Real Weddings

Katie & Hamish

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Hamish and I were high-school sweethearts. On the first day of school, everyone had to pair up and tell their partner three facts about themselves. We teamed up and a few months later, Hamish asked me on a date. We’ve been inseparable ever since! I don’t think it was a case of, “we’ll be together forever”; it was more a feeling of contentment for us both like we’d already been together forever.

We went on a road trip to the US and while we were hiking in Colorado, Hamish asked me to climb with him to the top of a big boulder for a photo. He got down on one knee and proposed. A friend of ours was secretly recording a video. We were engaged for 16 months before we tied the knot. We were on the lookout for a woodland ‘fairy’ or ‘elven’ inspired location so when we discovered Kaitoke Regional Park we were sold. It’s such a beautiful, peaceful place. It was also a filming location for Lord of the Rings and this was a selling point too, as we’re both huge fans. My husband even designed my engagement ring using the ‘Evenstar’ necklace from LoTR as inspiration.

We liked the idea of getting married outdoors in nature, surrounded by the people we love, so we chose a summer ceremony. We both love food and cook pizza every week; it’s our favourite food. We collaborated with Kickflip Pizza to recreate our own custom-pizza flavours. Ninety guests were served ‘our’ toppings from an all-you-can-eat pizza truck, plus cheese and nibble platters. Our cake had four alternate layers of peanut butter, chocolate and chocolate raspberry. It was to die for! I created my own flower arrangements using soft, faux flowers and natural, green leaves with pops of colour to match my hair.

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After the photos, we set off by ourselves down to the river. There was a large rock in the water, so Hamish took off his shoes, hiked his pants up and carried me to it. It made for perfect photos, although I thought it would end with me being dropped in the river! I was laughing and freaking out, it was hilarious.

Our parents, all the bridal party and some of our siblings made speeches. The most memorable part was when my cousin printed out an embarrassing A3 photo of Hamish and passed it around to all the guests as she spoke. He was dressed up as V from V for Vendetta and it had us all in stitches.

For my dress, I wanted a soft, flowing vibe. I chose a floral, embossed floor-length gown with a V-neckline and shoestring straps. It was perfect, with a long, embroidered train. I felt like a fairy princess in it. I also wore a draped veil with a crown. My three bridesmaids wore navy blue dresses with nude heels.

Our wedding was quite DIY so Hamish, his groomsmen and his parents spent all morning setting everything up while I drank champagne with my bridesmaids! Hamish’s uncle drove us to the wedding in his amazing vintage Chevrolet Bel Air.

We went on a road trip for our honeymoon, exploring all the major south island attractions and camping along the way. The two-week trip cost us about $2,000, with the majority spent on a JUCY van hire. New Zealand is absolutely stunning.

My advice to other couples getting married would be to relax about an overall ‘theme’ and add their own personal touches. Love pizza? Get a pizza truck!


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