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

We became engaged while living in London. We had been living, working and travelling about Europe from there for two years. It was a very impressive proposal on Piet’s behalf. We were on holiday with my Dad and his partner in Slovenia. Piet had graciously given my Mum and Dad the heads up and got down on two knees (not begging – just stability) in a row boat on Lake Bled. This place is seriously a fairy-tale, google it and you will see the island with a Disney-like castle in the background.

We’ve been together for seven years but until Piet proposed it was the first we’d discussed marriage and a wedding day. Our future was planned out, we had joint property and bank accounts but we’d just not had that conversation. Hints about what either of us thought about it were never thrown about. It was very special to me that Piet decided he was going to ask and that he confidently knew I would say yes.

We’ve both since said, that our engagement has been some of the happiest times in our relationship. We’d decided to do this thing and it made us assess what it meant to us. Marriage to us did not mean a token ‘next step’ nor ‘the thing you do’ to keep society happy and actually not something we were doing for love (couples can of course have love and blissfully decide to never marry which I support wholeheartedly).

So, to us marriage became our personal confirmation to each other that we are family and as with family, will stand by each other through it all. And a wedding day; a chance to throw a party for our nearest and dearest, a chance to say thank you for their friendship and support.

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 threw our friends and family an outdoor long lunch in a beautiful garden surrounded by New Zealand native trees. Choosing a long lunch meant we got to play around with the format of our day. We wanted our wedding to feel like a party, a really fun day out like the horse races or a wine and food festival.

With breaks between five courses of food, guests would get up from the tables to mingle about, dance, lounge on the couches and play lawn games. We also held a ‘table versus table’ quiz and Piet’s Dad had all 80 of us play a coin game of ‘heads or tails’.

Our wedding was mostly filled with DIY elements, I am a self-confessed Instagram addict and had so many screenshots of weddings ideas I’d be too embarrassed to tell you how many. The DIY elements were fun to create together and meant time spent with family chipping in with ideas and lending a hand.

It rained on our wedding day, and while our vision of ‘fun in the sun’ and enjoying the garden surroundings were not quite met, the Sperry tent from Flagship Events saved the day. So light and bright on the inside, no one noticed what was going on outside. We ended up not missing the sun and loved the closeness of all being cocooned under the tent. And there were of course breaks in the rain to head out and see the beautiful garden.

Tell us about your main outfits:

The main thing of course is to wear something you will feel comfortable in and love to wear whether outfits are your thing or not. I have always been big on dresses so I focused a lot of time researching. I went hunting for a dress in London and had two requirements in mind.

First; a coloured dress and second; not lace. I loved two very different but modern styles, either a simple silhouette in a crepe fabric or on the opposite end of the scale, a sheer beaded number. I got the coloured dress and compromised on the lace after loving the fit and admittedly after having a few too many bubbles in the bridal store.

My gown is from the Pronovias haute couture range. The fabric is super delicate, luxe and made from French Chantilly lace. Ladies, do not be afraid of sample dresses and tailoring. I ended up with a high-end dress paying mid-range prices, it was originally a size 12 and the dress the store had purchased for brides-to-be to try on.

Each item of Piet’s outfit was from a different store (read: we are extreme researchers and like to think we are super savvy and hunt out the best deals). Piet had the full Hugo Boss experience when he found his jacket in the Sloan Square store, the clerk was a very stylish gent and was so excited that Piet wanted a non-traditional (by UK standards) outfit.

The bridesmaids wore mismatched mid-length dresses, I wanted them to love their dress and feel completely comfortable. They held a simple bouquet of three long-stem Columbian Roses to tie the dresses together. The groomsmen wore tartan waistcoats, a nod to Piet’s mums Scottish roots.

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

I’m a sentimental kind of girl; for me it’s about sincerity and substance over the superficial, maturity over carelessness and kindness over coolness (always). The most memorable is how our friends and family felt and made us feel and we will always cherish the people who made our day.

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

Celebrate and share together, look after your family and friends, dream and believe together, build your future as a team.

Photographer: Ephemeral Creative | Ceremony and reception location: Mayward Homestead, Whakamarama | Celebrant: Nikki Lorigan | Entertainment: Josh Pow Music | Flora: The Botanist | Catering: El Mono Loco | Cake: Bride’s cousin | Tent: Flagship Events | Glassware: Royal Laboratorie | Plant hire: Lofthouse Garden | Hair: Catherine Lee | Makeup: Dom Birley | Wedding dress: Pronovias | Veil: Joyce Jackson | Groom’s attire: HUGO BOSS | Engagement ring: James Allen | Groom’s wedding band: Brendons Jewellers | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Whistles, CMEO Collective, Witchery, Shona Joy, Cooper Street | Groomsmen’s attire: Reiss, Charles Tyrwhitt

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