Matty + Ryan by Sophie Isabella

Since we didn’t have a bridal party, and therefore no ring bearer, we decided on an Oprah moment, hiding the rings under two random seats. Everyone had to look under their seats to see if they were there!

Matty — I’m a journalist and TV presenter in Auckland. I grew up in Queenstown before making my way up the country via stints in Christchurch and Wellington.

Ryan — I’m a country boy from Nelson who competed with horses professionally for a number of years before moving to Auckland for a job as a real estate salesperson. We love relaxed activities that give us the chance to unwind from our rewarding but busy working lives: movies, catching up with friends, bringing out our competitive sides over board games, and taking our miniature schnauzer Otis for long walks. We’ve both got families on the South Island that we’re incredibly close to, so we travel a lot to see them

Matty — We matched in a very modern way, via Tinder, but because Ryan was a country boy and I was a city kid, we never quite coordinated a meet-up, instead opting for sporadic messaging over a couple of years. Throw in a (brief) OE to London for me, and the timing was never quite right. When I was offered a TV presenting role in early 2017, Ryan messaged to congratulate me. I reminded him we never did grab that drink when I was last in NZ, so when Ryan messaged to say he was in the city that day doing shopping, we locked in our first date. I remember thinking how easy everything was with Ryan —conversation flowed, and he was fascinating and made me laugh. He still gives me a hard time because I suggested we split the bill at the end of the night. But clearly, I didn’t blow it, because we arranged a second date and then a third. I said “I love you” after four months of dating. Ryan was at a wedding and I offered to drive the courtesy van for them. At 2 am, after shuttling wedding guests back from the venue, I thought, “I must really love this man!” But the truth is I’d known it deep down from very early on.

Ryan — I was nervous about proposing. Not because I didn’t know what the answer would be, but because it’s something you want to get right. I did it on our fifth anniversary. I’m not great at communicating emotion, but I am quite creative, so I decided to make a photobook, full of memories. I had captions throughout, with the odd blank space for Matt to fill out. The last page said, “On our fifth anniversary, Ryan asked Matt to marry him.

Matty — Of course, I wrote “YES” in big, bold letters! It was beautiful, perfect and so romantic. Plus, Ryan was happy that he didn’t have to actually come up with an eloquent speech to say out loud! We’requite classic in our aesthetic so tried to think of ways to add pops of fun to our wedding day. We wanted a walk-and-fork-style reception, rather than a sit-down dinner, and instead of a bridal party, we’d get ready together on the day. We also made one of the smartest decisions by enlisting the help of planner Astrid Braid from P.S. I Love You. As a celebrant myself, I wanted the ceremony to set the tone for what was to come. We arrived together in our friend Vaughan’s old Rover and to calm Ryan’s nerves, we started the ceremony with a tequila shot.

Matty — We wanted lovely but simple tuxedos to match our classic aesthetic. We’d heard fantastic things about Murray from Crane Brothers and, honestly, within minutes of meeting him, we knew why. He made us feel really special. We chose our tuxed together, so there was no element of surprise. But I opted for a black velvet jacket, while Ryan chose a more classic style. Murray’s very smart suggestion was to get two shirts, in case it got too hot and muggy on the day, to give us a fresh shirt to change into.

Ryan — We wanted to look back in 20 years and still feel comfortable with our outfits, rather than following a trend that might only last a year or two. We weren’t expecting to enjoy the process of having the suits made so much and can see why brides take their gal pals along with them for trials. I think guys need to follow their lead and make a real experience out of it. Murray was incredible throughout the whole process and we were thrilled with how our suits turned out.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Sophie Isabella, @sophieisabellaphoto / LOCATION: Parihoa Farm, Muriwai, @parihoafarm / OUTFITS: Murray Crane at Crane Brothers, @cranebrothers / MAKEUP: Vanita Thomas at V Hair and Makeup / HAIR: Krisztina Moricz, @kriszmakeup / FRAGRANCE: Bleu De Chanel by Chanel, @chanelofficial / RINGS: Zoe & Morgan, @zoeandmorgan / SHOES: Florsheim Shoes, @florsheimshoes / CELEBRANT: Jo Johnston / VIDEOGRAPHER: Zac Dickinson at Flatroc Films, @flatrocfilms / STYLING & PLANNER: Astrid Braid at PS. I Love You Events, @psiloveyoueventsnz / FLORA: PS. Florals, @psiloveyoueventsnz / HIRE: Flock Events, @flockevents; Darby & Grey, @darbyandgrey / GELATO STATION: Mister Gelato, @mister.gelato / STATIONERY: Hey Lola Design, @heyloladesign / LIVE ILLUSTRATOR: Stacey Rose Illustrations & Design, @bystaceyrose / ENTERTAINMENT: The Madeleines, @themadeleinestrio; Jarrod Phillips at Mix It DJ, / CATERING: Free Range Chef, @freerangechef