Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

We have been together for 9 years and recently moved back to New Zealand in time for our wedding.

We met when we were 18 in our first year of university and were good mates for a couple of years before we started dating. After 6 years of uni and a few years of working, we decided to leave on our big OE after spending 2 months road tripping around the North Island. It was during this time in the Coromandel that Joe proposed. Over the next 2 years we backpacked through Central and South America, lived in Ireland for a year and then travelled through Europe, Nepal and India before arriving back in NZ.

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…

Our wedding did not have a particular theme, the day was designed to be unique to us, with the aim of our guests having a great time. We love to party, so if there was a theme it would have been fun. It was an easy choice to get married in Hawkes Bay, it is Teresa’s home town and had all the key factors for planning a party – great weather, wine and food. We got married in a beautiful church out in the country and had our reception at Te Awa, our favourite winery.

Tell us about your main outfits:

It was important to us that our outfits were timeless. Joe kept it simple in a classic black suit, the main feature being a beautiful taonga, gifted from his parents. I had a difficult time finding a dress I loved. I was looking in Ireland and the style is so different from the simple look I was after. Not having close friends and whānau around Joe really stepped up to the plate, even organising a trip to Paris to go shopping. It wasn’t until we arrived back in NZ with panic setting in that my amazing sister organised for a quick trip to see the girls at Paperswan Bride who sorted me out. I ended up with a simple dress by One Day Bridal that I had been admiring online for years, but wasn’t able to find an Irish stockist for. I accessorised with beautiful gold statement earrings by Maison Sabben picked up on holiday in Paris. My veil was scattered with hand sewn pearls by Harriette Gordon in Australia and was the perfect amount of detail. She even stitched our initials and wedding date into the hair clip as my ‘something blue’.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

There were so many special moments in our day that stand out. We loved our ceremony, it was lead by Joe’s whānau priest who had known the family for 20 years and was in both English and Te Reo Māori. We had so many people reach out to us afterward to say how much they enjoyed it, it felt very us. Other highlights were pulling up to our reception cocktail hour in a vintage convertible Austin Healey. During the speeches, Joe’s brother and godson lead the most beautiful, emotional haka that we will never forget. For dessert, we drove a Mr. Whippy van (music and all) into our reception to surprise our guests – Joe even prepared the first couple of ice creams himself.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

Our advice for other couples is to listen to your gut when making decisions and book vendors that you trust. If you have a big wedding like we did, it can be hard to spend enough time with all your guests. Because of this we had our wedding on a Friday and a big after party on the Saturday rather than the usual brunch. It went into the early hours of the morning, allowing us to spend more time with everyone and was almost as much fun as the wedding itself.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together? (cont ..)

Try remember your wedding is just one day and if you can, don’t let planning it consume your life. We wanted to get married but also managed to squeeze two international moves, multiple new jobs, and a year of backpacking in the two years between our engagement and wedding. This definitely made planning more challenging, but it meant we got to have so many more special experiences together before getting married. Looking back now we are so glad we didn’t put off living for the sake of our wedding.

Ceremony Location: Pukehou Church, Hawkes Bay | Reception & Catering: Te Awa Winery | Videographer: Moon & Back | Photographer: Chasewild | Celebrant: Pa Peter Tipene | Entertainment: Ariana Henare & Stolen Records | Day Of Co-Ordinator: Kater Weddings | Flora: Magdalen Hill | Cake: Pretty Little Details Co | Lounge Suite Hire: Flock Events | Dining Chairs Hire: Lucy Chase | Groom & Groomsmen Suit: Cambridge Clothing | Bride’s Dress: One Day Bridal | Bride’s Veil: Harriette Gordon | Groom’s Ring: Walker & Hall | Bride’s Ring: Naveya & Sloane | Bride’s Earrings: Maison Sabben | Makeup: Candice Dear | Hair: White Fox Bridal | Hair & Makeup Help: Charlotte Lindsay Sales | Fragrance: Jo Malone | Flower girls: Appleberry Lane 

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