Alysha — Ray is the life of the party, whereas I’m the sometimes sensible and very organised accountant. The main thing we have in common is our love for each other…
We both feel very lucky to have found the best friend we want to share our life with. We met when Ray moved to Christchurch for a drainlaying job and shifted into my flat of seven girls and one guy. It didn’t take long for us to break the flat rule – don’t kiss your flatmates – but despite our obvious connection and Ray’s many offers of a proper date, I decided romance would have to wait while we were living together.
A few months later, I was living in a new flat when the TV broke, so I asked Ray to come over and be the handyman in return for a coffee. Three years on, the TV was still broken, but we were engaged! Our wedding was everything I’d imagined and more. Ray’s family has a bach in Oakura Bay in Northland and when we visited early on in our relationship, I fell in love with it. I’d always wanted a wedding on the beach and with Oakura Bay already being special to Ray, it felt like the perfect place to get married.
With only a dairy and a fish ’n’ chip shop, Oakura Bay had its logistical challenges, but we loved the idea of everyone coming away for a weekend. We held our ceremony under a pōhutukawa tree at the beach and our reception on the grass at the nearby campsite. We wanted a celebration that was relaxed and true to us. Ours was a DIY event and absolutely everyone played their part, from making trips to Whāngārei to collect hire items, to catching fish for our menu. Ray’s mum made our cake and desserts, and mine helped gather toetoe for our decorations.
My parents even drove a trailer full of wedding items all the way up from Christchurch. Best dressed on the day was Ray’s dad. His usual attire consists of a VB singlet and Canterbury stubbies, but he surprised everyone with his dapper choice of clothing after making a solo trip to a tailor in Auckland.
Two memorable moments for me were when my dad saw me in my dress for the first time and when he walked me down the aisle. We have a very special bond, so many tears were shed. Our jewellery was custom-made by our friend’s mum and has so much meaning behind it. My engagement ring and the necklace Ray gave me on our wedding day were made from the sapphire and diamonds from his late grandmother’s ring, and our wedding bands were made using gold from my grandmother’s rings. We’ll be honoured to wear them for the rest of our lives.
Photography: Charlotte Sowman | Bride’s gown: Lovers Society from Paperswan Bride | Videography: Sam the Cameraman | Groom’s attire & groomsmen’s pants: Barkers | Groom’s shoes: Rodd & Gunn | Reception venue: Whangaruru Beachfront Camp | Ceremony venue: The beach at Oakura Bay | Signage: Forage & Spruce | Earrings: Flash Jewellery | Invitations: Millie Clarke | Bride’s shoes: Head Over Heels | Flora: Sue Cameron at Floral Stylist Co | Makeup: Jasmine Turner of Urban Bliss Makeup Artistry | Veil: Borrowed from a bridesmaid | Rings: Susie Barr at Max Wilson Diamond Jeweller | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Evolution, Miss Crabb, Moochi, and Ruby | Beverages: Alfie the Caravan Bar | Marquee: NZ Marquee Hire | Ceremony seating hire & reception tableware: Cheers Wedding & Party Hire | Reception seating hire: One Lovely Day | Table hire: Vitrine | Cake & desserts: Ray’s mother Sheryl Vincent