We are both fairly emotional women and so, naturally, our day was going to be a tear jerker for every single guest – and it was.

We were never really sure when we’d get married. We planned for about a 2 year engagement and that we would have our wedding/marriage be a legal day no matter where we had to go. From the early stages, we always talked about Southland NZ (particularly Otago region) being our wedding destination – we loved it there and had spent some time travelling around before, and we also knew the NZ marriage laws would allow us to marry legally. For us, a two-event/two-anniversary thing was never an option. Our wedding was only going to happen once, and it was going to be legal. We never wanted to celebrate twice. Although, in retrospect, hell yes we’d do it all again.

About six months or so after we were engaged; the plebiscite debacle in Australia had begun. I was sure nothing was going to change; there wouldn’t be a nationwide vote, and we wouldn’t win. Alas, it went ahead, and so we got heavily invested in it. Through the plebiscite is how we met our photographer, and our wedding planning journey began.

As part of the #rainbowloveau initiative; we’d put our hands up to be photographed and help spread the love on social media for those affected by the vote.

When we met Nic from Fox & Kin – a hetero/straight girl who was in love with our love, we felt so overwhelmingly accepted and fulfilled with support from someone out of our little bubble of life. We knew we had to have our wedding ASAP! As we have always been quite spontaneous and sure of ourselves, we decided on a much sooner date for our wedding. We had chosen our photographer and booked her in!

We loved planning our wedding. We found it such an easy and fairly non-stressful process. It makes it easier when you have two brides who know exactly what they want. We made a pact to choose only vendors we would connect with on a slightly more personal level, who weren’t just after money; rather they really wanted to help make our day spectacular and everything we’d ever imagined.

We didn’t do much Pinterest-ing, we just talked about what we wanted and what was important. A small wedding with our closest friends and family so we would get an opportunity to talk to everyone, sit down, eat and drink and not be stuck in time slots. We never picked a style or colours, we had a blank canvas to design but we really just wanted to do justice to our views/location and surroundings. We even unintentionally had a plastic-free wedding, we think?!

We had Jo’s mother sew our napkins and table runners from mixed-matched material we found on sale. My close friend learnt, sang, instrumented and recorded our isle song. The blokes made 4.5 litres of wet pussy shots. A good family friend ordered, foraged and constructed our florals.

We’d met up with all of our vendors six months before to ensure they would be a good fit and we felt they were there to enjoy what they do best and with a bit of freedom. We were even able to order in our cheese for the cake and have it delivered to our caterer’s house to store for the week! We wanted to make the planning process as fun as possible because once the day is over, it really is over, so you may as well enjoy the journey too.

We both wanted to have as little traditions as possible (apart from the outfits of course). We got ready together, separated and had a first look after we got dressed. We decided to do our photos before the ceremony because once we arrived at our wedding, we wanted the party to begin and not have to leave for photos. We flew up to the beautiful mountains in Wanaka and we had each written each other a letter which we read out. We flew into our wedding via helicopter as part of our “low key/relaxed” wedding vibe (typical!).

We walked each other down the aisle. We served up pre drinks for our guests while they waited for our surprise arrival and then we all shared a celebratory wet pussy shot once we were officially married. We had a cake made of cheese and cut it right after the ceremony at “canape” hour. We didn’t announce our first dance, instead just got up and did it. We had our musician learn our first dance song.

We wanted it to be different. We didn’t want people to know exactly what was coming up next, and we never wanted to be on a tight time schedule.

We also didn’t use a wedding planner. It was great and saved us a lot of money. We had to hire land to have our ceremony/wedding and then hire the venue (tipis) down to toilets, generators, lighting, a chiller trailer and everything in between. I had loads of help from our vendors and everyone pointed me in the right direction. We made spot on choices as everything came together perfectly. We didn’t fuss over where to place things, or where people should sit. Oh, and we had a buffet of smoked food for dinner out of a food truck which was amazing!

It was truly a magical day and all of our guests are planning to go back to visit beautiful Wanaka.

Featured Vendor

Photographer – Fox & Kin

You can find more information on Fox & Kin HERE; handpicked as one of our preferred vendors that work inclusively of diversity.

Celebrant Emily Cane Wanaka CelebrantH&MU Shannon Phillimore, Absolutly Fabulous HairDresses Grace Loves LaceTipis Gather & Gold TipisVenue Dublin Bay Weddings Hire Major and Minor Hire