Hannah & Luke

On a rainy day in Hahei, Hannah and Luke exchanged vows in front of their loved ones before celebrating in a stunning marquee complete with an ice cream bar! Hannah shares details from their special day…

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Our wedding weekend was the most joyful days we have ever experienced and was the best time of our lives. All of our loved ones travelled to Hahei to celebrate with us on a very rainy day, which worked out perfectly.

We met as teenagers and have loved each other every day since. We planned the entire wedding ourselves over two years from our home on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, after a short trip to the Coromandel the year prior to meet and book vendors. We took it slow and thought about every detail as we wanted to day to reflect a mood, rather than a Pinterest board.

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Our budget was very important to us, as we didn’t want to be in debt after the wedding, so we carefully chose things to spend more money on, such as food and alcohol. We chose to save money in other areas – doing the flowers ourselves, designing and printing our own signage, building a free website instead of sending invitations, asking family to build the arch onsite, styling our own hair, making our own music playlists and shopping online at Kmart to create the ice cream bar. With lots of help from friends and family in the days leading up to the wedding we set up everything – we are so lucky to have them.

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On the day Luke and I woke up together but got ready separately. We chose to do a first look at the Coromandel Lookout, so Luke and I were ready before the rest of our bridal parties. The best decision we made on our wedding day was to see each other before the ceremony. It meant that both of us felt calm yet excited to see each other, without the nerves of the ceremony. We shared a kiss, laughter, chatted and had photos taken before the rain arrived.

Our ceremony didn’t quite go as planned, with a miscommunication with our celebrant, meaning we were all ready to go, getting wet in the rain, and she arrived 40 minutes late. This was actually such a nice time with my bridesmaids; we enjoyed an extra glass of bubbly, and ate chocolate brownies while waiting. I will never forget those moments of laughter with my girls. It felt like there was no pressure as the day was turning imperfectly perfect and the weather and conditions were out of our control. We decided to go ahead with an outdoor ceremony and not a single member of our bridal party or guest disputed our choice – they were so happy and encouraging. 

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Our reception was everything we could have hoped for and more! The food was absolutely incredible, the drinks were flowing, and everyone was having a good time despite being cold and wet. We wrote thank you notes to every single guest, which we had hidden under their seats the night before, to thank them for their help and support throughout our lives and especially with our wedding. It was so fun watching everyone find and read their notes and we think it was one of many personal touches that made our wedding feel special to us.

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The rest of the night was so much fun, and we now have so many memories from the whole weekend to cherish forever. I thought that it would be sad taking my dress off and realising it was the end of the night, but I felt the opposite – elated that we had such a wonderful day, we got to celebrate with everyone we love and that it truly was the best day of our lives.

Photographer: Jade Sayers Photography

Bride’s gown: Grace Loves Lace

Jewellery: Bluebell Design

Makeup: NZ Makeup Girl

Groom’s attire: Connor Suits

Venue: Hahei Holiday Resort

Catering & cheese cake: Sugarfish Catering

Hire: Marquee Solutions, Twelve Tables, Peninsula Party Hire