Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your
Hirini is a Sales Manager and I am a Lawyer specialising in Treaty and Criminal Law. We have been together for
7 amazing years and 2 of those years was actually spent living in different cities. We are fortunate to own our
first home together beside the beautiful sandy shores of Pāpāmoa Beach.
Our love story started when we locked eyes at a party. It then progressed from messages back and forth, to a
first date and then to a camping trip to Raglan where we confessed our love for each other under the stars.
Then finally, after 4 years we decided to take a trip to Bali. Whilst in Bail, we planned a hike up Mount Batur to
watch the sunrise. This involved getting up at 4am and a breakfast of boiled eggs and a piece of bread. When
we finally got to the top of the volcano, Hirini went about fussing over setting up the GoPro for the sunrise.
After different attempts to get the perfect timelapse of the sunrise (all the while, I was oblivious to this), he
got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.
Our connection and love has continued to grow ever since and we are now building our life together here in
Tauranga. Looking back over the years, we have journeyed through a lot. Hirini supported me through my
university days and through a period of long distance when I got landed my first job in Auckland. I also
sacrificed a move to Tauranga for Hirini’s promotion at Mainfreight and we have both worked together on our
commitment to incorporate Te Reo Māori and a Māori worldview into our lives.
Nowadays, you will find the two of us either training at Crossfit, scoffing our faces with butter chicken or
lounging inside watching Netflix on a rainy day!
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:
Originally, we planned a big wedding with 250 guests however, due to COVID-19 our wedding venue cancelled
on us. This was a blessing in disguise as it made us realise that we really only wanted a small and intimate
wedding. So, we set about finding a holiday house on the beach where we could almost elope. We found the
perfect house which backed onto Matarangi Beach and we went ahead and invited 50 of our closest friends
and family. The holiday house was so dreamy. It looked out to the sand dunes and ocean from the deck and
was surrounded by tall pine trees.
In terms of the setup, we had the ceremony on the beach and the reception on the lawn in front of the holiday
house. We did away with a lot of the formalities such as a sit-down dinner and speeches and instead, we let
our guests graze on platters and pulled pork and salad buns and indulge in cold beverages. After cutting the
cake, we got straight into a first dance which sparked off the rest of our guests and went long into the dark of
With styling, we envisioned natural tones to blend in with the scenery and wanted it to be minimal. My
bridesmaids helped to dress the aisle with driftwood and the reception area with fairy lights, pampas and pine
cones. We had bar leaners, umbrellas and cane couches which complemented the relaxed vibe we were going
for. One of my absolute favourite details was our dark wood triangle arch which made our ceremony pics!
Tell us about your main outfits:
I wore the Emmy Mae Bowie dress which featured a low v back and a lace bodice and train. I decided not to
wear a veil on my head so that it wouldn’t take away from the beautiful lace train following behind me. I also
wore my nana’s silver bracelet with sapphire stones that my poppa had given to her as something borrowed
Hirini wore a Laidlaw Leeds tailored suit jacket and sand blend pants matched with brown leather R.M.
Williams. Hirini had his heart set on these shoes and bought them a whole year in advance. He also wore his
pounamu necklace that I had gifted him for his 30th birthday.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day:
Our friends really came through for us on the day and helped with things they had skills in. One of our closest
friends married us. She specifically got her marriage licence for the occasion. An important part of our day was
having her open and close our ceremony in Te Reo Māori because it meant that we could incorporate our
culture in the celebration of our love and commitments. She is now the “go to” celebrant for our group of
friends and is considering making it a side hustle!
One friend also made our cake, another couple of friends did the food (including breakfast for the bridesmaids
and groomsmen the morning of our wedding day) and another friend bought their speakers and was our DJ for
the night. We were so blessed to have these people pitch in and we can really say it was a stress-free day!
Hirini and I wouldn’t change a thing!
One unique and memorable thing from our wedding would also have to be how my nana picked and dried
white and pink rose petals from her own garden so that everyone could scatter them over us when we walked
down the aisle. She also made a tie pin for Hirini with a fresh white rose. These little personal touches were so
meaningful to us.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together:
For those planning to tie the knot, just remember that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on your big day
to make it special. What makes it special and memorable are the people who surround you on the day. In
saying this, we would still recommend splashing out a little so you look and feel your best and investing in a
good photographer/videographer is definitely worth it!
Beyond the big day, our advice to couples would be to laugh a lot and don’t sweat the small things!
Photography: @nikkidelesphotography | Videography: @ddronenz | Ceremony location: Matarangi Beach Front | Reception location: Holiday Home in Matarangi, Whitianga | Celebrant: @bbykendaxx | Bride’s gown: @emmy_mae__bridal | Groom’s attire: @farmersnz and @r.m.williams_official | Rings: @michaelhillj | Makeup: @krystal_nzmakeupgirl | Hair: @_hairbyjuanita | Fragrance: @jimmychoo | Bridesmaid’s and Groomsmen’s attire: @farmersnz | Entertainment: Jaedyn Falwasser | Hire: @anchor_and_antler | Flora: @flowerbox.florist | Catering and Beverages: Pita & Darlene Shelford and Ngatiriti Eparaima-Hautapu | Cake: Aliesha Crackett | Invitations: Greenvelope | Signage: @westerlyandco.nz