We were high school sweethearts. We met when we were 14, became best friends when we were 15 and started dating at 16.

We came to a point when we were in our early 20s, where we needed to have some time apart to figure out what we wanted in a partner and to make sure we weren’t just settling for each other because it was easy. We remained friends throughout this time and our mutual respect and love meant that we came out better for it. We love to adventure together. Since I retired from representing New Zealand in high jump, we’ve had more time to embark on some incredible travel. We recently walked the Great Wall of China and before that, we climbed Mt Fuji in Japan. Sam proposed to me at the top of Te Mata Peak on a trip to the Hawkes Bay. Because we’d been together for nearly 10 years, we only had a four month engagement, which was hectic but awesome, as it made us focus on what was most important to us and not get caught up in too much detail. The three main things that we wanted from our wedding day: to have as many of our friends and family there as possible; to cut the cake and have afternoon tea straight after the service so we could spend time with our guests before taking off for photos, and for our photos to reflect our personalities and last a lifetime. Oh, and also for Sam’s lovingly restored Land Rover to be the wedding car! We had a fleet of big, black Land Rover Defenders driving the bridal party around, which was pretty special. From the invites to the flowers, the overall look of the day was centred around reds, purples and gold. The amazing cake, which my bridesmaid Jazz created, incorporated figs, red orchids and gold leaf. A beautiful floral print and the concept of a circle as our symbol also influenced the overall look of the day. Red and gold are very Chinese colours, which is a big part of my heritage. Guests had come from seven different countries, so having the wedding in Auckland meant less to-ing and fro-ing for everyone. While we took photos in an apple orchard, our guests headed to our waterfront venue, The Wharf, where they could relax and enjoy champagne and a glorious sunset perched right on the edge of the harbour, which was the perfect way to kick off a night of partying. Sam wrote to me recently “I love doing life 100% with you” and that sums up marriage to us. It feels pretty awesome to be on this journey called life with your best friend.

Photography – Ruth Gilmour | Bride’s Dress – Halo Gown by Rue De Seine | Groom’s Suit – MJ Bale | Groom’s Shoes – RM Williams | Bride’s Shoes – Ted Baker | Flora – Zimzee Flowers | Ceremony Venue – The Community of St Luke, Remuera | Reception Venue – The Wharf | Bridesmaids Dresses – Lucidity Slip Dresses by Miss Crabb | Catering – The Collective | Gift Registry – Smith & Caughey’s | Hair & Makeup – Roisin at Rouge and Scout | Celebrant – Groom’s Uncle, Glynn Cardy | Rings – Mark Sokolich