Right by the water and with the rolling hills behind, Raych and Bobby said their vows in a gorgeous outdoor country ceremony in New Zealand. Wanting a relaxed day, the couple had loads of fun as they celebrated with friends and family. Three delectable cakes made by family, wildflowers decorating the hall and an outdoor ceremony spot overlooking a creek was a beautiful recipe for the day. Jessica Rose Photography captured the day.

Jumping in the deep end, Raych and Bobby initially met on Tinder. It wasn’t until they met a few months later that things became serious, and fast. Raych remembers, ”I invited him to my leaving party, I was heading to the UK to take up a teaching position. So he arrives, it’s like the room went silent and everyone else goes fuzzy. One of those ‘movie’ moments. We talked for about an hour, before my cousin and his mate had to say that I needed to mingle and they should go. Two weeks later we’d made plans to meet in the UK and see what our life would be like together. We knew we were soulmates and that we would be together.”

An epic meeting was followed by a romantic proposal, with the couple sharing, ”We had always talked about getting married, it was a very natural and fun conversation for us. The night before Bob proposed I asked if we could have a band or a DJ at the wedding and then went to bed. I sent Bobby a message “the list” 10 things we love about each other the next morning.” Bobby shares, ”We were going to Bali in May and I was going to ask there. I’d asked her parents. When I got Raych’s message, I thought I’m doing it today. I routed out my proposal to her on a large piece of wood. Asked her to come home, got in my suit and practiced what I would say.” Raych remembers, ”I got home, late. I had no idea he was going to propose! I am embarrassed by how high my voice goes on the video and that will never see the light of day. BEST DAY EVER!”

Raych already had a dress she was going to wear, when she discovered Hayes Bridal on Instagram. Wearing a soft and romantic jumpsuit on the day, she tells, ”I was hell-bent on not buying a dress for one purpose. I made contact with Alice and asked if I could come to try some dresses on. Alice is a complete talent, she is so brilliant at figuring out the needs and wants of women who have no clue what they think. I am so grateful for her work because on that day I felt so comfy, sexy and relaxed. I could even wear chucks with my gown after the formalities were over. I wore my cousins’ handmade bracelet that she sent from Seattle, and tried to take some time to talk to my Nana who passed away when I was 17. She has always been there for me and I wanted to make sure that I got time to talk, think and sit with her on my mind before I went out to see Bobby for the first time.” Bobby wore shorts with a crisp white shirt, a hat and Birkenstocks.

Capturing the bride and groom in the sun dappled New Zealand countryside was Jessica Rose Photography. Raych tells, ”Jess is INCREDIBLE! My words do not do her justice. I would like to consider her a friend. She is the warmest, most driven, caring lady with a camera. She has these amazingly creative ideas. You immediately trust her, she is honest. Such a hard worker, she is unashamedly all about the shot. That is such a gift for your wedding day. She was so great at getting the best from us.”

The brides bouquet was a magnificent mix of soft and romantic blooms with seeds and native cuttings. She shares, ”Gypsy from The Vase is so special to Bobby and I, she is like family. We love her for her openness, poetry and gorgeous vision for flowers. Gypsy specialises in dried flower arrangements. I loved the idea that you could keep your bouquet forever. Our dear friends Barry and Jane also gave artichokes to Gypsy from their garden to add to our flowers. Artichokes have a long connection to the heart and love. So it was so extra special to have Gypsy create the flowers and have all of these meaningful pieces come together.”

Planning on not having a ceremony, the couple changed their minds and set about organizing a short, funny and relaxed celebration. They tell, ”I looked for someone that Bobby would feel comfortable with, in rocks Hamish the Celebrant. He’s chill and a great storyteller. We wanted to share our stories, keep it about love, so our dear friend Helly read an extract from The Carters song ‘Blackeffect’. It spoke to me on so many levels.” The bride shares, ”My step dad has been in my life since I was 8 so he is without a doubt my dad. However there are two other men in my life who have always been constant and a source of love, confidence and support; my little brother Kenny and my cousin Brad. Brad and Kenny walked me from the car to Dad and Dad walked me to Bobby. I went for my all time favourite artist Michael Jackson ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’. It was surreal! This boom of music and the pop of bounce just made me feel like I was walking on air. It was awesome to see people dancing, clapping and laughing as I walked towards them.”

Choosing a location they could visit over and over again, Raych and Bobby found Lowburn Hall to be the perfect spot for their outdoor wedding. They tell, ”It has this epic grounds with a huge playground, a stream where we got married and an inlet of water from the lake. It’s outdoors and a public space which we drive past every day and can go and visit whenever we want. All of the decorations were DIY’d by our amazing friends and family. My gorgeous and wonderful aunty made us three cakes. They were beautiful, with over 100 macaroons to go with them. She is a wonderful doctor and someone of many talents, but this was beyond what I could ever ask for. My other beautiful aunty made us a cross stitch image for us to have forever. It was all hand done, Bobby’s family did the grazing tables and ran the bar it was all love and family.”

After everyone had enjoyed the grazing tables, the couple did not have a first dance, for as the bride says, ”I love to dance, Bobby loathes it!” However they did enjoy speeches, Raych remembering, ”My family treated the speeches like a revenge 21st speech, they just tore me a new one. It was hilarious and exactly fit who we are as a couple and a family. My mum and her sisters dressed up and served cake to everyone mimicking our Samoan family.”

Thank you so much to our bride and groom for sharing your seriously stunning wedding with us, and congratulations! Thank you also to Jessica Rose Photography for your beautiful photographs!