Tell us a little about yourselves!
We met in Wellington 9 years ago while both working dead-end data entry jobs. We were both new to Wellington and connected over our mutual job angst after becoming desk neighbours, and hit it off from there. The proposal happened on a trip to Melbourne to visit Amy’s sister. It can be hard to find the time for just the two of us on our trips, but we found a beautiful woodsy Airbnb in the Dandenong ranges. After a long day of hiking in some rainy fog, Brandon popped the question. Amy was too busy looking for Lyrebirds and wombat tracks to suspect anything. We’ve never been in a rush to get married and are both strong believers that committed relationships aren’t dependent on marriage status. In saying that, there was something unique about sharing that ritual with our loved ones and choosing to celebrate our commitment in a way that reflected us.
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
We wanted an intimate personal space to enjoy the family, so hired Riverbank Modernist Retreat for a week to spend some rare time with distant siblings. Amy’s mum had been diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier in the year, so our intent was to create a calm, chill space to enjoy each other.
How many guests did you have?
We had nine guests plus our photographer, celebrant and her husband (the cannoneer)!
Tell us about your outfits.
We’re both fond of mid-century design, and since we were renting out an awesome 1960s modernist space, we just pushed that theme right through. We spent a day going around Wellington trying on modern and vintage suit options. We found a perfect 60’s era three-piece suit from Hunters and Collectors that had pants that went up to Brandon’s nips, and fell in love. We asked the tailor to retain some vintage feel and were so pleased with the result. After we dialled in on the suit, we looked for a dress that would complement the vibes we were going for. Amy found a second-hand Maggie Marilyn dress online and loved the classic feel and signature knot-detail on the shoulder. She bought some dreamy earrings from Leigh Miller, and her sister found a beautiful, pleated veil from Davie and Chiyo that really felt like it completed the look along with her bright, textural bouquet from Twig & Arrow.
What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?
We wanted the week to be relaxed, stress-free and fun for everyone involved. Amy’s sister asked if her and her partner could elope while we were all together and we decided to do it during the same week a few days before our wedding. It was the cherry on top of what was already shaping up to be a beautiful time. Documenting the wedding was also a priority from the start. It was important for us to have a way to share our story with overseas loved ones in a way that beautifully portrayed the feel of the day. Ana Galloway’s portfolio met that brief perfectly. For all of Brandon’s family that couldn’t be there, we feel like the photos have been able to transport them in a very magical way.
Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?
Choosing to get married this year meant we couldn’t have Brandon’s USA family with us, so we set up a Zoom so they could still be a part of our day, albeit from afar. They surprised us with a beautiful video of messages from friends and family and it was so special to see all their faces. It was important that the ceremony reflect us. We chose the ceremony location that morning, got ready together, and kept the morning full of warmth and love. We had our celebrant start the ceremony with a few lines from the Princess Bride, and had a friend read a poem by local Wellington poet Hera Lindsay-Bird. Instead of exchanging rings we used the silk ribbon from Amy’s sister’s bridal bouquet in a handfasting ceremony. The ceremony ended with cannon-fire and champagne! It was silly and fun, and we loved every second. We also always wanted a dog at our wedding, but don’t yet have one ourselves. We met Pippin, our celebrant’s dog, a few days earlier and she was the perfect representative from the dog kingdom to bless our union. Seeing Pippin on Sally’s lap during our ceremony felt exactly like the vibe we were trying to summon.
Any tips for couples getting married, particularly during the pandemic?
It’s been an interesting ride for the both of us, trying to weigh up whether it was worth doing it now or later, here or there, large party or small, but mostly we wanted to create a warm, loving space for the two of us and whatever family we could have around. Being clear about what was most important to us was the biggest asset when making difficult decisions. There were a few creative decisions that we each felt strongly about, and it was a huge lesson in our partnership to open ourselves up for feedback and suggestions from the other person. Learning to collaborate effectively while respecting each other’s creative freedom meant we had a lovely blend of the both of us all the way through our wedding.
Photographer : Ana Galloway @anagalloway | Ceremony + Reception Location : Riverbank Modernist Retreat (Private Residence) @riverbank1965 | Celebrant : Eva Yocum | Hire : Napkin hire from Tble.linen @tble.linen.hire | Flora : Twig & Arrow @twigandarrow | HMUA : Natalee Fisher @nataleefishermakeupandhair | Catering + Beverages : Sunday Cantina + Noble Wines @noblewinesnz | Cake : by the Bride with help from the online courses from Sweet Lionheart @sweet.lionheart | Tablecloth : Bedthreads @bed.threads | Wedding Dress: Maggie Marilyn @maggiemarilyn via Designer Wardrobe (2nd hand) | Suit : Vintage from Hunters and Collectors @huntersandcollectors1987 | Engagement Rings : Welfe @welfe | Bride's Shoes : Gray Matters @graymattersnyc via Vestiare Collective (also 2nd hand) | Groom's Shoes: Vintage Florsheim via Ziggurat @ziggurat_shop | Bride's Earrings : Leigh Miller @leighmillerjewelry | Veil : Davie and Chiyo @davieandchiyo