THE LOVE STORY
"We met by complete accident! My best friend was moving to the UK for her OE and was having goodbye drinks. She is a social butterfly and there were people there I had never met, including Ryan. He was dressed in this navy blue suit and it was love at first sight - I know this because I can't remember a single thing about that night that didn't involve talking to and getting to know Ryan.
We just instantly clicked, talking about anything and everything. We danced in the living room to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and shared a cheeky kiss with plans for a proper first date the following week. I was sad to be losing my bestie to the UK but I found the love of my life!"
"It was coming up to our three year anniversary, we were in the middle of house building negotiations, and I was planning for my university graduation ceremony - a proposal was the furthest thing from my mind!
To get away from it all, Ryan had booked a surprise weekend away and I had no idea where we were going. To my knowledge, this trip was to celebrate our anniversary and my graduation! Ryan had planned everything and packed up the car with all this amazing food and wine. We drove to Port Charles at the top of the Coromandel and we stayed at the gorgeous Ruru Room which is an off the grid glamping spot.
Unfortunately the weather the following day was persistent rain, but luckily we had downloaded some movies and we spent the day cuddled up in bed.
Around 4pm I was getting cabin fever and the rain had partially cleared, so I suggested we took a walk down to the beach. I set off down the path where we had gone the previous day when Ryan called out to me that there was another path. I followed him up the bank to a little landing that had 180 degree views out to sea. He had set up a picnic blanket and led me over to it. With that he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. There was a lot of ugly crying before I said YES!
It was only at that point that I realised Ryan was dressed up in chinos and a shirt and I was in active wear and a raincoat! Ryan pulled out a bottle of bubbly and wine glasses he had hidden up there and luckily that spot had access to mobile data where we called family and friends to share the news!"
"From the outset we knew we wanted a longer engagement. We got engaged at the end of May 2021 and our wedding was the 18th March 2023 at The Red Barn, Karapiro. This was the second venue we looked at and I liked the idea of being outside of Auckland - a semi-destination wedding!
From the minute we drove up the gorgeous tree-lined driveway we knew The Red Barn was for us. Bridget and Lance have done an amazing job of of bringing together The Red Barn's rustic charm and surrounding gardens and making it timeless.
The venue is gorgeous making it easy to do as much or as little as you like. They are known for their yummy food and we went for Salmon and Pork Belly as our main dishes. We aren't huge cake people so we went with a cheese tower stack from Whitestone and I even managed to find a little Goldendoodle figurine that looked like our puppy Spencer! I honestly enjoyed the wedding planning process and threw myself into research and DIY projects galore. The signs, invitations, menus, placecards and much more was DIYed - at once stage our spare room and office had been completely taken over with various projects!
The star of the show is definitely their outdoor ceremony space and we were holding our breath on the weather. Luckily the sun came out and I got to have my princess moment with my father walking me down the aisle, pausing at the top to take it all in. I honestly didn't notice our guests, my eyes were locked on Ryan and watching his face as he saw my dress for the first time.
Ryan stated it wasn't fair that me and the bridesmaids got an entrance song, so he and his groomsmen walked down to The Imperial March (from Star Wars) prior to my arrival which got a giggle out of our guests.
We worked with the Auckland Dance Company for our choreographed first dance. Kimberley helped us pick a Red Hot Chili Peppers song, Love of My Life. While it is definitely not your typical wedding song, it encapsulated us as a couple perfectly - we had so much fun twirling around on the dance floor!"
"It was always going to be my four girls, my sister Georgia and my three best friends from high school, Courteney, Camille and Krupa.
All four of these girls have supported me through the most crazy and extreme times, through the good, the bad and some terrible guy decisions. I was so incredibly luckily that each of the girls formed a great friendship with Ryan and wholeheartedly supported our relationship, even though we are all in varying life stages.
Krupa made the tough choice to move to the UK about 9 months prior to the wedding to pursue her career and was unsure if she would be back, it was bittersweet for sure. I was so proud of her but also wanted her there with me.
We did a small family ceremony for my mother a couple of weeks prior to the wedding and Georgia wore Krupa's dress. On the day of the wedding it was amazing seeing all the girls in their dresses and it felt so surreal hanging them up alongside my dress."
"My top priority was making sure each girl loved her dress and felt comfortable and fabulous. I wanted them to pick out the style that they liked and we went from there. I knew I didn't want the girls to be too matchy matchy, instead I wanted the overall look and feel to complement their own personalities and the theme of the wedding.
The colours were chosen from my bouquet which was full of warmth, lots of orange, green, pinks and blues. My wedding dress being crushed ivory satin, the warm tones of the bridesmaids dresses brought the whole look together!"
Verona Dress in Tanner Pink, Daisy Dress in Sage and Ivy Dress in Siesta.