Annie & Sam by Moon Flower Photo Co.

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

Sam and I met on a blind date that our sisters set up – we were both a little apprehensive about the meeting but too curious not to go.

It was pouring with rain and I was extremely late, but it turned out that the match was as close to perfect as you can get (who knew blind dates could even be successful) and we’ve been together ever since. We quickly discovered that we shared a love of homemade pasta and our families, and a total disgust for toilet humour, which turns out is the perfect foundation for a great relationship. We both love spending time with our friends and family, as well as getting out for a walk and eating pastries. We try to help each other grow, and in being each other’s safest place make space for challenge and goals. What it all really boils down to though is that we’re really good friends and love being together. Sam is a Water Engineer turned Psychology student and I’m a Corporate Advocacy Specialist at Tearfund.

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…

Above all, Sam and I wanted our day to feel completely authentic to us as a couple and as low key as possible without compromising the reverence of the celebration. We chose to get married in a chapel at my high school
and one of our family friends really generously offered their amazing property to us for our reception. We popped a marquee on the perfectly manicured grass (Eoin put in so many big shifts making sure everything looked tip-top for the day – shout out to him!) and had a ball of a party without having to worry about noise control. We’re both quite invested in ethical consumption so we didn’t want to be wasteful and buy a whole lot of stuff we’d never use again, so we opted for drying flowers we collected, second-hand vases and making our own napkins (Sam was chief seamstress on the job). With a lot of help from some very talented friends we even managed to make a hanging hydrangea arrangement to go in the chapel, which we were quite chuffed with. All of our decorations and styling was muted and autumnal in colour, made possible through many hours of labour (and the odd temper tantrum) but ultimately always crafted with personal touch.

We got engaged in Italy so our stationary and food had a slight Italian flair. We commissioned our favourite illustrator, Liz Rowland, to do some pretty cute Italian-themed illustrations for our invitations, Order of Service and place settings, which made everything that little bit more unique and special. All of these pieces now hang in our house. One of our best friends is one of those freakishly talented people who can take anything and make it amazing, so she iced our cake and videoed our day on our Super-8 which was so generous and so special. We had so much input from incredibly helpful and generous friends and family, and our guests on the day were the best ever. The details might’ve helped to create a lovely atmosphere, but the people absolutely made the celebration.

Tell us about your main outfits:

I (Annie) wanted a dress that wasn’t your typical wedding dress, that felt fully ‘me’ and was created with love. One of my friends is an amazingly talented designer and tailor and I knew that she was the one to bring my
dreams to life. She said yes, and she did the most perfect job. She dyed so many meters of silk, sculpted the perfect bustier and answered all of my panicked text messages in the lead up with a whole lot of grace. She also restored my veil which was my late Nana’s. We have always been likened to each other and shared a special bond over our love of fashion, so it felt fitting to wear something of hers. My shoes were another favourite detail of mine, giving my outfit that little extra pizazz, although I did change into a pair of well-loved sneakers to traverse the paddocks at the reception, and also give the dance floor my best effort.

Another thing we loved was the bridesmaid’s dresses, made by one of my favourite brands, Hej Hej. Made from linen, they had fun quality, paired with their gorgeous cuts, giving them flair and a special-occasion-feel. Sam’s suit was made by the good people at Strangely Normal after a lot of humming and hah-ing over details and fabrics. The suit jacket is a boxy and short-cut Sherry Tweed number with one button and big lapels. The pants are high waisted mohair and wool slacks with pleats and side fasteners. Sam sewed up his bow-tie with some extra fabric from my dress and the shoes are some old Loakes found at Search and Destroy on Cross Street.

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

We joined the boys to take photos at the house they were staying at – the coolest pink A-frame with 70’s décor. It was the perfect start to our day, as we shared a first look, many special moments, laughs, and some pre-ceremony aperol spritzes. Another of our favourite moments was the ceremony where we said our vows. It’s pretty great making promises to your best friend with all of your favourite people in the same room. It’s super hard to narrow the list of favourite memories down but another would be having one of my best friends come over from Manchester and not only be one of my bridesmaids but an incredibly hilarious MC. Once she
began, Sam and I knew that our guests would have a new MVP of the day, and her name would be Becky.

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

A wedding is an amazing opportunity to celebrate the two of you. No matter how stressful/daunting it feels, do it. You won’t regret it. Also, don’t sweat the small stuff. You could be worried about rain but then spend the next few months in the confines of your home due to a global pandemic. The only thing that matters is committing to spending the rest of your life with your best friend, and letting the people you love celebrate with you.

Photography: Moon Flower Photo Co. | Videographer: Beka Hope | Ceremony location: Bethlehem College Chapel | Celebrant: Dan Sheed | Bride’s gown: Olivia Cashmore| Groom’s suit: Suit- Strangely Normal, Shirt- Barkers and Bowtie- Sam made himself | Annie’s engagement ring: Layla Kaisi |Annie’s wedding ring: A.M. Thorne | Sam’s wedding band: Good Gold | Bride’s shoes: Jacquemus | Groom’s shoes: Search & Destroy | Makeup: Laura Russell | Hair: Juanita | Bride’s fragrance: Maison Louis Marie – No.04 Bois de Balincourt | Groom’s fragrance: Comme des Garcons – Wonderoud| Bridesmaid’s attire: Hej Hej | Groomsmen’s shirts: Barkers | Entertainment: Holly Arrowsmith | Hire: Twelve Tables , Tauranga Party Hire, The Heirloom and Little Living Project| Flora: Pretty Wild Floral | Catering and Beverages: El Mono Loco | Cake: Beka Hope | Illustrations: Liz Rowland