Laura & Amit: forever 26th August
Updated: Aug 26, 2021
When Laura called me during lockdown last year, pleading to help her find a way to marry the love of her life on 26th August 2020, I felt so helpless. Given we were in the middle of a hard lockdown, and marriage was actually "illegal" under the tough Melbourne restrictions (with the exception of deportation or end of life circumstances, which thankfully we ruled out in this case) my hands were tied. I, nor anyone for that matter could marry them.
The 26th August as a date itself already had huge significance to Laura and Amit, and resultantly it was the date they chose to marry in Greece surrounded in their loved ones. Once the international borders were closed, and this was no longer an option for them, they didn't give up on the date, and instead booked to legally marry at the Victorian Marriage Registry, with the intention to 'marry now, party later.' The lockdown meant the registry was also closed on that date, forcing them to encounter another dead end. It was at this point I spoke to an almost desperate Laura who wanted to know if there was any way they could marry 'online' or over Zoom. This incredibly determined bride to be was not giving up! After I explained that online or Zoom weddings weren't an option here in Australia, we both hung up feeling deflated. It was obvious how much this meant to Laura and Amit and it wasn't in my nature to just let it go.
After some quick thinking, I called Laura back with a question: "If you bought a house, would you celebrate the day you move in to your house, or the day you signed the paperwork?"
Laura: "probably the day I moved in."
Shannon: "Then let's flip this, and consider 26th August 2020 'move in date' - I'll 'marry' you in a committment ceremony over Zoom, then we can sign the legal paperwork down the track when things open back up again. Each year, your sentimental anniversary will be forever: 26th August - the date that continues to bring you closer and closer each time it rolls around."
Laura: "let's do it."
And so the planning began.
But Laura and Amit are not the kind of couple to do things in halves. And with them, there was never going to be just a 'simple Zoom wedding.' With Laura and Amit's forethought, generous, and overtly loving natures, they levelled up the 'simple Zoom wedding' into the most personalised, intimate, emotionally charged memorable occasion I've ever been privy to.
An abundance of delivered flowers engulfed their apartment, candles scented the room, their favourite restaurant Uber-eated their way onto the romantically lit dinner table, champagne flowed and right on cue as Amit, dressed in his formal dinner suit, hit play on their chosen song, Laura floated out of the bedroom and down the hallway into the arms of her man looking like an absolute goddess of a bride. It was magical. Utterly magical and there was not a dry eye in their lounge room, nor mine.
Once we found ourselves out of lockdown, it was time meet up to sign the official paperwork ..... but given I'm a little like Laura and Amit - in the sense that I don't like to do things in halves either, we put our heads together to come up with a memorable, fun way to sign, to ensure that this wedding continued along the unique and personal agenda.
Laura and Amit in their spare time love hitting the water, and are keen Stand Up Paddle Boarders - a SUP wedding it was! They put full faith in me to curate a team to make it happen for them, and that we did! A magical sunrise elopement on the water, followed by a private beach breakfast - it doesn't get much better! And it's exactly what the gorgeous Laura and Amit deserved.
Happy Anniversary Laura and Amit - thank you for welcoming me into your lives. Thank you for being two of the most beautiful, loved up, genuine souls I've ever met. Thank you for truly living, loving and breathing "Que Sera Sera."
Forever: 26th August
Celebrant: Shannon Jeans
Elopement Photographer: Dan Brannan
Elopement Sunrise Picnic: Pop Up With Style
Location: Mornington Peninsula