So over the weekend I married my best friend in a completely unconventional style elopement. A surprise to most apart from those invited. We decided that because we spend our professional lives capturing weddings we wanted ours to feel different and unique and to reflect us as a couple.

The morning of, we woke up and went shopping for flowers to create my bouquet and some button holes. We did this at our local flower market and a neat little shop called The Flower Crate.

We came home and spent a couple of hours pottering around eating, getting our outfits ready and making the bouquet. I have never done any kind of floral arranging so I was pretty happy (and surprised) when it turned out pretty well! The left over flowers were put into vases along with bunches of (stolen eeep!) roadside flowers for the reception. I then did my own hair and a very talented makeup artist friend Baillie came and did my make up.

Arie and I then helped each other as we got changed into our wedding outfits. Me wearing a $100 dress I scored online and Arie in his favorite suit. I helped him straighten his collar and tie his tie and he helped zip my dress and buckle my shoes.

So totally different from many weddings where the bride and groom spend this time apart. We then dressed our little darling baby girl Ruby in her precious wedding outfit by Alba and I, Miss Hazel kids & Pretty Brave.

Aries mum and nana arrived first and the first of many tears were shed as she pulled us in for huge hugs. My parents and sister arrived not long after and we staged a reveal as I walked and tapped them on the shoulder and they turned to see me in my wedding dress. Again so many tears.

That was it, the entire 5 guests to our ceremony had arrived and we bundled into cars to make the trip to Raglan to elope! Arie and I were driven in my dad's 1967 Mustang, his pride and joy/third child. Raglan is a very special place to Arie and I, it's where we went on our second date, where Arie proposed and now were we got married. The plan was to have the ceremony on the top of Te Toto gorge, unfortunately the weather was storm like so we thought on our feet and remembered a forest area just down the road from the gorge. We drove down the muddy hill, picked a spot, rolled out the rug and set up the bench seat we had previously hired from Louisiana Lucy and got married. The spot in among the tall trees was breathtaking. The ceremony was the most emotional 30 minutes I have ever experienced. We started by both making vows to Ruby, then our celebrant Pam read the letters Arie and I had written to each other. The single best piece of writing I have ever read was that written by Arie. We followed with vows and an exchange of rings then a kiss sealed the deal. We were husband and wife!

The whole thing captured by our friend Blair on video. The family left back to our place to get warm and dry and we stayed to try and ‘weeerk it’ in front of Ruth’s lens. Luckily she can capture the magic in any moment. I’m not sure many photographers would have been as dedicated to getting great shots and as happy to do do in the cold/rain!

We then met everyone at our reception spot Mavis & Co. We had speeches and cut the cake made by friend Chrissy and grooved to music from Simon Hirst. It was pure bliss mingling with our 60 guests. Intimate perfection. Each and every person there meant a lot to us. The night ended and us nanas were at home to take over from the babysitter by 12am. We finished the night in total style, with leftover wedding cake in bed watching our favorite cartoons. We can't thank our vendors enough, we planned our wedding in 3 weeks and all of them helped to make that happen. We were all on the same page and everyone was dedicated to making this a special day for Arie and I. Oh how lucky we feel. Newlywed life feels pretty much the same but a deeper connection between us and our family means we are walking around feeling very loved up. More photos of this beautiful day to come, follow Ruth’s facebook page to see them.

The details:

Photography: Ruth Gilmour Photographer

Celebrant: Pam Bayes

Video: Blair Patterson

Ceremony Furniture: Louisiana Lucy

Dress: Keepsake the Label

Flowers and buttonholes supplied by: The Flower Crate (arranged by me)

Rings: Michael Hill

Makeup: makeup by baillie

Cake: Chrissy Cakes

Reception space + food: Mavis & Co

Music: Simon Hirst

Ruby’s Outfit: Alba and I, Miss Hazel Kids & Pretty Brave.

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