The beautiful real wedding of Helen & Matt in Auckland, NZ as featured in Issue 16

Helen: Matt and I are Kiwis and have strong ties to our heritage, but the pace and diversity of life offshore is what gets our blood flowing.

We love the energy and unique heartbeat of big cities and right now, after years living in London and New York, Sydney is home. Matt works for Goldman Sachs as an investment banker and I’m an interior architect. One of us likes numbers and straight lines, the other defines what it means to be open and creative, so we’re quite different people, but together we make sense. We met through friends on a ski trip to Whakapapa in 2012. Our road hasn’t been perfect and there have been times when it felt like we didn’t know what the future held, but proper, real, lasting love doesn’t always come in a shiny package with a bow on top. Matt’s my best friend and greatest champion. He makes life easy and loving him is effortless.

Matt: Our greatest asset is the strength of our friendship and commitment. We share everything and don’t sugar-coat a hell of a lot, which keeps us grounded and close. Helen’s got guts and effortless style, and when I think about her, I feel so proud. I proposed in a snowy lane in Hakuba, Japan, while we were on a ski trip. We were on our way to meet friends when I noticed we were alone in the street and knew it was now or never. I remember looking at her, hearing my heart beat, and then the words started to flow. Helen cried and said yes, and we just stood together and hugged it out for about a minute. It was very private and romantic.

Helen: We wanted to get married in an urban environment in a venue that was well-formed and played with the light. We settled on Auckland’s Maclaurin Chapel and the Ellen Melville Centre, and together they made a perfect architectural pair. Our ‘inner-city jungle’ styling was contemporary and minimalist, with a monochrome base and lush green and fine gold accents. Ellen Melville hadn’t hosted a wedding before, but with its floor-to-ceiling glass and panoramic outlook, it captured everything we wanted. The sunset was particularly special as the light ran across the room and touched all the tables like big yellow fingers. We opted for photos before our 5pm ceremony, which worked brilliantly as it took all the nerves out of it. We spent our first moments just the two of us, then enjoyed drinks in the sun with our family and really just eased ourselves into the night. It was the ideal build-up for us: cool, calm and collected. Our advice for other couples is to choose someone you can live with and can’t live without. We’ve been each other’s greatest challenge and greatest reward, and we wouldn’t change it for anything. Life’s just better when we’re together.

Photography: Bayly & Moore | Bride’s ceremony gown: Karen Willis Holmes  | Bride’s ceremony top & veil: The bride | Bride’s reception dress: Camilla & Marc | Groom’s suit: P Johnson | Ceremony venue: Maclaurin Chapel | Cocktail hour Venue: Old Government House | Reception venue: Ellen Melville Centre | Bride’s ceremony shoes: Gianvito Rossi | Bride’s reception shoes: Jimmy Choo | Groom’s shoes: Gucci | Bride’s earrings: Oscar de la Renta | Groom’s cufflinks: Skultuna 1607 | Groom’s watch: Melbourne Watch Company | Hair & makeup: Kath Gould | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Camilla & Marc & Country Road | Groomsmen’s attire: Working Style | Planning: The bride | Styling & flora: Two Foxes Styling | Cocktail hour catering & beverages: Montana Food & Events | Reception catering & beverages: Mint Kitchen | Catering Cake: Bluebells Cakery | Lighting: La Lumiere

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