When you’re “in the trenches” of life, that is, doing the work that you’re called to do you can sometimes have a restricted view. I know that for many times this year my view was restricted to that last disaster or problem or issue, and stretched as forward to “the next big thing” that I had to tackle. That’s business, that’s life, that’s how things roll.

So it’s really refreshing, and encouraging, to take some time out at this “gooch” time of the year and reflect on what 2015 was, what actually happened, and how 2016 is looking. I’m also lucky enough to do that with the girl I’m in the photo with above, Britt, she’s my everything!

The first thing you do while reflecting is look at the numbers. Britt and I have worked really hard this year, the hardest we’ve ever worked, and that’s reflected in our numbers. For example, this year 1106 couples have contacted us enquiring about an elopement and 682 couples contacted us about their wedding. These enquiries were for marriage parties in five countries, every state and territory in Australia, and three of those united states in America. After enquiring we chat and talk business and find out about availabilities and budgets and as a result of that, our company has played a massive part in 218 couples’ marriage celebrations. 436 people married. More than 800 families, and about 20,000 witnesses. It’s been an incredibly awesome year. 250,000 people have visited this blog and more than 60,000 people have visited our other web pages.

We’ve been on TV [link], radio [link] and in print [link – link – link – linklink] and even won an amazing ANZ small business competition [link].

We’ve flown 84,000 kilometres and only driven 46,000 kilometres to get to weddings, which is still only one third of the way to the moon. As nice as the moon could be, it’s been even better to be in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Melbourne, Maui in Hawaii, New York, Cairns, Hamilton Island, Swan Valley, Fremantle, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, the Sunshine Coast, Montville, Maleny, Toowoomba, the NSW Southern Highlands, and Bali this past year. We live on a truly glorious rock hurtling through space. I’m especially fond of the Manhattan part of the rock, can’t wait to see you again soon, Big Apple!

I’ve married people in music festivals, Pacific Islands, in wineries, wild river rapids, in historic buildings that we probably weren’t allowed to be in, on mountain tops and on the beach. There’s truly nowhere you can’t celebrate your union!

We’ve brought on staff plus we’ve also spent intimate time with other wedding business people helping them build their business because we believe that a healthy wedding industry means that everyone gets to have awesome marriage celebrations. Working on a professional level with so many talented and skilled people has clearly been one of the most enjoyable parts of our business. Shared passions ignite big things.

And despite all that, it means nothing compared to that intimate, special and spectacular time when two individuals marry. All of the Qantas frequent flyer points and all of the dollars and the Facebook likes in the world mean nothing if people aren’t finding their favourite humans and marrying them.

We really believe that marriage is the best thing that two people can do with their life. Not that it’s an all consuming thing that destroys the rest of your life, but the complete opposite, that your marriage would liberate and propel you to a new and better place than you could ever imagine. Because your relationships are what make you you. Without all those other people around you, you lose your identity and your passion, so your marriage is at the very point where you value your relationships and one in particular a little more than others. It’s a bloody good thing to do.

In 2016 we have plans and hopes to go bigger and better. I’m leading wedding business, photography and celebrancy workshops around Australia after the awesome experience I had speaking at the IAPWO conference in the USA this year. Plus, we’re re-branding the The Pop-Up Wedding Co. to The Elopement Collective. One day soon that second link will go live.

So here’s to the lovers, and the people that help them celebrate! I hope you enjoy a sneak peek into our 2015 of #marriedbyjosh 🙂