Emma + Brad by Memories by Alena

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

I’m a very measured and planned person, whereas Brad is much more relaxed and laid back. We are quite different people but we balance each other out. We really are each other’s best friends.

We both work in pretty serious jobs, I work in Employment Relations and Brad works in IT Recruitment, so outside of work we don’t take ourselves too seriously and make the most of our weekends. We love the outdoors, especially being out on the ocean, travel, and having good food.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

We met at university in Dunedin and became friends pretty early on, and then flatmates. We weren’t officially together until we moved into different flats, and Brad asked me out on New Year’s Eve in 2012. I made him ask me again in the morning to make sure he meant it!

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

For me it was very early in our relationship, I often say that ‘I just knew’ he was the one for me, and I really did! For Brad it was the first time we had to spend a summer apart between uni semesters (he’s from Southland and I lived in Ohope Beach) which he described as ‘the worst time ever’.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

We got engaged while we were travelling in Austria. We were walking in a forest of a beautiful little town called Hallstatt, we were the only ones around and it was a complete surprise – it was perfect. Once we’re allowed to travel again, we would love to go back and find the bench seat that we carved our names into.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…

While travelling, we fell in love with Italy and the Italian’s love of good food, wine and company. We wanted our day to be a summer’s afternoon in italy – relaxed and fun and to encompass La Dolce Vita. Susi and Mal from Liddington Gardens in Kerikeri (along with their amazing staff and our florist Kelly from Best Day Ever) delivered that and more. We chose to have herbs and citrus fruit on our tables rather than flowers, and this meant that the indoor area flowed seamlessly into the beautiful greenery of the garden and everything looked and smelled amazing! I really wanted the dance floor to go off, and thanks to the amazing band it was packed all night – one of my favourite memories of our day!

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

The food. Colin Ashton from Soda Creek Kitchen was amazing – so easy to deal with and the food was just stunning.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight?

We didn’t realise until we had our ceremony rehearsal the night before the wedding that we hadn’t written our vows yet. We wrote them together in about 5 minutes, the night before the wedding, and although they were short and last minute, we said exactly what we wanted to say! Our amazing celebrant, Katherine Craig (a very special family friend) was completely unphased by our last-minute additions to the ceremony and handled it like a true professional.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

The two things I was adamant about was that I wanted lace and that I would not wear strapless. However when I tried on the Kate gown (no lace and off the shoulder straps… and pockets!) from Kelly Lin Couture, I fell in love with it and I knew it was the one. I chose to wear a 10m long organza bow, in lieu of a veil, and I’m so glad I did – it was fun to be a bit different and dramatic (although somewhat tricky to maneuver!). After dinner, I switched my Chaos and Harmony heels for my Birkenstocks so I could make the most of the dance floor. Brad went for a black tux, classy and timeless. James Bond would be proud.

Ceremony and Reception location Liddington Gardens / Photographer Memories by Alena / Celebrant Katherine Craig / Entertainment Full Steam Band / Styling Susi Liddington of Liddington Gardens / Flora Best Day Ever / Catering + Beverages Soda Creek / Cake Cinnamon Cakes / Registry Mildred and Co / Bride’s gown Kelly Lin Couture / Groom’s Attire Barkers / Ring/s Diamonds.co.nz / Shoes Chaos & Harmony / Other accessories Amber Sceats / Makeup Annalise Bergman / Hair Laurel Stratford / Bridesmaids Attire Blak / Groomsmen Attire Barkers