Charity and Peta’s Intimate Elopement at Goosewing Cottage

Charity and Peta’s elopement had all the ingredients needed for a fantastic day. A couple who weren’t afraid to be themselves, to do things their way, and to show the love they felt for each other. And it all came together in a fantastic setting. This beautiful elopement took place at Goosewing Cottage with photos by Cavanagh Photography.

After ending a long-term relationship, Sydney-sider Peta set off on an adventure of a lifetime, exploring the USA from coast to coast on a one-month-long Contiki Tour. Little did she know the American Trip Manager, Charity, would become her friend two weeks into the tour after a long chat in a blues bar in Memphis, Tennessee, followed by a tipsy dance in New Orleans the next day. One week later, late on a sweet southern night in Savannah, Georgia, after a long WWE-style wrestle back at the hotel, Charity asked Peta if she could kiss her, and we shared our first kiss, which was quickly cut short by the worst leg cramp Peta has had in her life! The start was a whirlwind!

The Contiki trip ended a week later, and it was not goodbye, but see you soon. We did not know what we felt or what we were, but we knew we could not be apart for too long. We face-timed from our separate travels and homes over the course of three months and fell in love through our conversations. Charity booked a flight from her travels in the UK to Sydney, and we officially became girlfriends, shared “I love yous,” and continued the bliss for one year of the long distance between the USA and Australia, meeting up in Hawaii every few months and some world travel together in-between. We made the most of living 12,000 Km apart.

They planned our final meet-up to begin their forever in one place on Dec 8th, 2018, in San Francisco. The plan was to spend the Christmas holidays with Charity’s family in California and travel the world together for a year before settling in one country. They both spoke about marriage and knew we had found the one in each other – our hearts knew before we even did all the way back on that Contiki tour. Family and friends had never seen them so happy!

Peta landed at SFO on Dec 8th, and we crash-tackled to the ground at the airport. Our forever began! After a few minutes of holding one another (still on the floor), sharing kisses, laughing, screaming, “You’re real!” We composed ourselves and stood up. Charity began a little nervous spiel and, after a few trial dips, eventually made it down on one knee and asked Peta, “Peta Jaye…Will you marry me?”. She pulled out an engraved compass with those words and opened it like a ring box. “YES, YES, YES’s” all around! We hugged, smiled, laughed, kissed more and more, and then Charity gave Peta a handmade matching necklace to hers that embodied the compass she presented, engraved with “My Greatest Adventure. My Forever. VIII.XII.MMXVIII”.

Charity’s family was hiding in the wings, as well as her photographer friend, who witnessed and captured the magical movie moment. They were drunk in love and almost forgot to pick up Peta’s luggage, but after doing so, they did a champagne cheer with loved ones in the airport car park and set off for a romantic weekend as new fiancé in the colorful hills of San Francisco.

After our year of travels, they settled down in the Northern Beaches of Sydney and began engaged life together with their first apartment, car, and many house plants.

We had initially planned a small wedding in November 2020 to be held in Maui, Hawaii, as this was as close to halfway as we could make it for our families – and well, it’s glorious Hawaii – but COVID had other ideas. We never really wanted a fancy occasion, but thought it would be a fun and once-in-a-lifetime way to have our family and friends meet for the first and potentially only time, but with the pandemic, this was squashed. In the end, it was for the best. In planning our wedding, we found that everyone had an opinion, and it was becoming less about us, uniting families and a celebration of our love, and more about the details of the event itself and criticism. We decided to cancel our wedding rather than continually postpone due to Covid. We never wanted a long engagement, and we were never “wedding people.” Ultimately, we love each other and want to be married.

After a camping trip at Barrington Tops with a couple of friends in mid-2020, they got talking about eloping in the Hunter Valley and stumbled across Goosewing Cottage in a magazine. They reached out, and the rest is history!

We are two women who love big with a lot of emotions to share, and we ended up having a lot to say on the day! So our ceremony went on for about 45 minutes. Our beautiful celebrant, Melanie Agnew-Fell of Hitched in the Hunter, made the preparation seamless and guided us when we needed it. We’d never been married, so we had no idea what we were doing! She sent us each a questionnaire and, based on our responses, created a beautiful, fun, humorous, emotional account of our relationship and brought us together as Mrs and Mrs in such a magical way. We could not have written our story so poignantly and honestly if we tried.

We wanted our ceremony to be in our style and words and true to us. We wrote our own vows and also personalized the exchanging of the rings. We were encouraged to focus on each other, the day, and our love, not the people around us, and we were totally immersed in each other and the moment. It was so special. Our eyes and hearts saw nothing else. We could totally be present to ourselves and one another. There were no distractions, and we were able to give all our attention to each other and each beautiful moment of the day without having to stress or worry about anyone else.

Dancing With Her Partner
& Rental | Decor Goosewing Cottage

Photography by Cavanaugh Photography

Cake Sugar Baby Vegan Cakes
Catering Wollombi Road Providore
Celebrant Hitched In The Hunter: Melanie Fell Agnew
Engagement & Wedding Rings Lovelle Jewellery
Florist Mayflowers Vintage Florist
H&MU Gloss Girl Bridal Story
Shoes Wild Bill’s Western Store, Western Boot Barn
Signage Laser & Pine
Venue & Rental | Decor Gooswing Cottage
Videographer Hunter Valley Video

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