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

BW- I am the list maker, planner and overthinker! Tash is the charmer, yarner and has the “Good Vibes Only” Mantra. Tash is the Auckland area manager for New Zealands biggest leading menswear brand and I am a hairstylist of nearly 15 years and salon manager, this leads to us both having a shared interest in style, which can also sometimes be cause for debate!

We both have quite fast paced work lives so when we have our time together we love the simple things in life; road trips, beach days, friends and family, slow sunday mornings (with coffee!), dinner dates and snuggling up with our ragdoll, Harley, to watch a movie (once we agree on one, haha!)

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

We’ve known each other for so long as friends, to know exactly how and when we met is a tricky one. However the time when we started looking at each other as more than friends is definitely a  bit clearer.

For years we had always had a good friendship, more than acquaintances but not best friends, although any moments that it was just the two of us we always had such honest and open conversations. About three and a half years ago we both ended up being single at the same time,  we started hanging out more and more and getting closer as friends, then eventually more.

BW- As far as first impressions go it’s quite funny, I thought Tash was way too cool to ever be interested in me! I always felt a little intimidated, not in a bad way, just that I thought she was waaay out of my league. She had this super chill “swagger” and just a way with people, the line goes … “Everyone Loves Tash” which is so true, there’s just something about her that everyone seems to love even after a five minute conversation. I thought she was stunning and captivating in a way that just seemed effortless.

TM- When I started looking at Beth as more than a friend I thought she was extremely attractive and out of my league. Inside and out perfect for me in so many ways. I noticed that she was kind and smart, a little bit sassy and quite strong willed.

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

For both of us there was no single moment that made us realise we were in love with each other, it was a culmination of all the little things. From day one we were both so comfortable with each other. As we already loved each other as friends, the transition to falling in love with each other was natural for us.

We share the same values, both genuine, open and honest. We trust each other completely and always feel safe and secure with each other. We are home to each other.

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

BW- Early February 2021, after going out for dinner, we were walking along the beach at Mount Maunganui during our summer holiday (very lucky to have a family house there). We had discussed getting engaged over the last few weeks, looking at rings we might like and so on. We were discussing that at the time and I had mentioned something about how it was looking quite tricky to find a ring that would fit me as I have very small fingers and standard ring sizes don’t fit me. Tash said that she may have found something that fits me. I thought she was going to show me a picture of something on her phone, instead she told me to close my eyes and hold out my hand. She put something on my finger and when I opened my eyes it was a Toterere shell ‘ring’ that she had found on the beach a few days earlier, and to that, it fitted perfectly! I laughed, not quite knowing what was going on, then I noticed Tashs’ eyes starting to well up and I asked “are you proposing to me?” to which she nervously laughed and said “Yeah, if you like me to be.” Clearly I said yes!

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding.

Our vision for the day is just to be as relaxed as possible, have a few glasses of bubbles, good food, take some beautiful photos, have fun and most importantly marry each other.

As we knew we were going to have an elopement style wedding we were hoping to find a rustic but beautiful natural spot with stunning  surroundings that would be the perfect backdrop for all those special intimate moments to be captured. We wanted to find a special place on neutral ground that had its own natural beauty and had a warmth and glow about it, Wai Ora was stunning as it is and we didn’t need to add anything to it (although Tashs brother, did jokingly offer to rustle us up a wedding arch with what he could find on the farm!).

We loved the fact that we could do everything in one place, from getting ready, to the ceremony and having so many choices for photos.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Absolutely without question, photography! After all these were going to be with us for the rest of our lives! Samantha was so fun and easy to work with and made our day so relaxed and comfortable. She did such a beautiful job of capturing all of the special moments, our images are everything we wanted and more! Second to that we were prepared to pay what was necessary to get the perfect venue space that encompassed everything we were looking for.

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

There were definitely a couple of humorous moments, including Tash choking on a fly that ended up in her coffee and me having a typical clumsy “Bethany” moment when crossing the river to get to our ceremony spot, however we were extremely fortunate to have such a seamless and stress-free day. Dare we say it was pretty near perfect! We think this came down to our “go with the flow” approach for the day.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

We both knew above all else we wanted to stay true to ourselves, neither of us are formal wedding gown people and this was something we wouldn’t compromise on!

BW-  I had an exact vision for what I wanted. Red is my favorite colour so I knew I had to incorporate that somewhere, it had gone through my mind to wear a full red outfit, but that wasn’t working out. I knew I wanted a flowing kimono and floaty pants. I saw the Camilla kimono I wore a long time before we started planning our wedding and put it in the back of my mind. When we started the wedding planning I went back to the Camilla kimono only to find it was sold out! After weeks of searching I found it brand new on ebay! For the outfit I wore underneath, once again I had a very clear idea of what I wanted, searched high and low and couldn’t find anything exactly right until I stumbled across Judy Gaos’ Bridal Collection! She had the perfect pieces and was so lovely to work with, even better it turned out her studio was just around the corner from where we live. I still got a splash of my red in the Chaos and Harmony shoes, nails and lips. In the end it all came together perfectly!

TM- For me the Will and Bear hat was the pièce de résistance, and the rest of the outfit kind of came together around that. I wanted my outfit to look  effortless, but finding the right pieces was anything but effortless! I tried so many different trouser and shirt combos until I ended up in a Recycle Boutique one day and found the perfect colour trouser that just needed a little tailoring to be the right fit and the shirt I found at one of my favorite shops, Commoners, in Mt Maunganui. Bringing the essence of summer to the river.

Ceremony + Reception location: Canopy Camping Escapes – Wai Ora / Photographer: Samantha Donaldson Photography / Celebrant: Tracey Stevens / Flora: Koyo Florals / Catering: Fat Pigeon Cafe / Bethany’s top + pants: Judy Gao Couture / Bethany’s Kimono layering piece: Camilla / Tash’s Shirt: Commoners + thrifted pants / Rings: Nick von K / Shoes: Chaos and Harmony & Shubar via Hype DC / Bethany’s Earrings: Kirstin Ash / Bethany’s Necklace chain: Michael Hill / Tash’s Hat: Will and Bear / Tash’s Necklaces: Stolen Girlfriends Club & Michael Hill / Makeup: Josie Brenstrum Make Up Artist / Fragrance: Hugo boss, Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford.