Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

I won’t ever forget meeting Corey because he was unlike any boy in bar I’d ever met before. He let me sass him; about his career, his age, his outfit and he seemed to enjoy it. I sassed him and he charmed me and it was history from then on. Bethany loves to talk and Corey listens, Corey loves to watch movies and Bethany loves to create constant interruptions. We are totally the yin to each others yang and it just somehow works for us.

Corey loves playing any type of sport and Bethany loves playing full stop, someone told her at a really young age that the best way to grow up was to hold onto your inner child and they’re words she lives by. We are both fiercely loyal when it comes to our loved ones and having a shared appreciation and passion for family has been a real corner stone for our relationship. We both come from really loving and supportive families and in turn we have an awesome foundation for this little family that we are creating together. Corey works in the ADF and Bethany works with children’s organisations that support children and families in the community who need extra support and care (Performability, Kookaburra Kids, Starlight Children’s Foundation).

Primarily because of work, we have had a long-distance relationship for the best part of 4 years. This is has been, I want to say equally as rewarding as it has been challenging but the honest truth is, it is challenging. But the lessons and the learning that come from the challenges are invaluable. We have learnt so much about love, about relationships, ourselves and life. We have watched each other grow as people and together as a couple and it is really special to be so proud of something and someone as we are with our relationship because it hasn’t been easy but it has been worth it, a million times over. I think our marriage was a really special part of that because despite the missing and yearning for your person that comes with the territory of distance there is also this unwavering commitment to each other and it is ever present, in morning and sweet dreams texts, In skypes and in making the most of every second we get when we are together. I think road-trips and exploring would have to be in our top 5 most loved things; from the driving, the singing, the stories, the surfing, exploring, camping, the sunsets, the hour long games of eye spy. There really is nothing like a good road trip to get us seriously excited. I think for both of us, life is about celebrating the good, embracing the silly, making the most of the fun and ensuring you are supported and cared for when you need it.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…

We didn’t ever have a discussion about a ‘theme’ or aesthetic for the day. We eloped and so in essence the day was totally about us and the style of the day, if there was one was just totally reflective of who we are, individually and together. It was laid back and pretty casual, which is right up Corey’s alley and it was colourful and celebratory which is totally Bethany’s thing. We used old colourful rugs that Bethany found somewhere at her mums for the ceremony, some bunting from her decoration box and whatever else she could find to make the space feel special. I think we were super lucky because the Airbnb really did everything for us, it was so much cooler than we could have ever ‘styled’ it.

From the chicken coop, to the colourful mural on the brick wall in the backyard, the velvet blue couch, record player, so many indoor plants – it really was everything we could have hoped for and meant all the hard work was done for us. We did really get a kick out of feeding the chickens in the morning and then getting married in front of their little home a few hours later.It was the perfect location for a laid back but seriously groovy elopement in the heart of Sydney’s Inner West. The Airbnb was perfect and our witnesses/best mates spoilt us. We hadn’t planned flowers or a flower crown for Bethany, Gina just showed up with them. She was adamant that Bethany needed a bouquet and so she had gone to the Newcastle Flower Markets the days before, made the bouquet and flower crown herself.

We were totally spoilt and in every way. Gina and Josh came up the night before and the 4 of us spent the night drinking wine, listening to records, watching Josh try and keep up with the Jane Fonder pregnancy workout record which is an image we will never ever forget and playing board games. It was just 4 mates having an awesome time, in an incredible house the night before big old love fest.We tried to keep everything as easy and relaxed as possible which made us love and enjoy our day that much more. There was no stress, it was chilled and relaxed, we were laughing, Bethany was crying, the excitement and anticipation was there.

