Abundant textural foliage, florals and plants that tied in with the landscape was brought into the clear marquee and blended in with a crisp white base accented with modern and masculine elements in the tablescape and furniture selections. If there is one way to describe it, it was quintessentially “Huy and Sam”.
Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
HL: I was born and raised in Australia, but New Zealand has been home for close to a decade. I come from a background of engineering and architecture and moved here for a job as a facade consultant. It took me some time to figure out New Zealand, but I’ve finally realised how to make this country my home. That includes the home Sam and I have together – we love to spend our time finding pieces of furniture or homewares to make the spaces we live and entertain in a reflection of us as a couple.
SP: I’m the youngest of three of which all work within our family’s wine and fresh produce business. I love what I do there and it is fulfilling working with my family, but this makes for an intense work and family life, so I try to keep my personal life as stress-free as possible. I love hiking and a weekend adventure with Blue our Australian Shepherd. I’m partial to a long lunch with friends, and Huy and I enjoy trying new restaurants together. Huy loves furniture and homewares – not something I was interested in when we first met, but I now equally appreciate it and share the love.
How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
HL: We found each other on a dating app – it’s a Tinder story with a happy ending! A few weeks after matching and few messages exchanged, we locked in a Monday evening date at a bar in Kingsland (it is still in my calendar!). Sam was charismatic, more so than me, but it was a nice balance of talking and listening. We hit it off and were the last to leave the bar that evening, and before I arrived home that night Sam had locked in another date that weekend.
SP: I am proud to say we are a Tinder success story. We matched early 2019, and Huy was the one to ask to meet for a drink, which I really liked as I am terrible at replying to messages and prefer to meet instead. I went into the date not expecting much but I ended up feeling that something special had just happened. We just clicked, and I left the date excited to see where this would go – maybe a little too excited as Huy still gives me grief about asking him out on a second date even before I drove off.
When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
HL: I can’t say that there was a moment of realisation that Sam was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We are both upfront people, and it was clear from the start what we hoped for in a relationship and what we wanted our futures to look like. We were very much aligned and our relationship was built off that foundation. Over time we saw ourselves making decisions together for our future together without consciously realising that we were making plans to spend the rest of our lives together.
SP: I knew there was something special about Huy on our very first date. We were both on the same page as to what we were wanting and things developed very quickly but felt very natural. Nothing was rushed or forced. Everything just felt right. Things with Huy were easy but in the best way possible. I can’t tell you exactly when I realised he was going to be my person, but I can tell you I bought a ring nine months into our relationship. I think there is something really special about being certain about something, and Huy is my certainty in the chaos and that is something I have never questioned.
Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
SP: One of Huy’s talents is his organisation. It is not one of mine. This has never been more evident than in my proposal to Huy. Long story short, I forgot the ring (don’t ask me how) and only realised on the ferry ride to Waiheke Island, had a panic attack in the ferry restroom, rang my best friend Amelia to ask her to somehow break into our house and find the ring, and finally picked up the ring from Amelia’s aunt who brought the ring over to Waiheke. I proposed at our accommodation to Adele’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’ in the background, but forgot to queue another romantic song for after the proposal so ‘Levitate’ by Dua Lipa followed – the song is a vibe, but it wasn’t the vibe I was going for. It was a bit of a mess, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was unorganised but I somehow managed to still surprise him. We both were emotional as soon as Huy realised what was happening. I could only manage a few words, but they are still true to this day – “Huy, you were my first love and I want you to be my last.”
Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
HL: Sam’s family property in Pauanui was the stunning backdrop for our wedding. It is a site that has been beautifully developed by his parents over two decades where they themselves have weaved waterways through the property and grown native plants. So when we developed the creative brief it was not hard to end up blending our affinity for modern and masculine aesthetic and the appreciation for the surrounds. So abundant textural foliage, florals and plants that tied in with the landscape was brought into the clear marquee and blended in with a crisp white base accented with modern and masculine elements in the tablescape and furniture selections. If there is one way to describe it, it was quintessentially “Huy and Sam”.
What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
HL: We love how florals can make an incredible impact on the look and experience of a space, so it was one element we wanted to splurge on. Instead of giving Floralcentric any specifics, we gave them a colour scheme and a vibe and let them weave their magic when it came to foliage, floral and plant choice. What Floralcentric created was absolutely stunning – they took our brief and made it even better! One other element of our wedding that we were grateful to have splurged on was a co-ordinator for the lead up and on the wedding day. Things can and will go wrong, but our co-ordinator from Flock Events took all stress and challenges away so that we could really enjoy our special day.
Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
HL: The wet weather in the lead up to our wedding and the fact that our wedding was on a family property did create some stress. Sam had his fair share of heated spats with family members in the lead up and on the wedding morning! But family dynamics are interesting to observe, and we both laugh that all conflict is easily forgotten when love matters more. It’s not ideal in the moment, but that’s just how a family operates and it will all be fine in the end!
Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
HL: We always wanted to wear a tuxedo and to find our outfits together. We were lucky to experience the process of having it made to measure and be able to consider small details that made it unique to our preferences. We both opted for a peak lapel but Sam selected a more textured and matte cloth for his lapel whereas I selected a cloth that had less texture and more sheen. What also made it special for us were the cufflinks we wore – I wore a set for the first time that was gifted to me a decade ago by my best woman, and Sam wore a set gifted to him, also by his best woman, on the morning of the wedding.
Ceremony and reception location: Private family property in Pauanui / Photographer + Videographer: Jonny Scott, @jonnyscottphoto / Celebrant: Kendal de Besten, Sam’s best friend / Entertainment: Mix it DJ, @mixitdj.co.nz / Styling and planning: Concept and design by grooms, co-ordinated and executed by Alesia at Flock Events, @flockevents / Furniture Hire: Twelve Tables, @twelve_tables; Flock Events, @flockevents / Tableware Hire: Royal Laboratorie, @royallaboratorie; Drape Linen, @drape.linen; The Pretty Prop Shop, @theprettypropshop; Table Look, @tablelook / Marquee: Twelve Tables, @twelve_tables / Flora: Floralcentric, @floralcentric / Catering and wait staff: No Biggie Food, @nobiggie.food / Bar staff: Coromandel Weddings, @coromandelweddings / Cake: Flour Cakery, @flour_cakery / Stationery: Just My Type, @justmytype_nz / Gifting: Wishing well / Grooms’ Attire: Crane Brothers, @cranebrothers / Ring/s: Cartier, @cartier / Huy’s Shoes: Crane Brothers, @cranebrothers / Sam’s Shoes: RM Willliams, @rmwilliams / Huy’s cufflinks: Burberry, @burberry / Sam’s cufflinks: Gucci, @gucci / Makeup: Gabrielle Houghton Makeup, @gabriellehoughtonmua / Hair: Boutique Bride, @boutiquebride / Fragrance: Le Labo Fragrances, @lelabofragrances / Bridesmaids attire: Bec + Bridge, @becandbridge