Dayna + Avon by Bek Smith

Just as our friends started taking our photo Avon got down on one knee, which surprised us all. He had kept the ring hidden throughout our travels waiting to propose at the right time.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
Avon and I are both teachers living in Taranaki. We have both spent some time together living overseas where Avon played rugby in Ireland and Russia and have travelled quite a bit. We love exploring and making the most of different experiences and opportunities. But nothing beats living in Taranaki, enjoying good coffee, the coast, friends and family.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
DL: We met on a night out 9 years ago when Avon approached me thinking I was my twin sister Sarah, who was dating his friend. Despite the mistaken identity, we spent the night chatting and got to know one another. I thought Avon looked like Heath Ledger so I promptly accepted the Facebook friend request he sent later that night.

AL: I first met Dayna thinking she was her twin sister Sarah, who was my dating my friend. Not my finest moment but after chatting to her I knew she was special. Not only was she stunningly beautiful, but man she had some great banter, which for me was very attractive. I’d like to think we hit it off straight away and things just evolved from there.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
AL: We’ve been fortunate to share some pretty cool experiences together over the years. After living abroad in Ireland and Russia together I felt pretty confident that Dayna was someone that I could spend the rest of my life with. For months we travelled and lived in Russia while I waited for the perfect moment to propose, hiding the engagement ring on our travels.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
DL: Avon proposed at sunset when we were in Cappadocia, a region in central Turkey. He had mentioned there was a pretty cool place to take some photos. Just as our friends started taking our photo Avon got down on one knee, which surprised us all. He had kept the ring hidden throughout our travels waiting to propose at the right time.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
We married in a Carribbean-style beach house with the ocean and mountain either side of us. This inspired our relaxed coastal wedding. We wanted one big party where our friends and family felt like they were on holiday. We are both from Taranaki and wanted a coastal feel that reflected us as a couple.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
Being foodies we both agreed that our Al Fresco, family styled dining was an element we were happy to splurge on. We wanted the food to be one of the most memorable aspects of the day so we thought lots of high quality food was a must. L’Epicure was a non-negotiable and we even changed our original wedding date to have them!

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
DL: After getting engaged in 2019, the first wedding dress I took a screenshot of ended up being the one I wore on the day. I am a minimalist at heart and was after a modern and elegant design. I loved the billowing sleeves, I knew almost immediately after trying it on that it was the one I was going to go with.

Avon and the boys kept true to the coastal wedding style and opted for light blazers, overtop of white shirts and black pants. We spent a bit of time researching and mixing and matching things until we found the perfect suit. Avon made some subtle changes to his outfit to make a point of difference from his groomsmen. His blazer was linen and he wore a bowtie to dress things up a little.

Ceremony + Reception location: Private Venue St. Georges By The Sea / Photographer: Bek Smith, @beksmithimages / Videographer: Grey Area Productions, @greyareaproduction / Celebrant: Let’s Say I Do, @letssayido / Entertainment: Hemi Coates Music, @hemicoatesmusic / Planner: Elizabeth Jean Weddings, @elizabeth_jean_weddings / Hire: (Tableware and cutlery) The Dinner Table, @thedinnertablenz; (Furniture and marquee) L.L Hire, @llhire; (Tablecloths and napkins) Tble Linen, @tble.linen.hire / Flora: Pineapple Sage, @pineapplesage_florist / Catering: L’Epicure Creative Catering, @l_epicure_food / Beverages: The Shaker Tin, @theshakertin / Cake: The Unbaked Bakery, @the_unbakedbakery / Signs: Paper Darling, @paperdarlingnz / Stationery: The Signery, @thesignerynz / Person one attire: KYHA Studios, @kyhastudios / Person two attire: (Blazer) Country Road, @countryroad; (Suit) Barkers Clothing, @barkersclothing / Dayna’s ring: Naveya & Sloane Jewellery, @naveyaandsloanejewellery / Avon’s ring: Michael Hill, @michaelhillj / Dayna’s shoes: Sol Sana, @solsanashoes / Avon’s shoes: Merchant 1948, @merchant1948 / Earrings: Amber Sceats, @ambersceats / Makeup: @amber_makeup / Hair: Inspired Hair, @robynmunrohair / Fragrance: Jo Malone, @jomalonelondon / Bridesmaid attire: Shona Joy, @shonajoy / Groomsmen attire: Barkers Clothing, @barkersclothing