Tell us about your main outfits:

To go hand in hand with the relaxed theme of our elopement, we used outfits we either already had or hired. We wanted to be comfortable, Bethany wanted to feel beautiful, of course but the day was really just totally about the act of marriage itself, as opposed to the glamour surrounding it. Bethany found address she really loved on a dress hire site and that was that, a 4 day loan did the trick and Corey wore pants he already had, bought a linen shirt that he loved the feel of and we were set. It was hilarious looking through the photos, we were so laid back that Corey’s phone is in his pocket for half of them and he totally forgot to take his watch off but that’s him and in a way even those details added to the outfits. Just totally comfortable and us. Actually, Corey did ask to wear thongs and the only way Bethany could get him in shoes was with the temptation of ‘Happy Socks’, he absolutely would have gone thongs if he thought Bethany would have let him get away with it.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

Eloping was nothing something Corey or I (Bethany) had ever planned for or talked about, actually we had planned a wedding for the end of the year, in the summer, at Bethany’s dream location and life (The defence force, work etc) got in the way as it does from time to time and one thing led to another and Corey suggested an elopement. It was more perfect than I think either of us could ever have imagined. I think marriage means something different to so many people these days, for both of us our marriage really was about that unwavering commitment to each other. The promise to stand at each others sides and to love unconditionally.

Bethany is emotional as the best of times, Master Chef, RSPCA ads, bad jokes but I don’t think she’s ever been more emotional than on our wedding day. Looking back, there is no way we could have experienced such a raw, emotional, authentic and honest wedding ceremony any other way than how we did through eloping. We were able to be totally indulgent and selfish, without having to worry or consider anyone else or anything else it became this really intimate and intensely emotional ceremony and I don’t think either of us have experienced the height of emotions we felt on the day. There literally was nothing else to think about except for our commitment and love for each other, it was intense. Neither of us
could wipe the smiles, the laughter and for Bethany, the tears from our faces. It was perfect, ugly sobbing and all. The speeches/vows were a real highlight for us too, it was the perfect mix of cheeky and witty, and honest and emotional – between the 4 of us we went from laughing to crying to hugging and it was just fun and easy!

Ben, our photographer was also a massive part of our day. As we did chose to elope it was really important to both of us that we captured the day, in all of it’s realness so that we could in some way share it with our loved ones. Ben was all over it and so much fun and easy to work with. It was silly and fun and sexy and exciting, something totally foreign for both of us but such a core component to our elopement experience. We had actually contacted Kings of Thieves for our planned wedding way before we decided to elope and he was already booked out so when we decided to elope and he was available it was like the stars aligned and not only did we get to celebrate our marriage in the most intimate and magical way possible but we had the most epic photographer and person there with us on the day to capture it.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

Bethany:Don’t compare. I think comparing yourself, your love or your lives to others is such a trap, especially in the social media crazed world we are a part of now because there is no right or wrong. Everyone is so unique and no relationship is the same. Having done long distance for the best part of 4 years, we’ve been surrounded by couples share similar but who are also in really different circumstances and it’s so clear that there really is no one size fits all, there is no universal perfect but there is what is right and perfect for you and for your partner and it’s so important to follow that heart, your heart and hearts and do what is right for you not what might be right for someone else. I think following your true self and honouring what your relationship needs to foster love and growth is really empowering, just do you, you know.

Corey:I guess you could say after doing a long distance relationship for 4.5 years we have been lucky and unlucky. Lucky because I don’t think you can
fully get to know someone really well unless you are on the phone to them every single night between 1-3 hours. You find yourself talking about the most random things and all you can do is listen to that person and find out every detail about them and there lives which i think is very special. Not only that, you find out how dedicated and trustworthy the other person is and see to what extent that person is willing to go to be with you and if it is true love then the relationship can get through anything. Obviously the bad part is being physically away from the person you love but that just makes the time you have together that much more special.

Photographer: Kings & Thieves | Venue: Airbnb | Celebrant: Kendra Herron | Flowers: Self-made from Newcastle Flower Markets | Cake: Home-made | Brides Dress: Hired from GlamCorner – Brand: ‘We are Kindred’ | Grooms Shirt: Sportscraft | Grooms Pants: Academy Brand | Grooms Socks: Happy Socks |Grooms Shoes: Conner | Engagement Ring: Clayfield Jewellery | Brides Wedding Band: Infinity Rings | Grooms Wedding Band: Northern Royal | Brides shoes: Pre-owned | Grooms Watch: Garmin | Brides Earrings: Esty Shop-Modern Gold| Gina’s Dress: Mister Zimi | Gina’s Shoes: Mimco | Josh’s Shirt: Institchu | Josh’s Pants: Ralph Lauren | Josh’s Shoes: Julius Marlow

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