Jenna + Dudley by Susannah Blatchford

Jenna — I realised fairly early on in our romantic relationship that this was it for me.  It was this feeling of total calm – I no longer felt the need to question where I was or what I was doing, I stopped comparing my life to anyone else’s and was just truly happy with the life were living together – I felt totally in the moment and nothing else mattered.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love
— Prior to starting our family I was working in the superyacht industry with Dudley – right up until I was 5 months pregnant with Archie. Since returning home and growing our family I’ve been working as a Baby Sleepy Consultant. At the moment I am on extended maternity leave and a stay-at-home Mum to our 3 young children – ages 4, 2 and 6 months old. With Dudley working on the Yacht he is away from home 8 weeks at a time which can definitely have its challenges! Travel was a huge passion of mine – it still is but we are at a stage in life where our children are fairly all-encompassing for me. When I do find some time for myself it’s all about catching up with good friends with good wine and food involved. There will be a time I hope when travel comes back into our lives but after a recent stint in Germany while Dudley was based there for 8 months, we are really just loving being back home in New Zealand.

Dudley —  I was born in South Africa and grew up with my twin brother in Namibia. Ironically we are both now settled with our wives and young families in New Zealand. I am a Captain onboard a private yacht – so being in the super yacht industry travel is still a huge part of my life –  for Jen and I, it was an incredible part of our early relationship as well. We recently relocated the family to Germany but with three young ones now it’s definitely easier for Jen to be at home in NZ with the support of family and friends. I work onboard as Captain and we have a great rotation set up where I work for 8 weeks and then have 8 weeks at home. It’s extremes and has its challenges – but we love it and that time at home with the kids is really special – even though I miss out on a lot we get to make up for it every time! When Jen lets me take a day off from Dad Duty I love to get out on the golf course and spend time with my twin brother and his family.

Wedding film below:

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

Jenna — Dudley and I first met 13 years ago and had a lot of incredible times all over the world while working in the yachting industry with a great group of friends. Our romantic relationship began when we landed jobs on the same boat in 2016 and shared an office – a real sliding doors moment as I had actually left the industry to pursue teaching yoga and open my own studio! I dipped my toes back in yachting and took the temporary job as a way to boost my studio funds but ended up never leaving! Ending up in that office working together seems now like it must have been fate – or the Captain at the time playing Cupid 😉

My first impression of Dudley was that he is a true gentleman – holding open doors, always making sure everyone is having a good time, and drinks are full and he always had a table reservation at the best restaurant just in case you need it.

 Dudley —  Jen and I met many years prior to when we started dating. My first impression of her was that she was absolutely too wild for this world. When Jen took the job as Chief Stewardess onboard I think I knew right away what was going to happen. She lights up any room she is in and I didn’t stand a chance working so closely with her.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it

Jenna — We were on holiday from the boat in Mauritius – which should have been a dead giveaway but I was completely caught off guard. We had made some big financial decisions and purchased the property in New Zealand – so Dudley had gone overboard to make sure I had no expectations leading up to the holiday by pushing out any talk of an engagement or a wedding by at least a year to get things on track financially. Turns out he already had the ring and was just trying to put me off the scent. A stunning heirloom by Jessical Mccormack – her signature 1.0ct gold button-back ring. We were almost at the end of the holiday, so he’d managed to keep it hidden in his luggage the whole time – Dudley had booked us the ‘couples retreat dinner package’ which again should’ve tipped me off. It was a beautiful setting at the infinity pool with our own band and private table. Dinner was winding down and he made an excuse to use the bathroom – when he returned he kind of hovered behind me and I looked back to see him on one knee asking me to marry him. It was an instant yes!!!! We celebrated the next day at Luxe Le Morne and basked in the glow of engaged bliss for the last few days of our vacation before heading back to work on the yacht. The romance must have been top-notch as shortly after arriving back at the boat, and while cruising halfway across the Atlantic ocean we discovered I was pregnant with our son Archie.

VENUE: Winehouse, @winehousenz / PHOTOGRAPHER: Sussanah Blatchford, @susannahblatchford / VIDEOGRAPHER: Woven Images, @wovenimages / CELEBRANT: Tori Summer / DJ: Mountain Beats, @mountainbeatsdjco / BAND: Mirrors, @mirrorsentertainment / SIGNAGE: Peg Creative, @pegcreative / CANDLES: Style Depot, @styledepotnz / LINEN: Tble Linen, @tble.linen.hire / HIRE: Major & Minor, @majorandminorhire / FLORA: The Flower Room, @flowerroomqueenstown / DRESS: Custom French Lace Cape over Satin Gown by Kenny and Harlow / WEDDING SHOES: The White Collection, @thewhitecollectionau / SUIT: Crane Brothers, @cranebrothers / RINGS: Jessica Mccormack, @jessica_mccormack / WEDDING BANDS: Stuller, @stullerinc / MAKEUP: Renee Hay Makeup, @reneehaymakeup / HAIR: Beautiful Bridal Hair, @beautifulbridalhair / BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESS: Shona Joy, @shonajoy / BRIDESMAIDS’ SHOES: Novo Shoes, @novoshoes / GROOMSMENS’ ATTIRE: Crane Brothers, @cranebrothers

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