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

We met at a mutual friend’s wedding (Tim’s best man and one of Jess’ bridesmaids). Jess had actually been living in the UK at the time and came back for the wedding. Tim and Jess hit it off but were both going traveling, we talked for 3 months straight, until Tim decided he had “some friends” in the UK he had to go visit.

He left the UK after 5 weeks of us exploring London and other parts of Europe together, but we both knew that we had something worth holding on to. I moved back to NZ 4 months later and the rest was history. Tim is an anaesthetist and Jess is a physiotherapist & Pilates instructor. We both absolutely love our doggo Eddie the Schnauzer x Jack Russell – he’s the world’s most well-travelled dog, he’s been to Australia and back to NZ. We were living in Melbourne for a year and moved back to NZ just prior to the wedding (which we managed to squeeze in just before Covid became a big deal in NZ). We both love being outdoors and being active/keeping fit, whether that be surfing, mountain biking, hiking, indoor rock climbing/bouldering, running, a good old home workout/ Pilates or trying something new. We also love a good old board game especially Articulate or Sealers of Catan, as well as live music, a good glass of red, Whitakers chocolate, a flat white and brunch! We both love the planet we live on, and the animals that share it with us and we are passionate about preserving things for the future generation as much as possible. Over the last few years we’ve been trying to reduce our own impact as much as possible by minimising how much we travel, biking to and from work, composting, and researching what we buy/buying second hand and eating vegetarian. 

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

We wanted to have a relaxed beachy style wedding – simple, with not too many frills and lots of beautiful bright flowers. We wanted it to reflect who we are and therefore wanted to do lots ourselves and minimise how much waste we generated.

The setting – at the absolutely beautiful Orua Beach House at the end of Hotwater Beach up on the cliff tops. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful spot with incredible views looking out over the ocean and the most incredible sunny day. It was forecast to rain and be very windy, to the point where Peninsula Party hire suggested we change our marquee to something more robust with sides to protect our guest from the wind and we had to ask our families to bring every spare blanket they could find for the reception, but the weather was perfect in the end! To fit with our aim for a low-waste day we decided to hire/borrow as much as possible. All the main things were rented: marquee, tables/chairs, glasses, cutlery, crockery etc and we had an amazing catering company, who really bought into the idea of a chilled out beach feel.

We really wanted to add our own personal touch and wanted to utilise things from the beach/nature, things that could be kept or returned to nature without creating a lasting impact. Tim and I spent many dog walks on the beach collecting drift wood for all our signs and table names, which Jess then painted. Jess wrote all of the name tags on elephant dung paper we bought on a trip to Sri Lanka last November, and she spent weeks learning brush lettering for the name tags! We bought the napkins from my friend Loren, who’s wedding was 5 weeks before ours. I also borrowed all her candle holders and the crystal vases her Nana had found at various op-shops. We used all her leftover candles and other bits and bobs that could be re-used. I also used small paracetamol jars rescued from the hospital as little vases for the grazing table. Jess’ mum did a great job at collecting autumn leaves for the confetti hearts (which took many walks) and spent months punching little heart shapes out from them. Jess absolutely loves Protea flowers (She grew up in South Africa) so had to have them in her bouquet.

Jess’ mum was in charge of the flowers and our bouquets so she was growing all sorts in her garden leading up to the wedding, but the proteas weren’t flowering yet. Luckily Jess’ aunt in the South Island came to the rescue and was able to arrange some and bring them over. Jess’ amazing Mum made all our bouquets, the flower arrangements for the ceremony and reception, made the cake and to top it off she did all of our hair styling on the day – and then she said, she barely did anything to help haha. We feel like our day really reflected who we are as a couple and we really feel like there was not much waste at all (as the lots of left over cake got demolished!). All our vendors were absolutely amazing, easy to work with and really helped make the day what it was! 

Tell us about your main outfits:

Well I fell in love with Grace loves lace wedding dresses and had to have one! Unfortunately I couldn’t find a second hand one in the style that suited me most, so had to make a trip to Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast. Jorja my stylist was absolutely amazing and so helpful and honest. It was honestly so comfortable – that was my number one criteria haha. Tim spent ages trying to find Navy Chinos for the boys that weren’t skinny-cut (who would have thought they would be so hard to come by?!?). Luckily 3 Wise Men came to the rescue – aided by Tim’s mum who had to collect all the boys measurements before they ran out of stock. The bridesmaids dresses were easy as Evolution Bridesmaids have such a wide range of styles to suit everyone, so my bridesmaids all looked absolutely gorgeous and were super comfortable. 

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

Our “first look” was very memorable – it was really special to be able to share that moment in private. Our adventure down to the rocks for our photos was great fun too – we didn’t actually know too much about where we were going, but our photographer had promised us it would be worth the walk! We absolutely loved the entire day to be honest. It was so special spending the entire day with all our favourite people – especially looking back and realising how close we actually came to having to cancel the whole day if COVID had taken hold earlier! 

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

I don’t think we have been married long enough to dish out advice! But the things that are very important to us are: Communication – talk about things that are bothering you and find a way to compromise, Values – we prioritise each other and are considerate of each other, we trying to help encourage and support each other to be the best version of themselves and in their endeavours in life. You should never try to change the other person – you can only change yourself! Be open to tips/advice from friends/family members who are in strong relationships that we admire. In terms of wedding planning – keep it simple, don’t overthink things, do what you want and don’t think about what you “should” do and definitely don’t try to please anyone! It’s your day, make it yours! 

Photography: Two Birds & Co. | Ceremony and Reception location: Orua Beach Weddings | Bride’s gown: Grace Loves Lace | Groom’s pants and shirt: 3 Wise Men | Groom’s linen jacket: Barkers | Rings: Cerrone | Jewellery: Kirstin Ash | Makeup: NZ Makeup Girl and Krystal Hayward | Bridesmaid’s attire: Evolution Bridesmaid’s | Groomsmen’s attire: 3 Wise Men | Entertainment: The Good Brew | Hire and Marquee: Peninsula Party Hire | Catering and Beverages: Sugar Fish, Four Pillar Sign and Clear View Estate | Gelato: Gelato Roma

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