We had an Autumn wedding so we went for intimate, romantic vibes. We initially liked the idea of eloping but our friends and family definitely weren’t keen on that! We had only 40 guests and no bridal party and the entire day was perfect. We got our elopement moment when we flew to Lake Lochnagar and Twin Peaks via heli after the ceremony.

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

Shea – I am a registered nurse, specialising in cosmetic injectables. Before that I worked in a surgical high dependency unit. I am so lucky to have clients’ trust me with their faces and be able to work with them to improve their self-confidence. Andy works in marketing and design. He is super creative and also loves to make his own music. We have a nutty GSP named Hudson who keeps us on our toes and busy social lives to occupy our time. We love to travel whenever we can and recently went to Thailand for our honeymoon! I like to ski in winter and have recently encouraged/forced Andy to learn – so this winter we’ll be on the slopes for sure. We also love a good red wine and listening to full albums from start to finish.

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

Andy – A mutual friend set us up at the beginning of  2020  and after our first date was rain checked due to Shea being unwell, she ended up attending a music festival with my group of friends. I went to pick up Shea and my first impression was that she was gorgeous and I was the luckiest man in the world.

Shea – I had gone through a recent breakup and wasn’t in any rush to start another relationship as I had tickets booked to Europe for a big blow out, including festival tickets to tomorrowland and sziget. My first impressions of Andy were that he was funny, attentive and reliable.

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

Shea -There wasn’t a specific moment and I did everything I could to “test” Andy and to push him away as I was determined not to waste anymore time on a man if he didn’t have his shit together. When the 2020 lockdown was announced, Andy moved in for those six weeks and just never left. We became best friends and suddenly I couldn’t imagine life without him.

Andy – The second date I was hooked.

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

Shea – The only time Andy managed to surprise me (I hate surprises)! He enlisted the help of our friends and planned to do it during a trip to Queenstown. Before we met our friends, we were with family in Wanaka and took a drive to Lake Hawea by ourselves and I thought, if there is any time to do it, it would be here. He didn’t propose so it threw me off as I didn’t think he would do it in front of other people.

A few weeks prior, my friend told me she had booked nibbles and drinks at Jack’s retreat in Queenstown at 5pm and I had looked up the menu (as you do) online and saw they closed at 4pm – I asked her how she booked for 5pm and she said they were doing “extended winter hours” so I thought nothing of it. I was looking up the menu that day and deciding which pizza to order before getting ready to drive out. On the way, our friends said they wanted to get some photos by the lake before grabbing drinks. We walked onto the lakefront and I saw a person sitting in a very oversized jacket watching the sunset. I felt so bad that we were ruining their moment and wanted my friends to hurry up because it was cold and they were taking too many photos. They asked if I could take one, to which I replied “Andy takes much better photos”, but they insisted I take it. As I was taking their photo, Andy grabbed the phone and I turned around and he said “so, you know how I said I didn’t have a ring yet..” I said, “yeah? What? Wait, what?!” He got down on one knee and after the initial shock had subsided I realised it was a photographer (Kate)  hiding in the tussocks, not someone watching the sunset on their own!

Andy designed and actually helped in the making of the engagement ring with Joachim from Love in a Jewel which was super special.

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

We had an Autumn wedding so we went for intimate, romantic vibes. We initially liked the idea of eloping but our friends and family definitely weren’t keen on that! We had only 40 guests and no bridal party and the entire day was perfect. We got our elopement moment when we flew to Lake Lochnagar and Twin Peaks via heli after the ceremony. We wanted to make sure our guests had an awesome time too so we had laser clay shooting set up for them while we were away for photos. The whole day was filled with so much love and joy and we’re glad we ended up sharing very special memories with our nearest and dearest.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

The food, the location, the rings, the photographer – pretty much everything! I (Shea) don’t do things by halves (unfortunately for the bank account) so when I have an idea of what I want, I’ll make it happen.

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

Shea – Despite doing a ceremony rehearsal the day before, our recessional song was played at the wrong time (just after our first kiss, before our celebrant could ask everyone to stand) and I raised my bouquet and started walking back down the aisle! Our celebrant quickly introduced us as husband and wife and asked everyone to stand while I sort of froze mid-walk and then had to restart the exit down the aisle again.

Andy – We decided 2 weeks before the wedding that I should wear contacts (I’ve never worn them before) and I had them specially made to fit my eye shape. I had one trial that went perfectly fine but on the wedding day it took 45-60 minutes and two broken contacts to get them in.

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

Shea – My ceremony dress, veil and reception dress were made by the talented Brooke Tyson. I am a perfectionist and Brooke managed to nail it! I knew straight after my first consultation with Brooke that I wanted her to make my dress.

Andy accidentally saw photos pop up on my phone (for a split second) that Brooke had taken of me in her studio, a month before the wedding. He told me he “didn’t really like it”, which was super stressful as there wasn’t much I could change about it that close to the wedding! He thought it had a plunge neckline (which isn’t “me” at all) because of the angle of the photos. I reassured him that the photos he had “barely” seen were a terrible example (however I was quite pleased the bar had been set low).  I trusted my gut that the dress was “me” and he was VERY pleasantly surprised on the day and loved the dress, as did everyone. I felt absolutely amazing in both my dresses and am already thinking of ways to wear them again. The plan is for Brooke to remake my ceremony dress in to an outfit that I can wear again!

Andy – We went back and forth between navy and a lighter colour. Initially Shea wanted me in a light suit but I thought I’d feel more comfortable in navy. When we went to try some on, we switched and Shea liked the navy and I liked the lighter one. I had to really convince her that the lighter one was the way to go and in the end we both loved it.

Ceremony + Reception location: Rippon, @ripponhall / Videographer: Phillip Puckey / Photographer: Kate Roberge, @katerobergephotography / Celebrant: Married by Soph, @marriedbysoph / Entertainment: Grenville at Entertainment solutions (sound and lighting) / Styling + Planning: Bride / Plates/Cutlery Hire: Alta Wedding, @altaweddings / Flora: The Greenroom, @thegreenroom / Catering + Beverages: Aspiring, @aspiringcatering / Cake: Friend of the bride, Gemma Mitchell / Stationery: Groom / Rings: Love in a jewel, @loveinajewel / Dresses + veil: Brooke Tyson, @brooketysonritual / Suit: Sergios, @serigos.menswear / Makeup: Stacey Banfield, @staceybanfieldmakeup / Fragrances: Tom Ford, @tomfordbeauty / Hair: @aniwairvine / Shoes: Mipiaci + Merchant, @mi_piaci, @merchant1948 / Earrings: Mia Straka, @ceremonybymiastraka