I am so happy that todays groom got hit by a van. Otherwise this wedding may have never happened! (read more below!) Ryan & Ieva chose to do things simply, focusing on the details that were really important to them, making the day a fun (budget friendly) family affair with special personalised touches and meaningful traditions.
Oh and I must mention Ieva’s stunning dress from my favourite local designer The Flower Bride! Perfect in every way especially matched with the gorgeous floral crown. I likey a lot!
This beautiful beach wedding was captured by the incredibly talented Tony from Handcrafted Stories who did a fantastic job capturing exactly what the day was about.. love and family. Enjoy!
How did your love story begin?
We met in a club in London a few years ago. He asked for my number and then we went our separate ways. The next morning I found out Ryan was hit by a van playing rugby passes on the road with his mates in the early hours of that day. I texted him to see if he was ok. The rest is history.
Why did you say ‘YES’?
I said yes because I love Ryan and I know I would like to share my life with him so why not get married to celebrate our love and commitment to each other.
What was your inspiration or theme for the day?
It is very easy to get lost in the whole commerciality that surrounds weddings. We just tried to stay true to ourselves and have a wedding that represented “us”. We got inspired from looking online – Pinterest, Paper & Lace and other blogs. In the end we chose what we felt reflected who we are – fun loving, laid back and out-doorsey with a touch of uniqueness. Ieva is from Latvia, which is rich in wedding traditions, so we wanted to include some of this in our day too. For us it was important to have our identity and heritage reflected in our special day. It proved entertaining for the guests as well.
What music did you play for those special moments?
Ievas brother Reinis (reinisjaunais.com) played one of his songs at the ceremony. He is a talented guitarist as well as a song writer. He also played our first dance which ended up being a bit of a spur of the moment. Reinis asked the guests what they wanted us to dance to – either country, folk or rock ‘n’ roll. We ended up having to dance to all of the above as he switched styles on us and we had to improvise. It definitely brought a few old dance moves out of the closet and guests thought it was hilarious. Basically the music was abit of a family affair with Ieva’s brother as well as another member of our extended family Sasha, who has the most beautiful voice, and her guitarist Lance performing live music throughout the night. There was also an impromptu performance by an Uncle which only added to the atmosphere. It was so amazing.
What were your Save & Splurge items?
We saved lots of money by having our reception in a family garden. Also pallets, hay bales and borrowed rustic outdoor furniture came cheap. We also did our own catering using local businesses, some imagination and lots of support. We didn’t have a traditional sit down meal but had platters of various finger foods like gourmet pizzas, sushi, sliders, antipasti and others served instead. It certainty made the atmosphere more bubbly and laid back.
We decided from the start that photography was important to us. We thought of it as something that we can always look back on and show our grandchildren one day. We wanted it to reflect the feel of the day and capture those special moments. When we discovered Tony we knew he was the man for the job. We are amazed with how the photos turned out and are incredibly grateful for his work. We would recommend him to anyone.
Did you manage to stick to your budget?
We had some money saved up however neither of us could justify spending mass amounts on one day. It is a very special day by all means but we thought that we didn’t need to spend a fortune to make it special or how we wanted. We were also very lucky to get a lot of financial support from both our families. Actually we got so much support in every kind of way. It was like this big family project where everyone helped out in one way or another. It was absolutely amazing especially once it all came together. The feeling that we had achieved something this beautiful together was priceless.
In hindsight, is there anything that you would have done differently?
No, although it would have been great if more of Ieva’s family and friends could have attended but this wasn’t expected because of the enormous distance to travel. We hope to have a small gathering next year when we travel to Europe to celebrate our marriage with the ones who couldn’t be there.
What advice would you give to future brides to be?
When you are in the middle of all the planning and stressing try to stop just for a moment, take a deep breath and think what is ‘you’, what does really matter for your big day and what wouldn’t in the end. Then carry on and don’t forget to have fun doing it. It’s supposed to be an enjoyable experience.
What do you love most about being a MRS?
I think what I love the most is that marriage makes us somehow stronger. We have become this one unit. I love being able to call Ryan my husband. It is something new and exciting. The beginning of a new journey. The next stage of life.
Photography // Handcrafted Stories by Tony McKay
Planner/Stylist // Ourselves with the help of our families and friends.
Inspiration from Pinterest and Paper & Lace (yay!)
Flowers // Iona.flowers
Makeup // Grace from Luscious Makeup and Beauty
Cake // Olivia Pearse
Bridesmaids Dresses & Accessories // Otto Mode dresses, own accessories
Ceremony Venue // Kiritehere beach
Reception Venue // Groom mum’s back garden
Invitations // D.I.Y templates off Wedding Chicks website
Writing about myself is hard. I love my family. Don”t tell her, but my wife is too good for me. I have been blessed with a caring thoughtful little girl and boisterous rascal of a lad. Rachel and I travelled the world for a few years and then returned to Hamilton to settle down with the family.
My approach to photography is quiet and sensitive. I am a business but I also get involved in what I am photographing, I can’t help it, but I also think it shows in the images. I like to work that way and it probably explains why I do weddings so well. I have degrees, have won awards and all that stuff but really all you need to know about me is I take good pictures and you will enjoy our time together.