wears Steve’s grandmother’s engagement ring. Tash sees these heirlooms as her lucky charms. Tash did her own hair and makeup wanting to keep her look natural and true to herself. She wore a gown from Grave Loves Lace and her throw was from Pony Rider.
Steve, a self proclaimed bad communicator says ‘Tash has literally opened my eyes to a whole new world of communicating more efficiently and seeing things from a different perspective.’ They make a conscious effort to be present in the moment, attentive and grateful for each other. This couple make love look easy and we wish them a joyful journey into marriage.
What does living purposefully mean to Tash and Steve?
Living purposefully to us is a state of awareness. We all have a footprint on this planet and the size and shape of that footprint can be altered by every day decisions. Simple steps individually can make big foot prints collectively. Steps like No Meat Monday. Not consuming meat from 1 – 3 days a week is easy enough for us and if everyone jumped on board it would reduce the impact the cattle industry has on the environment without crippling the cattle industry. Supporting local farmers who practice sustainable and pesticide free farming by buying our fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs and honey from farmers markets and not the big supermarkets. Sometimes easier said than done given the convenience of the supermarkets but trust me you can taste the difference and you are supporting the little guy.
Being minimalistic is another big one for us. The world and in particular the western world produces an unacceptable amount of landfill every day. We can, by watching what we purchase, recycling and generally just asking that question “do we really need it?” reduce the amount we throw out. We live in an apartment with limited space, so multipurpose items is important such as kitchenware that can be used for camping. Restoring and reusing old furniture. Common household ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, bicarb soda, lemon, coconut oil and essential oils can also be used as natural cleaning agents reducing chemical and plastic wastage. It’s also important to be aware of purchasing natural hair and skincare products that are low in chemicals and not tested on animals. These are all little bits we try to do to live purposefully. We highly recommend the book Simple Matters by Erin Boyle. It has really helped us declutter and simplify our lifestyle allowing us to have more quality time to spend with each other.
We like to remind ourselves and refer to a Native American Proverb for perspective that “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”.
Thank-you so much beautiful souls, it was an honour sharing your story.