Anni and Josh's love story began in 2015 and from that moment they knew that living in different countries wasn't going to get in the way. They defied all odds of loving each other long distance, and now know that love is not bound by distance, it goes hand in hand with trust. After their original plan of a wedding in Finland not going ahead, they knew that the most important thing was to have a day that was a true representation of them, so with just three friends to witness, they eloped.
Join us as Anni and Josh share their favourite moments from their small but special day, how their love story unfolded in two separate countries and tips for future brides choosing to elope.
Wedding date: 14.06.2021 (our 6th anniversary as a couple)
Location: Ceremony at Royal National Park, afterwards pizza at Bella Brutta in Newtown followed by gelato at Cow and the Moon in Enmore
Venue: No official venue due to eloping but locations above
Can you tell us a little bit about your love story? Where did it all begin?
Our love story began here in Sydney in 2015. Josh, originally from the UK, was here travelling and Anni, who grew up and was living in Finland, was visiting Australia for Christmas to see family and friends here. We went on a few dates before Anni flew back to Finland. After that we stayed in touch and ultimately did long distance for two years before Josh moved to Finland so we could finally be together in the same country. A few years later we moved to Australia together, to the place where it all started. This is where we then got married last year. Our story is definitely not a usual one and we defied all odds which makes us even more sure that it is meant to be.
Josh, tell us about the moment you realised Anni was the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with...
The moment I realised Anni was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with was the first time I told her that I love her. This was when Anni was visiting me over my travels, a few months after we had officially started dating. I knew that in front of Anni I didn’t have to try and be anything or anyone else than what I am and we both felt completely at ease in each other’s company. In that moment I knew I would always love her.
Where and when did you get married - tell us a little about your day?
We got married in June 2021 in the Royal National Park. We were originally planning to have a big wedding in Finland but changed our plans due to the way the world is at the moment. For us the most important thing was to get married and have a day that was a true representation of us, so we eloped with just three close friends present. We had a simple but beautiful ceremony on the cliffs in the national park, followed by a picnic and some whale watching. We didn’t have a reception but instead just went out for pizza and gelato, some of our favourites, in Newtown in all our fancy wedding gear.
What was the highlight?
The highlight of the day for us was to be in a beautiful location with each other, being in nature with each other and seeing whales passing by as we read out our vowes to each other. Everything felt right and peaceful, there was nowhere else we were meant to be in that moment.
For future brides, what is one tip you can give them Anni?
My tip for future brides is to go back to basics and think about what is truly important. Don’t get caught up in the details and if it feels right, throw traditions in the wind. Do your own thing and have fun. After all, you and your husband- or wife-to-be are the only people who matter on that day, at the end of which you will be married. There is nothing more important than that.
Tell us about your NMJ rings, what did that process look like? What drew you to Natalie Marie for your wedding pieces?
Anni had admired the style and pieces of Natalie Marie Jewellery for years, before marriage was even on the table for us. What drew us to the design of these pieces was the simplistic yet original beauty, the clean lines and exceptional craftsmanship. After Josh proposed with a beautiful family heirloom engagement ring that features an old cut diamond from his Nan with whom he had a close relationship, it was always clear that we would get our wedding bands from Natalie Marie. Getting wedding bands from a place in Sydney also meant a lot to us since this is where our story started. Anni had always liked the look of the crown rings and went for a custom Evelyn Crown to compliment the engagement ring. Josh wanted something simple but original so he chose the Organic Band which reminded him of flowing water and the ocean. As a little surprise, Anni had a small hidden diamond set in the inside of his band.
At NMJ, at the heart of everything we do is love. Tough question, but tell us, what do you know about love?
While this can be a tough question, for us it feels surprisingly easy to answer. Love is not bound by distance, it goes hand in hand with trust and when it is meant to be, there is always a way to make it work. For us, love is easy and simple, it is effortless. We know that when you meet the person you are meant to be with, it already feels like they have always been there and to not have them in your life would mean a piece of you is missing.
P/C: Amber Wynn Jones