Petrea: We live and work on Auckland’s North Shore, where I’m a high school teacher and Shay’s a lawyer.

We’re both hockey players and met 11 years ago at an end-of-season party. It wasn’t until we got away from the sports field that we realised how compatible we are. It’s our shared love for the outdoors, the beach and summer holidays with our friends that’s most important to us.

One of our first dates was a four-day adventure on the Whanganui River. There’s not much you don’t learn about someone when you’re paddling with them for eight hours a day, then squeezing into a tiny tent at night.

We’ve both dedicated a big part of our lives to hockey for close to a decade, even competing at the Rio Olympic Games together in our respective teams. Because of this, our families have spent lots of time travelling together to watch us compete and have in-jokes even we don’t get, which is a really special part of our relationship.

Shay proposed while we were on holiday in Fiji. He’d decided to pack the ring in the front of his suitcase, which was then searched by Customs. It was really lucky they didn’t open that pocket, or the surprise would have been ruined and Shay says he’d have had to propose right then and there.

We wanted our wedding to have a minimal, natural style to complement the stunning Tāwharanui location. We held our reception in a paddock 20 metres from the beach, with a view of the bay in front of us and the hills behind. One of the very first things I booked was a clear marquee and trestle tables, which set the scene perfectly. Another favourite part of our styling was the outdoor lounging area set up with pillows, rugs, sofas and umbrellas, where our guests were able to relax in the afternoon sun.

I’d tried on about 30 dresses and was feeling pretty disenchanted by the whole process when I went to Rue de Seine with my mum and bridesmaids. When I tried on my dress, I felt like myself, which was something I hadn’t found anywhere else. Finding Shay’s suit was a really nice experience. We went to Working Style in Parnell one afternoon, where the store’s director, Graig Douglas, really looked after us. It’s something we can’t recommend highly enough.

We wish we could go back and replay our wedding day again, but once we recovered from the ‘empty’ feeling we had when it was over, it was a bit of a relief to have more time to ourselves that would otherwise have been spent looking at spreadsheets.

To us, married life has been everything we could have hoped for. It’s a surreal feeling for the first few weeks when referring to your ‘husband’ or ‘wife’, but after getting used to those titles, they become so much more than that and we feel such a close bond.

Photography: Jonny Scott | Venue: Private land on the Tāwharanui Peninsula | Bride’s gown: Rue de Seine | Groom’s suit: Working Style | Bride’s shoes: Country Road | Flora: Flower Me Floral | Bride’s earrings: Amber Sceats | Hair & makeup: Natalie Dent | Rings: Zoe and Morgan | Marquee & hire: LL Wedding & Event Hire | Catering: Catroux Catering | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Céline Rita | Beer: Sawmill Brewery | Groomsmen’s attire: Working Style | Styling: Celebration Creative | Entertainment: The White Tree

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