ABBYLEE + VINCENT by Haley Guildford
How did you first meet?
Vincent: We met in 2013 when we were part of a relay team running from Papakura to Mount Maunganui.
Abbylee is best friends with my older sister Twyla and had asked her to do the race with her, but Twyla was busy, so she suggested I take her place. It meant we spent three days and two nights together.
Abbylee: Next thing I knew, I couldn’t get him out of my head. I tried to talk myself out of it, but after hugging goodbye after the race, I ended up meeting up with him for dinner a couple of hours later. Before we met, I’d tell my friends that a beautiful golden man was going to come running into my life, and Vinnie literally did.
Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship:
Vincent: Something unique about our relationship is that we got pregnant in the first two weeks we were together. We were married five years later, and now after almost six years, we have a five-year-old and are expecting our second child.
Abbylee: That sounds like it’d be hard on a relationship but it was like we were made for that situation. It was a blessing.
We’re complete opposites: Vinnie’s cool, relaxed, easygoing and five years younger than me (which I love), and I’m a loud, energetic, all-or-nothing woman. We both love trying new things, visiting new places and hanging out as a family, and have a shared passion for looking after the planet.
We live in Auckland, where Vinnie’s a fireman and has his own electrical company, and I do a little social media, have a couple of small businesses and work in Māori education and empowerment.
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:
I pulled our wedding together in seven weeks with a budget of $10,000. I’m so grateful to friends and family who helped in the lead-up and on the day.
Our ceremony and short reception were in the amphitheatre in Hamilton Gardens’ Italian Renaissance Gardens, a hidden gem we found on a road trip. With ivy growing on the stone, it made the perfect backdrop.
We served a divine Italian-style grazing platter on tables covered with soft muslin. My mum collected 80 cushions and white material from op shops, then recovered the cushions for our guests to sit on during the ceremony and take home afterwards.
Vinnie’s mum sourced 80 beautiful ceramic goblets because the gardens don’t allow glass and we didn’t want to use plastic.
What does being married mean to you?
Vincent: Being married means that we love each other for who we are and who we want to be. We confront our issues and work through them. And we’re committed to growing together and supporting each other to try all the things we dream of.
Abbylee: It means I have a fabulous husband and that our little family shares a name, which is magic!
Photographer: Haley Guildford | Videography: Patty Lagera | Bride’s ceremony gown: Mina | Bride’s reception outfit: Paris Georgia | Groom’s suit: World | Bride’s veil: Rue De Seine | Planning & styling: The bride, Abbylee | Celebrant: Anna Barlow | Ceremony venue: Hamilton Gardens | Reception venue: Hayes Common | Bride’s shoes: Mi Piaci | Groom’s shoes: Barkers | Rings, earrings, cuffs & bracelet: Charlotte Penman | Hair & makeup: Jess Silk | Flora: Petal & Prickle | Entertainment: Josh Pow | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Georgia Alice | Hire: Twelve Tables | Catering & beverages: Together | Bride’s fragrance: Maison Louis Marie – No. 04 Bois de Balincourt | Groom’s fragrance: Curionoir | Cake: Taryn Bredeveldt