Sweethearts Fenella and Josh had some pretty darn lovely reasons for wanting to tie the knot, people. “To us, marriage is full, all-encompassing love. Coming from families where both our parents are more in love with each other than the day they got married, we both have a great example of what marriage can and should look like.” Josh adds that marriage is also, importantly, “continuing to let Fen buy more candles, even though she has so many already.” Well, you can never have too many candles, eh! Want to know and see more about these two? Phoenix-based photographer duo Jonnie and Garrett were behind these awesome pics, so get scrolling to see more, along with our chat with the couple…

THE VENUE “We have had heaps to do with the venue (Tirohanga Camp) growing up, and technically it could be said that we met there at an Easter Camp seven or eight years ago, so we knew pretty quickly that we would love to get married there! They have never had a wedding there, but the managers are our good friends, so they were more than happy to let us use the space however we wanted to!”

THE INSPO “We came up with the term ‘casual in vibe, classy in style’ once we had decided how we wanted the day to feel for our guests. I guess what we were trying to achieve was a day that felt super put together and classy, while not making it feel too fancy and proper.  The whole day was based around being outside, so we emphasised the chill NZ summer vibe, with garden games and soda.”

FAVE DETAILS “I (Fen) studied interior architecture and am super passionate about holistic design, and I guess that also came through when I was designing our wedding – putting emphasis on even the little details, because [they] impact the overall feel of the day. From the design of personalised menus on everyone’s plate, to getting an etched cocktail stirrer, [it all] impacted the feel of the reception.  As did having amazing food and great speeches.”

DIY “The main one was the crate furniture that was scattered around outside the marquee. Fen’s mum spent hours cutting up foam mattresses and sticking them together to create eight foam cushions. We then covered them with cloth, also made by Fen’s mum! We gathered up 24 crates from around Dunedin and spent hours sanding those down so that they were smooth to touch. The outcome of these was beyond anything we could have expected. We also DIY’d all the signage and the arch we got married under, by finding three logs up in the forest on the venues land and just leaning them up against each other! It was a last-minute thing, but it actually worked out really well and looked awesome!”

THE DRESS “My dress is an Emmy Mae Bridal dress from Bluebelle Bridal and I loved it! I went on a girls trip to Wellington and we spent one day visiting multiple dress shops and I probably tried on about 25 dresses! It was such a fun day though, and it is true what they say about falling in love with dresses you didn’t think you would! In the end, I felt so so happy and comfortable in my dress. The companies were both so lovely, and I got so many compliments.”

REFERENCES “The food was an easy one, as Precinct Food is Fen’s parent’s company and where we both work. Jonnie and Garrett lived in Phoenix, Arizona and the moment we first chatted with them over FaceTime, we knew that these guys were the ones for us! They were weirdly similar to both of us, and even got married and a Christian campground like us under a tree. Our photos are honestly so amazing and such a special memory to have forever. Everyone else we found by during lots and lots of research on social media and looking at different wedding blogs, like Hello May.”

MEMORABLE MOMENT “The first look was a really special moment for the both of us, Fen looked absolutely stunning and it was the perfect way to start off the entire day. [And we] really enjoyed having the half an hour before the ceremony where the bridal party could just hang out.”

MARRIAGE MEANS… “Full, all-encompassing love. Coming from families where both our parents are more in love with each other than the day they got married, we both have a great example of what marriage can and should look like. We are lucky that we have gotten to see how amazing it is first-hand. For us we want to dream together, travel together and raise amazing children together.”

This wedding was originally published in Hello May’s 2020 Real Wedding Special. Unfortunately, we’re all sold out but you’ll find our 2021 Real Wedding Special in our online store along with a free gift with purchase for Inspo on tap. You’ll also find more from Grace Loves Lace (who were responsible for Fen’s earrings on their Directory listing with us here. But first…

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Jonnie and Garrett Cinematographer Cloud Herd Film Co Florist RocknRosie Stationery & Signage DIY (The Bride) Printer Speedprint Ceremony & Reception Tirohanga Camp Catering & Cake Precinct Food Wedding Favours Sketch & Etch Hire Items, Marquee & Lighting Four Folk Sound Hire Gravity Events Entertainment Logan and Yuen (Ceremony/ Friends) & Judah Kelly Celebrant Olivia Dawson (Friend) Rings Brent Weatherall Jewellers Linen Hire Drape Linen THE BRIDE Bridal Gown & Veil Emmy Mae Bridal Bridal Boutique Bluebelle Bridal Pyjamas Homebodii Shoes Chaos & Harmony Earrings Grace Loves Lace Hair KP Bridal Hair Makeup Makeup by Kim Tuliau-Moeroa Bridesmaid Dresses Shona Joy THE GROOM Suit, Shirt, Tie & Shoes Barkers Groomsmen Suits Barkers