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

I was based in Australia, when I replied to Dave’s ad on FB while he was looking for a roommate in New Zealand – a month after moving in I wasn’t sleeping in my own room anymore!

We joke that I had it all planned out us being together, but truth be told after having spent the last decade travelling and moving around, as soon as I met Dave I knew he was my home. He has two boys, Henry and Sam, from a previous marriage, and it was a package deal from the start – I think that is what makes us a little unique – from the get go we have been a family unit and I love those boys so much.

David is a tradie, and I work in horticulture – we consider ourselves super lucky to be able to spend so much time outside in beautiful Fiordland, and with all three men in my life avid hunters and outdoorsmen – we couldn’t be living in a more perfect location.

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:

Before we were even engaged, I had wandered around the romantic & quiet Central Otago town Clyde with my Mum. I had this inkling that this was the perfect spot for our intimate wedding and an easy and accessible ‘middle ground’ for David’s family in NZ and my family in Australia. After speaking with Olivers, which is a beautifully restored heritage building from 1869, we knew we had found our special place. We loved the fact we could have our day start to finish in one location and booked some of their boutique hotel rooms for us & our family. I got ready in The Naylor Room which has such magical light shining through those dreamy windows and Dave & the boys got ready in one of the garden rooms. We handpicked our other vendors and we’re very lucky to have some close friends that are wedding professionals at the same time. Ellita Marianne was our celebrant and customized the ceremony for us perfectly and we had Luisa Apanui capturing the whole day and we couldn’t be happier with the magical images she took.

We pushed the ceremony back to 5pm, knowing that after our short and sweet ceremony and a glass or two of celebratory bubbles we could zip off to get some dreamy sunset photos at our Clyde locations. After our photoshoot we went straight to the reception. The private room at Olivers was the perfect size and feel for our party. With Gypsy’s beautiful styling and those gorgeous linen napkins from Whistling Reindeer it felt magical when we were sitting down for our delicious meal. The talented team catered to our every need at dinner, and after wedding cake for dessert – we retired to the courtyard for a nightcap (or two!) before settling into our luxurious rooms on site.

I had a vision for deep moody tones accented with gold – and after letting Gypsy (from The Vase) choose our flowers and Britt (from White Rabbit Cakes) use their creative flair with some very loose requests – it all came together so perfectly. Trust your vendors – they know so much! In hindsight so many little things tied our day and vision together making it so special – blue hues through my ensemble, a grazing board we made ourselves, sparklers for the kids at the end of the night, handmade name cards by my besties Mum, my late grandmothers rings tied to my bouquet and let’s not forget the Instax camera for the kids so we could see the day through their eyes (so precious!). There are so many opportunities to put a special spin on your day.

Tell us about your main outfits:

We spent next to no time finding a suit for Dave that fit so perfectly during a quick look around Hallensteins one morning, and we found the boys a similar look – topped off with those darling bowties from Etsy. Instagram kept showing me Made With Love gowns, and I had my eye on Harlie from the start – sparkle and straps for me, with a low back and tight fit for David! I visited Alana and her dreamy store Bride and Winter in Dunedin, and we obviously saved the best dress for last. We chose the detachable tulle wings over a veil, and after I had it custom fit inhouse by Barb, my dress truly fit like a glove!

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

Our day was so special to us in so many ways. Henry and Sam have so many fond memories from our day but top of their list is waiting up the front with David when I walked down the aisle – they really did love how important a part they played in our wedding day! Henry also has favourite memories of the trick he and David played on us all when they pretended they had lost my wedding ring – Henry presented David with an empty box, when really the ring was in his pocket! When you ask David, he says his most memorable part is when my brother walked me to him. I think he also enjoyed a very quiet phone on our day – we chose to sleep separately the night before and to not speak before we met each other at the ‘altar’ – my poor bestie played messenger and I had a hard time not texting him every ten minutes about something!

For me, I love that we did entirely what we wanted – we skipped tradition in so many ways – I don’t think any part of our relationship this far has been ‘traditional’, we don’t need to start now! Go your own way! We had a very small guest list (just immediate family, and one set of best friends eacH side), we skipped speeches, the first dance, a seated certificate signing and we also asked our guests to leave all technology alone – Luisa was the only person who took a photo that day!

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

In terms of wedding advice – keep your wedding small – it’s certainly no less work but it is absolutely more special. In terms of love – it’s hard to not sound cliche when trying to give advice – but always remember you’re a team and to treat each other with respect, patience and to always be honest with one another.

Photography: @luisaapanui | Ceremony and Reception location: @oliversvictoriastore | Celebrant: @ellitamarianne | Bride’s gown: @madewithlovebridal from @brideandwinter | Groom’s suit: @hallensteinbrothers | Groom’s ring tattoo: @goldy_handpoked | Shoes: @nudefootwear | Beaded Earrings: @harvestmoon.designs | Feathered Earrings: @baublebar | Kids bowties: My Bowtiful Creations | Flora: @thevasequeenstown | Cake: @whiterabbitcakesnz | Confetti: @everlandconfetti | Linen Napkins: @whistlingreindeerwanaka | Hair and Makeup: @escovayourstyle