Jemma & Rhys by Maggie Grace Gardyne

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

We have been together 7 years and have grown together as adults while becoming ourselves. We have both had a few jobs, with me being a makeup artist for the first few years, and my partner working at Air NZ. We then both quit our jobs, sold pretty much everything we owned, and booked one way flights to London at 20 and 21.

We travelled around Europe and Asia for the next 9 months, then returning to where we had our favourite place in the world, New Zealand! I came back and trained to be a photographer which I am now still and my partner became a builder. We got engaged March 2020, just before Covid hit NZ, we were over in Bali for 2 weeks, returning the day the borders closed to our own isolation then the whole country isolation. I spent the next few weeks driving my partner crazy with wedding planning, as this was all there was to do.

We rescheduled our engagement party I think 9 times! With lockdowns constantly changing it. We then bought our first house in June 2020, to add to our plate of things to do. On a tighter budget, we did 90% of the wedding ourselves and this was trying at times, but to get it how we wanted on our budget it was the only way. We had craft days with friends and spent countless hours hand making signs, cutting out confetti, planning how all the set up would work at the venue etc. The venue was my sisters, partners, uncles place, which was such a stunning lawn area for us to hold our intimate wedding at, but did mean that we had to bring every single item required, from extension cords to cutlery to lighting. We had a small wedding of about 55 people in the end, as my partner and I both have all our extended family overseas, in the uk. We were only had 9 family members present on the day, but we do hope that we will have another small celebration in the uk some time next year.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details:

We wanted our wedding to feel super relaxed and fun, we are still quite young (25/26) so wanted to make sure it felt like us. I have always loved all white so this was what the colours were based on and enhancing the space as it was. We hoped it would feel like  a mini festival with different areas for guest to hang out and entertain themselves. It was important to us for there to be plenty of food and drink and places to gather, play games and relax. We set up the marquees with different zones and had a food truck arrive on site. I set and designed all the table settings with hand written name card, hand painted vases, and countless dried florals collected by ourselves and friends and family. I loved every moment of being able to be so hands on. We had buckets of florals arrive on the day for us to create our own arrangements ( apart from the bridal parties ). The lighting set up was a big thing for us as we wanted people to be able to dine outside in the lovely summer weather, so we built 4 metre light poles and created the lighting grid above our dining area. I loved how well it all came together and how it felt like we hadn’t just booked someone with great taste, it was us and our idea that had bought it to life, and with how much pain, hours and stress had gone in to something so perfect for what we wanted. We had to announce that we were going to be going in to lockdown the next day at 6am during our wedding speeches, but felt so grateful to have had our day, during such a testing time.

Tell us about your main outfits:

I wore a customised Daisy Brides dress ( Maya ) with an over skirt from Daisy as well, that I wore for the ceremony. I had full white boots for most of the day then danced away the evening in all white leather converse ( very practical ) I had a Moochi white jacket for the evening, gifted by my colleagues at Moochi. I also wore a veil and sunnies for most of the day.

My bridesmaids wore 3 colours of the shona joy slip dress and their own choice of shoes.

My husband wore a barkers jacket and chino pants and we just bought the shirt from farmers I think. The boys wore the same. My husband also wore a bow tie we managed to get for 99 cents in a sale !

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day:

Seeing him down the isle for the first time was so amazing. The morning was spent running around doing all the set up in-between a few showers and I only sat down for hair and makeup at 12 ( for a 3pm ceremony ) I did my own makeup in a separate room and really enjoyed the time to myself. Once we were married it was really time for us to relax and enjoy ourselves. We were super lucky with the weather and in a last minute decision, we decided not to leave the venue to have photos at the beach but instead do them on site in field near by and got one of the most beautiful sunsets. We decided spending time with our family and friends rather than leaving for more photos and I think that was the best thing!

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

Chat through what really matters to each of you, and learn to compromise for each other to create the day that’s best for you. Don’t get too caught up in perfect images and over thinking things! On the day you wont notice if anything missing ( well I didn’t ) and you will relax and have the best day of your life. Our biggest mistake ( but unavoidable ) would be making the wedding a one day event, try your best to make the most of having the people you love together and extend the fun and vibe of a wedding to the days surrounding it!

Photography: @maggiegracegardyne | Ceremony and Reception: Private location | Celebrant: @villavictorianz | Videography: @tay.prichard | Bride’s gown: | Groom’s attire: @barkersclothing | Rings: @charlesandcolvard and @michaelhillj | Shoes: @bershka | Hair: @messybun_nz | Bridesmaid’s attire: @shonajoy_ | Groomsmen’s attire: @barkersclothing | Hire: @llhire | Flora: @ivyandbirch | Catering and Beverages: @doubleparkednz | Cake: @catrouxnz