Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
We first laid eyes on each other at a bonfire on Courtney’s family farm. Zac had been invited along by a mutual friend and really made an impression on Courtney – so much so that the very next day she told her mum that Zac was the exact type of guy she wanted to marry.
Fast forward 3 years and we were standing at the altar! Another significant fact is that this was the first ever relationship for both of us, and while there have been many learnings, it’s been an adventure that we’re lucky enough to experience together. We grew up in very similar circles and everyday are shocked that we never met each other until our twenties – our mum’s went to school together! We have a lot in common, but especially share a real love for getting out and experiencing God’s creation (Zac is a keen photographer while Courtney offers excellent company!) Many an evening has been spent out on Auckland’s West Coast beaches watching the sun go down. One particularly memorable adventure in the NZ wilderness was on the day of our engagement, where Zac managed to misplace the ring on the little island where we were picnicking, then relocate it and propose without Courtney having realised!
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 really value relationships and recognise that the communities we’re a part of have played a huge role in shaping who we are – this was the key driver behind hosting an open ‘all-invited’ wedding and choosing a church venue that had space to a) hold a lot of people and b) feed them! We ended up having around 300 of our friends and family join us on the day which was so special. We held an afternoon tea at the church after the ceremony which gave us a time to pause and greet our many guests. The church was one that Zac’s family has attended for over 50 years, so it was really special to be able to start our new life together there. Neither of us are big fans of elaborate DIY crafting – and having both had family weddings fairly recently, we were keen to keep things elegant but simple for everyone involved. So when it came to choosing a look for our day, white roses and olive branches set the style for most of our design work. We used this throughout our stationery, signage, wedding florals, cake and just about anything else we could think of.
Tell us about your main outfits?
For Courtney, the dress was a breeze to find. Karen at Bridal and Ball in Albany has such an incredible selection of gowns that she imports from all over the world and had provided Courtney’s sister with a beautiful wedding dress just a couple of years prior. Courtney ended up choosing the very first dress she tried on, a gorgeous low-back princess gown with a stunning applique bodice – in short, an absolute dream dress! It was surprisingly one of the easiest parts of the wedding preparations. Courtney also did a small outfit change into a fun leaving dress when the speeches were up, allowing for a bit more movement on the dance floor (and the chance for the dress to be packed away for the dry cleaner! Tips and tricks, ladies) Zac and the groomsmen required a bit more time in the beginning to find the exact shade of midnight blue that Zac was after. After about ten weeks of coercing the lads into changing rooms, Barkers nailed the suits which Zac gave the OK to – they also stocked the perfect shirts and ties.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
Zac’s groomsmen smuggled a set of dirty dog sunglasses into the photoshoot after the ceremony wedding – 30 years after Zac’s parent’s groomsmen had done the same! Add to the mix a few joy rides on some e-scooters that we’re hanging around the shoot location, we ended up with some pretty great photos! Miraculous moment of the day was a brief dress mishap, which was quickly taken care of by one of our wonderful guests, a seamstress who just happened to have everything she needed in her car!
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
Marriage is so good. Invest in it.
Photography: Jesse and Jessie | Videography: Revera | Reception location: Okahu Wedding Venue | Ceremony location: Northcote Baptist Church | Celebrant: Russell Ballentyne | Bride’s outfit: Bridal & Ball Designer – Iryna Kotapska | Groom’s outfit: Barkers | Engagement rings: Walker and Hall | Wedding rings: Stuart Dawson | Shoes: Novo | Hair and Makeup: Beauty on Demand | Fragrance: Her- White Tea – Elizabeth Ardern, Him- Light Blue – Dolce & Gabbana | Groomsmen’s outfits: Barkers | Bridesmaid’s outfits: Forever New | Flora: Design Touch | Catering and Beverages: Okahu Wedding Venue| Cake: Paula’s Kitchen |