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Earthy and rustic elements in a plethora of blush and rust tones framed this unique and intimate ceremony in the quaint backyard of the Grooms Nana. Vows were exchanged under a timber triangle arch with a simple aisle aligned by rows of wooden benches leading the way to Shan and Tony’s boho-inspired altar.

‘Nana Grace’s’ backyard was the perfect setting for this wildly romantic celebration that perfectly incorporated that touch of ‘home’. These intimate memories will be treasured forever by Shan, Tony and their closest friends and family thanks to the ever-talented State of Grace Photography.

“I know this love will be talked about to our grandkids, as we fell in love, and chased each other around the globe, creating the dreamiest life for ourselves.”

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

We met 11 years ago through my Canadian/ Kiwi Family. I was doing my OE in Auckland, but we never dated until 4 years ago. We were just good friends during that time, and stayed in touch over the years. I always came back from Canada for visits, and 4 years ago, we both went all in.

How would you describe each other?

Shan: I would describe Tony as extremely intelligent, caring and supportive, filled with such humor and laughter, he lightens up my days when I’m down, and lifts me up to higher heights. There isn’t a day that goes by without us laughing at each other, or creating some kind of comedic relief. He also truly believes in me and my dreams, and fights for all of me, and for that I am so grateful.

Tony: I would describe Shan as incredibly creative, compassionate, and personable. She manages to light up every space she is in simply with her understanding of how to engage with people from any and all backgrounds or mental states. She has honestly helped me so much by being able to see the world she sees through her amazing photographer’s eye and opened up a side and part of me which I either lost or never knew was there.

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

When it came to proposing, Tony really did do it like you see in the movies. He kept me in the dark but at the same time I knew it was coming. He got me a custom made engagement ring with my family’s favourite flower engraved on the side. Tony then called my mom and asked for her permission for my hand in marriage and told her the plans of the ring and engagement. Then came the big night, I was told the ring wouldn’t be in the country for a few months due to delays and Tony suggested for our anniversary, I get my nails done/buy a cute blue outfit (which matched the ring and he planned on me wearing it) followed by dinner at one of our favourite Thai Restaurants and finally finish up in Piha for sunset photos.

Turns out what a nice evening I was having, my now husband was sweating, trying to memorise the speech he had come up with, trying to get the timing perfect for sunset. We then started our trip out to Piha, Piha was, and still is, my favorite beach when I first moved to NZ, as I love photographing portraits there. Little did I know, he had friends saving us a spot at the lookout, as we pulled up, they pulled away giving us the perfect car park (which I didn’t even register, I just thought we got the best spot!)

As I was taking photos of the sunset, Tony was waiting for me to pay attention to him as he was down on one knee (which took me a while to put down the camera, as I never can) When I did turn around, I couldn’t believe this was really happening, and his words were so sweet! He even recorded it on his phone, so I can save his words forever! Our friends then jumped out of the bushes with Verve on ice, and my mom and sis were waiting on a video call from Vancouver, also drinking champagne. It was pure bliss.

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

Our wedding style was Boho, and Rustic. I love earthy tones and wanted to incorporate all those elements in the day, including fresh and dried flowers. We wanted to make it feel intimate and not too formal, but still reflect who we are.

Why did you choose your destination?

We chose Nana Grace’s backyard because I’ve always loved her home and garden, and it is super close to Takapuna Beach, which I wanted beach photos after the ceremony. I knew her home would photograph beautifully, while also still having that at home feeling.

What was your favourite detail from the day?

Our favorite detail was the gift my mom gave to Tony a couple days before the wedding. It was a vintage pocket watch from my Grandfather, now engraved with Tony’s initials and the year of our wedding. I also loved having my Dad (who passed away when I was young) feel present, with details of him around the backyard, as well as flowers for my wedding day from him. I felt like my whole family was present, and it filled me with so much love.

What was your favourite moment from the day?

My favourite moment was taking our couple photos after the ceremony, and just having that moment for just us two, and realizing we just got married!!! And then just seeing our family enjoying themselves with food and drinks, it just felt like it all came together perfectly, and the wedding planning was officially done!

What does marriage mean to you?

Marriage for us is undying support, encouragement and just knowing we have each other’s back no matter what. It’s creating that journey into this next chapter, with our future in mind together, building the life we want and being able to go through this ride side by side, no matter what the future holds.

Who were your stand out vendors?

DIY Hire, Grace and Flora (flowers – made my dream bouquet), and The Three Words – Cupcakes (they were insanely delicious and arrived right on time)

Advice for other couples planning a wedding?

Everyone is going to have an opinion on what you should do with your day. Remember this is about the two of you, and put yourselves first. Only invite the people you absolutely want there, and you’re guaranteed a fabulous day. We did a giant zoom link for extended family and friends, including those overseas, as it was going to be too difficult to get everyone over so we kept it short and sweet, but it made it feel like everyone was there without it being overwhelming, and still allowing us to have our intimate wedding.


Photographer: State of Grace Wedding Photography | Flora: Grace and Flora | Venue: Nana Grace’s Home at Takapuna Beach | Dress: David’s Bridal | Makeup Artist: Jade Beauty | Hair: Jade Beauty | Shoes: Mi Piaci Grooms Suit: Hockerty Cake: Three words | Props and Furniture: DIY Hire Rent For Events | Candles: Fox and Ivy | Decor and Table Settings: The Pretty Prop Shop | Cocktails: Batched Cocktails | Rings: Fifth Avenue | Celebrant: Roy Crane.

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