“I kept saying I love the moody winter vibes, and the day definitely provided! It rained from start to finish, and we loved every part of it! We had so much fun taking photos in the rain, having umbrellas break on us with strong gusts of wind, and almost getting stuck in the mud on multiple occasions. We love the funny memories we have about our perfectly imperfect day, and we wouldn’t change a thing!”

Tell us how you met each other?

One of my friends had a secret love for Guy Williams, so when she caught sight of Dylan (a Guy Williams lookalike), she asked me to be her wing woman. My mediocre attempt to gain Dylan’s attention was a massive fail and I was rejected by him. I felt deflated and questioned why this Guy Williams look-alike wouldn’t give me the time of day. A week later, I was asked to join an indoor netball team… Dylan’s team! He eventually was somehow impressed by my lanky limbs and subpar netball ability. While I still had a wall up from the initial rejection, Dylan persevered and we couldn’t be happier. Don’t worry, my friend was stoked for us and was one of my bridesmaids!

Tell us about the proposal?

One of our favourite walks is to Orokawa Bay from Waihi Beach. My family bach is at Waihi Beach, so whenever we visit, we always make time for a walkover. We went over in July 2020 and I was complaining the whole trip about being hungry. When we were at Orokawa Bay and exploring the rocks by the sea, Dylan said “I have a surprise for you – I have snacks in my backpack, and not only do I have snacks, but I also have this ring”. I was sold on the snacks! He knew I couldn’t refuse his proposal if it went hand in hand with a block off Whittaker’s Creamy Milk Coconut Chocolate. And the wedding planning began!

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

Dylan and I met in Auckland and spent a couple of years there before making the bold move away from family and friends to Tauranga. After a month of being in Tauranga, the salty air and carefree vibes had us hooked and we decided to build our first home in Pāpāmoa.

Dylan and I are both teachers. I am a Primary School Teacher in Mount Maunganui and Dylan is a secondary school English teacher at an all-boys school. When I met Dylan, he was a lawyer but made the switch to teaching when he realised I was always on holiday without him (although he would argue the career change was all for the tamariki!).

We have a shared love for the sun, the ocean, and our two pets Koda the Golden Retriever and Higgy the Tabby Cat.

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…

When it came to our special day, we decided on three non-negotiables. We needed to have an epic dance floor with epic music, delicious food and we wanted to work with awesome vendors who were just as excited about our day as we were. I can confirm, all of our wishes came true! We chose to get married in Hahei because we love the ocean and we love amazing views! Clearly, Orua Beach House was a winner in our eyes! We also wanted all of our friends and family to have a great excuse to get away for the weekend and relax.

The wedding styling was something that slowly came together over time. I changed my mind on multiple occasions and how the final day turned out was nothing like I had in my head when we first started planning. It all started with the Twelve Tables noir marquee which set the dark and moody tone for the day. From there I wanted to warm up the look with some brass vases. We rented Persian rugs for our dance floor to give the marquee a warmer feel. Our florist did an awesome job of sourcing flowers in the middle of winter and we were really amazed at how the flowers complimented our table settings so beautifully. We also wanted something unique for our name tags, so we used a polaroid picture of each of our guests.

I second-guessed myself on so many occasions, particularly when I told people I was having black candles at our wedding. In the end, the black candles were one of my favourite details. I am so glad I chose to go against the grain and styled the wedding the way I wanted, which didn’t fit the traditional wedding narrative. While all weddings are beautiful, I really wanted our day to represent us, and it really did!

Tell us about your main outfits:

For my dress, I have always loved Brooke Tyson’s designs. My parents live in Hong Kong and they were leaving two weeks after we got engaged. Naturally, I just had to book a meeting with Brooke one week after our engagement so that my mum could be with me when I tried on dresses. I let Brooke know what styles I was interested in, but when I got there, she said she knew the perfect dress for me. The dress she had in mind was not something I had seen in her collection before, but as soon as I put it on, I knew that I had found my dress. Not every bride can say that their wedding dress was the first dress they tried on! I paired the dress with a pair of Chaos and Harmony blush pink velvet boots.

Dylan has always said that he wanted to get married in a traditional black suit, and so he did! It was so great to see him out of his short Warriors shorts and t-shirt for a change! We contemplated having bow ties at the wedding, but when we realised not one of the groomsmen could tie them properly, we flagged that idea!

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

I kept saying I love the moody winter vibes, and the day definitely provided! It rained from start to finish, and we loved every part of it! We had so much fun taking photos in the rain, having umbrellas break on us with strong gusts of wind, and almost getting stuck in the mud on multiple occasions. My pink blush boots are now a lovely shade of brown. We love the funny memories we have about our perfectly imperfect day, and we wouldn’t change a thing!

Something really special to us about our day is the little secret we were keeping from our guests! I was about two months pregnant with our first baby which made our day even more special for us and our families.

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

We are definitely no experts on love. What I would say is to find someone that brings out the best version of yourself. Someone who lets the real you shine bright and helps you find value in your insecurities and weaknesses. Everyone is truly happy when they are themselves, and having a husband or wife that supports their spouse to thrive as who they are, even with all of the growth and changes that life brings, sounds like an amazing marriage to me!

One more piece of advice, you can avoid so many arguments if you just put the washing IN the washing basket instead of next to it.

Videographer Sink or Surface Photographer Coralee Stone / Venue Orua Beach House / Dress Brooke Tyson / Marquee Twelve Tables / Styling Bride + Aunty / Hire Two Foxes Style + Royal Laboratorie / Stationery & Design Paper Darling / Rings Grae Jewellery / Catering + Cake Blank Canvas Catering / Makeup Grayson Coutts / Music Tom Charleson / Florals Wildflowers Coromandel / Grooms Suits + Shoes Barkers / Celebrant Tim Shipton (Friend) / Rings GRAE / Bride’s Shoes Chaos & Harmony / Bride’s Earrings Lucinda Barrett / Hair + Makeup Grayson Coutts Bridesmaids’ Attire My Keeper / Groomsmen Suit Barkers / Fragrance Bride- Le Labo Santal 33

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