Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
Joe and I met in the UK when I was on my OE. Joe and I connected over a love of food and eating, and still today choose a quiet night in cooking together and sharing a bottle of wine for our perfect date night.
In lots of ways we are total opposites, Joe is pragmatic and rational whereas I can be quite idealistic and away with the fairies at times. Joe is always being silly and making me laugh, and I’m a bit more serious. But we both have a strong sense of what is important in our relationship and work hard to make the other feel appreciated and supported no matter what is going on in our lives.
We wanted to get married somewhere that felt personal and intimate and the New Zealand Portrait Gallery was absolutely perfect. The high ceilings and long room felt serene yet powerful, it was almost church like. I loved being surrounded by portraits of other people, it was humbling to stop and think about how we fit into a wider society.
We both knew that we wanted a relaxed, low key celebration, really just an excuse to get together with all the people who are most important to us. We also wanted to show off Wellington, the city we love, and so finding a venue in the central city was important to us. I also love the clash of cityscapes and wedding style, there’s something about the stark white of a brides dress, the grooms crisp suit and the contrast with a working, moving city that I really liked the idea of. Foxglove was everything we wanted, we drank cocktails all night and danced until the wee small hours.
Tell us about your main outfits:
My mum is an incredible sewer. She made her own wedding dress nearly 30 years ago, wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses for her sisters, and my sister’s wedding dress too. I knew that having her design and make my dress would be a really special part of the day. I wanted to wear something that I felt comfortable in, but that also made me feel beautiful. Mum would bring me little fabric samples to look at whenever we saw each other, and we would constantly send each other photos of styles we thought might work. I ended up with a modified vogue pattern for my skirt made out of a textured linen, and a loose fitting tee made from sand-washed silk. The scarf in my hair was inspired by a photo I saw years ago of a bride wearing a stunning silk turban, I thought it looked so striking that I wanted to create something similar for my own hair as an alternative to a veil or flowers.
Joe wanted a look that was sharp but relaxed, something that wouldn’t feel too structured or formal but that made him look like it was his wedding day and had a sense of occasion. Mandatory in Wellington were a fantastic sounding board for Joe when he was looking for his suit, they had a wealth of knowledge and helped Joe work out what he wanted. Joe ended up with a suit that looked timeless and made him feel great.
Joe and I spent the night before our wedding together in a beautiful old villa in Mt Victoria. Waking up together on the morning of our wedding, drinking cups of tea in bed and looking at each other like “oh my gosh we’re getting married today!” gives me butterflies just thinking about it. Joe made me pancakes for breakfast and we spent a quiet couple of hours just the two of us before full wedding prep started.
Joe and I wrote each other little speeches to read to each other during the ceremony instead of having formal readings. Joe isn’t a fan of being the centre of attention, and I knew he was pretty nervous, so hearing him tell me how much he loved me, in front of a room full of people was incredibly moving. For my speech I used an entry I wrote in a diary 10 years ago to describe how I felt about Joe. 19 year old me described Joe as thoughtful, funny, kind, lovely and “stupidly hot”. I even included an “mmmmmm delicious” in there! I ended the diary entry by saying that I was looking forward to seeing what the next few weeks, months, and years of my life would bring, which seemed like a pretty poetic thing to think about again on the day I was getting married.
The whole day I just felt completely filled up with love. Being surrounded by our closest friends and family, who were all there to celebrate us, made us feel incredibly lucky.
Love is an act of bravery. It takes an enormous amount of courage and vulnerability to put your heart into the hands of another and say here I am, with my joys, with my faults, with my fears, and with my trust. But being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Photographer: Ana Galloway | Ceremony Location: The New Zealand Portrait Gallery | Reception Location: Foxtail Champagne & Cocktail Bar | Celebrant: Helena Cooke & Annie Leather | Entertainment: The Dancing & Drinking Society | Flora: Yvette Edwards | Catering: Foxglove | Cake: Sixes & Sevens Deli | Bride’s Skirt, Silk Tee & Headscarf made by Mother of the Bride | Groom’s Attire: Suit by Joe Black from Mandatory, Shirt from Barkers | Rings: The Rolling Mill | Bride’s Shoes: Ziera | Groom’s Shoes: Mercanti Fiorentini | Earrings: Dyrberg Kern | Makeup: Kate Keogh, through Beauty Book | Hair: Emily Natoli