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

Laura- “Eddie is a Marine Engineer by trade, originally from a small town in Northland called Kerikeri, and is the youngest of seven kids. I work in communications and media, and am a born and bred Aucklander (don’t hold it against me), and have strong Dutch roots from my mum’s side of the family, which are rather dominant.  

Outside of our nine to fives, we both love to travel and escape for weekend getaways; whether that be popping up to the Bay of Islands to see our families, or a spontaneous roadie to a beach side air bnb. We’re also both really into sports and outdoor activities, running, boxing, cycling and HIIT classes, we mix it up all the time so we don’t get bored.  Yes, we’re one of those annoying couples you see going on runs together, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We do spend a lot of time together, I guess this is a real tribute to the foundations of our relationship, which is forged on a solid friendship. In saying that we are both fiercely independent and whilst we are always working towards a number of shared goals, we both have our own pursuits and are each other’s number one supporter when it comes to ticking these off. 

We both work long hours during the week so make a real effort to incorporate date nights. Usually we’ll pop up to one of the local wine bars and share a few tapas.  This is important, yes it’s a luxury, but time together is the ultimate gift, so it’s worth it to us. 

In terms of what’s unique about our relationship…we both take time to listen to each other and if our viewpoints are different we always aim to compromise and move on, instead of letting it fester and become a bigger issue than it really is (which generally only happens when we can’t agree on what to eat and the dreaded hanger sets in).”

How/where/when did you meet?

Laura- “Eddie and I met at a bar called Tyler St Garage now known as The Chamberlain in downtown Auckland, when we were both twenty and still at university. Eddie plucked up the courage to come and sit himself amongst me and my friends, before convincing me to give him my real phone number. Though we have always thought this story was rather unromantic, it’s growing more romantic and fateful by the day, given the current climate of digital dating and meet ups.  Neither of us were necessarily looking to meet anyone at the time, and for that reason I think things progressed and unfolded really organically.”

What’s special about your relationship? What do you love most about each other?

Laura- “When I consider what’s special, I think about what I value the most. Eddie and I agree it would be that we’ve both maintained a solid sense of self. We’ve been together for almost seven years which although is not a lifetime, a large part of that was our early twenties. That’s a time where people tend to grow and change a lot, and we were definitely no exception. We’ve both allowed each other to flourish independently and continue to pursue our individual interests. We’ve never seen our differences as threatening to our relationship. It’s natural for couples to lean towards forming a shared identity, and no doubt a certain degree of that is essential to a successful partnership, but we are firm believers that without a solid sense of self that partnership would not exist.” 

Laura- “I love Eddie’s unrivalled dogged determination when he commits to something, which is both admirable and attractive (as far as I’m concerned).”

Eddie- “She’s got a huge heart (like her mum) always caring and thoughtful. She’s made an effort to fit in with my family, which with six siblings (five sisters) can be challenging, but she always remembers birthdays and will often reach out to my sisters to catch up, which is awesome. The best part is we are straight up with each other, if there’s something wrong we’ll let eachother know and figure it out instead of all the theatrics.”

Have you faced any challenges you want to share with readers?

Eddie- “When we first started dating, I used to work at sea for periods of up to four months at a time with limited, to no means of communication. It was tough, and gave us a true understanding of long distance relationships and how they can struggle to survive. For us we took it as an opportunity to reflect on whether or not the relationship was something we were invested in pursuing, because we both had to make such a concerted effort to keep the spark alive. If anything it was a really good test, and we believe it prevented any time wasting that might have otherwise occurred. Reuniting after four months apart was also a feeling like no other!”

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

Eddie- “ I had been wanting to organise a South Island trip for a while, we had travelled overseas and whilst it was awesome to see other parts of the world and experience different cultures etc. there was a big part of me that felt like we hadn’t done New Zealand justice. We live in a very special part of the world and have some of the best sightseeing and untouched landscapes.

So, I planned a two week road trip from Auckland, down to Queenstown and back, for late January- early February. Laura and I had previously travelled to Queenstown in Winter but other then that Laura hadn’t been south in the Summer months, which in my opinion is the best time of the year to visit. 

Laura’s engagement ring was designed and made by a local kiwi jeweller Alice Herald (based in Wanaka South Island). I had been in correspondence with Alice throughout the process of getting the ring made and it worked out perfectly that I had planned a trip down South so that I could physically pick up the ring. 

Laura is the curious type, she doesn’t miss much, so I had a challenge on my hands to organise the proposal.. All I knew was that I wanted to propose amongst the vines at one of the iconic local wineries. The first winery didn’t quite fit the bill, It just didn’t feel right, which really messed with my plan. The ring was burning a hole in my pocket by this point, so I was keen to get the deed done.

The second winery was perfect (Carrick), however Laura was taking what felt like an eternity to drink her wine. I finally managed to get her up for a walk amongst the vines, where I dropped a knee and proposed.

What does being married or being in a union mean to you? 

Laura- “For Eddie and I being married is a formal recognition of the commitment we had already made to each other many years ago. The wedding day was an opportunity to bring all of our nearest and dearest together to celebrate and to ask them to commit to supporting us as a couple and family, on this journey we call life. Marriage is by no means essential to a successful partnership and increasingly we are seeing it left by the wayside in favour of less traditional family units. However to Eddie and I it holds a great sense of value and meaning, it publicly exclaims our union, it further unites us as a couple and family unit, it recognises our shared values and promises to one another, and will forever be a reminder of why we decided to partner in life together.”

Ceremony and Reception location + Catering: @kauribayboomrock / Photographer: @stephanandnakita / Celebrant: @signedwithliv / Entertainment: @dr.snikkers / Planning and Styling Styling: By the Bride @la_hendl / Lighting : @lalumiere_nz / Flora: @rose.tinted.flowers / Cake: @thecaker / Décor hire: @vitrine_theantiquestore / Harley Davidson @aucklandharleydavidson / Groom’s suit: @cranebrother / Bride’s dress: @paris_georgia / Bride’s blazer: @maggiemarilyn / Bride’s bag: @georgiajaybags / Bride’s engagement ring: @heralddiamondcouture / Bride’s wedding band: @jessica_mccormack / Groom’s wedding band @meadowlarkjewellery / Groom’s shoes: @barrettofficial / Bride’s shoes: @topshop / Brides necklace and earrings @eneseajewellery / Grooms Cufflinks: @workingstylenz / Makeup: @angelastewartmakeup / Hair: @society_society / Bride’s fragrance: @diptyque Do Son / Groom’s fragrance: @laboratorioolfattivo – Cozumel from @workingstylenz / Bridesmaid’s dresses: Miss Crabb from @designer.wardrobe / Groomsmen suits: hired from @rembrandt1946

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