Monique & Jeremy love the outdoors and being amongst nature and trees and BRIDGEWATER ESTATE just north of Auckland offered them the natureal beauty they were after with its rolling lawns, natural surrounding bush and pathways lined with hydrangea bushes. Having spent the last six years living in Vancouver they wanted a venue that honoured that part of their lives as well. Their photographer KATE WARK beautifully captured their day starting off with a fun first look in the nearby forest which made for some spectacular images. How pretty are their bridal party shots? 

HOW DID YOU MEET? Jeremy and I met almost 12 years ago through mutual friends. We were good friends, dating other people at the time, but as those relationships ended we began spending more time together and something just clicked. Two years into our relationship we decided to move abroad to Vancouver, Canada, where we have been building a life together for the last six years.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: It was under a tropical sunset on Maui. We'd had the best trip snorkelling, mountain biking, hiking and exploring the island in our Mustang convertible. On our last night in the garden patio overlooking the water he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. To top it off we had a gorgeous full moon rising that night, it couldn't get more perfect than that.

TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I struck very lucky and found my dream dress on I had it made to fit and it was delivered in a mere four weeks. I used to be a seller on Etsy and absolutely love the site and what it offers to creative types who want to turn their passion into a business. Buying handmade is now so accessible.

ANY DIY ELEMENTS? Yes! I'm a creative type and will leap at any chance to make something myself. Jen, one of my bridesmaids, helped me select the flowers for the bridesmaids' bouquets and I assembled the lot at home. I also made the magnolia leaf name cards, table numbers, seating chart, save the dates, invitations and thank you cards. Being able to DIY not only helps save money but it brings a lot of satisfaction and a sense of ownership.

DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: A gorgeous wildflower bunch that serendipitously tied all my bridesmaids together! Our wedding day was the first time I saw all the girls' dresses together as we were all separated, two of us living in Canada and the rest in New Zealand. I was completely wrapped with how they ended up looking together but to top it off, the floral headpiece and bouquet that my florist designed matched them all perfectly! I wanted a rustic, natural look with a lot of foliage that still maintained an element of daintiness. She not only nailed the overall look, but somehow selected the exact colours to tie all my girls together too.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? It has to be our first look in the forest. After the year of planning and anticipation for the big day, this marked the start of it. Words don't even come close how we felt when we first saw each other. It was such an intimate moment. Our photographer, Kate, was so wonderful through this whole time, she simultaneously guided us through while remaining inconspicuous. Our entire bridal party photo experience was so much fun and so full of love. Kate's easy going nature made everyone feel like they could just be themselves. We're so glad we chose to do the photos before the ceremony, it was the perfect way for the bridal party to be with each other before the formalities. It also meant more quality time to spend with family and friends after the ceremony in what feels like one of the shortest days of your life.

FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: We had so many favourite details of the day, but one of the best was receiving an unexpected handmade card at dinner from Bridgewater with a selection of photos they had taken of our ceremony. In the short space of time between our ceremony and reception they had printed the pictures off and assembled them in a very thoughtful card wishing us all the best for our future. We were so grateful for the work that Liz and Steve (the owners of Bridgewater) did. From start to finish they made the whole planning process from Vancouver so easy. They really made us feel like we were their only client.