Ben + Hope by Jesse and Jessie Weddings

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

We’re a young couple (I 21 and Ben 23 when we were married) who met and fell in love in 2017. After spending two years over in Sydney, Australia studying, Ben and I found ourselves back home in Auckland in March of 2020.

It was a few short months after that in June that Ben proposed, I said yes, and we were straight into wedding planning! Seven months later on the 3rd of February 2021 we were married and it was perfect.

We’re both continuing our studies in Auckland and enjoying being back home in New Zealand. On the weekends you’ll find us spending quality time with family and friends, at one of the many great brunch spots in the city, or getting away to the beach. 

We also love our church. For Ben and I, there is no doubt that our shared faith and values is what brought us together and what underpins our relationship. 

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

Hearing our story you would’ve thought we were High School sweethearts, but instead, regardless of the fact we grew up in a small town and went to all the same schools, we didn’t meet till shortly after we’d finished school in 2017. We met at church and instantly hit it off. We were essentially the driving force for our friends constantly hanging out, always trying to get everyone together so we could be together. My first impression was this girl is something special and boy was I right!

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with? 

It was when we moved to Sydney together for study. While not too far from home, it was just us. The two of us looking out for each other, the two of us carving a new path, the two of us against the world, and I loved it like that! 

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

We were down in Queenstown in June of 2020 when Ben popped the question. We’d talked about getting engaged for a little while, however Ben really wanted to make it a total surprise. We went for an early morning walk around Bob’s Cove the first morning of our trip and it was there on a wharf in the bitter cold that Ben got down on one knee. The morning proposal definitely did take me by surprise, and it was perfect. We spent the rest of the day flying through the mountains, soaking in hot-pools, and dreaming of the future. It was the best day!

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

The dress! The first few months of planning were a little uncertain as we tried to work out whether to wait in the hope that the New Zealand borders would open and family and friends from around the world would be able to join us. This made planning difficult as we didn’t want to lock in any details straight away. However, the one thing I knew I could lock in was the dress! I loved every second I spent in my wedding dress on the day, I can’t thank the team at Hera Couture enough. 

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

A moment we didn’t expect but are so glad happened… I had mentioned to our florist (a family friend) that I’d love a petal toss and she said to leave it with her. The colour scheme for the florals was greenery with white flowers so we decided it would be fun to contrast this by have the petals all different colours. From looking at photos I had seen online, I had it in my head that this would be a pretty subtle moment, with our guests given just a few petals each. 

However, I still remember arriving to the church ready to walk down the aisle and catching a glimpse of two massive buckets of petals! Following our ceremony, each guest grabbed two great handfuls and as we walked out of the church, there were petals everywhere! To top it off, my brother even rang the church bell. It was such a joyful and special moment of celebration, a highlight of the day for sure. 

Ceremony location: St. Peters Church, Bombay / Reception location: Everybody’s / Videographer: Friend / Photographer: Jesse and Jessie Weddings / Celebrant: Friend, Ben Carroll / Entertainment: Friends / Styling + Flora: Love is in the Detail / Cake: Amano / Ceremony Olive Trees: Icon Trees / Bride’s gown: Hera Couture/ Groom’s attire: Barkers / Rings: Stonz Jewellers / Bride’s shoes: Chaos & Harmony / Groom’s shoes: Ted Baker / Makeup: Bessie S / Hair: Messy Bun / Bride’s fragrance: Elizabeth Arden / Groom’s fragrance: Coach / Bridesmaids dresses: Pagani / Groomsmen’s attire: Barkers