Sam + Kelsey by Brijana Cato

It wasn’t really just a moment; our lives became so intertwined that I couldn’t imagine going through any part of the rest of our lives without each other. We’ve done a lot of growing up together.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
SF: Kels and I are both people who love our family, friends and most of all each other very much. We seem to be happiest when the other is happy which makes life pretty easy. We love the outdoors in all its forms, from an overnight hike to a beverage on the beach in the sun.

KF: As all of our friends like to laugh about, we’re both “bean counters” for work, but getting outside is what really makes us tick. We love an adventure. Over the past few years, we spent two and a half years living in a small Canadian ski town in the Rocky Mountains. Six of those months were spent traveling around North America in a van!

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
KF: We got married a few days after our ten-year anniversary. We met at a mutual friends’ eighteenth birthday party – this friend was actually the MC at our wedding! Sam was the nice guy who everyone loved and got along with, and I quickly saw why.

SF: We were both pretty young and weren’t seeking out a long-term relationship, but we’ve been joint at the hip ever since. I kept thinking about Kels in the weeks following when we met, I couldn’t help but think she was a lovely, kind and gentle person.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
KF: I don’t remember the exact moment I realised Sam was someone I’d like to spend the rest of my life with. But suddenly, every time I thought of my future, Sam was in it too. It never felt like a decision I had to make.

SF: It wasn’t really just a moment; our lives became so intertwined that I couldn’t imagine going through any part of the rest of our lives without each other. We’ve done a lot of growing up together.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
KF: I still love hearing Sam tell this story to friends and family when they ask about it, so I’ll let him recount this one.

SF: We were living in a small ski town called Fernie in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, a very happy place for us so I thought it would be perfect. I was trying to keep everything a surprise but had to convince Kels to go snowshoeing after work in the middle of winter (in -5°C!). With the help of a couple friends earlier that day, I had dug a snow couch and set up lights up a short trail, leaving some bubbles and nibbles for our arrival. We walked up the trail, Kels had no idea what it was and was very happy and surprised! We sat on the snow couch and had our champagne looking across to a beautiful mountain range, both on cloud nine.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
KF: We wanted the day to be all about love, celebrating with our nearest and dearest, but laid back at the same time. We didn’t want anything to be too extravagant but wanted it to be a super fun time. Our family and friends have been a part of our relationship for so many years, so it was all about celebrating with them and each other.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
KF: Somehow, everything about the day went perfectly! I’m sure it was more so down to our amazing vendors handling everything for us. In hindsight, we do laugh about how we didn’t really have much of a wet weather back up plan, but we just had this inkling that everything was going to work out for us.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
SF: I don’t usually love wearing suits so wanted something casual but still sharp enough to wear on our wedding day. We tried to keep the tones neutral, and really liked the texture of the jackets. It turned out to be a pretty warm autumn day, so we were pretty toasty at the ceremony! The rest of the outfit was pieced together from this. The bow tie was a late addition but added a bit of character which I liked.

KF: I always had an idea of the style of dress I wanted. The dress I chose was the first I tried on, and I knew it was the one straight away – a few tears were shed from the bridesmaids. I cancelled all other shop fittings after this! Vinka’s hand-crafted detail is so beautiful, and I still love the dress as much as the first time I tried it on.

Ceremony + Reception location: Baylys’ Farm, @baylysfarmnz / Videographer: Side Project Films, @sideprojectfilms / Photographer: Brijana Cato Weddings, @brijanacatoweddings / Celebrant: Georgia Merton / Entertainment: Pat for President, @pat_for_president_nz / Styling + Planner: Styled and planned ourselves / Hire: (Furniture + Marquee) Baylys’ Farm, @baylysfarmnz; (Glassware) Carlton Party Hire / Flora: Little Leaf Floral, @little.leaf.florals / Catering + Beverages: Sodacreek, @sodacreekkitch / Cake: Dani Cake Studio / Stationery: Brogan Scott Art, @broganscottart; Nouille Design, / Registry: Mildred and Co., @mildredandco / On the day co-ordinator: Platinum Events NZ, @platinumeventsnz / Bride’s Attire: Vinka Design, @vinkadesign / Groom + Groomsmen Attire: (Suit jacket) Harry Brown London, @harrybrownmenswear; (Pants and shirts) Barkers Clothing, @barkersclothing; (Bow tie and ties) Otaa, @otaa.brothers / Ring/s: Element Jewelry Co., @craftedingold / Shoes: Forever Soles, @foreversoles; Barkers Clothing, @barkersclothing / Accessories: Walker and Hall, @walkerandhall / Makeup: Claudia Louis Marie, @claudialouismariemakeupartist / Hair: Olivia Davies from Servilles / Fragrance: Chanel; Montblanc / Bridesmaid attire: Knuefermann, @knuefermann