After nine years together, it was a “finally” moment for Sam and Andre’s wedding day, The couple chose the most incredible country garden venue for their celebration, for a day, that Sam describes simply as “A simple, rustic/garden wedding but with an awesome party!” Food and wine a-flowing, bubbles popping, and music playing, all important factors for these two. “Alongside our relaxed vibe we wanted people to eat, drink and have a great time so from canapés to pizza and wine and beer to Espresso Martinis and Gin cocktails!”

With a golden sunset setting the mood, and Meredith Lord behind the camera, it was a day where two families got to know each other and celebrate two very special people who fell in love, even though as they admit, they’re completely different (which is also their winning combo). “That as a couple we both bought different skills to the party,” laughs Sam. “I with all vision and not much action and Andre as the “one-touch” lock it in, accountant! Just shows how we work as a team as a couple.”

The couple married in Hawkes Bay, and aptly – it turns out because this is also where they not only live but met. “Hawkes Bay being the small place that it is we met through mutual friends and then rekindled when Sam was at University in Welly and Andre moved down to start his study.”

And once the love story began, Andre popped the big question while the couple were holidaying in Fiji. “We were on a family holiday in Fiji where Andre romantically popped the question when we were just taking a stroll on the beach. Sam’s brother in law Cam sneakily caught it on the drone so we have some awesome footage to look back on! He also ran down the champagne to celebrate with afterwards.”

Sam found her beautiful, yet simple elegant gown at Wild and White Bridal. “I had seen an amazing dress on Instagram which she thought wouldn’t suit me but decided to go to the trunk show to try it on. When I tried it on I loved it but didn’t have that moment. Going into lockdown helped me to make a quick decision to lock it in! It was from Wild and White Bridal now located in Christchurch. I loved that it was a simple style and cut but had some art deco features it was just a bit different from other dresses I had looked at.” Sam finished her look with her nanna’s diamond ring.

A vendor shoutout from Sam goes to their hair and makeup artists. “Bex Scott of Royal Scott Make Up Artist and our Hair Dresser Jem Kerisiano made the girls look and feel amazing!”

Need an idea to get rid of pre-wedding jitters? Steal Sam’s idea and take a helicopter ride! Sam telling “An awesome part of the wedding was when Sam’s Dad Dave and Sam took a special trip in a helicopter before the wedding, if that’s a way to get rid of some pre-wedding jitters go for a fly around Cape Kidnappers! We flew over Te Mata peak and then directly over the wedding guests as they were arriving. We landed at the end of the property where we drove around in Sam’s Dad’s convertible. Just before we walked down the aisle we had the helicopter throw white flower petals over the guests, just like confetti! Pretty mesmerising!”

The incredible country venue of River House Tuki Tuki was such a beautiful choice for Sam and Andre to tie the knot. “We wanted to have a relaxed wedding so chose to bus our guests out to the venue where the entire wedding was so they didn’t have to worry about getting home. Our ceremony was held in a clear pathway between two vineyards and then drinks, canapés and reception was held on the lawn and the marquee was set up on the grass. The venue was so idyllic with its amazing views up to Te Mata Peak and views of the vines below.”

Sam was accompanied down the aisle by her father to Ed Sheeran’s “Fall”.

The couple wanted their wedding to have a personal vibe, so they chose Karen Callaghan, a friend to officiate noting “We had a friend of ours, Karen Callaghan as our celebrant which instantly made us feel relaxed and comfortable. We had Sam’s younger cousins read “Love is Friendship Set on Fire” By Laura Hendricks, which was a lovely way to have them as part of our ceremony.
In our vows, we had decided in a way to make them similar that we would make one promise, say something funny and tell each other we loved each other. This was great to make it a bit more lighthearted and let me not cry my makeup off!”

“We had our rings. custom made” says Sam. “Andre’s family crest was engraved onto on his ring, this is special to him and his family and special engraving on the inside.”

“We loved standing with each other at our ceremony, having quiet conversation and giggles in between parts of the ceremony.”

Andre wore blue says Sam. “Andre chose a simple navy suit, white shirt and brown shoes and belt combo. He felt that it was a classic look and he differentiated from the groomsmen by wearing a blue and white flowered tie.”

The flower arrangements, styled by Magdalen Hill, were kept elegant, Sam shares  “We went for minimal flowers, classic colours of white and green in our bouquets and two stand out pieces on our archway which we then moved to behind the head table for dinner/speeches.”

The couple were so thrilled with their choice of Meredith Lord to photograph the day, Sam sharing “Meredith Lord was an amazing photographer and we were lucky to lock her in such a busy summer schedule! We met during a family photo shoot a few years back before we were even engaged and from this, we both felt super comfortable around her and her style of photography. We loved how she had a vision and we were happy to be given direction! Our photos are the best keepsake we have from the wedding along with looking back on these over the years we hope to be lucky to have Meredith for more family photoshoots!”

“There are some amazing photos of us down between the vines after the ceremony. It looks as though no one else is around and we are completely alone. I love how Meredith would shoot these candid moments that just captured the essence of us as a couple.”

Sam has this golden advice to share. “Don’t sweat the small stuff! Things I worried about before the wedding I wouldn’t even notice now looking back on our day.
DO make the most of every moment, especially the time with your other half as it goes so quickly! (I know everyone says this!)”

As the sun set, the newlyweds and their guests toasted with drinks from Mister Murdoch. Says Sam “Mister Murdoch was our amazing caravan bar and they had the best service and banter! All of our guests raved about them and their delicious cocktails! ”

Family was involved in every moment of the day, Sam explaining “We wanted to make sure that the special people in our families were included in the day, Andre’s Godfather Alan as Master of Ceremonies and we had Sam’s Dad Dave and Andre’s mum Jenny make some awesome speeches alongside the MOH and Bestman.”

Sam and Andre left the stress of styling their day up to I Do Glamour Events. “Alex from I Do Glamour Events styled and set up our entire wedding including tables and decor” says Sam. “We were amazed at the relaxed way she discussed table settings and colours which were over our heads! Because of her we had so much less stress in the setup and pack down of the venue!”

And as the night went on, so did the dancing! The couple chose Shaun Preston to perform all night long! Starting with their first dance. “We had the amazing Shaun Preston Musician who sang us Elton John’s, Your Song. It was a pretty special moment!  We treasure the memories of EVERYONE being on the dance floor! We had such a great time celebrating with our guests whilst dancing to Shaun Preston. We, as the newlyweds, were lucky enough to be allowed to dance on the white grand piano!”

Congratulations to you both Sam and Andre! What an utterly charming story to be able to tell. Thank you both and thank you to Meredith Lord for sharing today’s celebration with us.