LAURA + EDDIE by Stephan & Nakita

Laura & Eddie, our gorgeous cover couple from issue 20. Their story is below…

I work in communications and media and am an Aucklander with strong Dutch roots on my mum’s side. Eddie is a marine engineer, the youngest of seven kids, originally from Kerikeri. We met at an Auckland bar when we were both 20 and at university. Eddie plucked up the courage to come and sit himself amongst me and my friends, before convincing me to give him my phone number.

This story grows more romantic by the day, given the current climate of digital dating. Neither of us was necessarily looking to meet anyone at the time, and for that reason I think things unfolded organically. When we first started dating, Eddie worked at sea for periods of up to four months at a time, with limited or no means of communication. It was tough but we took it as an opportunity to reflect on whether or not the relationship was something we were invested in pursuing. We both had to make such a concerted effort to keep the spark alive. If anything, it was a really good test. We’ve been together for almost seven years, and a large part of that was in our early 20s, which is a time when people tend to grow and change a lot. 

We were no exception and have allowed each other to flourish independently. It’s natural for couples to learn towards forming a shared identity but we are firm believers that without a solid sense of self, that partnership would not exist. We’re both really into sports and outdoor activities and are one of those annoying couples you see going on runs together. We both work long hours so we make a real effort to incorporate date nights. The proposal happened on a two-week summer road trip from Auckland to Queenstown. In Eddie’s opinion, summer is the best time to visit the South Island. Laura is the curious type, so it was a challenge to organise the proposal. At Carrick winery, Eddie finally managed to

take Laura for a walk among the vines, where he dropped a knee and proposed. 

For our wedding, we went with ‘less is more’. We don’t like clutter and wanted our styling and florals to stand out as heroes. I had seen an antique pot in a window, overflowing with flowering mānuka blooms, and when I came across that photo again, I thought it would make the perfect ceremony set-up. The table florals and styling are an homage to my love of ceramics and textures. Rosie, our florist, knew just the person, a local ceramicist, who brought our vision to life. Motorcycles are a passion of Eddie’s, so out the front of the venue, we also had a Harley Davidson on display with a tin can trail off the back. That was a wedding cliché we were happy to embrace. We both wanted as much as possible to go for timeless looks and quality over quantity.

I made a conscious effort to buy investment items that I would wear beyond my wedding day, such as my beautiful Maggie Marilyn blazer and Paris Georgia dress. My baroque pearl necklace and earrings feature regularly in my weekly wardrobe. Eddie got to work with Murray Crane to design a bespoke tailored suit from scratch, from picking the style to the colour of the lining. I also knew I wanted some of our wedding to be captured in black and whilte film photography, inspired by wedding photos of style icons such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and Margaux Hemingway. 

That was a crucial consideration when deciding on our outfits and venue styling. The country setting was authentic and grounding to us. The air is clearer, things are more relaxed. Leaving the city, even if it’s only an hour away, was enough to lift the pressures. Also (this is a little on the spiritual side), I grew up spending my spare hours riding horses, so the fact that two horses turned up during our photos felt like a reconfirming sign.

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: / 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