Courtney & Josh by Haley Guildford
Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
We have known and grown up alongside each other for ten and a half years. We met through some gorgeous mutual friends when we were just fifteen years old – cue high school sweethearts…
Josh is in the RNZAF and I’m a secondary school teacher and we currently live in Auckland. We have a fur baby called Luna. Josh proposed eight and a half years into the relationship, I chose a Natalie Marie tourmalinated quartz for my rock and Josh chose a 1958 Les Paul Reissue guitar. The beauty of our relationship is that we get each other on such a fundamental level, and part of that may be because we have known each other for so long – each and every day we choose to be best friends.
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 got married over a long weekend on June 1st. I had always envisioned a moody, winter wedding full of juxtaposition – and our day was everything we dreamed of. We tossed up the idea of eloping, just the two of us, for a long time but ultimately decided that we wanted to include our immediate family to be there, as they’d been with us throughout the entire ten and a half year journey – we had eight glorious humans come and celebrate our love. We are extreme non traditionalists, and we knew that we wanted a relaxed weekend focused on celebrating without all the pomp and fuss. I had a bit of a mantra throughout the planning process, ‘I just want to be a wife, not a bride.’
For photos, we wanted to find a place that had access to woodlands, as well as a slight urban and modern juxtaposition. Hu’s was the perfect location, with it’s bold black barn, exposed beams, and concrete floor aesthetic. We booked out the entire location for the leisurely long weekend for us all.
The flowers were a non negotiable for me. As a lover of all things flora I knew what I wanted – to contrast the black with metallics, dusty pinks with the soft natural tones of toi toi – and boy did Jennifer from Hawke & Hyde deliver.
Tell us about your main outfits:
We made the decision to both wear black early on in our planning. Dresses and white in general aren’t typically part of my wardrobe and I wanted to make sure that I felt authentic on the day. I had my eye on the Marrakech dress from Leave Her Wilder for quite some time and ended up emailing Greer asking if it was mad for wanting to buy the dress in black for the wedding day. I paired the dress (which was a statement in itself) with a gorgeous pair of LaTribe heels and black tassel earnings from Kilt. Josh also wore black on black, paring some things from his wardrobe with new purchases, but he knew he was always going to wear his Dr Martens.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
Like any day filled with love there are many memorable moments. While the weather never really crossed our minds, we were welcomed into the first day of winter with a hail storm in the hour before our ceremony – and the icy chill never really left. Some of our favourite moments were post ceremony, walking out to Hall & Oates ‘Out of Touch’ holding hands as husband and wife. The time we spent with Haley [Haley Guildford Photographer] was a highlight – we had allowed for over an hour on our own to spend chatting, laughing and allowing her the creative space to make her magic. Later in the night we had a family game of Articulate and I don’t think we’ve ever laughed so much. But the magic happened when everyone went to bed in the wee hours of the morning and we didn’t want the night to end, so we swayed and danced around the living room to Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’ as husband and wife. Bliss.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
We have a few tidbits of advice:
● Remain best friends first and foremost – this has always been our priority.
● Take everything day by day, and be sure not to buy into what everyone else is doing.
● Always do what is right by you and your partner and do not let the opinions of others ever affect your relationship (or your day).
Photography: Haley Guildford | Ceremony and Reception location: Private location | Celebrant: Bradley Patten | Bride’s gown: Leave Her Wilder | Groom’s outfit: ASOS & River Island | Rings: Natalie Marie and The DN Company | Shoes: Bride- La Tribe, Groom- Dr Martens | Makeup: SebMakeup | Fragrance: Replica – Jazz Club, Karen Walker -Runaway | Flora: Hawke & Hyde | Catering and Beverages: The Beekeeper’s Wife | Cake: Dunkin Donuts | Neon Signs NZ