Shasta & Andrew by Alex King Photography

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship … We own and run two businesses in Brisbane, one being a law firm and the other is in commercial finance, needless to say we don’t have too much spare time on our hands.

We started the law firm after being together for only a year, looking back this seems crazy however as corny as it sounds … when you know you just know. We are both ambitious so when we met it made sense to throw our new relationship into a highly stressful venture haha to be honest not advisable. We love to travel and try new and exotic food, we are considering an entire holiday dedicated to trying new street food. I suppose the unique aspect of our relationship is that we take on every opportunity and challenge together as a team, we know where we want to be and we work hard at achieving our goals every day.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details … Originally we had decided to get married in New Zealand, we are both from Auckland however now live in Brisbane. We had a venue booked and everything ready to go. We decided suddenly on Christmas Eve (approx. a year out from the wedding) that we wanted a small island wedding, we cancelled the New Zealand wedding and booked the wedding of our dreams in the Cook Islands. It was important for us to ensure that our family from New Zealand and our friends from Australia could travel to the destination with relative ease. The standout must have for our day was fun. We skipped a lot of the traditional stuff and focused on a small intimate wedding full of laughter and good memories. We didn’t have a theme as such, the back drop of the Muri Lagoon in Rarotonga took centre stage. We wanted classic elegance which is not the first thing you think of with a beach wedding but I think we pulled it off. We wanted the beach vibe without the bare feet and pastels that usually come with it. I loved the place cars made from shell, they were the perfect addition to the table alongside the personalised cookies that people actually ate which we loved. It would be rude not to have coconuts as your centre pieces, we loved this as it really bought the island feeling to the day.

Because of our height difference we didn’t want to get married on the beach (Andy would have had to dig a hole and stand in it!) the venue when we booked didn’t have many other options but by divine intervention the day we arrived they had just finished building a balcony that had a back drop of the beautiful lagoon. I was so excited, it made the perfect ceremony locations and an amazing spot for photos.

Tell us about your main outfits: The clothes were potentially the most important detail of the day to both of us. Andy wears suits every day for his job so this suit had to be a stand out. Joe from Germanicos Bestoke Tailors did an amazing job with a custom-made European style silk and linen blend suit, the colour was perfection on the beach and the inside lining was an amazing shade of blue with our initials and our wedding date monogramed. I love clothes so from the second I got engaged I started planning my dress, it had to be different and make a statement while be classic and elegant. It took me over 18 months and a lot of dresses to find the one, I realised soon into my search that I don’t like the ‘classic wedding dress’ so I knew I had to pick something sleek. My dress was from the Luxe Collections of Karen Willis Holmes, I wore the Addison Gown with the Diamond Train. The gown was fully beaded, I loved that it had an almost art deco pattern on the bodice. The train was a standout, the fabric was amazing, I wanted something different the than standard veil and this train was the perfect choice, I loved the way it fastened around my waist and flowed down onto the ground. Paired with the dress it was just what I was looking for, I felt the most beautiful I have ever felt that day. 

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day? The speeches were by far the standout of our wedding, we were so honoured to have such amazing people speak on behalf of our relationship. We are both from a Maori background, Andy’s mum presented us with traditional bone carvings that were blessed and with it said a beautiful Maori prayer. Because of my time spent in both Australia and New Zealand it was important to me to have people from both countries do speeches. My Maid of honour Natalie gave the most heart-warming speech that brought a lot of the party to tears, she is a Barrister so everyone was expecting a stellar performance however I don’t think I could have asked for a more genuinely brilliant account of our 25 year friendship. We also had a speech in the form of a rap which was the best and worst thing for me, the best as it made my day! The worst because I now have to make a speech at the rappers wedding and I am no where near as lyrically talented.

Another really fun detail of the day was the ice-cream truck we organised to drive up onto the beach and make everyone their old-time favourites, from choc tops to sherbet cones. A nostalgic touch from memories of Mr Whippy, we even got to make a few for the guests (not sure they appreciated our terrible soft serves) People really enjoyed it and it made for some great photos.

A must have for us was fire dancers, they were amazing on the day. The drums they play in the background really set the scene of our Island wedding.

Having everyone we loved in one room was a first for both of us. Because our lives are spread over two countries, having everyone together having a great time is a memory I will always cherish.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together? Enjoy every moment of your day, it goes by so fast. 

Photographer: Alex King Photography Venue, Styling, Planner, Catering & Cake: Nautilus Resort and Spa  Flora: Alanah Cherie Floristry Bride’s Dress:  Karen Willis Holmes   Groom’s Suit: Germanicos Bespoke Tailors Wedding Bands: Diamonds International Engagement Ring: Cara Jewellers Dubai Bride’s Shoes: Tony Bianco   Makeup: Claudia Louis Marie Makeup Artistry   Bridesmaid’s Hair: Unique PHD Bride’s Hair: The Good Blondes Fragrance:  Eclat De Vert by Aerin Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Forever New Groomsmen Attire: ASOS