Set within a dreamscape of raw New Zealand coastline, childhood sweethearts Keely + Henry exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony.
The day boasted sentimentality for the pair, as they wed in the local family garden and set-off for photos along the idyllic and organic coastline of the Catlins, in Southland. The rugged beauty and untouched magnetic quality of their surroundings served as the perfect setting to be wed.
It was a heartfelt celebration that fused tradition and sentiment complimented by classic and earthy styling accents. Amidst the organic surrounds, a sleek and elegant reception unfolded in a marquee underneath the stars on the family grounds, as they danced into their new chapter.
Capturing every endearing detail was photographer Nicole Gourley.
How did you meet and how long have you been together? Henry and I met in year 11 at school after being encouraged to get to know each other by a mutual friend (Henry’s cousin) after the Year 10 Social. After 6 months of getting to know each other via text (as you do when you’re 15) we met in person and the rest is history. 11 years later and we’re married.
How would you describe each other? Henry is a farm boy through and through, he is driven and determined at all he puts his mind to; I’m forever grateful for his optimism and ability to see the bright side of every situation.
Keely is selfless and caring and continually puts others before herself, which is one of the things I love most about her. Her chatty outgoing character is and has always been the perfect match for my not so chatty self.
Tell us a little bit about the proposal and your engagement? Henry: I’d had the ring for a month or two and she called me out and said she’d leave me if I did propose by June so I called her bluff and waited for a few months. It was a nice day and Keely had gone for a big run so I had time to mow the lawn. Once I started mowing there was no turning back. I met her on the driveway and said we were going to have a picnic, made her put on a blindfold and told her I had a surprise. Once we got to the top of the hill, Keely was supposed to look out and see “Marry me?” mown out on the paddock below but instead she saw my shadow bending over to pick up the ring from the picnic bag.
Tell us about your wedding style. What influenced your planning for the day?
We really wanted a garden party-like vibe that was simple but chic. I had envisaged a garden full of beautiful white furniture, games being played, pals being drank and that’s exactly what we got! The white and blush pink colour scheme that we chose also tied in so well with the garden colours and inside the tent under the amazing festoon lighting and wooden tables.
Why did you choose your destination? We wanted to stay local and after talking with Henry’s parents we decided their garden would be the perfect location. We also live near the coast so the cliffs at the local beach were perfect for our photos.
What was your favourite detail from the day?
My amazing Mi Piaci Pink shoes were the perfect addition to my dress and matched the flowers and whole colour scheme so well! I’m a huge shoe fan so having unique shoes was a must!
What was your favourite moment from the day?
Keely – Looking around the packed dance floor near the end of the night seeing all our closest friends and family having a blast. It was a moment I will never forget.
Henry- hanging out with our bridal party at the cliffs after our first look, having lots of laughs, clowning around just with our best friends.
What does marriage mean to you?
We get to spend the rest of our lives together, continuing to push and challenge each other, growing both as individuals but also as a couple.
Who were your stand out vendors? Nicole Gourley Photography for sure. She’s a wonderful human inside and out and I would recommend her to anyone (if they are lucky enough to nab a spot with her!)
Leanne from Remotelea Creative was amazing with our signage, invites and flowers on the day.
Lastly Stretch Tents Southland, UNREAL! I’m biased because they are our friends but they were exceptional. Nothing was an issue for these guys, they had the tent there 3 days before the wedding, moved it around a few times before putting it up so the angle was exactly what we wanted!
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
Let other people help you when they offer, you literally cannot do it all yourself so don’t be afraid to let go of a little bit on control. In the end if its not exactly perfect no one else is going to notice and unless it leads to the bar running out of drinks, no one will ever know it wasn’t what you had planned!
Do you have a favourite quote or piece of your vows you would like to share?
Everyone wants to live life on top of the mountain, but all happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it.
|| VENDOR CREDITS ||
Photographer: Nicole Gourley Photography | Videographer: Double Vision | Florist: Remotelea Creative | Marquee / Teepee: Stretch Tents Southland | Prop or Furniture Hire: Encore Events | Stationery: Remotelea Creative | Signage: Remotelea Creative | Celebrant: Suzy Mitchell | Rings: McLeay Jewellers | Catering: Country Manor | Bridal Gown: Bride and Winter – brand Made with Love | Hair: Helena Hair | Makeup: Merin Williams MUA | Bridesmaids: BLAK | Suit: 3 Wise Men | Tie: Hallensteins | Groomsmen: 3 Wise Men