Cam + Milly by Black Feather Studio

We were never very taken with the ‘traditional’ wedding style. We really wanted to create something that was true to our own style – it had to be colourful, full of fun, and of course, include some deliciously big sleeves.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
Cam and I both live very creative lives. I’m a graphic designer by day and a bag-of-chips-on-the-couch girl by night. Cam is the owner/operator of Jump n Fun, a local Invercargill trampoline park and laser tag arena and is really passionate about his business. He spends a lot of time there and is always thinking of new ways to improve and grow it.

We’re both lovers of funky home décor and thrive with a good DIY project (me more so than Cam, but he’s happy to pay for the supplies and lend a well-informed opinion. We love taking long Sunday drives aimlessly exploring new corners of the countryside, spending time with our fabulous friends, or going thrift shopping together for neat little treasures.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
We first met in the workplace, when we were both nineteen years old. I was a slightly awkward gift shop assistant, and Cam was working during a university break, taking on miscellaneous tasks. From the moment I first met him, I noticed his personality brightened the room. Cam can connect with anyone he meets with his warm and inviting nature. His endearing smile and wheezy laugh were truly one-of-a-kind and it was impossible for me not to be taken with him.

Although Cam found me equally endearing, he didn’t give it a second thought as he stuck to the principle of ‘you don’t fish off the company pier’. Little did he know, I had already developed a crush on him. Perceptive to the connection brewing between us, Cam’s boss Sue observed our countless conversations at the front desk and presumed there was a blossoming romance on the cards. During the end-of-year Christmas work party, she took us both aside and offered her insight, stating, “She likes you, you like her, do something about it.” And so, it turned out, she was absolutely right!

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
Cam and I just never wanted to stop hanging out. I think we both knew early on in the relationship that we were one another’s person. It was always easy to be together and we never had to work very hard at it; I think that’s how you know when you’re with the right person, it just feels right.

I love how he always thinks about me. Cam’s such a caring husband; he’ll brighten a bad week by cooking a comfort meal and grabbing me a fun bunch of flowers. I stress enough, organise and overthink for the both of us and amongst all my chaos, he’s the calm to my storm.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
Cam and I went on a fabulous getaway to Milford Sound for a week. Neither of us had been there since we were kids, so it was a great opportunity to experience something new together. I’ll tell you now that I expected the engagement after picking up on Cam’s nerves and seeing a ring-shaped box in his jacket pocket, but at the time I feigned ignorance.

So, the story is more about how Cam didn’t propose. The first blissful moment for a peachy proposal was when we stopped by Lake Te Anau and skipped stones together, it was the most magical day out and the sun was shining through a calm breeze. Cam, however, had a very set idea in his head of something more spectacular, so he waited for the next opportunity to drop his knee.

We arrived at the meeting point for a helicopter flight over the Fiords. Before we left I asked if I’d need to take a jacket with me for our stop up the mountains. The pilot said it wouldn’t be very cold up there, so Cam left his jacket in the car too along with his next chance to propose.

The very next day we took a boat ride in the sounds. Cam was waiting for us to have the top deck of the boat to ourselves but alas, there was a couple who wouldn’t leave and this foiled his next plan.

As Cam grew increasingly more nervous, we headed out to a short waterfall walk, but that was closed due to construction. Later that day, back at the lodge, Cam asked to go for a walk. This instantly set off my alarm bells because Cam never wants to go for a walk (he has bad ankles!) and I was preparing myself for the proposal. The nerves were seeping from his pores at this point and just watching him made me nervous too. It was a very interesting time trekking through the shrubs, but alas, Cam didn’t find the spot he was looking for so we walked back to the lodge again.
Finally, on our last day at the lodge, Cam told me to stop eating my Grainwaves and come outside to the picnic table. My heart was pounding probably more than his as he started about how much he loved me and dropped to one knee with the most incredible ring; of course, I said yes!

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
We were never very taken with the ‘traditional’ wedding style. We really wanted to create something that was true to our own style – it had to be colourful, full of fun, and of course, include some deliciously big sleeves. When you’re planning a wedding, everyone tells you what you ‘have to’ say and do; from the get-go, we were very staunch on not taking anyone’s advice if it didn’t align with our vision.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
The flowers were everything to us – go big or go home. We love colour and it absolutely was the highlight of our day to walk in and see the beautiful arrangements Asta had created for us. I was shocked in the very best way you could be shocked, we couldn’t have dreamed of more incredible arrangements.

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

Cam and I both take pride in our individual style and it was really important to both of us to express ourselves with our outfit choices on our big day.

Cam had his suit tailor-made by the Crane Brothers team in Auckland. He really wanted a dark green suit which is very tricky to find off-the-rack for anyone, let alone a plus-size dude. Crane brothers had so many divine fabrics to choose from and we found a little gem of green threads from their selection. They fit it perfectly to Cam’s shape and he was stoked with the end result.

From the moment I started the hunt for wedding dresses, there was one specific dress I instantly fell in love with. There were hundreds of others I’d saved to my list but it was always the same one I kept coming back to. It was a struggle to find something different that wasn’t over the other side of the globe and I had always been adamant that I would never have a dress made without trying a sample on first. Mum and I decided to make the trip to Sydney for a try-on weekend and to see this dress in the flesh. Christie (founder of Christie Nicole Bridal) has the most incredible collection of wedding dresses fit for the modern bride wanting something very unique but also beautifully crafted and classic in their own way. There were so many distinctive designs to choose from but, in the end it was the very last dress I tried on that we ended up choosing – the same one I had loved all along!

Ceremony & Reception Location Wine House, @winehousenz / Photographer & Videographer Black Feather Studio, @blackfeathernz / Celebrant Your Big Day, @yourbigdayqt / Entertainment La Social, / Hair Halcyon Creative, @halcyon_creative / Makeup Kendyl Tuilagi Makeup Artist, @kendyltuilagimakeupartist / Catering & Beverages Wine House, @winehousenz / Planner STAC Weddings, @stacweddings_hire / Hire Tble Linen, @tble.linen.hire / Flora Flore Studios, @flore.studios
Cake Mama Mia Kitchen Queenstown, @mama_mia_kitchen_queenstown / Stationery Bride / Registry Gifty Weddings / Groom’s Suit Crane Brothers, @cranebrothers / Bride’s Dress Christie Nicole Bridal, @christienicole_bridal / Bride’s Party Dress Rachel Gilbert, @rachelgilbertau / Bride’s Blue Tulle Jacket Selezza, @selezzalondon / Bride’s Engagement Ring Coats & Schuck Jewellers / Bride’s Wedding Band Karen Walker, @karenwalker / Groom’s Wedding Band B & W Manufacturing / Bride’s Shoes Merchant,
@merchant1948 / Fragrance Si By Giorgio Armani, @giorgioarmani / Bridesmaids Dresses Aje, @aje / YLD Design, @yld__design