Jyles and I met in London at a mutual friend’s warehouse party in September 2013. I was meant to be meeting a Tinder match at the party that night, but I had put my phone on flight mode to save battery and missed the messages. I was instead introduced to Jyles by a mutual friend. Immediately hooked by his brown eyes and big smile, I found him on Facebook after the event and messaged him. He asked me out for a drink that week and, as two New Zealanders living in London with similar hobbies and interests, we got to know each other pretty quickly. Jyles moved in to ‘housesit’ with me after two months of knowing each other, and never left. It was just so easy to be together and we enjoyed every second of each other’s company. When Jyles’ visa was due to expire six months into our relationship we knew the best way that we could keep our London life together was to get married – and so we did.
On the fifth of June 2014 we married at the local registry office where my parents also happened to have tied the knot. It was just us with my parents as witnesses. We did not make a big deal of it at the time, so we decided we still wanted to follow the usual process of ‘getting engaged’ one day. In April 2019 Jyles proposed on a hilltop near my family’s beach place in Teal Bay, Northland. He is not the best at making plans or keeping secrets so I had an inkling when he started asking me about the hilltops and suggested buying champagne at the supermarket. He would also never usually insist on going for a walk, let alone up a hill or with a picnic. It was all very cute. Just over seven years on from the official beginning of our marriage we were thrilled to be able to celebrate our relationship with everyone.
The venue was the first thing we picked – we fell in love with L’Orangerie in Tauranga when we saw it online. We love getting out of the city to explore and get lost in nature and L’Orangerie is the perfect escape – it could even be somewhere in rural France or Italy. We chose to have our wedding in summer as not only is it when it is least likely to rain, but we love the colours and look of the dry grass surroundings. The wedding theme was rustic, modern and boho. Jyles and I wanted the colours of the day to be muted, natural tones to perfectly complement the dry summer season and venue. We picked sage green for the stationery, linen and bridesmaids dresses, with a touch of rust orange brought in through the flowers. I gave the incredible Rosie of Rosies Wildflower Co. free rein when it came to the creative direction of the floral arrangements. Rosie’s approach uses seasonal flowers within a colour palette so I let her know the colours we wanted and she did the rest. Dried ferns, referencing the New Zealand bush, were a perfect addition. Her wild yet manicured style perfectly fit our rustic venue and added to the wonderland look.
I found choosing a wedding dress hard and got a little overwhelmed at the beginning as there are just so many amazing options. I fell in love with the classic yet- modern-with-a-twist style of Australian bridal designer Anna Campbell on Instagram. Covid hit before my planned trip to Melbourne to try on dresses while visiting a friend. Fortunately, there was a trunk show in Wellington in June – just five days after the country was due to move to level two. I was holding my breath. It was just over six months before the wedding which was cutting it pretty close for dressmakers! Fortunately, we moved down alert levels and I road tripped to Welly with my girls. The ‘Jamie Crepe’ was my final choice – flattering on my figure, the simple yet classic look was the perfect fit for the overall theme.
The ceremony was very special. It was held under the trees and, as we were already technically married, our best friend Dan stood in as our ‘pretend celebrant’. He was amazing, taking his role extremely seriously. We wrote our own vows and during the ceremony, my sister also read a message from our comedian uncle who was stuck in London – it almost brought me to tears. Our singer, David Haslett Music, sang our entry and exit songs, including an acoustic version of ‘Stars’ by Shapeshifter. The ceremony was filled with tears, laughter and a whole lot of love – it was the perfect beginning to our day. Our wedding was definitely full-on, and it was amazing! It was everything we wanted it to be – an escape from reality. It was a beautiful, magical dream.
My advice to brides: you can never have too many bottles of bubbles! They are always going to be a hit at weddings, so be prepared!
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