Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

We were both born and raised in New Zealand. James grew up in beautiful Hawkes Bay and I grew up in windy Wellington. We both work in Marketing and Communications, which works out great, as we get to pick each other’s brains constantly and sometimes work collaboratively. 

James is the pragmatic level-headed introvert and I’m the loud spontaneous extrovert. According to the numerous personality tests we’ve taken, we always end up being the polar opposite but then again it works so well, as I spice up his life and he brings me back down to earth.

We love travelling, socialising, red wine, tennis, live concerts and food! 

How/where/when did you meet?

We met at church and became really good mates who ended up having secret crushes on each other without the other person knowing. But before anything could happen, James was off to Europe for his big OE and I was still in my last year of university. It wasn’t until one fateful night at a New Year’s Eve party where we reunited again and the rest was history. We knew we wanted to make it work between us despite James moving to Melbourne the year we started dating. Thankfully he moved back for me and when he did, that was the moment we figured out we wanted to marry one another. 

Have you faced any challenges you want to share with readers? 

Deciding to elope isn’t always an easy decision, especially if you’re like me and want to please everyone. I’m lucky that James is the opposite and I came to realise that our wedding day was about us and no one else. We did try to organise a big traditional wedding to align with our Japan trip that we booked a year in advance but nothing was available. It was actually James’ idea to elope and have our honeymoon over in Japan, as we had already paid for flights and accommodation. We also flew our good friends over who are amazing photographers and videographers to capture our day after no luck finding one in Tokyo. It worked out perfectly as they were on their way to move to Berlin, so we only needed to pay one way tickets. In the end, despite having a few challenges in the beginning, everything worked out for the better and we can’t wait to tell our kids what their crazy parents did!

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

We were visiting James’ family in Hawkes Bay for the weekend and I had an inkling that James might propose this trip. Fast forward to Sunday and we’re out for a walk at Te Mata Peak. I wasn’t dressed for the occasion and complained the whole time wishing I was in workout gear and kept wanting to turn back. Luckily my stubbornness didn’t ruin the moment, as before you knew it we were at the picturesque Redwoods. There was a picnic all setup and before I could take it all in, James got down on one knee and now here we are! 

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

James and I wanted to stray away from tradition, especially when it came to what we wore on the day. I knew I wanted to feel like myself and super comfortable in the dress I ended up choosing. I went with a dress from one of my favourite Australian made brands, Arnsdorf who are also sustainable and ethical, two things I value when shopping! My shoes were Maison Margiela, and I’ve always wanted a pair of tabi boots and actually ended up buying the boots first and the dress second.

James was like me in the sense he wanted a suit he felt comfortable in that was both warm and tailored well. After going to many suit shops with no luck, we decided to go to Edit who have a beautifully curated selection of international brands we love. It was meant to be when the last suit in stock happened to be James’ size and fit him perfectly, no extra tailoring needed! He went with a Lardini suit, which is made with 100% Italian wool and to this day he still wears his suit pants. 

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

I think the biggest take away for us was when it came to planning and making decisions, we asked ourselves the question: “does this make it more meaningful for just us two?” And what that meant was, we based our decisions on what we valued most. When it came to deciding what traditions we wanted to include, asking ourselves “does this make it more meaningful,” allowed us to cut out a lot of things we didn’t value and knew wouldn’t be more meaningful if we were to look back on our day. Writing out what you value most and what is meaningful to you both allows you to avoid living up to others expectations and reimagining some of those old traditions.

Ceremony location and planning: Rooftop at @claska_tokyo / Reception location: / Videographer: @josiahwatson / Photographer: @gracegem / Flora: Flower Atelier Puka / Brides dress: @arnsdorf / Grooms Suit Lardini Suit from @edit_store / Brides engagement ring: @alexandra.dodds / Brides wedding band: Great Grandmother’s Band / Grooms ring: @chromeheartsoffical / Brides shoes: @maisonmargiela / Grooms shoes: @unitedarrows_official / Pearl Earrings: @_marsofficial / Handbag: @georgiajaybags / Grooms watch: @seikowatchoffical / Makeup and hair: @annaoliemansmakeup / Brides fragrance: @tomfordbeauty Black Orchid / Grooms fragrance: @tomfordbeauty Ombre Leather

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