We met as roommates while living in Vancouver. We eventually grew into something more. We still remember getting to live together in downtown Vancouver so fondly. 

I’m Canadian, and a wedding photographer, and Hamish, a New Zealander, is the owner of a production company and the level-headed planner in our relationship. Moving to New Zealand after only six months of dating in 2015 was hard. When you move somewhere foreign and rely on one another for love, support, friendship, finances and everything else, it puts a lot of strain on your relationship. We got through it, and our relationship grew deeper. 

We are now happily settled in Queenstown. Our proposal consisted of Hamish calling my dad 10 minutes before we lost phone reception and wine down the Rees Valley river in Glenorchy with our friend Annie Graham and her husband Rich. Annie is a photographer and I assumed she simply wanted to take some fun shots. We were just about to head home when Hamish pointed out a spot he knew I loved. We walked out to the point, he hugged me from behind and just said ‘Hey Kate?’ I looked down and he was holding a Meadowlark engagement ring we had looked at a few months before. All I could manage to say in the moment was ‘F*ck off’, and grabbed the ring. We high-fived and that was that!

I’m so grateful Annie was there to capture it all. We originally looked at getting married in Fiji but that plan changed quickly after the coronavirus pandemic set in. We realised we would probably be looking at another two years of waiting before we could have a wedding that went along with our plan.

So we chose to have our wedding in three weeks, and I planned the whole day in 40 minutes. Everything went perfectly. Honestly, I think we wouldn’t have noticed if it hadn’t. From our cats wearing hand-knitted bow- ties for our legal ceremony at home to the final nightcap by the fire after dinner, we couldn’t have asked for anything better. 

If you choose everything from your heart and have people around you that only care about the day being awesome, you can’t go wrong. Autumn is one of our favourite times of year, so we tried to rekindle that vibe for our wedding, which was loosely themed on Thanksgiving, the date of our anniversary. We incorporated pumpkin pie, mulled wine, a burnt orange, earthy green and grey colour scheme, and cozy sweaters by the fire to create a closeness and family feeling.

We signed the marriage licence while holding our cats on our balcony. Remi tried to claw his way over Hamish’s back during the ‘I dos’. What could have been one of the most serious moments of the day turned into nine adults laughing our heads off as two cats just weren’t having it and tried to get away as quickly as they could. It reminded us not to take life too seriously.

photography @baylymoore / groom’s suit @savilerowco / bride’s dress misscrabb.com / ceremony location Bride and groom’s home in Glenorchy / bow tie @ortcclothingco / celebrant Damian Chaparro / veil @nemobridal / fragrance Gypsy Water by @officalbyredo / hair @hairtowedbytina /  rings @meadowlarkjewellery / nails & makeup @evebeauty.queenstown / reception @sherwood_queenstown /  groom’s shoes nikadesign.ca / bride’s shoes @frankie4footwear / styling @junipersagenz

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