Natalie + David by David Le Photography

Natalie: David loves to say we met the “old fashioned” way: on Tinder. True story, although it was only due to some heavy-hitting mutual friends who insisted that we actually decided to meet.

For our first date, we shared a bottle of wine in the corner of a dimly lit bar and talked until the bar had to close. We are archetypal Wellingtonians. We have too many indoor plants and a needy cat, Winston. We think living in a rickety house on the side of a hill is normal. We both independently moved here to study law and fell in love with the city. 

The proposal was perfect. We were spending a day at Castlepoint, a rugged and remote spot and we made our way up Castlerock, the pinnacle. To the south was a perfect calm day, and to the north the clouds roared past the lighthouse casting it in a dark, romantic shadow as waves broke over the reef. We were completely alone up there. I ran ahead to take it in with my camera. David called me back saying the light was better where he was. He moved to get something out of his camera bag, and the penny dropped. I started to cry, and David proposed with his great grandmother’s engagement ring. It fit perfectly. By the time we came back down the hill, the dramatic skies had given way to the sunshine and we spent the rest of the morning basking in our newly engaged glow.

I had a very strong vision of what I wanted to wear – a 40s glamour meets modern minimalist vibe, and it needed to be pre-owned, as it was important to us to minimise waste. After many hours of online scrolling, I found the perfect dress. Bright white, with a classic silhouette, full train and – my favourite feature – the shoulder pads which added a post-modern feel. For the venue, we adopted an earthy, relaxed, style – a nod to our small country-town backgrounds. We loved the eclectic collection of pottery and revitalised 70s armchairs at Rose & Smith.

The night before the wedding, we were supposed to have a quiet night with the bridal party at the place where we were all staying together. But we sent word to guests who were in the Wairarapa to “pop in’ and over 50 people showed up. It was such a joy to spend that time with people in a relaxed environment. The next day, the weather turned it on – 30 degrees-plus. Many things didn’t go to plan, but they simply added to our experience: be it the bridal cars getting lost or Nana shouting “kiss already!” halfway through the ceremony.

We did a lot of ‘non-traditional’ things. The bridesmaids didn’t have bouquets. Instead, they walked arm-in-arm with the groomsmen down the grassy aisle. Also, David walked up the aisle with his parents and then I did with mine. As the night wound down and the buses arrived, we were surprised by a send-off from our guests forming an archway, singing to us as we walked through. A beautiful end to an incredible day.

photographer David Le  / bride’s dress Secondhand CHOSEN by One Day from Still White / groom’s suit & tie pin Barkers Clothing / groom’s shirt, belt & shoes Three Wise Men / venue, styling, planning & catering Rose & Smith at Tauherenikau / makeup Michele Perry / hair Andrew Cobeldick / celebrant Megan Paish  / ceremony acoustic guitar Bride’s brother, David Randrup / processional song ‘I Want to Know What Love is’, cover by Amason / recessional song ‘This Must Be The Place’ (Naive Melody) by Talking Heads / bridesmaids’ dresses Miss Crabb, Zimmermann and Shona Joy from Designer Wardrobe / weekend accommodation & day-before & day- after venue Everland Retreat, Martinborough / flora Suzette Herrick / ties & pocket squares Mackenzie tartan hired from Kintail House Auckland / wedding rings & bride’s earrings The Village Goldsmith / bride’s other jewellery Natalie wore David’s great grandmother’s engagement ring / bride’s shoes Alias Mae  / after dinner entertainment Shaun Preston / first dance song ‘Stubborn Love’ by The Lumineers