Shannon + Michael by Hannah Bird

He proposed under a beautiful waterfall, and honestly, I was so swept away in the moment I could hardly make out a sentence. But the word “yes” definitely left my mouth straight away, even before he got on one knee!

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

Shan – I come from a Marketing and Events background and enjoy bringing people’s visions to life; the marrying of strategic and creative thinking is something I really enjoy.

Outside of work, I love anything that fills my heart with joy, time with Mikey, family and friends is always a priority. Getting outdoors with our beautiful dog Sunny and, of course, enjoying good food! Food always brings people together, and it’s certainly how I show love to others by making them a meal.

Mikey – I’m a real nerd at heart. I can’t help but tinker and fix things, which is probably why I’m an engineer. I like to spend my non-nerdy hours trail running with Shan and Sunny or biking in the hills

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

Shan – Like all modern love tales, it all started on Bumble. We were actually never on the app at the same time, so our conversations were more like letters exchanged. So when we had our first date almost 4 weeks later, I felt we had already known each other for ages! He was a true gentleman, opened all doors, walked me back to my car, gave me a cheeky kiss and messaged me to make sure I got home safely. First impression – this man was the right amount of cheeky but mature and had the most magic smile. I knew I had found someone very special.

Mikey – The classic, we met on Bumble. Shan finally dropped her age range enough to find me! We had our first date at a speakeasy bar, got one drink and chatted for 7 hours until they kicked us out at 1 am. My first impression was she’s the perfect mix of silly and young at heart, but she also has a keen drive to get things done. I was head over heels immediately

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

Shan – There wasn’t an exact moment as such, more a feeling. I loved having him around not only when things were fun and exciting; but I also wanted him around when I needed guidance or a shoulder to cry on. When you find someone who is your person for all those things, and they support you no matter what, hold on to them. He just gets me and lets me be me and vice versa. That’s unconditional love.

Mikey – I’d like to say I knew within the first date! Kind of true, but I don’t think it was solidified until a few months down the line where we had to spend a month apart while I was overseas. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

Shan – I tell you what, Mikey always surprises me with how romantic he can be. Day to day, he is more of a clown, but there is a hidden romantic in there! He picked me up from the airport after a work trip across the ditch in a campervan packed with all my favourite foods. We played board games, drank good wine, ate great food, and hiked through some beautiful scenery. then, a few days in, he took us to the location where we had our second date. He proposed under a beautiful waterfall, and honestly, I was so swept away in the moment I could hardly make out a sentence. But the word “yes” definitely left my mouth straight away, even before he got on one knee!

Mikey – I planned a surprise camper trip full of hikes around the wider Canterbury region. I picked her up from the airport after a work trip, and we hit the road (dog included). On the third day, which was also our 3rd year anniversary, I took her to Washpen Falls, where we had our second date. I had written a card and gave it to her under the waterfall. She said yes before I could even get the ring out!

Top tip: writing a card served two purposes – something to keep and reminisce on for years to come, and I knew there was no way I could say what I wanted to say without breaking down!

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…

Shan – We really wanted to just have a beautiful, fun and small ceremony with our nearest and dearest. Think garden party with a bit of class and a whole lot of fun!

The style was classic with a pop of colour, which we injected into the bridesmaid’s dresses, flowers and table settings.

The vibe was relaxed with live acoustic music, an amazing food truck serving tacos and more (this is always a favourite at one of our local festivals). A beautiful Bedford truck fitted with a bar and rooftop seating. We fitted out the bar with Mikey and his Dad’s home-brewed craft beer and even made a wee competition out of guessing the brews with guests!

We also had an ice cream cart and marshmallow roasting area for the ultimate summer evening. I wanted our guests to enjoy our favourite things and see them having just as much fun as we were! This was followed by a dance floor fitted out with next-level speakers, party lights and a killer Spotify playlist to party the night away. Honestly, the perfect day that fitted us to a tee.

Mikey – Yeah.. what Shan said

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Shan – Haha weddings are expensive.. but the process is also such fun! We wanted to look and feel a million bucks, so outfits were important to us.

Mikey – Our wedding attire. I thought I was pretty happy with a cheap suit until I tried on a decent one. The fit of the suit and the service I got during fitting was next to none. I came out of there feeling like a million bucks!

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

Shan – Honestly, I will always remember this moment! Ten minutes before I am about to head down the aisle (I was staying and getting ready at the cottage on site) and someone pops their head in to tell me a sheep has escaped from the farm. I am fully ready at this stage hair, make-up, dress and all. All I remember thinking is, “And what do you expect I can do at this moment, run out in my dress and try to herd this sheep.. I think not”. Someone else sorted it, of course! And I never heard about it since, so I am assuming they found it!

Mikey – My dad and I brewed all the beer for the wedding. One of the beers was questionable at best, and we’re still arguing about who’s responsible for that one. To be honest, our wedding day went off without a hitch (all due credit to my wife). We had a touch of rain during the photos, but we were enjoying ourselves so much that we hardly noticed.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

Shan – We sadly lost my nan a few years ago so I had her locket she had handed down to me wrapped around my bouquet to have a little piece of her with me on the day. So that was special. My veil was also borrowed from a very close friend of mine, she has lent this out to a few friends since so it’s so cool to see this be used for so many others’ special days.

Mikey – I wasn’t sold on any of the rings I could find in stores or online, so I designed my own and had it 3D printed in titanium. It’s rough and rustic, and exactly what I wanted; I love it. As for my outfit, I think we both wanted me in a black tux, which was a lot harder to find than expected. Ballantynes Christchurch was outstanding, though; I had the same shop assistant, Di, all five times I went in. She made the whole experience of searching, fitting and buying the suit and groomsmen’s outfits a lot of fun.

LOCATION Five Acre Farm, PHOTOGRAPHER Hannah Bird, VIDEOGRAPHER Mikey’s Brother – Play Creative, @playcreativenz CELEBRANT Hannah Duder, @hannahdudercelebrant ENTERTAINMENT Musician – Lauren Marshall, @laurenmarshallmusic; Sound Equipment – JD Music Services PLANNER By the Bride – The Big Plan, @thebigplanco HIRE The Little Hire Company, @littlehirecomp FLORA Flowers by Jasmine, @flowersbyjasmine CATERING Food – Vagabond Chefs, @vagabondchefs; Beverage Truck – Food by Fire, @basefoodbyfire; Ice Cream Cart – Rollin Pedaler, @therollinpedaler CAKE Handmade by Mikey’s Mum REGISTRY Hitchd, @hitchdhq BRIDAL DRESS Hera Couture, @heracouture; Paperswan Bride, @paperswanbride BRIDE’S SHOE Mi Piaci, @mi_piaci TUX Joe Black, @joeblackofficial GROOM’S SHIRT Gibson Clothing, @gibsonclothing GROOM’S SHOE Julius Marlow, @juliusmarlow BRIDE’S WEDDING BAND & ENGAGEMENT RING Zoe & Morgan, @zoeandmorgan GROOM’S RING Custom Made BRIDE’S EARRINGS Amelie George, @ameliegeorgebridal MAKEUP Stacey Banfield, @staceybanfieldmakeup HAIR Beth Alice Hairstyling, @bethalicehairstyling BRIDE’S FRAGRANCE Victor and Rolf – Flower Bomb GROOM’S FRAGRANCE Dolce and Gabbana – The One BRIDESMAID DRESS Blak, @blakbridesmaids GROOMSMEN TUX Joe Black, @joeblackofficial