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

We met six years ago at a summer concert in Waihi. We got talking and realised we grew up in the same neighbourhood. The next week Nick called me and asked to take me to dinner. We discovered our shared love for travel and decided we weren’t ready to settle into New Zealand life just yet.  Six months after meeting we were moving to the other side of the world together.

We spent the next five years living in London where Nick worked in Investment Fund Management and I worked as a Nurse while travelling the world together.  After the second year we had to spend some time apart due to visa issues but we would always fly back and forth to see each other every couple of months. The six months leading up to the wedding I was in NZ and Nick was in London which meant a lot of late-night phone calls trying to plan things and some last minute organising once Nick got to New Zealand a couple of weeks before the wedding.

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 our day to feel a bit country to match the location of our wedding. We decided to add a bit of glam into this by having gold accents like the vases and candle favours. Our colour palette was greenery with blush and peach. We wanted our flowers to have a soft romantic feel. Everything had our own touch on it and there was quite a bit DIY that we both really enjoyed doing.

For me making the candle gold tin favours was so much fun and a lot easier than I thought they would be. It was nice giving our guests something a bit different to take home with them as a thank you from us and they ended up matching the vases perfectly.

We were after a relaxed atmosphere, where everyone felt comfortable and enjoy themselves. One of our favourite things about our wedding was hoe everyone mingled and had a great time together, there was no her side / his side, it was one big party. A lot of new best friends were made between people who had never met before.

We went for a Herringbone seating arrangement 8-10 people per table, we wanted to be able to get around the tables and easily speak to everyone. There are a lot people who came to celebrate our day with us who were all there because they are important to us, so being able to talk to whole tables at once made it easy for us to get around all of our guests.

We had games for people to play on the lawn which everyone got really into. There was horse shoe throwing and archery. We also had a fun photo booth with polaroid cameras. We asked everyone to take some photos to stick in our guest book. Looking back on this book was so fun the next day and we are so glad we asked people to do this.

We did the music ourselves so that we had all the music we grew up on and had enjoyed with our friends and family over the years.

One of the best parts of the day is seeing everything come together and the final look of it all. You spend so long thinking about all of the details and choosing things that when you see it all on the day come to life it’s pretty exciting and amazing.

Tell us about your main outfits:

The bride wanted a dress that was modern and fun but at the same time slightly traditional. I first tried on this dress while living in London and couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards. I’m so glad I chose this dress. It was so comfortable (which is important) and really made me feel special on the day.

I wasn’t sure what I was looking for when I went wedding shoe shopping. But the moment I saw these velvet pink shoes I knew they were the ones! They weren’t ridiculously high which meant I lasted comfortably in them all night.

When I took my sisters shopping for their bridesmaid dresses this was the first dress I saw and the first they tried on. I thought it might be difficult to find something that suited both my older sister and my younger sister but this dress seemed to work perfectly for both of them. We all loved it and it took us just a few minutes to pick it.

The groom wore a three-piece single breasted 2 button navy suit, white double cuffed shirt, matching brown shoes and belt, Parisian Mason Paisley tie (oatmeal and blue coloured) with gold engraved cufflinks.  It was a polished classic look without being too serious.

Choosing the groomsmen outfits was actually quite difficult because Nick was in london and the groomsmen were in New Zealand but different parts of the country. Nick bought his suit in London so we had to try and match the groomsmen jackets to his suit as best as possible. It was definitely worth it in the end and we were so happy with the final look.

The groomsmen wore brown dress chinos, matching navy blue suit jackets to the groom, white double cuffed shirts, navy double up suspenders with brown leather attachments, brown shoes, matching Parisian Mason Paisley bowties (oatmeal and blue) with gold engraved cufflinks.  The groomsmen outfits were designed to compliment the groom whilst at the same time help the groom stand apart.  We wanted the groomsmen to look a bit more casual to go with the theme.

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

Our ceremony was very relaxed and felt really personal for our day.  The celebrant, Claire is a family friend and I’m so glad we chose her to marry us. We had actually spoken to a couple of other celebrants beforehand but it felt a bit weird and impersonal having someone who didn’t know us and our story to be part of such a special day. Claire made us feel so relaxed because we knew her and there were a few unexpected moments during the ceremony which were quite a laugh.

Having a photographer like Jackson definitely made our day more fun and special. His enthusiasm but relaxed vibe put us all at ease on a day that can be stressful at times. We had so much fun with him from climbing through old ruins while trying not to get my dress muddy, to him running off to find a ladder to get a perfect shot. Our guests all loved him and his energy and by the end of the night he felt like a guest at our wedding rather than a guy with a camera just taking photos.

Because we have been living overseas for so long it really was so special to just have everyone together to celebrate with us. We haven’t spent a lot of time with our friends and families over the last few years so our wedding really was a chance for everyone to get together again. It was so great that everyone mingled all night and a lot of people ended up coming away from our wedding with new friends. It really didn’t feel like there was a ‘his’ and ‘hers’ side which made for a relaxed and fun atmosphere. My family is very small and Nick comes from a big family so it was important to us that both families felt included in the day. It couldn’t have gone more perfect and we both felt so lucky to have our friends and family celebrate with us.

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

Take a moment to stand back and take in the atmosphere of your wedding day.  The day itself can very hectic and you can get drawn into the business.  Make sure you give yourself the chance to soak in the day you have put together.  The day goes by so fast, you don’t want to remember just a blur.

The things that don’t go perfectly to plan are things that make you laugh.   

Give your family members little jobs, spread them around and it will lift some of the stress off you and they will feel like they have contributed towards making your day special.

Make sure you don’t get too caught up in traditions. Do what feels right and works for you both. In the end we were so happy that we did a ‘first look’. We had both of our immediate families watch from a distance and it felt just as special for us. It meant that we had some intimate time together before the ceremony to just enjoy it all and didn’t have such a time limit for photographs. We didn’t have to miss out on the canapés and could spend this time mingling with our guests. Most of our guests never suspected that we had done this and Nick still got quite emotional when he saw me walk down the aisle.

Photography: Jackson Grant Bride’s Dress: Sasha by Made with Love Bridal and Chani Veil by Made with love Bridal– Groom’s Outfit: Alexandre of England– Tie and Socks: Barkers– Rings: Culet– Shoes: Bride- Kurt Geiger Groom: Dune– Cufflinks: Badger and Brown– Groomsmen- Trousers: Zara, Jacket Hire: Frank Casey, Bowties and Socks: Barkers– Bridesmaids: Blak, Make-Up: Natalie Dent – Fragrance: Bride- Ellie Saab, Groom- Gucci, Guilty Intense- Ceremony Location: St Andrews Church, Matakana – Reception Location: The Stables, Matakana– Celebrant: Claire Sussmilch- Bouquets: Little Leaf Florals– Venue, Ceremony and Cake Flowers: Florist Forest– Hire: Table Linen