When Samantha and Myzia sat down and thought about what they really wanted for their wedding day, the answer, was clear. “We wanted it to be really chilled and relaxed, we didn’t want it to be very structured like a traditional wedding. We wanted it to be a party vibe, inviting and fun.”

With Michael Schultz behind the camera, the pair not only managed to honour their sense that this was the time to celebrate in an utterly relaxed style, but that it was also time to celebrate their Maori heritage (which as it happens, is pretty perfect for The New Zealand Issue). From the gifts of a traditional pounamu and heru, to the beautiful Korowai Samantha made for Myzia to wear, this is a wedding that blends culture with fun, celebration with tradition and joy with community.

It was on Tinder that Samantha and Myzia’s paths first crossed. “Myzia was in my region on a random weekend trip. We wouldn’t have met otherwise.” The pair becoming inseparable before Myzia popped the question one afternoon at the beach. “We went to the beach for dinner as we love the outdoors” explained Samantha. “I knew something was up but I let the afternoon play out. It was summer, the beach was still and stunning. Myzia cooked dinner on our little gas hob. I went to feel the water and when I came back he got down on one knee and popped the question.”

Although Samantha went fairly untraditional with her Aje dress, “I wasn’t a fan of the traditional wedding dress and the few that I did like were $3000 and I just couldn’t justify the spend. I wanted to feel super comfy and wear nothing tight.”  The day was filled with plenty of Maori traditions, beginning with a heru that Samantha wore in her hair. She tells  “Myzia’s nephew’s gifted him the pounamu he wore on the day, also the Korowai I made for him and Myzia’s nephews also gifted me a heru which I wore in my hair on the day. It’s an ornamental comb carved out of bone. We also sang some traditional Maori songs after speeches.”

On Myzia’s attire, Samantha shares “Myzia wore a simple chino pant and white linen top from Hallenstein Brothers, again he just wanted to feel comfortable and relaxed. He also wore a traditional Korowai that I had made for him and was gifted to him the morning of the wedding.”

With her parent’s front lawn Samantha and Myzia’s very favourite place in Summer “The trees are lush, big and shady and the lawn is large”, it was naturally going to be their wedding venue. The couple made a peachy pink backdrop to frame their vows.

Samantha walked down the aisle with her dad, recalling  “I walked down to “Tukituki te Manawa” by Drax Project; it’s a love song and about a couple that falls in love very fast as we did and even better that it’s in Maori.”

Celebrant Teresa Murdoch embraced the couple’s desire for a laid-back, casual ceremony, says Samantha. “Our ceremony was pretty quick we didn’t want to drag it out too long, we wanted everyone to feel the genuine happiness and love we have for each other with a bit of humour in there too.”

The day had a colourful garden party vibe, and it was absolutely what these two dreamt of, says Samantha, “I loved seeing it all come together on the day. As I didn’t have a wedding planner I was worried it wasn’t going to look complete or look like something was missing but it was minimalistic yet still beautiful. We just love how everything tied in so well. From the furniture to the marquee to the flowers and the backdrop it was just stunning.”

Samantha credits their choice of photographer as one of the reasons the day was ultimately so relaxed. “Michael was epic, just so chill and fit into our vibe so well. We really had no structure and didn’t want to take the whole crew out for photos so he was happy to whip us down the road and pick an area without sighting and took the most stunning photos.”

The dahlia-filled floral arrangements were styled by a friend of Samantha’s. “We went with Dahlias for the day as I love all the colours they come in. We found a local grower (The Dahlia Field) and let her go for gold and pick whatever colours she thought would work then I had my amazing friend Emily do all our floral arrangements.”

Traditional Maori songs and dances, including the Haka, were much-loved features of the reception.

Guests were lucky enough to enjoy a pizza dinner thanks to Pipi Pizza Truck. “All our vendors were stunning but our photographer and our pizza truck Pipi’s stand out.”

Samantha admits there was a little Dutch courage needed for the first dance. “We choose “Leather and Lace” by Stevie Nicks and Don Henly, I wasn’t keen on doing it as I didn’t want to dance in front of everyone but had a few drinks and there we were dancing in front of everyone.”

Congratulations to you both Samantha and Myzia! Thank you for sharing your beautiful stories with us! Thank you also go to Michael Schultz for sharing today’s beautiful images with us.