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

We matched on a dating app in 2017 and attempted a long-distance relationship for about two months until Leigh decided he was lost without me and moved to Auckland from Palmerston North.

Two years later, he convinced me to move back to the mighty Manawatu where we now live a year later in our own home with our forever dog Frankie and recent foster dog Luke. In our work lives, Leigh fixes photocopiers and I work for a Government Department. Working opposite schedules we’ve had to adapt to spending less time together but make up for it on the weekends with lots of coffee and adventures. We hit it off from the moment we met, and I could say quite genuinely it was love at first sight. We’re best mates who are lucky enough to be in love. Doing life with Leigh is so much fun. We’ve created a quirky and unique home and our lives revolve around dogs, renovations and indoor plants – what more could you ever need. 

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…

For us, our wedding day was an extension of how we already live our lives. We didn’t want it to reflect anything other than who we are. At the start of our wedding planning we sat down and decided the three most important things we wanted to take away from the day – a day full of relaxation and laughter, good food, and everyone to be present and comfortable at all times. Most of our vendors were friends or friends of friends or we had made it ourselves, so every single detail was personal to both Leigh and I. Our styling was bold and bright and completely us. Our ceremony was at Caccia Birch House under a gorgeous big tree, in front of the wedding arch that Leigh and I built together. The ceremony was emotional, yet light-hearted. All we wanted was to be surrounded by those who we love, and it was exactly that. Our reception was across the other side of the Hokowhitu Lagoon at The Chalet. It was romantic and fun with candles, a personalised neon sign and bright and bold flowers everywhere. Leigh and I designed and made our own signage, Sam from Film and Floral embroidered guests names on their napkins, and all of the bridal party helped set up the previous day. Walking in was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster as we could see all these perfect personal little details we’d spent so long perfecting, and how amazing it had all come together. 

Tell us about your main outfits:

As a plus-sized bride-to-be, I opted for a custom dress. I found some inspiration on social media and found local dressmaker Demelza Davidson who designed and made my dress to perfection. My hair piece was my Grandma’s and my shoes were embroidered by my closest friend Sam from Film and Floral. Leigh wore navy dress chinos and an oatmeal jacket from Hallenstein Brothers. His tie was from Tarocash and worked perfectly with our wedding colours. Leigh chose his outfit himself and looked amazing.

The girls wore a combination of our favourite colours from ASOS, Blak Boutique and Evolution Bridesmaids and the boys kept it simple in the same navy chinos and white shirt combination as Leigh from Hallenstein Brothers. 

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

Marriage for us was an affirmation of our insane love for each other in front of our family and friends. We had family travel from as far as the United Kingdom to be there with us and that was so fab. Frankie couldn’t attend the wedding however her kennels are located on a beautiful farm-like property which we utilised for a photo location and got some killer photos with Frankie centre stage. Leigh’s sister gave birth at 4:24am on the morning of our wedding to our beautiful niece Ellie. Incredibly they both made it to the wedding, and we were honoured that Leigh’s sister was able to be one of our witnesses. It was honestly so special to have them there and an experience Ellie will always be reminded of as she gets older. 

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

It’s cliché, but communication is key. In our relationship and during our wedding planning we always make an effort to sit down with a cuppa and talk it through. If that fails, get wine drunk, sing loudly to your favourite tunes and try again the next day. 

Photography: David Le Photography | Videography: Film and Floral | Ceremony location: Caccia Birch House | Reception location: The Chalet | Celebrant: Laura Giddey | Bride’s gown and veil: Demelza Davidson Bridal Wear | Groom’s outfit: Hallenstein Brothers | Ties: Tarocash | Rings: Pascoes | Bride’s shoes: ASOS | Embroidery: Film and Floral | Groom: Number One Shoes | Earrings: Winie | Necklace: GLDN | Makeup: KJ Makeup Artistry | Hair: Hair 4 You | Burgundy MOH: ASOS  | Mauve Bridesmaid: Evolution Bridesmaids | Rust Bridesmaid: Blak Boutique | Groomsmen: Hallenstein Brothers| Ties: Tarocash | Entertainment: Myk Peretini | Styling: Bride and Groom | Hire: Nevaeh Wedding & Event Hire | Flora: Film and Floral | Catering and Beverages: Boatshed Catering at The Chalet | Cake: The Crafted & Co | Grazing Tables: Prestige Platters | Wedding Arch: Bride and Groom | Neon Sign: Radikal Neon | Custom Napkins: Film and Floral 

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