Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
Our story begins years before we actually met. The Briants grew up on a farm neighbouring my grandparents. As kids we used to play on my grandparents’ tennis court and could hear the roar of motorcross bikes down the hill.
We couldn’t see them and weren’t allowed to go down the hill to watch, we had no idea it was the Briant boys. Fast forward to teenage years, we met at the Wairoa show and realised who each other were. From there a strong friendship formed. When I was 20 Blake asked me to drinks and we danced the night away to a live band. That night a flame ignited and we fell madly in love over the next few weeks, this is it, all or nothing, we never looked back.
We are both farm kids and work in the Horticulture industry based in Gisborne, NZ. Blake is a shareholder and Technical Manager for a farm growing gold kiwifruit, apples and wine grapes. I am the Business Development Manager for a citrus and avocado marketer and packhouse. In our spare time we race Jetsprint boats (think go-kart track but on water and 120kmph) and love to seek out new adventures. We found my engagement ring in Florence and hid it from our family until Blake found the nerve to ask my Dad for his blessing on Xmas eve whilst trout fishing on Lake Rotoiti, 2 boats side by side, everyone on board. With the nod, Blake shot us across the lake in our ski boat and proposed under the blooming pohutakawa trees. We returned to the bach to celebrate with our extended family and especially my ill grandad who had been hassling Blake to marry me for years.
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 rejected the idea of a large traditional wedding when we attended a close friend’s wedding in Port Douglas 2 years ago and fell in love with the idea. It was also a special holiday spot for my grandparents. It was the middle of winter, everyone was desperate for a holiday and it was a week of fun, love and laughter. Who wouldn’t want to escape to a balmy 25 degrees with an endless supply of fresh prawns and margaritas?! We didn’t want the day to be too formal. The ceremony was outside the chapel under the palm trees and the reception was 50m away on the deck of the old iconic sugar wharf overlooking the ocean. We revealed to each other with our bridal party before the ceremony because we couldn’t wait all day and the ceremony was short and sweet. There was no sit down dinner but plenty of nibbles so we could focus on spending time with everybody and enjoy our party. We made speeches early and started up the dance floor in the middle of the wharf deck by 8pm. The setting was a casual boho theme, Blake’s mum did all of our flowers and the food was all local and fresh.
Tell us about your main outfits:
I wore a custom dress designed by Meg at Kenny & Harlow Bridal. Meg could see my vision from the start – a sleek and simple silhouette, two layers of crepe de chine, two veils attached to my shoulders which Meg suggested as I was struggling with the thought of a traditional veil. She executed everything perfectly. I still look at it all the time and have plans for the future for us to dress up again to get photos on our family farms since we were married overseas, an excuse to wear it again! Blake wore Barkers head to toe, a sandy linen suit, white linen shirt and tan boots. He looked extremely handsome with his tan and with the light linen material didn’t get too hot throughout the day.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
Our favourite moments were seeing each other for the first time away from the pressure of walking down the aisle and saying our own personal vows in front of all our special people. Our Dad’s speeches were hilarious with plenty of crude jokes but also charming and heart-warming. Blake’s speech took the cake, he can come across as a shy quiet type but he put on quite a performance and blew everyone away they were laughing for weeks later.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
Listen to your parents and let them be involved, but stay firm in what you want, it’s your special day. We paid 1/3 rd each between us and our parents and had a big engagement party so they could have everyone they wanted to celebrate which removed the pressure of inviting everyone to a large
wedding. Don’t stress on the small details, no one else will notice and you won’t remember them when you reminisce on what a magical time you had. Make the most of it, it will only happen once!
Photography: Micimage | Videographer: Hudson Films | Ceremony location: St Mary’s Chapel by the Sea, Port Douglas | Reception location: Sugar Wharf, Port Douglas | Celebrant: Lenore Briant, Blake’s grandmother| Bride’s gown: Custom Kenny & Harlow Bridal | Groom’s outfit: Barkers head to toe | Rings: Jaime Lucinda Jewellery | Shoes: Mi Piaci | Bride and Maid’s earrings: Jaime Lucinda Jewellery | Hair: Meraki | Makeup: Michaela Sands | Fragrance: Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream | Bridesmaid’s gown: Shona Joy | Groomsmen’s outfits: Barkers | Entertainment: MJ Mark Jennings | Styling: Eventcore | Planner: Maid of Honour Weddings | Hire: Eventcore | Flora: Vintage Inspired Flowers| Catering and Beverages: Port Douglas Catering | Cake: The Hungry Hummingbird | Arch: Port Douglas Wedding Arches