Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship:
Partners in justice – a phrase that captures our story and one of the unique connections we share. Matt and I both work for the New Zealand Police. We met three and a half years ago, and whilst we knew of each other at the time, it wasn’t until we both swiped right, that our paths truly crossed.
I had been warned at work to steer clear of Matt as he was not one to settle down, and I had kissed enough frogs to know that I was well and truly ready for my prince. I’m clearly a sucker for punishment because I eventually conceded to his advances and agreed to meet-up outside of work. Being a fashion-lover myself, you can only imagine my surprise when Matt rocked up to our first date wearing knee-length basketball shorts and a tight white singlet looking like he had just stepped off the movie set of Step Up. Let’s just say that his wardrobe has since undergone a complete makeover.
All jokes aside, Matt and I have the most incredible relationship. We laugh together, we cry together, and we share everything with each other. Matt is the yin to my yang; the calm to my storm. Matt is cool, calm and collected, and I am passionate, empathetic and opinionated. We balance each other in so many ways and there is never a day that we aren’t learning from each other. We share a passion and conversations that not many people could understand, but there is nothing I look forward to more than our deep daily discussions whilst walking our beautiful fur-baby Harvey together.
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:
We decided on having a spring wedding after having attended many summer weddings and concluding that I am not my best self when trying to manage hot temperatures. My porcelain skin does not cope well in the New Zealand summer sun, but we still desperately wanted to get married outside, overlooking Rangitoto Island at The Officers Mess in Devonport. As luck would have it, we could not have asked for a more perfect day. The sun was warm but not too hot, the skies were blue, and there was a light spring breeze rolling off the cliffs. Nearby Tui’s sang throughout our ceremony as we exchanged vows looking over the picturesque views of Rangitoto.
I have never been the type of person to follow trends because they are simply in trend. I have always been stubborn in what I like and what I don’t like when it comes to fashion and styling. I guess this made the wedding planning process easier, in that my vision never wavered and I didn’t second-guess my decisions. Because my wedding dress was a blush pink, the colour palette danced around those tones. Blush did such an incredible job on the florals- bringing out the beautiful soft tones and using the coral peony as a pop of colour.
One of our favourite details of the day were the boy’s superhero shirts that were hidden under their suits. Matt is an absolute superhero buff with The Flash being his all-time favourite. It was such a fun detail of the day and we had a lot of enjoyment in picking out which superhero each of Matt’s brothers would be. Another fun detail of our wedding day was our unconventional table numbering. My sister and brother-in-law came up with the idea to have police charge codes instead of table numbers. Again, we had such fun as a family deciding which groups of people would get what charge code assigned to them.
A more intimate detail of our big day I feel also needs mention. When Matt and I were writing our vows, one phrase really connected with us- ‘Never above you, never below you, always beside you.’ I had an idea to have this phrase translated into Te Reo, and so we had our Iwi Liaison Officer at work translate it for us. The phrase was exchanged both in our vows, and it was also printed on one of our wedding signs which my family designed and created for us:
E kore au ā runga
E kore au ā raro
E piri tahi ana tāua
Tell us about your main outfits:
I first laid eyes on the Hayley Paige ‘Hayley’ Dress about a year prior to Matt proposing, whilst browsing Pinterest one afternoon. The moment I saw her, I couldn’t imagine marrying Matt in any other dress. The layers of blush pink tulle, the delicate beadwork, the whimsical cathedral train- everything about this dress was a dream. So of course, when Matt proposed, one of the first things I investigated was how I could get my hands on this beauty. Hayley Paige is an American designer and the Hayley Dress is not sold in New Zealand. My hunt continued and I eventually bought my Hayley dress second-hand online on Still White. The dress was three sizes too small, in Australia, and I had no way of trying the dress on. I took the gamble and bought it anyway, knowing that no other dress I had seen sparked joy quite like this one. One year later (with some diet changes and rigorous exercise), I was able to walk down the aisle feeling like an absolute princess in my dream wedding dress.
Both my engagement ring and wedding band were designed and made by a New Zealand jewellery company called Nolan and Vada. Nolan and Vada worked closely with us to design two beautiful bespoke rings that I still stare at in awe every single day. My engagement ring now features in their ready-to-wear collection as their ‘Zoe’ ring.
Matt wore a light blue suit teamed with a crisp white shirt, white tie, grey waistcoat, and brown boots. The colour of the boy’s suits looked stunning next to my bridesmaids who wore the ‘Frida’ dress and ‘Keep Me’ jumpsuit in Azure blue from Blak Bridesmaids.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day:
Most couples would describe their wedding as the best day of their lives. For us, it was this and so much more. Nothing can ever replicate the feeling we both felt when we first locked eyes with each other as I walked down the aisle, or when we managed to execute the dirty dancing lift after a few wines, and Matt having split his pants moments prior in our run-through out back (Matt wore his groomsman’s pants for the rest of the night that were at least 3 sizes too big). What can’t be ignored however, is that whilst 2020 has been a beautiful year for our relationship, it has also been one of the hardest for Matt and his family.
During the first New Zealand Covid-19 lockdown in April 2020, Matt’s father Mike was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The excitement of wedding planning became tainted with the real possibility that Mike would not be with us to celebrate our big day. Not only did Mike make it to our wedding, he celebrated with us in style, sporting his killer smile, dapper threads, and the Ponamu that Matt and I gifted him for his 60th birthday one year prior. Six weeks after our wedding, Mike passed away. Whilst we miss him terribly, Matt and I will never forget the beautiful memories we shared with Mike on our wedding day.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together:
Laugh often and love much. Good communication will get you through the toughest of times, only for you to come out stronger on the other end. Let your partner be the person with whom you can be your most vulnerable self, and never underestimate the power of a hug at the end of the day.
Photography: @jonathansuckling | Videography: @sideprojectfilms | Ceremony and Reception location: @theofficersmess | Celebrant: Yvette Reid | Bride’s gown: @hayleypaige | Grooms outfit: @hallensteins , @ydaustralia, @farmersnz | Rings: @nolanandvada and @pascoes_ | Bride’s shoes: @merchant1948 | Grooms shoes: @connor_clothing | Bride’s earrings: @jt_luxe | Grooms cufflinks: @pascoes_| Makeup: @katesolleymakeup | Hair: @hareandhunter | Fragrance: @chloe | Bridesmaid’s dresses: @blakbridesmaids | Bridesmaid’s shoes: @asos | Groomsmen’s suits: @hallensteins, @farmersnz, and @connor_clothing | Entertainment: Levites | Hire and Marquee: @utterly_events | Flora: @blush_flowers | Catering and Beverages: @theofficersmess | Cake: @thecheesecakeshopnorthcross