Yes, folks, at the age of 62 and 53 respectively, Peter and I are “eloping” to Hawaii. While the true meaning of the word “elope” is to run away, we have the full blessing of our immediate family and close friends.
I felt compelled to finally break the news after reading an article by Melinda Ham in today’s Sun-Herald, entitled, “Big Day Becomes A Foreign Affair.” According to Ham, couples are increasingly choosing to celebrate their “big day” overseas as they can afford to have the “wedding of their dreams” at a fraction of the cost. Does marrying in a 15th century town hall, then trooping down the hill to a mediaeval castle overlooking the sea, sipping on wine and drinking canapés while listening to a jazz band, sound like your thing? No problem! Are baby tigers and fire dancers more your style? No sweat! Does the poet in you crave a wall of fresh blooms for your ceremony backdrop, the heady scent permeating every square inch of your memory bank? Done! Costing at an average price of $15K for the privilege, a fairytale wedding of these proportions would cost triple and quadruple that if you married in Australia.
As for Peter and I, baby Bengals, fire eaters, medieval villages and Tuscan villas for our wedding day leave us cold; they reek of all the stress and drama of a Cecil B. DeMille production. We’ve been together for 12 years and we’ve both been married before. We know all too well that a wedding does not a marriage make.
Instead, we have chosen to get married in the late afternoon on a deserted beach, in the small town of Hana, on the island of Maui (Hawaii). Why Hana? For Peter and I, it is akin to sacred ground. The date? I’m not giving that one away so easily. It’ll be some time in September. You’ll just have to watch this space.
At our wedding, there will be no guests either. It’ll be just Peter and I, our Hawaiian celebrant, CJ, and our witnesses and friends, Chris and Jacques. I can’t tell you what I’ll be wearing. I haven’t even bought my dress yet. I’m not fussed. As for shoes, I’ll have no need for them. We’ll be barefoot on the sand. The rings? We’re picking them up there too. All I've chosen is my bouquet, which is a collection of native tropical blooms. As for the boys, they will be wearing fresh flower leis around their necks. As far as coordinating it all was concerned, it was a piece of cake. I left it all to Alana Ross of Hana Wedding Company. The total bill for our hassle-free, no-stress, no-drama wedding? $1700.
As for our respective children and their spouses, they’ll be banding together to toast our big day back in Sydney. We’ll have our “reception” with them at home on our return, with lots of good food to eat, wine to drink, and stories to tell. And with all the money that we’ve saved on not having a lavish wedding celebration, we plan on taking them all on a family holiday to Hawaii in 2015. Now, doesn’t that sound a lot more enjoyable!