When Steven and Sam’s original wedding dreams changed thanks to COVID, they downsized their vision and embraced it. A cosy, rustic wedding day that had a small guest list (just six to be precise, alongside photographer Patina Photography, responsible for today’s beautiful images) and all the relaxed vibes, and they nailed it.

When the New Zealand day dawned, it was misty and foggy, the couple tying the knot in a country gazebo before they dined with their guests over a feast at a waterside restaurant. Says Steven “We aimed to keep the wedding simple and cosy, especially given the limit of attendees we could have due to Covid.  We wanted the day to feel relaxed and I feel that we definitely achieved it!

It was an instant connection for the pair, who met on Tinder. “Our first date was amazing”, remembers Sam, “we hit it off straight away and talked for hours, having so much in common. And here we are six years later!”

“I (Steven) proposed to Sam at the top of one of our favourite walks, looking out across Wellington Harbour and to the airport. Sam’s intuition was too good as he knew I was going to propose that day, but he didn’t know I had a ring picked out and ready to put on his finger!”

Flowers Manuela created a couple of special floral details tells Steven. “We went simple with our flowers – we had a gorgeous bouquet at the reception in the cottage showing the ROYGBIV of the rainbow set in a tall white vase, our friends also transported it to the dinner venue. We had a single flower in each of our pockets to complete the piece, these were bound with brown twine.”

The couple stayed the night before the wedding at Ohariu Farm Cottage, the same venue they also held their ceremony.  “The whole day was so incredibly special yet so simple and cosy. The cottage was such a lovely place to stay in. Sam and I stayed there the night before the ceremony and it just felt perfect.”

The newlyweds celebrating with their guests after the ceremony at the cottage with cheese and bubbles. Says Steven “We did a little DIY for the day. We arranged the grazing platters for the reception ourselves and printed our own invitations. We decorated our own cake with a Mr & Mr topper. I built the website for our wedding.”

Both grooms wore pieces from Hallenstein Brothers.  “We went with suit trousers and suspenders. Sam wore a maroon dress shirt, and I wore a blue dress shirt, each with suspenders. We had a single flower in each of our pockets to complement the attire. We also wore black dress shoes. To finish our outfits we each wore a bowtie.”

The pair adored their photographer, Steven giving this rave review. “Our photographer was AMAZING! She made us feel so comfortable and got some of the best photos we’ve ever had. We honestly could not have asked for better, the photos were incredible! She has such an eye for locations as well – she found some really unique spots so on the drive to dinner we stopped a few times to get some great snaps.” Sam added “Michelle of Patina was incredible, in the way she sees the world literally in a different light to capture the most incredible photos as well as the constant source of fun and entertainment.”

The couple’s small guest list acted as their wedding party shares Steven, “We had a very small wedding party – excluding us, there were six of our closest friends (three couples) and our celebrant. The men wore suits or dress pants and shirts, while the women wore some very exciting outfits (including a rainbow dress!).”

Walking into their ceremony together, Steven and Sam chose “Can’t Help Falling In Love” a cover by Twenty One Pilots.

In a day full of personal details, even the wedding rings were super special. “Our wedding rings are made from our engagement rings melted down and joined together with Sam’s grandmother’s wedding bands, composed of silver, platinum and gold” explained Steven. “They’re truly one-of-a-kind rings!”

It was important to Steven and Sam their ceremony continued that intimate, cosy vibe they’d dreamt of, they chose Jude Best to officiate. “The ceremony was nice and simple. We had a reading from my Dad, followed by each of our vows, then the exchange of rings and signing of the marriage license. We wanted it to have a relaxed, cosy vibe.”

“We wanted to make sure that everyone could feel included, so we recorded the ceremony so our friends and family that couldn’t make it could see it for themselves. That was very important to us.”

“The weather was a classic Wellington 4 seasons in one day, but mostly a moody foggy day” remembers Sam. “This made for some amazing photos on the Wellington front. Whenever it rained all I had in my head was “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette.”

Sam’s advice to you? “Don’t stress the wedding planning – if you want a simple wedding, don’t be afraid of it. Don’t get caught up in the smallest details, as it’s the bigger picture of the day that you’ll remember most.”

In celebration, Steven and Sam hosted an intimate feast  Dockside Restaurant & Bar. Remembers Sam “The company of our closest friends made the day feel incredibly intimate, this really showed at the dinner where all 8 of us had our own private room in the restaurant and no one was left out.”

Congratulations to you both Steven and Sam! What a joy to be able to share your wedding, Thank you to Patina Photography as well for sharing today’s beautiful images with us.