Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

Oliver and I are both huge animal lovers, and live on a farm in Waitomo Caves. Our lives are centred around exercise, adventures and working in our family businesses. Horse riding is my one true passion, and Oliver is into anything sport related. Most weekends you’ll find us in the garden or out with the animals, and then trying a new recipe or restaurant in the evening.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

One of Ollie’s best friends is married to one of my good friends. Although we’d been to the same events, we’d never properly met. Our mutual friends suggested to him one day he should get in touch with me. We went out for dinner which was essentially a blind date (apart from the obligatory social stalk beforehand), which happened to be three nights before we were thrown into the first ever lockdown. It went well, and when we heard that the country was locking down for an unknown amount of time, we decided we didn’t want to risk not being able to hangout again for possibly weeks, so he invited me to lockdown with him on his family farm in Waitomo. I have a border collie dog, and the idea of being stuck in Auckland with her for weeks on end without being able to give her lots of space on walks in the Waitakere’s was daunting! So we packed up our bags, took the risk and headed to Waitomo Caves.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

It sounds lame, but honestly right away. The first day I arrived, Ollie took me on a 9 hour walk over the farm. All he bought was a bottle of water and two banana’s. I’m pretty sure he was trying to test if I could keep up! We had a lot of time to talk and get to know each other. By the end of the lockdown, we had spent so much time together, and every day it just got better and better. Our dogs were best friends, which was wild to me as my dog is super sassy and normal hates all other dogs! So that was a big sign. When I was finally allowed to head back to Auckland, we had already said we were in love and started planning our life together. Safe to say, I never went back to Auckland!

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

Oliver is very traditional, and wanted to get my Dad’s permission before asking me to marry him. We were in Pauanui over New Years in 2020. After a family dinner, we biked back to Ollie’s family beach house and he asked if we wanted to go for a walk along the beach as it was a full moon. We sat down on the bank of the beach, and he said a really lovely speech before proposing. It was a really special moment for both of us.  

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…

One of my favourite movies is The Secret Garden, and of course being from a farm we wanted to bring elements of country charm to our big day. I loved the idea of a venue with established gardens and lots of character, and ideally one that had animals! So when we found L’Orangerie, a beautiful rustic wedding venue with an old French orange orchard on a beautiful farm, we knew we’d found the place. The style I wanted was a mix of French, countryside charm, with an element of modern class. I wanted the place to feel warm, which we tried to achieve with pastel yellow, purple and peach colour tones throughout our florals, stationary and décor. I wanted soft pastel tones, with pops of bright colour throughout, to compliment the rustic feel and really bring the environment to life.  

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Comfortability!! I wanted there to be ample seating options, for the ceremony and cocktail hour, with lots of beautiful furniture and shade options. To me, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your wedding is, if guests have to stand for hours on end in the blistering sun, it’s hard to be super enjoyable.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

The night of our wedding, I had booked us a beautiful Airbnb overlooking Tauranga harbour for Ollie and I. However as we were on the way after the wedding, I realised they never sent us the details to get into the accommodation, so we ended up having to sleep in a bunk bed at the boys accommodation, with his Groomsmen returning at 6am from the after party, telling us all about the shenanigans our guests had gotten up to after the wedding. It was not how I envisioned my first morning of marriage but it was super funny and now I wouldn’t have changed it.

It also rained, which initially I was really gutted about. However as we arrived at the venue, the rain lifted and a beautiful fog surrounded the barn. It was dead still so we had all the doors open, and the mist rolled through the barn throughout the speeches and dancing. Looking back on it and our photos, it was actually so special and I’m glad it was the way it was. It was something different, that’s for sure!

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

We both didn’t overthink our outfits much… We were conscious of not going with anything we thought was too “on trend” right now, as we really want our wedding photos to date well. There were a few dress styles I liked, but I know I have looked back on some of my more risky fashion choices in life and cringed, and I really wanted both our outfits to be classics that stand the test of time.

Ceremony + Reception location: L’Orangerie, Tauranga | Videographer: Bad Panda Productions | Photographer: Newfound Photography | Celebrant: Sam Forrest | Entertainment: My Event DJ | Hire: Flock Events | Flora: Isadia Floral | Catering + Beverages: No Biggie Eats | Cake: Flour Cakery | Stationery: Laura Welch | Brides Attire: Hera Couture | Grooms Attire: Barkers | Ring/s: Walker and Hall | Shoes: RMs | Makeup: Rebekka Banks | Hair: Dede and Daph | Fragrance: Jo Malone | Bridesmaids Attire: Black Dorris