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Real Wedding | Lise + Aaron

Tell us a little about yourselves!

We met about four and a half years ago, our fate aligned when we stumbled upon each other on Tinder – and the rest is history.

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

We've always dreamt of exchanging vows by the ocean. Both of us have fond memories of holidaying in Whangamata, where we still have family beaches, making the area deeply meaningful to us and our families.

When we visited Hillbrook Estate in person, the decision was clear, it was a no brainer. Spending three days there with our closest 20 friends and family, reveling in the breathtaking views and exceptional facilities, was an unforgettable experience in its own right.

How many guests did you have?

On the day we ended up having 94 guests attending.

What was your budget?

Our wedding budget changed multiple times throughout the planning process and did what we could to minimise costs without having to compromise on having the things that were important to us. It ended up being around $75k.

Tell us about your outfits.

The look we aimed for, both for ourselves and our party, was a modern classic vibe. We sought something timeless, yet distinct from current bridal trends.

Lise stumbled upon Brooke Tyson’s Holle gown while perusing  Keryn Sweeney’s photography on Instagram and immediately fell in love with the dress. It's uncommon for brides to choose the first dress they see, but after trying on several others, Lise experienced a 'meant to be' moment when she tried on the gown. To complement the stunning back of the dress, she opted against a veil and instead chose a birdcage headpiece. The ensemble was completed with a pair of classic white pointed shoes and a black and white checkered bag, tying into the black and white theme of the bridal party.

Aaron always envisioned himself in a classic tuxedo, with a 'must-have' being a bow tie that he would learn to tie himself.

What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?

We aimed for a wedding that epitomised 'us'. Our goal was a ceremony that authentically celebrated our love in its purest form, yet remained short and sweet. Naturally, we also desired for everyone to enjoy themselves, revelling in a big party with great food throughout the evening. Given the significance of our families, we sought to involve them in every possible way.

Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?

I've always harboured a passion for all things creative, especially the finer details. As the bride, I had a distinct vision for every aspect of our wedding. I relished each task, from designing the stationery to selecting the flowers for our wedding garden. It was important to me to showcase my creative flair and personal style on our special day, and witnessing the entire aesthetic come together was incredibly satisfying.

Any tips for couples getting married?

It can be hard navigating everything when it comes to planning a wedding and the amount of advice and opinions people will share with you can be overwhelming. Our advice is to remain steadfast in prioritizing what truly matters to you, as these aspects will linger in your thoughts long after the wedding festivities are over.

Additionally, we recommend taking a moment to relax and engage with guests over a drink before proceeding with family or group photos, rather than immediately after the ceremony. Reflecting on our day, this is something we wish we had done.

Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?

Having Jayde and Jadey Drury Hair doing our hair and make-up was an absolute pleasure, they are both so amazing at what they do, and such a joy to be around! We all had such a good time getting ready, it really made the build-up carefree and fun! 

Keryn Sweeney, our photographer, was also such a sweetie. She fitted it to the background seamlessly and made the experience super comfortable and we are so happy with our photos! She listened to what we were wanting, and she definitely delivered. 

Lucy from Lucy’s Hire was also awesome to deal with. She was patient, understanding and accommodating, she went out of her way to ensure we were happy with their service which ensured a stress-free process for us leading up to the wedding day. 

I would recommend them all and use them again in a heartbeat.

Photographer: Keryn Sweeney Photography @kerynsweeneyphotographer | Ceremony + Reception Location: Hillbrook Estate @hillbrook_estate | Ceremony Florals & Larger arrangements: The Flower Lady NZ @theflowerladynz | Celebrant: Anne Slight | Entertainment: Good Brew Band @thegoodbrewbandnz | Styling: by the Bride | Hire: Lucy’s Hire @lucyseventhire , Royal Laboratorie @royallaboratorie | Ceremony Space: Hillbrook Estate @hillbrook_estate | Reception Flora: Grown by the couple, arranged by the Bride | Makeup: Beauty by Jayde | Hair: Jadey Drury Hair @jadeydruryhair | Stationery & Signage: by the Bride | Welcome Sign & Seating Chart: Paper Darling  @paperdarlingnz | Dress: Ritual by Brooke Tyson @brooketysonritual | Grooms Tuxedo: Barkers | Engagement + Wedding Rings: Custom made by a Bespoke designer


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