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Britt + Josh: an intimate vow renewal

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Britt and Josh, the beautiful couple behind The Elopement Collective, recently whisked themselves away to New Zealand to renew their vows, with the talented Heart and Colour in tow to capture the moment. And here they share their journey, and why they wanted to commit themselves to each other all over again.

How did you meet? Josh: I tell my friends that Britt listened to my radio show everyday and developed a massive crush on me. The truth is she’s just the nicest human alive and when I left that radio station she contacted me on Facebook to thank me for entertaining her on the way to work each morning. Five years later, after becoming and being good friends for that time, I confessed to her that I was in love with her! Britt: What Josh said. After five years of pure friendship, Josh told me that he’d been in love with me for that time and five weeks later we were engaged. It sounds insane now, but it felt very organic.

How did your partner propose? Josh: This is the least romantic but most meaningful thing I’ve ever done. We were walking down the esplanade in Cairns and I proposed what I thought was a great idea: let’s hang out together! Britt felt it was a bit of a lukewarm suggestion so I accepted her challenge and asked her to marry me!

Do you remember your wedding day? What was it like? Josh: Our wedding day was perfectly us. In a park, with a small handful of family and an even smaller handful of friends, and we partied into the night at Britt’s father’s property. It was simple, elegant, and meaningful. Britt: Our wedding was amazing. I remember one of my bridesmaids asking me if I was happy, because on the morning of the wedding I was so darn calm that it freaked her out. I remember just wanting to marry Josh and be his wife – the rest of the stuff didn’t bother me too much and I knew that it would all fall into place. We focused on the things we prioritised, like photography, food and good music, and forgot about the rest.

Why did you feel you wanted to renew your vows? What did it mean to you? Josh: We see our vows as a fluid statement of where we’re going; a vision for us as a couple moving forward. And although some things are timeless, other things change. So we want to forever be renewing our commitment to each other, mapping a path forward into eternity. Britt: I have always seen marriage as a living, breathing organism – something that grows as you grow and add to it along the way. I want to always make sure that I’m renewing and refreshing our life and time together. There’s nothing wrong with taking a moment out of the “ordinary” life that we all lead to stop, come together and express how you feel.

What values have you cultivated through your marriage that you wanted to celebrate as part of your renewal? Josh: We equally love celebrating the moments whilst acknowledging that our marriage is more than a moment – it’s a process. So in a practical sense that means stopping and smelling the roses, and perhaps even having photos made of that moment, but not getting lost in the destination and forgetting the journey. Britt: I look back at our wedding photos and they feel so foreign to me. I see two kids who had absolutely no idea that they would end up where they are – not even in our wildest dreams would we have thought that life would have lead us here. I wanted to not only celebrate Josh, but also update our walls with photos that spoke to where we are now. Our style, marriage and life has brought us to a different place and we wanted to celebrate that.

How did you go about planning your renewal, as opposed to your wedding? Josh: Our renewal was far easier to plan. It was just us, an afternoon of us. And we know us really well so we just went with that and let Heart and Colour take us on a drive around the Wanaka countryside. Britt: Bek and Phil from Heart and Colour are our closest friends and have seen us through a lot of our ups and downs. They are the ones who understand us the best and saw why we wanted to renew our vows. We gave them full creative control – and when you let creatives be creative, you get pure magic!

Did you feel the same emotions on the day of your renewal? Josh: Well everyday I’m feeling more in love with, and more loved by, Britt, so our renewal was another level on that. Britt: It was much more emotional for me than our wedding day. As cliche as it sounds, your wedding is such a blur of expectations, timelines and “traditions” – our vow renewal in New Zealand was a beautiful afternoon spent with Josh and our friends taking photos and reading a letter to each other.

Tell us about the vows – how did being married for a number of years impact your vows the second time around? Josh: I borrowed from our original wedding vows a little but I didn’t ignore that we’re better today than we were on our wedding day. We know each other better, we communicate better, and our relationship is stronger. Britt: I feel that as each year of marriage rolls around, there is a deeper level of love, commitment and friendship – I wanted to celebrate that. Our vow renewal was the perfect opportunity to stop, be thankful and commit to the future based on something, rather than two kids in pretty clothes who were so busy planning their wedding that they may not have realised that marriage is a massive change. I can safely say that I am more in love with Josh now than I was on September 7 2012.

What are your continued goals for your marriage? Josh: We just want to be better together, and to change the world for the better. That’s not too much to ask is it? Britt: Kids, business and travel – these things will come. My goal for my marriage is that we will continue to work out life as a team. No-one warns you about this before you get married – how hard it is learning to let someone else into your world. Being in love, and allowing yourself to be in love is the most liberating thing on the planet – getting to let someone into the messiness of your world is one of life’s gifts. Where else can you be so unbearable with someone? I am learning that this only works if you have their best interests at heart and vice versa. It’s a beautiful life long lesson that I’m so excited to get to be a part of.

Would you plan more renewal ceremonies in the future? Josh: I always want to be renewing our marriage. In business I take a “forever newbie” stance acknowledging that I don’t know everything and today I probably know even less than I did yesterday, so I approach each day as a fresh learning experience. I’m always trying to take that attitude into our marriage as well so that we can be that really old disgusting couple making out and holding hands at a coffee shop every morning. Britt: We’re good for now, but never say never. At the moment, we’re too busy planning everyone else’s – it’s a good spot to be in!

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