Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship?

We met each other in both of our first weeks in London over six years ago. We went on two dates (picnic in a park and a gig in Camden) and by the third date I (Laura) had taken my bags around to Toby’s flat and essentially never left (almost like our very own married at first sight). We got engaged four years later during a trip to New York. Toby’s proposal was next level incredible; he had a plaque custom made and snuck out in the middle of the night and erected it on a park bench seat over looking  the Hudson River and took me there the following morning where he got down on one knee. The plaque is still there today!

Our relationship moved quickly, as from the get go it just felt right. It’s cliché I know, but we are just great ol’ mates first and foremost – we have fun and party together right through to sitting in silence and enjoying each other’s company. We love to travel and see the world together. We are currently on a six-month honeymoon through Asia (writing this from the beach in Sri Lanka). We love music and attending the many great festivals across the globe. We are also very lucky to have such a great group of mates and love hanging out with them whenever and where ever we can.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style, tell us about the some of your favourite details:

We had a little bit of a hiccup in the lead up to our wedding. Six days before our wedding day an unfortunate cyclone hit Nelson and literally washed away both our ceremony location and reception venue. It didn’t end up being the relaxed lead up to the big day as we had hoped, but in the end we think it worked out much better than we had originally planned.

It’s funny how things play out and it ended up being such a humbling experience as friends, family and all our wonderful vendors did whatever they could to help us get our big day over the line. We were lucky enough to have the amazing and beautiful owners of Lancewood Villa, Alister and Fiona, invite us to hold both the ceremony and reception at their venue.

It is an incredible space and really resonated with us both as  he property is nestled in amongst olive groves, surrounded by native trees and over looking the upper Moutere valley. On site is a wonderful old, rustic barn in which we made a focal point for our reception part of the day to hold our speeches and kick a** dance floor.

As a way to say thank you to Lancewood Villa for helping us during a time in need we had all of our guests join us in planting a native tree each which was very special. This area is now called ‘Laura and Toby’s Wedding forest’ at the venue and the legacy of the day will live on forever.

We both love the outdoors and simplicity and therefore this became the basis for our wedding styling.  We didn’t have a sit down style wedding as we wanted the most relaxed vibe for both ourselves and guests. Our caterer Matais prepared the most scrummy and fresh Argentinian street food from his food truck which meant guests could take what they wanted to eat (ceviche, tacos, smoked meats, salads) when they wanted to eat and sit wherever they liked. We had wooden chairs and hay bales scattered around for guests to sit and relax and enjoy the food, drinks and company.

Our florist Twigg foraged all of the greenery, succulents and flowers he used for the bouquets and arrangements he curated (and wow, these were to die for). The setup of the wedding and the warmth of the barn meant that the wedding felt so intimate.

You could feel the magic in the barn during the speeches; friends and family sitting close together on hay bales, the greenery hanging from the rafters in amongst draped lighting, the old wooden walls of the barn and the saw dust floor just set the scene. It’s safe to say that majority of our guest were barefoot and ‘fancy free’ in time for the dance floor.

Tell us about your main outfits:

Laura: I knew that I wanted to wear a dress from the Daughter of Simone range – I am in awe of their collection. My dress spoke to me as soon as I tried it on in London, seriously! I am obsessed with bohemian style anything and everything, so it was a no brainer that my wedding dress would be of this style. I loved everything about my dress from the tear drop crochet lace, the subtle mid-drift showing a hint of skin, the cupped sleeves and off the shoulder elegance. I kept everything else simple, a pair of nude heels and some gold and diamond droplet earrings.

Toby: Due to me working in the start up industry, I have never owned a suit or worn a tie, so getting all dressed up was very new to me. Laura and I were very lucky to be the only guests at two of our great friends weddings in the Greek Islands early in 2017. The groom wore a dashing Hugo Boss suit that I thought looked amazing. So I went straight into Hugo Boss the following week and settled on a dark blue suit, white shirt and no tie. I wore Barkers shoes.

What were some of the most memorable / unique moments from your day?

We absolutely loved heading away with our wedding party in a big people mover to take photos. It was a special moment with some of our best friends, where you can joke, laugh and catch your breath after the build up of the ceremony. Both sides of our bridal party knew each other well too so it was just a big group of mates hanging out.

When the speeches were over, Super Bad Soul band took over and turned it to a good old barn party, ties were off, shirts were off and we danced away to the timeless beats of Prince, Michael Jackson, Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls. The band were all time and capped off the day / night with such amazing energy.

But our absolute most favourite part of the day was when we both went off with Tim our photographer to take some photos and have some down time just the two of us around sunset. It gave us a chance to just be with one and other and have a couple of wines overlooking the Moutere valley, soaking up the wonders of the day. The day is over in a flash and so it really was special to just have 45 minutes away from it to just spend time with your best friend (that’s what the day is really about right?!).

Any advice for other couples planning on spending the rest of their lives together?

Haha considering we are only just newly-wedded ourselves… we would say keep the simplicity and be best buds, it really does help. Oh, and go have fun!

Photographer: Tim Williams | Ceremony and reception location: Lancewood Villas, Upper Moutere, Nelson | Celebrant: Rachel Craig | Entertainment: Superbad | Styling: Bride, Balencia Lane | Vintage/rustic hire company: GK Events Hire | Flora: Twigg Art | Catering: Viva La Vaca | Baked goods: Family | Hair: Kelly Vercoe | Makeup: Kendyl Fouhy | Wedding dress: Daughters of Simone | Earrings: Zoe & Morgan | Groom’s suit: HUGO BOSS | Groom’s shoes: Barkers | Bride’s engagement and wedding ring: Digby and Iona | Groom’s wedding band: William Cheshire