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

We are both pharmacists and this is how we met six years ago at a picnic in Cornwall park.

A year later we ended up working together at the same hospital where we became inseparable, but it wasn’t until another two years after that, that we had our first date at the Star Dome back in Cornwall park where we first met.

Michael proposed in Brisbane disguised as his birthday weekend away. Stella was told to be ready to go out by 6pm in a dress, and this wasn’t unusual as Michael had planned this trip. The first inkling she had that something was up was when there was a car waiting for us at the hotel, not the usual uber, but a brand new Audi with a driver. We were then driven to an unknown destination and got out the car to find a fairy lit pier leading to a Venetian style gondola boat ready to take us for a cruise down the river. It was not till half an hour into the cruise that Michael got down on one knee to pop the question. Thankfully Stella said yes or that could have put a real dampener on the rest of the evenings plans. The car then took us to Madame Rouge; a French restaurant for a beautiful dinner. Being a true romantic, Michael had arranged for a path of rose petals and more champagne back at the hotel room.

We are both foodies and love trying out new recipes, restaurants and different cuisines. Food was also an important consideration in choosing our wedding venue. Choosing the flavours for our cake was also serious business in our household and we made an evening of it, with score cards – plus it was a great excuse to get out the family china set! We love to travel and have just returned from our 5 week honeymoon in Europe, and we have many more places on our hit list. 

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…

Our wedding was set in the beautiful Hawkes Bay with Cape Kidnappers and Te Awanga as the backdrop. We both grew up close to the sea (Murray’s Bay, Auckland & St Ouen, Jersey) so from the moment we arrived at Elephant Hill driving down the palm lined driveway for the first time, we knew this was the venue for us – The 9 glass wine tasting and amazing food may have also helped to woo us!

Despite both living in New Zealand, it was very much a destination wedding with everyone travelling to be there.

The theme we were going for was…a bit of modern elegance with a simple palette of white, greys, silver, black and blush. Stella, being allergic to flowers wanted to keep it simple with a lot of greenery, however the flower wall was something that she couldn’t resist and it was certainly one of our favourite details. Having a winery wedding, we thought we would do something a little different for our guest book and had guest bottles instead. These Syrah magnums were signed with silver pens by our guests and are to be opened on our 1st and 10th wedding anniversaries. 

Tell us about your main outfits: 

Bride: What better excuse than having 3 of your bridesmaids living in London, than to go wedding dress shopping in London! Having grown up in Jersey in the Channel Islands, it was so special with have my 2 worlds collide, with friends from my childhood and uni friends doing their O.E in London for this momentous occasion. I didn’t think that I had put much thought into the dress until this moment, however as soon as I tried on a dress by Made with Love, my mind flickered to the Georgie Dress I had seen on Instagram. Unfortunately they didn’t have this style in stock, and I didn’t come back to NZ with a dress in tow, but had a fun champagne fuelled day with the girls! Back in NZ, I tracked down Georgie at Felicitys Bridal and it was love at first sight. I loved the classic style, but with a modern twist and plunging low back. I loved the simplicity of the dress but then went with the Stevie veil to add a touch of sparkle. Of course we celebrated with bubbles and I completely lost track of time resulting in me being late to my own house warming! Fortunately Michael was there to hold down the fort! Groom: Michael and his groomsmen worked with Devonche to design their look down to the tiniest detail. We were able to pick the fabric, lining, buttons, colours, lapel shape, number and shape of pockets…the possibilities were endless. Surprisingly this was a lot of fun for a group of guys, and we went out to celebrate this achievement of picking & designing a suit in an afternoon with a few beers at the pub. A unique part to Michael’s outfit was his Stud buttons, a special request to Devonche, to make his shirt with no buttons. That was when he realised the black & silver stud buttons were particularly hard to come by and ended up sourcing them from an Amsterdam based website! 

Groom: Michael and his groomsmen worked with Devonche to design their look down to the tiniest detail. We were able to pick the fabric, lining, buttons, colours, lapel shape, number and shape of pockets…the possibilities were endless. Surprisingly this was a lot of fun for a group of guys, and we went out to celebrate this achievement of picking & designing a suit in an afternoon with a few beers at the pub. A unique part to Michael’s outfit was his Stud buttons, a special request to Devonche, to make his shirt with no buttons. That was when he realised the black & silver stud buttons were particularly hard to come by and ended up sourcing them from an Amsterdam based website! 

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

One of the most treasured and memorable moments of our day was when we first arrived at Elephant Hill after the ceremony. We were whisked away into the wine cellar for photos before greeting the guests. This was the first time we had been alone since saying “I do” and the complete silence of the cellar really allowed us to focus on one another. We didn’t think anyone was watching, but later discovered that this special moment was captured by our videographer. Stella’s dad passed away in 2015 from brain cancer, and even though he could not be there by her side to walk her down the aisle, she knew he was watching over her. In his absence, after having lived with Michael’s parents and becoming close she asked Tim, Michael’s dad to do her the honour of walking her down the aisle. This was equally a special moment for Tim, as with having four sons he thought he would never get the chance to do this. We were blessed to have the Samoan choir of Hastings Parish lead the singing at our wedding ceremony. Their voices were truly enchanting and created a joyful atmosphere throughout. They learnt to sing Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole’s rendition of ‘Over the Rainbow’ as our recessional song, something we will never forget and brought back fond memories of our recent trip to Hawaii. The first dance to ‘For You’ – Rita Ora & Liam Payne was also something that will go down in history, as for those that know Michael, know he can’t dance. The dance was choreographed by Stella’s sister, Veronica in London – a professional dancer who was dancing in the West End’s “Rip it Up” at the time. She recorded a video of it with one of the male dancers from the show and from this Stella taught Michael the moves with daily practices in the garden. 

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

Enjoy every moment of your wedding day, it can seem hectic with so many people to talk to but make sure find a quiet moment where the two of you can be alone to really take it all in. Be each other’s best friends, this really is the best foundation your relationship can have. 

Photographer: Samantha Donaldson -Second shooter: Jessica Lee Photography | Videographer: Grant Mayer | Ceremony location: Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church | Reception location: Elephant Hill | Celebrant: Fr Nathaniel Brazil | Bride’s outfit: All from Felicity’s Bridal– Dress: Made with Love – Georgie Veil: Made with Love – Stevie Hair Piece from Felicity’s Bridal, brand unknown | Groom’s outfit: Suit & Shirts: Devonche, Bow ties: Politix Australia Belts: Barkers | Rings: Culet Jewellery Engagement ring & bride and groom wedding bands | Shoes: Bride: Charlotte Olympia – Wallace Heels in Silver | Groom: Florsheim – Style: Brig | Jewellery: Bride: Vita ring & Vita large drop earrings by Meadowlark, Groom: Emporio Armani cufflinks & Baume and mercier watch | Makeup: Steph Viatos| Hair: Danielle Clorley  | Fragrance: Bride: Tom Ford – Santal Blush Groom: Tom Ford – Oud Wood | Bridesmaid’s outfits: Bridesmaids: Dresses – Shona Joy, Shoes – Nude, Earrings – Meadowlark (vita – medium) | Groomsmen’s outfits: Suits & shirts – Devonche Belts – Barkers Bow ties – Politix ShoesDouble Oak Mills | Entertainment: Addictive DJs – Matt Naylor | Flora: Botanical Lane | Catering and Beverages: Elephant Hill | Cake: Pretty Little Details |

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