You may have noticed a change in wedding trends over the past decade or two and wonder what style you fit into. It seems like more couples are re-evaluating the dynamics of a big traditional white wedding and what that all really means.
Hi, my name is Terri and I created The Dream Maker, an elopement specialist service. If I could have my wedding all over again, I know where I would put my budget, namely into escaping with the one I truly love to a once in a lifetime location. One can’t compare apples with apples, especially when the budget is involved. Every celebration is unique and should be dependent on what you can afford or are prepared to invest, rather than what you or any close influencer ‘thinks’ you ‘should’ do or pay for your big day.
Couples who choose to elope together or with a small close group of friends and family, do so for lots of reasons, You might have a complicated family dynamic, you might be getting married for the second time or be older and not want a big fuss or have an un-choppable guest list, or simply love to travel and want to put your budget towards experiencing a new location that might not come around again. The list is endless. Whatever the decision-making point might be, it’s a decision you make together, and the world is most definitely your oyster.
Of course, now that you have made up your mind, it’s just as important to create an unforgettable memory that can be shared with all your nearest and dearest at a later gathering.
So, to help you, I have put together a list of things you might want to consider and think about before making your fixed decision.
20 Elopement Tips that will make all the difference
Bonus tips: The tough stuff: When planning an elopement, we imagine all the ‘fluffy stuff’, but I would not be a professional wedding planner if I only told you about that, so here are a few things to add to your tick-off list:
Moonraker is a name given to the local folk of Wiltshire, England, at a time when smuggling was a significant industry. Wiltshire was situated right on the smugglers secret route between the South Coast and the center of England, where the demand was high for a scarce and special brew.
The story, that was handed down throughout the ages, tells of some local folk who had hidden contraband barrels of smooth French brandy from custom officers in a village pond. By the natural light of a full moon the folk tried to retrieve the beverage, but the revenue men came by on their horses while on their rounds for unsuspecting smugglers. Duty bound they asked the men what they were doing, who explained themselves, as they pointed to the full moon reflection rippling in the pond. In broad accent, they explained “Why, we are raking in that beautiful round cheese, officer!” The revenue men laughed at such stupidity and trotted on by the simple yokels. But with tongue in cheek the local men held their amusement in their bellies until they returned to the tavern to tell their tale. It was the moonrakers who had the last laugh; in the words of an anonymous Wiltshire-man who recounted the event to writer Arthur Granville Bradley: ” Zo the excizman ‘as ax’d ‘n the question ad’ his grin at ‘n….but they’d a good laugh at ‘ee when ’em got whoame the stuff.”
How Moonraker Way became Moonraker Way at Split Apple Bay seems a mystery. It’s a tiny road off Tokangawha Way (Maori name for Split Apple) to the head of the 5 minute walking track down to the beach and 10 to 15 minutes back up, depending on your fitness. Although it’s a short walk, it’s not recommended for bulky pushchairs or anyone who has difficulty walking, as its steep and slippery, and in places you have to find your way between man-made steps and protruding tree roots. Parking has also been banned from the small area above the track where you can drop off your beach bags and passengers, before returning to Tokangawha Way to park you car at your own risk.
The track runs a right of way through several private properties. At the bottom, before reaching the beach, there is a single drop latrine and no drinking water, so it is advised to relieve yourself before heading back up the hill and to carry plenty of drinking water with you.
We purchased the property as a block of bush, unimaginably steep in places, without a name, but the address was “11 Moonraker Way, Split Apple Rock, Kaiteriteri”. It seemed apt to name our tree top canopy house Moonraker, when we discovered the correlation between the number 11 and the famed James Bond movie “Moonraker“, which was the eleventh James Bond movie ever made in 1979.
Anyone looking for accommodation in the Split Apple Rock location, will find an abundance of options with ‘Split Apple’ in their name one way or the other. It seemed sensible to avoid the confusion that could be caused by using the same name and thus adding to the list. So we just tell people: “Keep going until you can’t go any further and see the rock.” From there it is easy to find a warm welcome to our tree top dwelling called Moonraker House.
Further information from Wikipedia:
Made of granite, it is in the shape of an apple which has been cut in half. It is a popular tourist attraction in the waters of the Tasman Sea approximately 50 meters off the coast between Kaiteriteri and Marahau.
The rock sits in shallow water at low tide and is accessible by wading. It is also a point of interest for the many tourist boats and pleasure craft which operate along the shores of the Abel Tasman National Park.
It was made by ice wedging.
The cleft to produce two sides of the ‘apple’ was a natural occurrence. It is unknown when this happened and therefore the cleaving of the rock has attracted mythological explanations.
The name Split Apple Rock was made official in 1988, and was officially altered to Tokangawhā / Split Apple Rock in August 2014
I pinch myself every day and inhale a big breath as I wonder how I came to this moment. It’s been one heck of a journey and I can’t pinpoint the beginning and can only imagine the end, if there is one, or simply just the next step.
Everything in my daily life is so very different from the emotions and sensations that go through me while I stand on the beautiful deck at Moonraker House today, overlooking the tree canopy onto what I believe is a world wonder. A large rock, like a big fossilized split dinosaur egg, or as it has become more commonly known Split Apple Rock, nestled neatly among smaller rocks, as they seem to float in the drifting sea. This special creation of Mother Nature sees thousands of visitors each year, who stop for a brief moment and take their pictures as a memory before moving onto the Abel Tasman National Park in the water taxis. Some visitors venture the steep windy track from the road to the beach, but from whatever angle you view the rock, there is no view quite like the one we have from Moonraker House.
The solid innate granite beauty is an ever changing canvas as the sun and moon rotate around from the east. The weather depicts the atmosphere, from shepherd’s delight to dark and moody, but whatever the weather, the view is always stunning and never exactly the same. The tide follows dutifully, depending on the magnetic draw of the full or crescent moon as it casts shadows and twinkling reflections as dramatized by the moonrakers themselves many years ago.
We boast that we are “so close that we can touch it” and started the trend to manipulate the camera as if to cusp the rock in our palm from the 9.5 meter high deck. As funny as this seems, it really is true. Only a minute from this deck and I am walking on the golden sand. Depending on the tide I can easily swim to the rock itself. Many fit and able people do venture in the water and have fun spanning themselves across the two halves of the apple. There is something so majestic about it, everything so bizarrely perfect, a beautiful natural backdrop so ancient, yet enjoyed on occasions as fresh as a marriage celebration, a symbol of new beginnings.
It’s a new beginning for Jim and me too. At last we see our dream fulfilled from the ‘wing it’ kind of way we live our life and we now open the doors to you, so you can see what I see and pinch yourself to realize it’s true. You are on a very special holiday!
Thanks for joining us!
We are here for such a short time, yet the memories we leave with, last a life time!