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Amber + Mitch \\ Fields of Vows captured by Andrea Stephens

Burrowed in the heart of the Manawatu, Amber and Mitchell wed in tranquility surrounded by rolling fields and arid afternoon light.

Amber and Mitch found their complete wedding venue in Makoura Lodge: set in serene New Zealand countryside, leisurely and rustic in nature, and able to house everyone on their invite list. Makoura Lodge turned on the provincial charm for a weekend retreat of celebrations.

Atop the ridges of the immeasurable hills, Amber and Mitch basked in the parched light that lofted over the neutral olive and khaki stratum. Their bridal party joining them in the sun-dried fields, refined in their deep moss dresses and navy suits.

High wooden rafters, large barn doors and strings of lights made for a reception packed with backcountry heart. Lovingly captured by Andrea Stephens.

Marriage – Being there through the good times, the bad times, coming through everything together and just enjoying the journey along the way”


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

We met through a mutual friend who introduced us at a casual barbeque and after few too many tequilas, we hit it off. Our first date was Heaven. Literally. Mitch organised it. We met after work and headed down to Heavens woodfire pizza on Cuba street. Gluten free pizzas. Yum… Despite Amber’s lack of class by dropping her pizza all over herself, the date didn’t stop there. Movies, Gelato and a drive around Pauatahanui sealed the deal for them both and a second date was on the cards. We have now been together for over 6 years, have 2 beautiful German Shepherd pups, a house and can now call ourselves “The Sedgwicks!”

How would you describe each other?

Amber –When you meet Mitchell, you may think “Oh my god”, who is this guy….He is full of endless puns and bad jokes, likes to laugh A LOT and doesn’t take life too seriously. BUT if you are lucky enough to meet him, you will soon find out that he is the most genuine, caring person, who would literally take the shirt off his back to help anyone, especially those he cares about. He is an incredibly passionate person, about his job, his family and friends and ensuring that everyone is taken care of. Putting a smile on people’s faces is what Mitch does best. Mitch pushes me to be the best person I can be and I am lucky to be able to work through life’s challenges and excitements with him by my side.

Mitch –Amber caught my attention before we had even met. Through an introduction via a mutual friend, we bonded over a classic kiwi BBQ and drinks. Fast forward 6 years and she still makes me laugh every day. I often hear people say that they wish a moment could last forever, however, I appreciate all of the moments with Amber as we grow older together – she amazes me every day. Life with her is a joy. Raising a family of large poochies with her has been testing, but time and time again she keeps me on my toes and keeps the love alive. In a nut shell, she is my number one purpose for working harder everyday – she is the purpose.

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

Amber –It was a stormy evening and we had planned a date night. We dressed up and went for dinner at Istana Malaysia. We ate so much food (and drank a few glasses of wine) that all I wanted to do was get into fat pants and go home. Little did I know, Mitch had other ideas. He wanted to go for a drive and we ended up down at Lyall Bay beach. It was blowing a gale and Mitch thought it would be a great idea to get out and go for a walk. I was all cosy in my track pants and didn’t want to get out of the car but was convinced eventually. Down at the beach, amid the wild Wellington wind, Mitch got down on one knee and proposed! What a shock! Of course the answer was ‘Yes’!

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

Both Mitch and I share a love for the peacefulness of the country life, so that’s what we kept coming back to. Rustic and relaxed was the style we were going for and that’s exactly what we got!

Why did you choose your destination?

When deciding on location, there were a few things we wanted – a country venue and on-site accommodation for our guest list. After searching for a while, we came across Makoura Lodge. We visited it one weekend and fell in love with it. It was so peaceful, the views are incredible and we thought, “Wow, imagine the photos we could get here!”. The on-site accommodation was a real selling point, as wanted to wake up the next morning and reminisce with all our friends and family and we really cherish the fact that we could do that. A nice cooked brekky was a bonus to help cure the hangovers too!!

What was your favourite moment from the day?

Mitch –Favourite part of the day was seeing Amber walking down the aisle. That feeling when she walked through the doors and I first saw her, was a moment I will never forget. The intimate photoshoot we did together was also a big highlight.

Amber –My favourite part of the day was when I walked down the aisle and saw Mitch standing there. I had no idea what he was going to wear as he kept it all a secret from me! It meant it was extra special to see his face and how handsome he looked! Oh and our epic first dance! Nailed it!

What does marriage mean to you?

Being there through the good times, the bad times, coming through everything together and just enjoying the journey along the way.

Who were your stand out vendors?

Andrea Stephens (Photographer), Makoura Lodge (Venue), DJ Jessie (DJ 4 us), Micki (makeup), Ingrid (Hair), Grace Loves lace (Dress), Barkers (Suits).

Advice for other couples planning a wedding?

Enjoy the process! And get things sorted early. There will always be things you will forget or things that don’t quite go to plan on the day but in the end, you are marrying your best friend and that feeling does really trump everything else.


Photographer: Andrea Stephens | Bride’s Gown & Veil: Grace Loves Lace | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Evolution Bridesmaids | Groom’s Suit: Barkers | Groom’s Shoes: Shoe Connection | Groomsmens suits: Barkers | Rings: Michael Hill | Hair Stylist: Ingrid Brittin | Makeup Artist: Makeup by Micki | Stationery & Signage: Paper Darling | Celebrant: Wendy Morrison | Venue & Catering: Makoura Lodge | Cake: Millie Sedgwick | DJ: DJ 4 You

We are excited that Barkers is part of our Wild Hearts Vendor Collection. Check out more suave suits like Mitch’s here and if you loved Amber & Mitch’s wedding style, we think you’ll love Ash and Darcy’sday too.

Words by Isabelle McKay.

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