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

I am a nutritionist and Chris is an Electrician – we met in January 2010 while I was at University in Wellington and Chris was flatting with my older brother. Later that year I moved home to Hawkes Bay and the rest is history!

Chris proposed in the most perfect way, he had organised a “date night” in December – a couple of days before our 6-year anniversary and on our way home from dinner, instead of heading home he drove us out to our campsite in the Waipatiki forest, somewhere that has lots of special happy memories from childhood summers spent camping there. When we arrived, there were thousands of fairy lights lit up that Chris had hung all through the huge pines – and a rug, cushions, flowers and bottle of champagne waiting in the middle!

Chris had pinned notes to each of the trees and led me around each of them, when I got to the last one I turned around to see him down on one knee. It could not have been more perfect! Chris gave me a ring he had designed using the diamonds from his parents wedding rings – Chris’ father passed away when he was very young, so it feels very special and sentimental to wear those diamonds everyday.

That following year we bought our first home, adopted a puppy, planned the wedding and got married!

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…

We wanted a venue and vibe where we could be relaxed, lots to drink, a great band and our friends and family to celebrate with. I have been camping in the forest at Waipatiki my whole life so it’s already a place with a lot of special memories that we wanted to add to, and given Chris proposed there – we knew it was the perfect location for us. I wanted the styling to be simple and organic– where we could look back on photos in years to come and they wouldn’t feel outdated.

We kept things simple with lots of greenery and beautiful native tables and chairs to help create the relaxed feel we were after and to tie into the natural bush that surrounds the campsite.

The bouquets were by the amazing Toni at Magdalen Hill – we only had a few emails back and forth, where I explained what I wanted and she came through with the goods! She made the process so easy and the flowers were more beautiful than I could have imagined. She used nuts, pods and native foliage, as well as eucalyptus and pepper tree to give a contemporary edge.

The cake! Ash (Buttercream & Blooms) is one talented woman! She was so excited when I told her I didn’t want a white cake and the end product was stunning – and delicious!

Tell us about your main outfits:

It took me a little while to decide on what style of dress I wanted, I ended up deciding on the complete opposite that I had in mind! I went with a Made With Love tulle skirt, which I had my dressmaker add a split to – to make it a bit more casual and fun, as well as creating a bodice to go with the skirt. The dress wasn’t made until the week of the wedding and I actually never had a final fitting – the first time I tried on the finished dress was the wedding day!

I wanted all of my bridesmaids to feel beautiful on the day so they were all really involved in the process of choosing bridesmaid dresses as well as each choosing their own hair and make up, which all varied to suit their tastes.

Chris’s decision was easy – he wanted classic black and white, with all the boys in bowties. The morning of the wedding he realised he had forgotten his belt so all the groomsmen had to go without – and our celebrant had to sew a button back on one of the groomsmen’s shirt 10 minutes before the ceremony!

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

The ceremony! We truly thought we just wanted to rush this part and get to the party. We aren’t people who love the limelight so the thought of standing up there made us both quite nervous! But I’m so glad our celebrant, Nichola, told us not to rush this part as it was truly our favourite part of the day. I just remember not being nervous at all – just so excited to each other!

Another favourite part was when our photographer, Meredith, whisked us off down to the beach at sunset. It was so nice to have some time out just the two of us – she had us dancing on the beach (and Chris singing!) with the most amazing sunset behind us.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

Pick somewhere special and keep it simple. Mum’s advice to us was “It’s a party, not a performance, and as long as at the end of the night you are married and on the dance floor, then it’s been a success”, and that couldn’t be more true. Throughout the whole process we kept true to what the day was all about – to be married and celebrate with our closest friends and family.

Photographer: Meredith Lord | Ceremony location: Redwoods at Waipatiki Beach | Reception location: Waipatiki Motor Camp | Celebrant: Nichola Nicholson | Entertainment: Naked Gun | Flora: Magdalen Hill | Catering: John Dransfield | Cake: Buttercream and Blooms | Hair: Rachel Haworth | Makeup: Missy Mu | Wedding skirt: Made With Love Bridal | Groom and groomsmen’s attire: Hallensteins | Rings: Richard James Jeweller | Earrings: OOMA Jewellery | Bridesmaids’ dresses: KILT

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