What happens when 30 years of friendship transforms into a love story? A deep connection and understanding of each other. With a relaxed atmosphere, neutral colour scheme, and Maori culture found throughout, Moana and Junior’s Western Australia wedding perfectly encapsulated the essence of friendship and love. Every moment of this special occasion was captured by Sally from Fox and Wildling.

This couple can tell you just how small the world really is – growing up only 20km away from each other, sharing the same memories of growing up in rural New Zealand but only meeting once they were adults. After 30 years, they realised their dynamic teamwork and fabulous friendship had blossomed into something much more, and wanted to live the rest of their lives basking in the happiness of each other’s company.

“You make me so happy, when are you going to be my wife?” Junior would often ask Moana until one day, she responded, “I’d love to be your wife.” That same day they went to the jeweller and selected their rings. These years of friendship and love were celebrated at their gorgeous bohemian beach wedding at the Coast Port Beach in North Fremantle, Perth.

Moana’s vision for her dress was simple: light, curvy, modern and affordable. With a limited budget, she found the perfect dress on Ali-Express that was altered by a local seamstress. The bridal party, who included Ellie and Nikau, the bride’s daughters, found their dresses at City Chic, which seamlessly matched the neutral theme. Junior and his wedding party found their attire at Johnny Bigg. There was no pressure on what the wedding party wore; as long as everyone was comfortable, the couple were happy.

Once the wedding party was ready, they moved the party over to beach and venue in preparation for the day. “We chose Coast Port Beach as we could wed on the beach and go inside the venue for the reception which catered a view over the ocean and sunset, a dance floor, and plenty of different spaces and the staff were polished, helpful and gave us great advice. The atmosphere was relaxed and had a beach-house vibe. They offered different packages which was great. There was enough flexibility to allow us to choose our own style. Our focus was on ensuring our guests had a fabulous experience, as many were flying from New Zealand, and some had never been on a plane before – this would be an amazing experience for them!” Moana explained.

Moana and her wedding party wore traditional heru (hair combs) made by her father, the first of many Maori cultural customs sewn into the fabric of the day. The bridesmaids wore pounamu to symbolise deep everlasting spiritual love – a small but incredibly precious gift.

It was important to Moana that her son, Rahiri, walked her down the aisle. They walked to the song “Story of a Man and a Woman” by Ruby Turner, a song about beaches and freedom – perfectly capturing their love story. The classic song was known by most guests, adding to the overall relaxed vibe of the day. “It wasn’t a long ceremony, maybe 15 to 20 minutes, due to the potential heat on the beach (in late afternoon even!) We included our Maori culture, and made sure the sound system could be heard by all on the windswept beach.” Moana expressed.

Their celebrant, Shana Kane, also wore a traditional Maori cloak to celebrate love and protection. Family and friends were as invested and involved in the event as the couple themselves.

Every detail of their bohemian beach wedding was handcrafted to celebrate their love for each other and their love for family and friends. Decorations were either second-hand finds or handmade by Moana, including shell centrepieces with personal quotes written inside. With a love of Australian native flowers, Moana chose a wildflower bouquet from Bronwyn’s Blooms because of their hearty nature and tonal colours. “Bronwyn’s passion for her craft was evident by her Facebook page, and because she loved what she did, we knew she would do right by us,” Moana reflected.

We have Sally to thank for perfectly capturing Moana and Junior’s love for each other and their love for their family and friends. “She was more than just a photographer. It felt like she was as invested in the success of our wedding, too.” Said Moana.

After the couple had their first dance to “More than a Woman” by the Bee Gees, the formalities were over, and the rest of the night was about celebrating the community Moana and Junior had built throughout their lives. “We tried learning the dance steps at home but after a few beers we would always end up laughing and on the night just went with it. It was fantastic.” The newlyweds and guests danced the night away to the tunes provided by Adrian from DJ Entertainment Events while basking in the warmth of the summer night.

“We did all the formalities early in the evening from the first dance to the cake cutting. We kept the speeches to max 6.” Moana recounted. Junior sums the event up perfectly, “I married the love of my life that day. It was how I pictured it, and it was magic. I loved every minute. Our friends and family were there to celebrate with us, and everyone enjoyed themselves.”

Congratulations, Moana and Junior, on your beautiful union! And thank you to Sally from Fox and Wildling for capturing and sharing these moments with us.