Kiwi farm wedding meets bohemian festival, today’s gorgeous wedding is the result of hard work, love and incredible DIY, with family and friends giving time and talent to help make the couple’s day extra special (they even sang the couple a surprise song after the ceremony!). From the beautiful handmade two piece gown to the insanely cool reception setup (with guests camping on site!), this wedding is proof that you don’t need to spend a fortune to have a fun and fabulous day, it’s about getting creative, enlisting the talent of your friends and family (in lieu of a wedding gift is a great idea!), while keeping in mind the most important thing about the day, saying ‘I do’ to the one you love. Enjoy xox
Who Elliot & Lucy Samu-Nelson
Where Kauri Mountain Farms
How did you meet?
First time around Elliot tried to pick me up in a bar as teenagers, which he was unsuccessful in – a few years later I moved back to Whangarei from Australia with my best friend Rachel who happened to be one of Elliot’s good friends too. Rach bought Elliot along to my 20th birthday party and that’s where our love story begun.
Describe your wedding style…
Personal and Relaxed, Beach/Forest bohemian styled wedding.
What music did you play for those special moments?
My very talented brothers Conrad and Jesse played their version of an Angus and Julia Stone song called “the wedding song” for when I walked down the aisle.
The Boys walked down the aisle to traditional Tokelauan drums.
My parents surprised us at the ceremony by handing out the words to my favourite Ed Sheerans song “ thinking out loud” to everyone, they gathered around us after we said our vowels and sung it to us, it was so special and was just one of the many things that our family and friends did to make our wedding so personal.
We always talked about having a live band for the reception and we managed to book Otium to play who were AMAZING (it just so happened to be that my brother Jesse is the lead singer in the band)
Did you DIY?
We diy’d almost everything!! The guys built the little cabanas with bamboo, the furniture was made by our groomsmen, my best friend and I painted all the signs, my mum even painted fake flowers so they would look more realistic, all our guests we given ivy wreaths to wear which were made by my cousins and aunties.
What were the ‘save’ items for your wedding?
We were incredibly lucky with all the things we were able to save on for our wedding – we really have the most amazing friends and family who helped us with everything – the guys took time off work to come out and help build and make all my little/big ideas come to life, we saved on the furniture hire as our best friend made it all out of recycled pallets/cable rolls. My girlfriends who are the prettiest of pretties got their hands dirty and helped with all the wedding prep labour.
The venue was a huge save – we got that through a family friend and not only did we get the dreamiest beach/forest venue but it also came with a private campsite. It was a bonus that we could have the ceremony and reception in one venue so no travel in between.
My dress was made by my mother in-law which saved a lot too!
Our friend Lesley Roberts made our beautiful cake as a wedding gift! Another friend Annie, hired a Videographer to capture our day for our wedding gift!!
My Dad was our celebrant so not only did he do it for love but it was so special to us!
All our friends got together and paid for the beer tab – unbelievably generous, I cried when we were told that they had done that for us!
What was the most difficult part of planning your wedding? And the most fun?
Most difficult was staying on track with not only the style we wanted but also staying grounded with what a wedding is all about! I had so many different ideas swimming around in my head that didn’t all work together . Luckily we had my Mum and Dad keeping me on track with the style and also reminding us a wedding wasn’t about all the gizmos you have on the day to make it an amazing day, to remember it would be the people surrounding us that would make it memorable.
The most fun was having a project to work on throughout the year and seeing it all come together! Having our children Rocco and Mieke be a part of all the planning made it loads of fun too – they had some pretty funny ideas of what they wanted to happen on the day! – Our 5 year old daughter wanted to be personally driven in a black car by a chauffeur; she didn’t mind how the rest of us got to the wedding haha.
Do you have any money saving tips for engaged couples?
Shop around to find what you want! Planning well so you wont buy things that you don’t end up needing/using, and also planning well in advance will help too, it will give you an idea of costing. Buying second hand – I found lots of treasures in opp shops.
Photographer Sweet Events Photography
Planner/Stylist Ingrid Samu & Mel Miller
Flowers Lush Florist
Venue Kauri Mountain Farms
Catering Gina Allen Catering
Stationery & Signage Mellu
Hair Do or Dye Hair Salon
Makeup Essentially Skin
Cake Lesley Roberts from Moo Cakes
Celebrant Isopo Samu
Brides Dress, Accessories & Shoes Diane Nelson
Bridesmaids Dresses So Streetwear
Grooms Suit & Accessories Hallenstiens
Rings Fishers on Cameron
Transport Conrad Samu