Hayley + Cam by Eilish Burt

We got to know each other, and the love grew naturally. I’m not sure there was one recognisable moment when I realised he was the one, more a series of little moments, but it was definitely early on.

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

Hayley is an environmental consultant, and Cam is an electrician.  Hayley loves running, lake days, tennis battles with Cam, travelling and exploring new places, spending time with friends and family, reading and also the odd attempt at making/creating things, e.g. pottery. Cam loves cycling (road and mountain biking), golf, coal BBQing – the finer things in life of being in his 30s, and dancing until the sun comes up at techno parties.

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

Our first date was spent mountain biking in the redwoods, Rotorua. 

HJ – Things felt easy immediately. Despite being completely out of breath and Cam being incredibly fit biking up Hill Road, conversation (kind of) flowed. Luckily we had pit stops to catch my breath. He made me feel relaxed, and I found him very charismatic and caring, he helped push me up the hill at one stage.

CJ – She was gorgeous and very easy to talk to and get along with. The conversation came easy.

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

HJ – We got to know each other, and the love grew naturally. I’m not sure there was one recognisable moment when I realised he was the one, more a series of little moments, but it was definitely early on.

CJ – I remember telling my friend after one of our early dates how handy it is that she only has to change one letter of her name when we get married. He wisely told me to keep that to myself for a while. Hayley has qualities that made me want to spend as much time as possible with her, she’s genuine, caring and has an infectious personality. I realized very quickly that she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

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

Cam proposed when we were sleeping in the back of the van beside Lake Karapiro. We had been at a friend’s party the night before, so were a little hungover. A storm was rolling through, and we had lake views. Cam had been grumpy about the weather being rainy for months before (it was during the very wet summer of 2022), little did I (HJ) know that the ring had been burning a hole in Cam’s pocket that summer, and he was waiting for a sunny day and perfect moment to propose. The weather didn’t matter in the end as it was perfect.

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

We went backwards and forwards on venues, vendors and our vision for a long time.  We ended up buying a house near a lake and everything fell into place and was simple.  We decided to have the ceremony across the road from our house at ‘locals beach’ and the reception in our backyard with a relaxed outdoor setting.  The ceremony site was nostalgic as we shared many early dates and happy memories at that very beach, lazing by the lake and swimming during the summer of 2019.

We wanted the ceremony to be intimate, not too formal/traditional, and didn’t want anything to distract from why we were there.  This was where Georgia played a key role. She understood exactly what we were trying to get from the ceremony. From our first meeting with her to discuss the wedding, we instantly felt relaxed and assured that she knew what we wanted. As the whole day was planned by us, we didn’t really know how things would work (especially the ceremony) so to have Geo help guide us through this was really amazing! Her words on the day were heartfelt and perfect, and the ceremony was the favourite part of our day. We wanted to be able to share the day with, and talk to most family and friends there, so we kept the guest list small at around 60 people.  Picturing a nice afternoon and evening in our new backyard with bright spring flowers, sunshine (we got lucky there), good food, and our friends and family committing to revelling in celebrations and dancing right through to the end of the night.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Photography and outfits.  We were very glad we did as Eilish, our photographer, was absolutely incredible, and we wanted to feel confident on the day with what we were wearing. Cam was happy he splurged on his ring as he absolutely loved it. The significance of it is worth the extra $, and with the guy’s touch to the style, it will be a timeless piece that will look good forever.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

Neither of us knew about it, but the morning of the wedding, the boat we were to use as our get-away vehicle wasn’t starting.  We had taken it for a run a couple of days before with no issues. It’s our friend’s boat, and he had the boat completely in parts the morning of the wedding.  He managed to fix it but apparently was in complete despair. He said he was 5 minutes away from calling Cam to relay the bad news but decided to give it another try and figured out the problem. When we walked down to the ceremony site, it was parked up on the beach waiting for us.

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

Cam’s suit was from Working Style, and he looked absolutely incredible. Having always struggled to find something that fits well off the shop floor, tailored was the only option for such a day. Hayley’s dress was from Lulujacksonbridal, and it was a bit of a process to get to the final product.  HJ: All I can say is Lulu has the patience of a saint, and for anyone looking for THE dress to trust Lulu’s vision, the dress made me feel so beautiful and confident.

CEREMONY Lake Okareka, Rotorua / RECEPTION Lake Okareka’s Backyard, Rotorua / PHOTOGRAPHER Eilish Burt, @eilishburtphotography / FLORIST Emma Bell – Sweet Stems, @sweetstemsbop / CELEBRANT Georgia McNaught, @marriedbygeorgiamay / ENTERTAINMENT DJ – Friend, Tarro / HIRE Lucy’s Event, @lucyseventhire / CATERING Food by Wildfire, @food_by_wild_woodfire_caterers / CAKE Petra Galler, @butterbutternz / BRIDE’S RING Meadowlark, @meadowlarkjewellery / ENGAGEMENT RING Brent Weatherall Jeweller, Dunedin, @brentweatheralljeweller / GROOM’S RING Guys Gold, @guys.gold / NECKLACE Gifted from Cam’s Mum / SUIT Working Style, @workingstylenz / GROOM’S SHOES Working Style, @workingstylenz / GROOM’S FRAGRANCE Who Is Elijah – His Her, @whoiselijahparfum / BRIDAL DRESS Lulu Jackson Bridal, @lulujacksonbridal / BRIDE’S SHOES Nelson Made, @nelson.made / MAKEUP + HAIR Desiree Osterman – Lipstick and Co, @lipstick_and_co_team / BRIDE’S FRAGRANCE Who Is Elijah – Wall Street, @whoiselijahparfum