semantics & romantics

The G.O. and I recently returned from a week away. Our original holiday plan was a road trip to Queensland to catch up with long distance family & friends, and celebrate what we consider our tenth anniversary; of our first kiss.

With nine days up our sleeve and anniversary mid-week we plotted the trip back, forth, reversed, stopped and decided to spend a quiet week at our house enjoying the best of Taylors Arm; sunny verandah, chilly evenings, starry skies and the wood fire.

However… there’s always a however… a parallel conversation, begun at my youngest sister’s wedding in May, was happening also. I can still visualise our trio standing unsuspecting in the sunshine looking over the bay witnessing the ceremony in front of us: the partner of my bridesmaid sister; the G.O.; and myself. The G.O. and my sister’s partner were joking as men do at such events “you’re next”   “you are”… until the G.O. uttered the words “not us, we argue about it”.

The opportunity to pursue the conversation stalled as at that moment the ceremony was over and we were required to participate in official weddingy things. At the bridal bouquet & garter throwing point of the reception when invited to participate the G.O. and I both flashed the may-as-well-be rings we were wearing on our left hands, forestalling the customary urging to line up with the singles. Later we sailed under the radar of the attentions of my uncles who after a few drinks amused themselves ascertaining the matrimonial intentions of the younger unmarried couples of the family.

But with the following dawn… well, a little later as we sipped tea on our balcony looking over Port Stephens, came the reckoning. It was a rocky start to part 2 of the conversation as I had taken exception to the G.O.’s statement of the previous day and enough time to mull it over. Bewildered “but we do argue about it”  he persisted “there’s no way we’d want all this” waving his arms to dismiss the recent accoutrements of traditional family-friends nuptials.

Aha, the G.O.’s unconventional semantics strike again. Argue about  meant disagree with. It was as plain as chalk and cheese… one of his favourite pronouncements. And it opened a conversational door we had previously shut many times with the mutual declaration “we’re happy as we are”. Which led to me, because I’m the one with a desk, computer, telephone and time, exploring possibilities.

Sydney Registry Office – $401 or $507 depending on what time/day of the week, and both the intending bride and groom must visit the Registry prior during business hours to lodge a Notice of Marriage, and provide their own witnesses: too clinical – too expensive – too hard.

Knowing we’d be heading north in August, I investigated further options, thinking we might do it at Coffs Harbour courthouse, as we’d be in Coffs in June to lodge the NOM. But my Google search for the courthouse details came up with something interesting, Loving Images Wedding Photography who advertised:

“Elope to Beautiful Coffs Harbour,
With a Romantic Elopement Package…

Imagine having your stress free, intimate wedding ceremony, all for under $1000…
for your Celebrant, Wedding Ceremony, Photographer and Witnesses…”

I called. They were available on our anniversary.

Just Married, Diggers Beach, Coffs Harbour NSW Australia
Just Married, Diggers Beach, Coffs Harbour NSW Australia

37 thoughts on “semantics & romantics

  1. Congratulations. Have to confess to shedding a soppy tear when I got to the end. Sounds like your wed ann date will be around ours, another similar date huh?

    Cost us sixty bucks in Sydney register office, we think from memory. Only I needed to go, he just turned up on the day. It was actually very informal.

    We did provide our own witnesses and we had gatecrashers too! But it was small, quiet and intimate which was what we wanted. Hope yours was what you wanted too, sounds like it was.


    1. Thank you 🙂 I thought of that too when I read your post, that the dates are close. We would have gone for the registry office probably had we not planned the trip away, and had the G:O. not been commuting 80 kms in the opposite direction on their business days. Horses for courses I think. We were very happy with how it worked out for us. Some people want a big do, and others something in between. I had no idea elopement was so popular until I looked further… not on my Googling radar until then.


    1. Thank you. I was so excited when I realized we could do that date… Loving Images do their elopements on weekdays, and we were going to be there anyway… kind of spooky how it worked out.


    1. Thank you. Doing it our way was the only possible way, it wasn’t negotiable. A couple of family responses were ” you could have… ” and we said ” nope, then it wouldn’t have happened…”


    1. Thank you. The photo session was thankfully brief but the setting and the occasion was worth it. The event passes so quickly but at least we have the photos and the beach to revisit 🙂


  2. That is awesome news!! It seems so You — none of the frills and hoopla of many other weddings, just a special place and time and the two of you who know deep down that this is right. Will you have a family celebration too? X x x


    1. Thank you 🙂 We both love the beach, which made it extra special. The family gathering of my sister’s wedding seems not so long ago, and there’s a Christmas get together planned which seems not too far away. Everyone else we catch up with from time to time. We’re really keeping it simple!


  3. YAY! Congratulations! I didn’t even know you weren’t married, so the story twist is even a greater one for me! I love that photo. It says so much. The beauty and the simplicity all in one … the beauty of the scenery coupled with two people overlooking it. It coincides with the beauty of their union and how they made it so simple. 🙂 I feel so happy for you. I wish I was there to give you a big hug. HUGS!


    1. Thank you. The photographer’s assistant-wife snapped a couple of lovely pics for us using our point & shoot camera… the setting was so lovely it was impossible for them to not to be also 🙂


  4. Oh, EllaDee, I’m so happy for you. Have tears in my eyes. You have done exactly what I would do, were I in that situation at this stage of life. Please pass along my best wishes to the GO groom!


    1. Thank you. It was a truly special day, and we feel very fortunate we discovered Loving Images Photography’s package, which gave us just what we wanted 🙂 And whenever we visit Coffs we can revisit Diggers Beach and our memories of the day 🙂


  5. Oh My God…. I am so late to this. You actually did it? You tied the knot? You’re …married????
    -throws a bucket of confetti-
    I am so happy for you both. And that has to be one of the loveliest wedding photos of all time. -huge hugs-


  6. Congrats!! Wonderful. Wishing you both continued joy and happiness!

    I understand your thinking on this. My wife and I didn’t want “all that” either. Perhaps to the chagrin of some members of our families (and no doubt to the relief of others) we were married in a private ceremony in an empty chapel. Just us, our witnesses and the pastor. We couldn’t bear the thought of all the ceremonial trappings of most weddings–although I’m happy for those who do enjoy and desire that.


    1. Thank you. A private ceremony in a chapel would have been nice. For us, the beach location was simplest… and free, which a chapel wouldn’t have been. And yes, family reactions have been mostly happy but a smattering of relief, and a little chagrin 🙂


  7. Holy moly EllaDee, I’m so backed up I can’t see straight, was trying to go through my out of control inbox and *POW* found this, you’re married! Awesome! You guys seem still all gushy in love after all these years, like you’re made for each other or something ; ) Big, huge congratulations to you!!!


    1. Thank you. Not quite gushy, we realised we would actually like to be married but without all the fuss.
      I checked your blog about a week ago to see if I’d missed anything, and figured you were caught up in other things. Happy to see you 🙂


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