Lydia & Steph

Taylor-Hughes Photography UK United Kingdom England lesbian gay same-sex couple forest wedding Dancing With Her

Lydia proposed to Steph in Raglan, New Zealand. They took six weeks to travel the beautiful country, and she carried the ring around in her bag right up until the end. She was always waiting for the most beautiful place, but the truth is, everywhere in New Zealand was going to be perfect!

Lydia ended up picking the night where a giant rat ran across their path and scared the life out of her! Steph took the mickey out of Lydia for the following twenty minutes and kept making me jump! They made their way to a beach that was lit up by the stars, starfish surrounding them, Steph walked ahead, and when she turned around, Lydia was waiting down on one knee.

What lead you to the venue? Had you been there before? 

L: I had been to a part of the site for a holistic class. Even though it was a wet and wintery day, I remember looking out at the trees and just wishing for a place like that to get married. Then my teacher said she got married there! Following that, I took Steph on a little date day and walk around the grounds. We both loved the trees! 

We concluded we’d rather be out within the trees than in the building where others had got married. Like everything we do, we followed our gut and talked to the events organizer, who informed us that they were building an outdoor wedding space in the woodland under a canopy of trees. Once again, the universe answered our call! 

It really looks like a beautiful space!

Was that what inspired the vibe of your wedding? 

L & S: We wanted to work with the natural setting, so the trees were the shining star and backbone of our day. And then we eventually came to this concept of an outdoor living room! We wanted everyone to feel at ease like the space was theirs to nestle into. Nothing formal or starchy and as eco as possible. 

We also wanted a DIY wedding, which our friends helped MASSIVELY with set up and much more. We bought second-hand furniture and painted it. We collected glass jars and bottles for two years and decorated them. Lydia’s mum foraged for all the greenery we used. Lydia made a centerpiece out of a hula hoop. Steph called on all of her musician friends to perform. It was definitely a DIY day! 

Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits. 

L & S: I think we were both always conscious of wearing something that reflected us. And we decided early on that out of everyone in the world- we still respect each other’s opinions most, so why wouldn’t we want each other’s advice for our wedding outfit. We don’t believe in that bad luck stuff! 

I guess outfits weren’t the most important thing for us. We had High Street branded outfits, and we knew from the start we wouldn’t be spending monstrous amounts on clothing. We both ordered quite a few things online, trying dozens on- and sending dozens back! We evidently settled on what made the other go ‘wow!’

Talk to us about the big day! 

L & S: It was just so joyful!

I remember driving to the venue together and squeezing into Lydia’s Honda Jazz, trying not to crease our outfits! Having a quiet walk through the party area while all our guests had made their way to the ceremony space, just taking in all of our hard work and dreams. Our walk-in was long as it was through some Woodland, and we got to see our guests in the clearing below us- the perspective was beautiful. We smiled the whole way, and our guests clapped us in! Our aisle song was ‘Take The World’ by Johnnyswim. They’re a couple who radiate their love that we discovered while driving around New Zealand. The way they write about love speaks to our hearts! 

Our entire wedding party put on mustaches, and we all sang to each other ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ à la Freddie, as organized by our MOC. Listening to the speeches from our best women was also a favorite moment of ours. Our relatives actually thought we’d hired comedians! 

Instead of a first dance, we had the first song. We sang ‘Sanctuary’ to each other from the TV show Nashville. ‘Let me be your sanctuary, let me be your safe place to fall…’ the words are us! 

We danced the night away, listening to the most talented Drag Queen around, Luna Cortez.

Photography by Taylor-Hughes Photography

Cinematographer Veridical Visuals
Cake The Real Macaron Company
Catering Mangiamo Pizza
Ceremony Venue GreenAcres Chiltern
Dress Monsoon Bridal
Entertainment Luna Cortez- Drag Queen Act
Jumpsuit Reiss from John Lewis
Leaf Crown Crown and Glory
Stationery Invites Vistaprint
Shoes Pride Edition Converse

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