Georgia + Manaia by Anne Paar

I don’t think there was a specific time in our lives that I knew he was my person, but rather it was just a realisation over time that I didn’t want to do life with anyone else.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
Georgia: Manaia and I are high school sweethearts, we live in the Waikato with our two golden retrievers. I am a lawyer and Manaia is a builder, meaning we live very different lives during the day. I am the one who plans, sorts and organises and Manaia is the one who shows up with no idea where or what we are doing. We love spending time with our golden retrievers (who were a main feature of our elopement.) I enjoy a good glass of wine and Manaia likes a Sunday round of golf.

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

We met at high school in 2012, I was 16 and Manaia was 17. It feels like just yesterday, but time really does fly when you’re having fun. I had only just recently started at the High School he was at when we met, back in 2012 Tinder or other dating apps were just not really a thing, so Facebook really played a crucial role in the shy Manaia reaching out.

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

We’d been asked this question a lot throughout the wedding process and it’s difficult to answer. Because we were together from such a young age, we probably weren’t thinking about the future like we would’ve been if we met in our mid-twenties. For me, I was not one who imagined my wedding day as a young girl, so it wasn’t something that often crossed my mind. However, I don’t think there was a specific time in our lives that I knew he was my person, but rather it was just a realisation over time that I didn’t want to do life with anyone else.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
The proposal came after a couple of perfect opportunities and Manaia’s way of ‘throwing me off’. Manaia wanted to ensure I wasn’t expecting it (although I was – as he can’t get much by me). We were away in Taupō for the weekend, we had spent the day relaxing, walking and eating. We were sitting on the deck of our Air BnB, and he got down on one knee, and the rest is history. A couple of my closest friends happened to be in Taupō, so we had celebratory drinks with them.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
Modern, Romantic, Elegant and Minimal were the words provided by Bridget from Coastal Elopements after we completed a questionnaire and the planning started. I envisioned a stylish, modern but romantic wedding and that is exactly what we got. We wanted something that felt lush and special without having to do the whole ordeal of a ‘normal’ wedding.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
Coastal Elopements and the wine! I cannot count the number of times I was asked, why do you have a planner for 7 people? If I was to do it again, I would have a planner for 2 people, it was the absolute best decision we made in respect of our wedding. And you can’t go past a nice bottle of champagne on your wedding day.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
I had never really envisioned my own wedding dress, and it really was a trial by error type process. I tried on several dresses, and I didn’t get that feeling in any of them. So, I went to Lulu Jackson Bridal with all of the aspects of various dresses I liked, and she made the perfect mix of them all. My dress was similar to the theme of our wedding, I wanted modern, romantic but minimal.

Ceremony & Reception Location The Glass House at Block 295, @the_glasshouse_at_block295 / Photographer Anne Paar @annepaar / Celebrant Nicole Porima / Styling & Hire The White Wedding Club, @thewhiteweddingclub; Carlton Party Hire / Planner Coastal Elopements Co, @coastalelopementco /
Flora Le Fleur Florist, @chloelefleur / Catering + Beverages GrazeyChick, @grazeychick / Cake Raglan Cakes Raglan Cakes, @raglancakes / Bride’s Gown Lulu Jackson Bridal@lulujacksonbridal / Groom’s Suit Barkers, @barkersclothing / Rings Cullen Jewellery, @cullenjewellery / Bride’s Earrings Crystal and Cord, @crystalandcordjewellery