In keeping with Māori tradition, we gifted each of the groomsmen a pounamu (greenstone) ring which we had blessed. James wore a beautiful pounamu around his neck, which was given to him by his 91-year-old koro (grandfather), who blessed our wedding rings before we put them on.

We met when we were 20 and 21. We have been together for almost a decade, and have experienced some of life’s highest highs, like when we quit our jobs to go travelling through South East Asia for six months. But the highest of highs don’t exist without the lowest of lows. We lost one of our best friends, Rosy, a few years ago. It was the darkest and most painful period of our lives, and James never left my side. He was so strong for me, even though he was grieving too.

We had planned a night away in a city hotel for our eight-year anniversary. On the day, James said he had to work, but was actually picking up a ring. While out, he had flowers delivered, with a note that said, “Pack your bags, we are going out of town for the weekend”. I tried not to get my hopes up, like I had on a trip to Bali six months earlier. We arrived at Mount Maunganui and I was brushing my teeth getting ready for dinner when James called out, “I love you and will see you soon, gorgeous” and left the house. When I came out of the bathroom, I saw a note on the table saying “Push play”. I was still brushing my teeth when James appeared on the TV. He had recorded a speech in the spot we’d met years ago. I had to spit out my toothpaste halfway through a slideshow of photos. The video message ended with instructions to meet James on the beach over the road. I walked over and, after some words, some tears and an awkwardly long pause, James asked me to marry him. Rosy’s ashes had been scattered on that beach several years before, and it felt like she was watching over us that day.

Our wedding styling was clean and simple. I wanted white and green throughout. Everything turned out perfectly, from the flora to the cake. Some of my favourite details were the white chairs and bar. In keeping with Māori tradition, we gifted each of the groomsmen a pounamu (greenstone) ring which we had blessed. James wore a beautiful pounamu around his neck, which was given to him by his 91 year old koro (grandfather), who blessed our wedding rings before we put them on.

What I love about James is that he is the most devoted person I have ever met. He is patient, selfless, and always puts others first, even when it is to his own detriment. When we are together, there is a profound type of energy and I just know my life would not be half as much fun without him in it. Nothing embarrasses James. He simply doesn’t care about what other people think. He never lets us go to bed angry with each other, and he will apologise to me, even when I am the one who is wrong. James would probably say that one of the things he loves most about me is that I can eat as much as him.

We both love eating and drinking, perhaps a bit too much! But, essentially, the reason we work so well is because we want the same things in life. We challenge each other, we inspire each other, and we hold each other accountable.

photographer & videographer Hollow & Co / location Kauri Bay Boomrock / bride’s gown Jessica Bridal Couture / groom’s suit Suits on Broadway / rings Culét Jewellery / makeup Kate Solley Makeup Artist / hair Hare & Hunter / tanning Esperanza Tanning Studio / bridesmaids’ outfits Grace Loves Lace / groomsmens’ attire Suits on Broadway / bride’s shoes Loeffler Randall / groom’s shoes Merchant 1948 / flora Aster + Bloom / signage Sarah Jane Letters / cake Sweet Talk / hire Two Foxes / entertainment Mixit

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