Images by Kings & Thieves.
One day a Mermaid met a Mountain Goat fell in love…
Jasmine and Benji met when they paddled for the same dragon boat team in Hong Kong in 2010. Jasmine thought he was a player and Benji thought she was intriguing. They shared a love of travel, freedom and nature.
Jasmine: “With Benji I feel like I have learned how to allow myself to be loved. I still have parts of me that doesn’t feel worthy of love, but it is Benji’s quiet and consistent love that reminds me when I have forgotten. He has taught me great patience, and commitment to family (he’s very close to his, and I’m not with mine) so to be able to witness that close family dynamic has been beautiful to be a part of, though at times, difficult for me too. I love when Benji looks at me quietly not saying anything, but I know what he’s saying inside. I love when he waters our plants ☺”
Benji: “With Jasmine I’ve learned the importance of communication and keeping an open mind to understand different perspectives, and that not all women own a pair of high heels! (something I thought women all had, until I met Jas). I love her cooking! I love how she sends me motivational quotes”.
The Mermaid and the Mountain Goat saw the unique gifts each had to offer and recognized their shared connection to the earth from different places. The mermaid has to remember that she can go to her depths to explore, but if she pulls the mountain goat down with her, it will drown. Same with the mountain goat exploring the tops of the mountains, the mermaid will suffocate if she leaves the water too long.
Whilst they had attended many beautiful and traditional weddings together, when it came to organizing their own wedding, they kept arriving at mental road blocks. None of it felt right. They were minimalists at heart and their authentic selves belonged in the beauty and simplicity of nature.
Benji is an avid trail runner, mountain man, and Jasmine works with her earth skills and uses her nature therapy experiences as part of her work, and so, whatever the weather, wherever they were, their ceremony would be outdoors using the elements of both the mountains and the ocean.
And they love surprises!
A secret elopement was planned and their witnesses did not know they were attending a wedding, rather an invitation to attend a Forest Bathing experience for them as a treat. They were to meet Benji and Jasmine on a beach trail in Kurin Gai National Park and when they came around the corner and saw them, they said “welcome to our wedding”.
“They were shocked and it was hilarious!”
Marriage for Jasmine and Benji means “evolving with each other as individuals as well as a couple”.
“Our commitment is to honour our independent elements, and to commit to meeting at the shoreline, to share the treasures we have found from our own journeys.”
For their ceremony celebrant Shelly Tunbridge incorporated the elementals, calling in the four directions, as well as a 5th, the direction of home (Hong Kong & Germany) and honour the spirit of the land and its ancestral beings also as guests and hosts of the ceremony.
As a group, they used the natural surroundings to create a circle, with the land offering sticks, stones and leaves as the ceremonial space for Jasmine and Benji to say their vows.
Benji and Jasmine married as they live, by checking in with what feels right and true in the moment; by listening and allowing intuition to be their guides and with integrity to self, to each other and to the Earth.
“Our purpose is linked with the Earth. She dreamed us into being with purpose woven through us. It is not the mind or the ego deciding what looks or feels glorious, it is what gives back to the human and more than human world. So to just listen to that is being purposeful,” said the Mermaid to the Mountain Goat.
Grounded. Intentional. Beautiful…Thank-you so much Jasmine and Benji for sharing your story.
Written by Sarah Tolmie, Life & Love Ceremonies.
Ceremony Celebrant Shelly Tunbridge.
Images by Kings & Thieves. Enjoy!