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Alysia & Emily

Alysia & Emily

Emily Lear New Zealand lesbian same-sex wedding photographer Maori tradition Dancing With Her
Who are Alysia & Emily?

Most important things first, we have two dogs that we absolutely adore, Frankie (white swiss shepherd) and Liza (Shih Zhu x Chihuahua). We are both super active and love to exercise. Combining the two, we love to take our skateboard and scooter with the dogs to the park and cruise around in the Australian sun. We are dreamers, often getting lost in conversations about the future, what we can achieve, things we want to do, whether that be separately or together. Alysia is a carpenter apprentice, crowned West Australians apprentice of the year! And Emily is in sales, and she sells power tools. So, you could say we are the perfect match. Alysia uses power tools, and Emily sells them. Power couple (excuse the pun)!

How did you meet one another?

We have been together for five years, initially meeting on a dating website. However, when we tried to message each other, it was all blurry as we had to pay a subscription to contact and read messages from matches. So, we never actually got to chat with each other. Neither of us wanted to subscribe, and Aly actually deleted her account only a week or so after being on there.

A few weeks later (we shall call it fate), Aly was scrolling through Facebook and noticed Emily’s same picture on her dating profile pop on a business page. She messaged the page along the lines of, “This might be so random, and apologies if you aren’t the same person, but are you the Emily on (insert dating website here) ….” It turns out it was her, and we began chatting (every day), and we met in person a couple of weeks later. The rest is history.

Tell us about the proposal.

Emily planned a day date and packed up our skateboard and scooter. We drove to the coast, parked up, and skated along the beachside boardwalk. We stopped along the way and took a detour down to the beach, where Emily had set up flowers and music. She got down on one knee, literally.

You had a little setback in wedding planning. Tell us about that experience.

Unfortunately, we had some heartbreak leading up to our big day. Despite having years of notice and knowledge of our relationship since the beginning, a few months before our wedding, Emily’s best friend and maid of honor decided she couldn’t stand next to her and support us on the day. She had been battling her religious views and beliefs on same-sex marriage and decided that she couldn’t accept our relationship. Someone that Emily pictured being there next to her on her wedding day was not only not going to be there, but her decision had broken her heart. We had some serious mending to do before the wedding, which severely took its toll and energy from the planning.

You chose New Zealand as the destination of your wedding, was there a particular reason?

We wanted to have all our loved ones in one place. And what better place than beautiful New Zealand. Although Alysia is from there, we got married in Auckland, and neither of us had been to that city. We chose that as our wedding destination as we were conscious of the flight times for Emily’s family, and Auckland was the first destination point for the flight from America. We wanted to make this trip as easy for everyone as possible. And Auckland seemed like the best starting point. The weather is a lot nicer there than the South Island, where Alysia is from, at that time of year.

What inspired the theme of your wedding?

We went for a boho theme with native flowers in an autumn/winter vibe. In June, our wedding was winter in New Zealand. We wanted to bring in the winter feel to the room and sum up our personalities; free-spirited, wild, creative vibes. We wanted something that summed up to us.

Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.

We initially went shopping separately with our bridal party, although neither of us found the perfect dress. We spent four weeks in America last Christmas and went for a look at a bridal shop together on a whim. 

Although we never planned on knowing what each other was going to wear, we spontaneously both found dresses that day and bought them from a boutique in Fargo, North Dakota. We had to then trek them both back in our suitcases to Australia, and then we had to ship them to New Zealand for our wedding. Our dresses have been to more countries than most people!

Tell us about your wedding day!

Our favorite moment was during our sit-down dinner. We were both in awe, looking around the room at all our favorite people chatting and talking amongst themselves. Laughing, communicating, connecting. A lot meeting for the first time. This was the only time in our life that we will have all of our favorite people in the same room, and it filled us with love and appreciation. We glanced at each other, and we knew we were thinking the same thing. “we did it.” All the years of planning and thought that went into all the details. The tears of organizing a destination wedding despite never having visited that city, we had done it. We had created this magical time. And we could see the love in the room, not just for us, but for each other. The love of connection, it was beautiful and something we will never forget.

Did you incorporate any religious traditions into the day?

Emily comes from a Christian background, and it was vital for her to incorporate a religious reading for her family. She had her brother read something for us during the ceremony. Alysia’s family had organized a Waiata (a Maori song usually commemorative of an important event sung at tribal gatherings) without us knowing. All the New Zealanders stood to sing the beautiful Maori song once the ceremony finished. It definitely was a surprise to us and was a lovely traditional song that also showcased some of New Zealand’s beautiful heritage for Emily’s American family.

Are you glad you had a destination wedding?

We are glad we had a destination wedding. It bought all our family and friends to one place and to be able to experience a holiday together. For us, it was about more than just the wedding day. It was the lead up to the day in Auckland, the family events we organized to get our families to meet, and also the week of travel around New Zealand we did after the wedding day. It felt nice that it wasn’t just one day and then over, we had a full two weeks of celebrations with everyone.

We are also glad we both had both parents walk us down the aisle. Not wanting to do “traditional” and just have our dads. We wanted all parents to feel included.

There is nothing that we did that we wish we didn’t. The day couldn’t have gone better.

What does marriage mean to you?

Marriage, to us does not mean becoming “one.” It means committing to one another, supporting each other, to be able to live separate lives alongside one another that can encourage and always bring out the best in each other.

Photography by Emily Lear

Cake The Caker
Catering & Venue The Bluestone Room
Celebrant Kelly Meyer
Engagement & Wedding Rings Anthony Colin Jeweller
Entertainment Alisha Paul – DJ
Event Stylist & Florals Rock and Honey Installations
H&MU Josie Wignall Makeup, Kylie McLay Hair, Rhianan Hird Hair

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Dancing With Her acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this nation. We acknowledge the Dja Dja Wurrung people whose Land on which our company is located and where we primarily conduct our business. We pay our respects to Ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging. Dancing With Her is committed to honoring Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land, waters and seas and their rich contribution to society.

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