Kyle and I met at school and began dating after we graduated, before moving to Wellington, so we have grown up together. The proposal happened on our 10th anniversary, just before we flew to Rarotonga for a holiday…

We went for an afternoon walk around the Makara Hills and I didn’t expect a thing, although I was bemused by Kyle taking a backpack with him. We stopped to take in the view and when Kyle put his arm around me I could feel him shaking. He pulled out a beautiful black diamond ring and I was so surprised! The suspicious backpack turned out to be a bottle of champagne on ice. It was so lovely to then go away to Rarotonga and celebrate our engagement. Our wedding day was on our 11th anniversary, and it was the best party we had ever thrown. We wanted a location that would make our guests feel as though they had been whisked away to somewhere exotic, reminiscent of 1960s Palm Springs. We found an amazing mid-century hotel in Whangarei that looked like it was straight out of a Slim Aarons picture. We booked out the entire hotel so we could be surrounded by friends and family in the days surrounding the wedding. I am a photographer and stylist, and Kyle develops apps, so we are both highly visual, detail-oriented people who get disappointed when things aren’t perfect. We planned our wedding so that we just needed a few functional elements, which helped minimise stress on the day. The Palm Springs, high-low theme ran throughout the weekend, with Veuve Clicquot served in vintage crystal champagne floats and Garage Project beer straight from the can. We were both quite unnerved by the idea of a stranger acting as our celebrant, so we asked our best friend, Monique, to become a registered marriage celebrant, and kept that a secret right until the moment when she changed from her bridesmaid attire into her military uniform. Our fathers met for the first time on our wedding day, and by the end of the night they were showing off their best moves on the dance floor together. Having been in a committed relationship for over a decade, our marriage doesn’t feel different day-to-day, but we both feel proud to introduce each other as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’. The excitement of a wedding is fleeting, and having a solid foundation of love, respect and friendship is more important than a change in status.

Photography—Kate MacPherson and Jo Wickham | Location—The Whangarei Quarry Gardens, Whangarei | Bride’s dress—Custom Soontariya Utto |Groom’s attire—Custom Working Style, Brooks Brothers shirt, custom pocket square | Bride’s watch—Vintage |  | Makeup—Josie Wignall | Hair—Lauren Gunn, Colleen  | Bridesmaid’s dresses—Custom- made, vintage and Ruby | Grazing table—The Forest Cantina | Celebrant—Monique Jellick | Coffee cart—Mt Atkinson Coffee | Rings—Tory & Ko (hers) – Sarah and Sebastion (his)| Groomsmen’s accessories—Armani, Country Road, custom Liberty pocket squares | Bride’s earrings—Holly Ryan | Tie clips, buttonholes, clutches & bridesmaids’ earrings—All vintage |  | Groomsmen’s attIre—Brooks Brothers, Country Road, Barkers | Groom’s shoes—Country Road | Cake—Little & Friday donuts | Special song—‘Heroes’David Bowie | Dinner—Dixie Barbecue | DJ—Mike Steffens