We’re both doctors from the South Island of New Zealand. Mike is an orthopaedic registrar and I’m a GP. We met when were at med school. Mike asked me out on a date on a typical boozy student night out at an Irish pub. We’ve now been together for 10 years.
Our careers have a big impact on our relationship. Over the last eight years, we have moved our lives all around New Zealand for Mike’s work. Each time we move, we start our lives over, which means we have to be each other’s biggest support. It has been tough having to repeatedly leave our good friends and family, but it has strengthened our relationship.
Mike’s proposal was a complete surprise. He chose a regular Monday evening dog walk around the block to pop the question. We were living in Christchurch and often walked through a local garden called Mona Vale. When we reached a bench beneath a willow tree down by the stream, Mike pulled a ring out of his pocket. The dogs were almost as excited as me!
I’d always wanted to get married at Thurlby Domain, just outside of Arrowtown. It is the most dreamy spot. Down a romantic country lane, nestled amongst the largest oaks, cypress and poplar trees, is an old stone ruin, which was once a farm homestead. Tucked behind, the property’s former orchard is now a sun-dappled spot surrounded by old apple and pear trees, and the sounds of a nearby stream.
Mike’s father spent time here as a child, as his grandfather farmed in the area. We had our modern summer garden wedding there, amongst the mountains, with blooms sprouting up from the grass down the aisle and wrapped around tree trunks at the venue.
We set up comfy couches beneath the trees where our guests relaxed in the Central Otago heat. When the sun went down, everyone spilled out onto the grass and we all danced beneath the stars. It’s true what they say about the day going by quickly.
Walking down the aisle is a blur, but I do remember holding Mike’s hand and all of my nerves falling away. We’re now planning a road trip around the South Island for our honeymoon, which we’re very much looking forward to.
photographer Danelle Bohane / bride’s dress ‘Byron’, Chosen by One Day / groom’s suit Sartoria Rossi / location Thurlby Domain, Arrowtown / bride’s hairpiece Stephanie Browne / bride’s shoes Mansur Gavriel / groom’s shoes Florsheim / fragrance Do Son Diptyque / celebrant Pam Read (Groom’s aunt) / flora One Fine Day / stationery Paper Paper Co. / bride’s ring Naveya & Sloane / groom’s ring Good Gold / earrings Natasha Schweitzer / makeup Eve Makeup / hair Pure Hair / groomsmen’s attire Country Road / bridesmaids’ attire A Dong Silk and Celine Rita / signage Pop Creative / entertainment Robert Glen / styling & planning One Fine Day / hire Major & Minor Hire / marquee Truly Yours / catering In 2 Food / beverages Bernie Caravan Bar / cake White Rabbit Cakes / table hire Crookedfield Furniture