We went traveling for a year in 2013, after being together for seven years. I think we both knew at that point we wanted to get married, and when New Zealand passed the marriage bill it consolidated that! I proposed to Liv on the Amalfi Coast, we were staying in a little apartment overlooking the water and because it was only a one-bedroom place I made her take a bath while I prepared a surprise (or not so surprise) dinner… Four hours later she came out wrinkled as a prune, I proposed, she said yes. Then about eight weeks later when we were in Paros in Greece, we took our scooter to a secluded beach, climbed up a mountain and Liv asked me to marry her.
We didn’t want an extravagant celebration as that isn’t really us, so we booked the local lifesaving club and decided to do a lot of it ourselves. We ended up having 60 guests.
Olivia’s sister Hannah was an amazing help. We gave her free rein with decoration with helpful hints like “lots of flowers,” “lights” and “garden-like” and she did the rest. We were so amazed at what was created when we turned up on the day! Liv’s mum created the amazing flower arrangements, which were perfect, and my family hand-squeezed buckets of lemons for our homemade lemonade. I made our three wedding cakes, which doubled as dessert, and Liv crafted a ‘cake’ of cheese for the savoury fans.
I think in the end it was all the handmade touches and our family and friends’ contributions to the day that meant the most. Everything that made the day come together was due to one of the guests, which was really special.
Another amazing part of our day was after a freezing Wellington southerly, the wind completely disappeared, which allowed us to set off some fireworks and light lanterns on the beach – a really great way to end the night.
A homemade, affordable wedding is definitely doable, but our advice would be to get friends and family to help out. Taking photos before the ceremony was also really good (even if our hair was a little crazy after two hours of photos in an epic Wellington southerly!). And be very organised if making your own cakes – I was up at 7am on our wedding day piping passionfruit mascarpone onto my third cake!