Ellie & Sam by Jackson Grant

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

We take a journey back to the begin of their love adventure and relive the love tales that is Sam & Ellie.

Sam tells it a little something like this… They would first come to cross paths across the ditch in Hamilton NZ, Sam reckons he one Ellie over by simply being the odd man out at the time, you see Ellie isn’t much of a fan of the mullet, and at the time he was the only male living in Hamilton who wasn’t sporting one, however this made for an easy choice for Ellie. Who at the time had moved from Melbourne and was living in Hamilton. Straight away ole Sam knew he was on to a good thing and wasn’t about to let a good looking sort like Ellie get away had to see this girl again, and although distance was an issue, he was determined to not let that stand in his way, and thanks to the wonderful invention we all know as social media, so he took the leap and sent her a friend request and was able to sneakily slip straight into her DM’s with a message request to see her again, expecting nothing to come from it, not only did Ellie accepted his request but she was keen as mustard to see him again.

So the pair decided to bypass the getting to know you stage and decided to book a cheeky get away together to Fiji, Sam reckons Ellie was close to missing her flight but luckily you will all be please to know she did make it). They spent an epic 5 days together in Fiji, which they awkwardly got asked about a thousand times if they were on their honeymoon although it was actually only their first date. Whilst managing to not kill each other in Fiji, they realized that they both were pretty much into each other, from here it would be 2 years of flying backwards forward to see each other all the while keeping Air New Zealand in business, as Ellie was still studying in Melbourne and I was working in Hamilton. Sam reckons it was pretty good excuse to get to have a mini-holiday every month or so, and we got to do all the tourist things in each other’s cities.

During Ellie’s last year of Uni, Sam decided to head over to join her in Australia and he found work on a diary farm in Warrnambool, decreasing the long distance from a 4 hour flight to a 3 hour drive. Any time Sam had he would be in Melbourne seeing Ellie and this would be the time he would introduce her to the life of a dairy farmer. Once Ellie graduated she was offered a job back in NZ in Inglewood and the couple headed back to Sam’s native land and he was able to find work on a farm nearby, Naki would be the place they would attempted the whole living together thing as a couple, much to the surprise of Sam that it got this far and Ellie wasn’t sick of him yet.

Although Ellie was a massive fan of the weather in the Naki, she was particularly found oft he constant torrential downpours and general moistness such a location brings, she wanted to further her horse vetting knowledge and moved to Bendigo for an internship, again, the couple would endure a second stint of long-distance for 6 months. Ellie would again venture back to her man and the land of the great white cloud, where they moved to Manawatu, this would be where they would settle down, dig their roots and where they are living currently.

Last April Sam proposed to Ellie at Chocolate Mill near Daylesford whilst she was consuming her favourite hot chocolate. As many off you will know Sam & Ellie ar not the most expressive people with their emotions but luckily Donna and Tess (Ellie’s mum and sis) were there to take care of this for them as they showed buckets loads of enthusiasm for this epic announcement… Off course Ellie was pretty stoked as well Off course every story has to two sides this is how Ellie tells it She first met Sam when in NZ for a farm placement for her Veterinary degree 7 years ago. She was staying with a uni friend at the time and Sam was her house mate. When I first saw Sam instantly the sparks where flying, and yes although him not having a mullet was rather impressive what most impressed her was his chivalry as he carried her bags to the car, however after being awe of this dashing gentleman, this soon turned to embarrassment when Ellie had no idea how to open the boot of her rental car and about 10 min was spent madly pushing every button she could to find the boot. After being guttered at having to return to Melbourne.

It would be a constant barrage of text message, more like essays wanting to get to know each other. The whole time Ellie was thinking he would get bored and stop responding…… but the essays kept coming. Sam started dropping hints that he may have a bit of leave coming up, this was Sam’s suttle way of getting Ellie to invite him to Melbourne but instead she suggested we go somewhere a bit hotter than the lucky dip of a weather forecast Melbourne had to offer . She claims this was a joke, as she suggested they should go to Fiji! However Sam wasn’t mucking about and was stoked on the idea about an exotic getaway with the new apple of his eye. So started the planning of first ever date, possible the most adventure and daring first date ever. Ellie was nervous to tell her friends and family of her radical and spontaneous plans, but much to her surprisingly she was met with nothing but support, with her sister Tess having just one question; ‘is he a murderer?’ no, I replied which was satisfactory for her approval. After nearly missing her flight, Sam avoided being stood up for their first week long date! After the question continued to be asked “are you on you honeymoon?” from the hotel, taxi drivers, fellow tourists, basically any and everyone. What started of as very awkward, started to became a bit of a running joke. Some having done long distance for over 1 ó years and on more then one occasion, Ellie believes it defiantly forced them to appreciate every moment they spent together and they would always make the most of their time together, they have had some epic adventures travelling all over Victoria and NZ, which may not have happened.

Although the many spurts off long distance at times has been trying on these legends relationship, ultimately it has probably more then anything made them even stronger. Ellie says the proposal was very thoughtful Sam took her to their favourite place, which we made mention is the ‘The chocolate Mill’ in Daylesford. Unfortunately, It didn’t all go to script as many proposal rarely, Ellie ruined it by refusing to stop there on the way to visit the family as they were running late for dinner. The plans then took a further unique twist when Ellie’s sister and mother invited themselves to come along the following day. Again Ellie was almost the spoiler, as Sam was secretly trying to give the waitress the ring Ellie came up and for the second time nearly foiled the plan. Sam forced into abandoning ship yet again had to drop the box behind the counter so she didn’t see it. Finally, the ring did make it to Ellie’s finger it was delivered to the table alongside her favourite thing in the whole world, Chocolate mill hot chocolate, with her mum and sister at the table; videoing and crying throughout the whole thing.

