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A Wedding in the Rolling Countryside of Maryland

Set in the picturesque countryside, Amber and Caleb’s wedding was held on a private farm, belonging to the bride’s parents – an ode to the importance of family.

Against a backdrop of sweeping country views, the magic of their surrounds took centre stage, offset with pops of bright summer tones. The ceremony and reception were meticulously crafted, with rambling wild flowers offering the perfect compliment to the natural beauty of the landscape.

Guests indulged in artisanal Paua dumplings, sipping on bespoke limoncello shots – courtesy of the Mother of the Bride. As dusk fell, the beautiful night sky illuminated the clear marquee adorned with festoon lighting, all beautifully captured by Yvonne Liew.

How did you meet and how long have you been together? 

We have been together 10 years, since meeting as students at Otago University in Dunedin (Caleb’s home town).

Tell us a little bit about the proposal and your engagement?

Caleb proposed at 6am on a summer’s morning as the sun was rising while we were out on a run along Kai Iwi Beach (where we live). Pipi our golden lab was frolicking in with waves with us, apart from that we had the beach to ourselves. Caleb faked a sprained ankle as I think he panicked and didn’t know how to get me to stop. The tide was coming in so he was down on one knee but then had to get back up and down again as a wave washed in.  It was clunky and cute and perfect!

Tell us about your wedding style. What influenced your planning for the day?

We are quite casual people and love nothing more than having a good time with our friends and whānau. We didn’t want anything about our day to feel pretentious or showy, we wanted a super comfortable and fun feel for our guests. We also wanted to add lots of little personal touches that represented us as a couple.

We wanted lots of summer colour, through fresh flowers, fresh fruit on the tables, dried citrus as place settings etc. We had a big focus on food, music, good drinks and atmosphere.

Why did you choose your destination?

Amber grew up at Marybank and home means to everything to us.  We are both super close with our parents and whānau. We have lived overseas and at opposite ends of NZ so it was so special to show everyone that wouldn’t otherwise see it where we built our home. Marybank has hosted some top notch parties over the last 30 years, so Amber couldn’t imagine having it anywhere else. Mum and Dad worked tirelessly on the land for 6 months getting it perfect for our day, which we will be forever grateful for.

What was your favourite detail from the day?

Too many to count! We are massive foodies (Amber and her Mum have a little food business) so it was super special to have some homemade touches on the day:

  • Amber’s Mum’s limoncello shots (a massive hit) were dished out to every guest before the first dance and Caleb’s Mum and Dad made 500 paua dumplings that were handed around during canapés (which Artisan Kitchen cooked to perfection!). We even had Amber and her Mum’s food caravan ‘Honey’ as the bar.
  • Our first dance was so much fun! Amber dragged Caleb to lessons kicking and screaming, but it ended up being such a fun journey to learn together in the lead up.
  • Amber’s whānau korowai, worn during vows.
  • 80 of our 150 guests were from out of town. We organised accommodation for all 80 of them out at Kai Iwi Beach so we could show everybody our little beach village and have our day after at our place.
  • Our epic music duo The Raw Honeys. Opened with Jackson by Johnny Cash, now forever iconic.
  • Amber’s Mum’s homegrown dahlias on the tables and in the bouquets. This complimented Amber’s STUNNING fresh wildflower bouquet whipped up by make up artist Amber Smithers the morning of the wedding.

Did you have a stand out vendor from your Wedding?

Without a doubt, our incredible photographer Yvonne Liew and videographer Mark Lahood! They both captured our day and surroundings with such authentic ease and portrayed who we are so perfectly. They both made everyone feel so comfortable, it felt like having two friends shoot our wedding. Some of our favourite memories on the day was out the back of the farm having a laugh / getting photos and footage with our bridal parties. The last thing we wanted was for that to take us away from the wedding for too long, but they were done & dusted within an hour tops.

Mark used our aisle song & first dance song as they music for the video (both songs we absolutely adore), so every time we watch it we relive those moments. Very special!

What was your favourite moment from the day?

Our vows and speeches… sometimes overlooked or rushed, we both prioritized putting a lot of time, thought & love into them, and it was really felt by everybody.

What does marriage mean to you?

Getting to spend every day with your best friend.

Advice for other couples planning a wedding?

Do what feels right for you, not what is expected. And on the day, let all the details go and be as present as you can be, you will have an abundance of help around of you from everybody you love. We ended up getting married at plan B as the wind was hectic out the back of the farm where we wanted to have the ceremony. None of it mattered. It really is the best day of your life if you let it be.


Photography: Yvonne Liew | Videographer: Mark Lahood | On day Coordination: George and Co | Florist: Made and A Wild Bunch | Marquee and Furniture Hire: LL Hire | Celebrant: Petra Allen | Catering: Artisan Kitchen | Bridal Gown + Veil: Liah Roebuck | Hair: Brooke Caird | Makeup: Amber Smithers | Grooms and Groomsmen Suits: Asuwere | Entertainment: The Raw Honeys

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