Anita + Daniel by Sarah McFadyen

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

Dan and I met in high school, we weren’t  exactly your high school crush kind of story, instead I liked Dan a lot and he didn’t seem to notice. We both went off to university and quickly after I moved home he asked a friend how long he should wait to ask me out, it was the best decision he ever made haha.

A few years later Dan and I moved to a place called Imperia in Italy where we fell in love with the culture, pizza and Lemoncello! We then moved to London where we converted a van into a home, this definitely tested us, being a builders apprentice and a girlfriend was not always easy but traveling together through Europe on and off for the following few years was definitely worth it.

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:

Years ago my older brother and I went  for a walk up a hill looking over Wainui Beach in Gisborne, he told me that Dan and I should get married up there one day. That dream quickly became a beautiful reality when we asked the lovely owners and they said YES! We knew we wanted to get married in Gisborne but felt so incredibly fortunate to have been able to have our ceremony and reception outdoors and with that beautiful view.

Dan and I planned our wedding whilst traveling in our van, we both wanted the day to be simple and chill filled with delicious food, our favourite drinks and the people we love! We wanted to be able to mingle with everyone throughout the evening and wanted everyone to be able to do the same with each other so we thought a street food style dinner would be perfect for us.

Dan came up with the idea of reliving our Italian nights! Starting with platters boxes and cocktails for our Aperitivo, and then a delicious and fun dinner where we had a build your own burger bar and Japanese dumplings, followed by desert, homemade Lemoncello and Espresso Martinis to help dance the night away! The whole thing was extremely social and everything we wanted.

Tell us about your main outfits:

The search for my wedding dress was extremely sudden! Dan asked me to marry him on our last adventure in the van, in Pico de Europa, Spain. Knowing that we were moving back to New Zealand, I thought I would try to get in touch with Immacle because her dresses and designs are so beautiful! Turns out they had an appointment the next day, and I had a wedding dress!

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

Dan and I were both incredibly nervous, there was definitely a lot of deep breathing coming from my side, especially on the slow drive up the hill but our bridal parties were amazing at the distraction game! We both felt instantly fine as soon as we saw each other at the end of the isle, we were doing this!

The night before our wedding day our celebrant asked us to message him one thing that our partner does that we love, I wrote that ‘I Iove the way Dan gives me a kiss each morning before he leaves for work, even when we are going to the same place’  and he wrote ‘I love the way she checks up on me before I go to work, asking if I have my drink bottle and my lunch and then we go to work at the same place and if I have forgotten she makes me lunch anyway’. Our celebrant read them out during our ceremony which was a beautiful surprise and had everyone laughing.

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

Always find a way to make the other laugh, even when they’re having a bad day!  

Photography: Sarah McFadyen | Ceremony and Reception location: Wainui beach, Gisborne | Celebrant: Karaitiana Ackroyd | Bride’s attire: @immaclenovias | Groom’s attire: @hallensteinbrothers | Rings: @nataliemariejewellery | Shoes: @immaclenovias | Groom’s shoes: @merchant1948 | Toki Pendant: @maarika_pounamu | Makeup: @nourish_beauty_by_natalie | Hair: @ash.hairdesign_ | Bridesmaid’s attire: @shonajoy_ | Groomsmen’s attire: @hallensteinbrothers | Entertainment: @arianahenare | Hire: @little_boho_events | Marquee: @topkatatents | Flora: @field0froses | Catering and Beverages: Sunshine Brewing, Hihi Wines and Biki’s Goyza | Cake: Emily Willock