At first Ellie was a bit confused as she thought Sam was asking a rhetorical questions as instead of the usually “Will you marry me” statement Sam preferred to ask, ‘will you make me the happiest man in the world?’ and according to Ellie he clearly already was as he was already dating her. Anyway, because of this she didn’t bother responding so he had to clarify, and finally we got there with Ellie saying off course, It would be rude not to. Sam and Ellie are now living on a dairy farm in Manawatu, NZ. Sam owns the herd and runs the farm and Ellie does all the veterinary health care on the farm and also works as an equine veterinarian in town. We both love our two dogs Walter (miniature schnauzer) and Snoopie (boarder collie) we treat them like our kids and they are truly spoilt rotten. Walter gets to go to work with Ellie, sitting on her draws in the back of the car greeting all the patients and clients warmly and snoopie gets to hang out on the farm all day. We are both out of control when it comes to chocolate and manage to get through a block a night sometimes. Its lucky we both love the out doors and love exploring all that NZ has to offer with the incredible walks everywhere. Sam also plays in a local squash club on weekends when Ellie is off at dressage events with her horse. They are both busy people but pride themselves on their good communication skills to make sure they still feel heard and connected.

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..

Ellie planned most of the day with her 2 sisters and maid of honour, Sam’s only input was the cake flavour. Our goal was to have a super relaxed day full of laughter and non-stop jokes. We wanted to move away from the traditional wedding traditions and make it a day that represented the two of us. We really just wanted to create a wedding we would love to go to; that was just an absolute ball from start to finish and I think we 100% achieved this. The theme Ellie picked was bohemian inspired. Some of my favourte things on the day was the amazing arbour with the best floral display. I wanted to feel like we were in the bush with big garlands along the tables and roof. The neon sign was amazing and really gave the room a point of difference, we just hired it and it was very reasonably priced. Grace the florist was defiantly a life saver being able to style the whole venue as we had to do it all ourselves and there was a wedding the night before so it was quite challenging to set everything up on the day.

Tell us about your main outfits:

Ellies outfit was found within the first week of getting engaged. She found it online and loved it the second she saw it. The model was nearly the exact same size so there was no chance it wasn’t going to fi. Buying something online was a bit scary but with Grace loves lace they have a good returns policy if you get a dress off the rack so it could be exchanged or adjusted. What I failed to realise was that getting it sent to NZ meant I had to pay extra in tax, in hindsight I would have got it delivered to family in Australia then got them to send it on. When the dress was tried on it fitted perfectly but was such a challenge to get on it wasn’t tried on again till the day.

Sams outfit was created with a few Pinterest inspired photos and a trip to Chadstone shopping centre while we were in Melbourne visiting family. Sam had recently bought a suit in NZ and the ones we were searching for looked nearly identical, so we decided to just save some money and not buy a new one and just get the matching pants for the groomsmen. We also decided to save on the groomsmen jackets taking a chance the weather would be kind to us and it would be warm.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

We got cornhole from another couple that made it for their wedding and painted’ team bride’ and ‘team groom’ on the boards. Heaps of people jumped in and had a go and most were quite competitive. The venue setting was pictures’ and we go so lucky with the weather, warm and overcast. I have never been to a wedding where everyone clapped and cheered the bride down the aisle but this was one of my highlights and our exact wedding vibe encapsulated in this moment. Our photographer Jackson had the best presence and bought all his personality on the day, he had great ideas and had fun with it. Hands down we couldn’t have got a better photographer he encompassed everything you need and really calmed the nerves and we got epic photos, he is hilarious!

Our first look was at camp David farm which was 2min drive from out wedding venue, it is actually another wedding venue, but they luckily didn’t have one on that weekend. The venue had incredible views, beautiful gardens and mazes, we got such unique varying photos from this place. I hadn’t been there till the day, so it defiantly exceeded my expectations. Everyone commented on the food, there was an abundance and it was all so delicious. It catered so wonderfully for all tastes and no one went hungry.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

We have only just started out journey together so not sure if we should be giving advice yet but I think if you can make it though planning a wedding you can make it through anything!

Photography: Jackson Grant | Ceremony and Reception location: The Burrow, Denver | First look location: Camp David Farm | Bride’s gown: Grace Loves Lace | Groom’s suit: Hallensteins | Bride’s ring: Naveya and Sloane | Groom’s ring: Heartwood Ring Designs | Bride shoes: Mi Piaci | Groom’s shoes: David Jones | Bridesmaid’s jewellery: One Day Bridal | Makeup: Ashley Morales | Bridesmaid’s gowns: Various online stores | Groomsmen’s suits: Hallensteins | Celebrant: Samuel Miller | Entertainment: Melbourne Entertainment co | Styling & Flora: Grace Events and Artistry | Cake: Black bird cakes-Woodend | Bus Hire: Little Bus Services | Menus: Feather and Stone | Bonbonnieres: The Chocolate Mill | Neon Sign: Neon Collective |