Emily + Ryan by Sarah Joy Landon

Our sunset boat cruise was super picturesque but what you didn’t see is the bride, myself and the photographer (Sarah) taking turns almost falling into the Amalfi coast several times due to a windy day. It was a great time and brought out lots of laughter between us!

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
E: Born and raised in Palmerston North. I used to live in Wellington and I am currently a freelance Graphic Designer. Traveling the world is one of my biggest passions. Art and culture is something I constantly want to know more about and food is my most favourite thing. It’s something that is really special to me and my heritage, food is something that is used to bring my family together as a ritual and celebration. I am Half Chinese and half European so I have a super mixed family with lots of traditions.

R: I grew up in both Manawatu and Hawkes Bay. I love traveling, the sun and just being outdoors. I find excitement in exploring new places and trying new food. I’m an Electrician by trade but also love tinkering around with lots of different crafts. I’m similar to Emily in the sense that I have a mixed family also. I’m half Filipino, half European and am used to a mix of cultures around me which I love!

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
E: I met Ryan at a birthday celebration in our hometown in NZ, we became friends initially but eventually we started to spend more time together and wanted to be around each other all the time. We did long distance for a year and a half before Ryan moved to Wellington for me while I was studying for my degree.

R: The first sentence I said to Emily was “wow, you’re really beautiful!”. We became good friends for a little while then we decided to date. This was 8 years ago and now here we are!

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
E: I first realised that Ryan was the one when I saw how respectful and kind he was to my family. It’s something that is super important to me. Also another moment of realisation for me is when he lets me order his dish at a restaurant for him so I can try that one as well as my own. A foodie’s sign of true Love!

R: Emily has such a thoughtful nature, she’s always thinking of other people and how she can help them or support them. It’s a trait that I really appreciate and a presence I knew I wanted to be around.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
E: Ryan proposed on New Year’s Day 2022 in Wellington, we both used to live there and holds a special place in our hearts. Our day involved a picnic at the botanical gardens, followed by a beautiful candlelit dinner at our favourite; Ortega Wellington. It was such a special day and something to remember forever.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
E: I had always wanted to get eloped on the Amalfi coast. I envisaged a dreamy day, with sunset and neutral tones, stunning historical architecture surrounding us and candid/almost documentary style moments. I really wanted to add a classic Italian Amalfi-Esque flare to our photos also which is perfect for an elopement. Super romantic and intimate.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
E: As a graphic designer I can really appreciate the work that goes into beautiful art and photography. I was willing to splurge on photography the most once I had found the photographer that fit the aesthetic I was after. (Which I did! Thank you Sarah.) This was definitely the most important element for me and for Ryan. We really wanted to be proud of these photos because these would be the main thing our family and friends would see of our special day.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
E: I had the worst nerves leading up to the big elopement day. My body decided to tell me it was going to shut down a few days before (which is why I’m super thankful we eloped). When it came to the day, everything miraculously just felt better! We had people on the street stopping us to give their best wishes in Italian “auguri”. It made us feel super comfortable on the Italian streets of Amalfi.

R: Our sunset boat cruise was super picturesque but what you didn’t see is the bride, myself and the photographer (Sarah) taking turns almost falling into the Amalfi coast several times due to a windy day. It was a great time and brought out lots of laughter between us!

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
E: I wanted to wear something classic and timeless. I went for a Carolyn Bassett inspired bias cut silk slip dress and worked with @brooketysonritual on some customisations to compliment the look. Brooke added a v-cut to the back of the dress with silk wrapped buttons . Brooke also designed an organza wrap so that I could be a bit more versatile with how I wear the outfit throughout the day/night and with the veil. This worked out perfectly for an elopement dress because I didn’t have a lot of luggage space because we were travelling around Europe for 4 months!

R: I wanted to wear something classic to compliment Emily’s dress. You can never go wrong with a black and white tuxedo in Italy.

Ceremony Location: Ruins Basilica Sant’Eustachio, @basilica.di_sant.eustachio / Reception, Catering & Beverages: La Tonnarella, @la_tonnarella / Photographer: Sarah Joy Landon, @sarahjoylandon / Celebrant: Carmela Italy Celebrant, @carmela_italyweddingcelebrant / Styling & Planner: Marigiulia Sella, @marigiuliasellaweddings / Flora: Sartoria Sentimentale, @sartoriasentimentale / Stationery: (Vow books and stationery) Komoko Studio, @komoko.studio; (Menu design) Hum Design, @humdesignstudio_ / Bride’s Dress: RITUAL by Brooke Tyson, @brooketysonritual / Groom’s Attire: Barkers, @barkersclothing / Ring/s: Naveya & Sloane, @naveyaandsloanejewellery; Good Gold, @goodgold.nz / Earrings: Maison Valentino, @maisonvalentino / Fragrance: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540, @maisonfranciskurkdjian