Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
When we first met we both had pet dogs (I had Louie the Schnauzer X and Liam had Obi the German Shepherd) who were the same age so we would always look for opportunities to go for beach or park walks together. This is when the relationship really started to grow and we bonded over this common love of dogs!
I work as a teacher for a Tourism School and Liam is a Project Manager for a construction company. We had worked really hard to build our first home on a hectare section out in Parakai so when we got engaged it seemed like the perfect place to get married, so never even looked at wedding venues as we had our heart set on it being a bit of a housewarming/wedding all in one! It put a lot of time pressure on us to get things done but we wouldn’t have it any other way, we loved how personal it was.
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…
There was never really a theme as such but as this wedding was at our home and surrounded by beautiful native bush, we wanted to keep things quite simple and let the beautiful hills and bush speak for themselves. We had a stretch tent marquee which was a great addition to the section with really pretty fairy lights and festoon lights hung. We wanted the ceremony area to be quite natural so used logs and tea light candles to decorate as well as over 30 metres of bunting that I hand stitched over the months leading up to it.
We had an entrance way into the ceremony made from old branches from around the section and wrapped it in ivy that was cut from my father’s property. This was one of our favourite features in terms of styling as my brother and cousins had made it the days before the wedding.
Tell us about your main outfits:
Initially I had asked my Aunty to make my dress for sentimental reasons (my mum had passed away and was a very talented dressmaker/costume designer and my Aunty was the next best thing!) but soon discovered that trying to pull it off when my Aunty lives in England was logistically a nightmare (skype dates, measurements, sending patterns and lace back and forth!). So I went to Secret Lace Bridal in Kumeu to try a few things on as I’d heard lots of amazing things about the selection of dresses and the ladies that run the place.
Me and my maid of honour Sophie went in for a fitting and tried on loads of dresses with no real luck. The lady then brought in ‘the dress’ to try on, and I hesitated at first as it was a designer I was trying to avoid as a friend had already used her for her wedding. But once I tried it on there was no going back! I loved the style of lace and the fact it was off the shoulders – it was just perfect!
I loved having the bridesmaids in forest green as it complimented the setting perfectly.
Liam had a bit of difficulty finding what he wanted and left his until about a month out from the wedding! There were a few slightly frantic visits to tailors and suit shops around Auckland who advised us there wasn’t enough time to have it made by the wedding date so he ended going with a mixture of items found at different retail stores. He was really happy with how it all looked in the end though!
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
The speeches during our reception were just awesome! Both fathers did a fantastic job of making us laugh/cry/cringe but the standout would have to be the groomsmen and MC who had written a speech mostly embarrassing the groom accompanied by guitar. It was so entertaining but very sweet at the same time as they’d put a lot of thought and effort into it.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
We love each other’s company but we also accept and are aware that time with friends and family alone can also be really healthy and is really necessary for us. Trusting each other is one of the most important values we share. Always have things to look forward to no matter how big or small, a dinner date, a holiday booked, house renovations, beach walk with the dogs – whatever it is keep it fun.
Photographer: Samantha Donaldson | Ceremony and reception location: Private property | Celebrant: Bryan Marsh | DJ: Arii Jade | Flora: Rose Tinted Flowers | Catering: Tucks and Bao | Cake: Shanley Joyce (groom’s sister) | Hair: Katherine Book | Makeup: Margaret Ling | Barber: Parnell Barbershop | Wedding dress: Daughters of Simone | Bridal boutique: Secret Lace Bridal | Shoes: Novo | Groom and groomsmen’s shoes: Hallensteins | Engagement ring: Naveya & Sloane | Wedding rings: Tabitha Higgins | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Ruby, Blak | Groomsmen’s trousers: Rodd & Gunn | Groomsmen’s shirts: AS Colour | Groomsmen’s ties: Barkers | Groomsmen’s suspenders: Leo O’Malley