Real Weddings

Jenna & Edward

Photography by Ellie Kia

Jenna and Edward's love story is a classic Kiwi summer romance - meeting at a mutual friend's pre-drinks before Bay Dreams in Tauranga. The group split up as they entered the festival, but with a stroke of luck and a touch of serendipity on their side, the pair bumped into one another later in the evening at the water station. They were inseparable for the rest of the night and, four years later, remain madly in love.

Can you tell us about the proposal? 

"Eddy's not typically a romantic, but he put so much thought and effort into making this moment special that it was the best, most perfect proposal I could have imagined. I LOVE surprises, and so when Eddy asked me to take a Saturday off work for a secret weekend getaway, I was beyond excited and maybe a touch suspicious. He had organised a mystery road trip, waking us before sunrise on a Saturday morning and driving the 3.5 hours to Taupo for a beautiful breakfast and coffee stop. After this, we continued to our next activity - a hike to the summit of Bell Rock, about an hour north of Napier. There, at the iconic summit overlooking the mountain ranges and valleys below, Eddy dropped down on one knee under the guise of taking a photo. I looked down at him in disbelief, hearing the start of his speech, but then, unable to contain my excitement any longer, I was screaming, laughing, and shouting yes before I'd even heard the question."

What do you consider the best wedding investment you made?

Hands down, our best investment was our photographer, Ellie, at Ellie Kia Photography. Photography was one of our non-negotiables in terms of what we wouldn't go cheap on. Once the day has been and gone, these are your lasting memories, and you only get one chance to get it right. We met Ellie at a Wedding Open Day, and I remember seeing her work and instantly going - this is the one; this is our photographer. We met with her, did an engagement shoot to feel more comfortable and confident in front of the camera (if you're tossing up whether to do one or not - do it - you won't regret it), and then through emails and Pinterest boards were able to discuss the type of vibe we were going for. Ellie has a unique talent for making you feel comfortable and at ease, and she can truly capture the magic and beauty in all those special moments.

Who was your outstanding wedding vendor?

We were so blessed with our florist - Deb, from Wildly Madly Deeply. She is one of the warmest, kindest people you'll ever meet and someone you definitely want on your team. We met at the Wild Hearts Wedding Fair at the start of our wedding planning journey, and at the time, my mind was overwhelmed with all the amazing things I'd seen on Instagram and Pinterest. In such a short time, with an on-the-spot consultation, Deb won us over with her ability to envision the dream and help me picture what that would look like. She was so passionate and excited about the process too - what more could you want?! She had the best advice and truly went above and beyond to do the most outstanding job. I was blown away walking down the aisle and seeing our florals for the first time. It was all I could've imagined and more, and we got so many compliments on them."

Thanks to all the contributing vendors:

Photographer: Ellie Kia
Venue: The Hunting Lodge Winery
Florist: Wildy Madly Deeply
Videographer: Sam Kia
DJ: Brent Makata from MixMasters
Hair: Mel Rees
Makeup: Nicci Budler
Dress: Natalie Rose Bridal
Alterations: Fritz & Sarah
Jewellery: Crystal & Cord