Bigger doesn’t always mean better, guys, and we are a just teeny bit obsessed with this dreamy intimate wedding in gorgeous Aotearoa, – and we think you’re going to love it, too. After a quick eight-month engagement, Lydia, a doctor, and Henry, a scientist, kept their ‘I do’s small, sweet and simple, getting hitched at the groom’s family home in front of just a handful of loved ones. But while numbers were low, the vibes were high and there was love pouring from every bit of this day!

So what does marriage meant o this happy couple? “Henry wrote in his vows that marriage is about having someone who can take out the dog in the morning so the other person can have a longer sleep in!” Lydia tells us with a laugh. “We both agree that marriage is about those small daily activities that are taken for granted when that other person isn’t there. It’s supporting each other through the big stuff but it is also about the little pieces of support that add up.” Naww, that’s a bit cute – as are the stunning shots taken by star lens lady Mikayla Bollen on the day. Let’s get scrolling!

THE VENUE “Henry’s family home has always been very special to us. It is at Muriwai Beach just out of Auckland. Henry’s family has lived there for more than 40 years and it’s a place we look forward to visiting each summer. It is absolutely beautiful with a front lawn positioned to look out over the beach, surrounded by native trees. Henry’s sister also got married there in 2014. Once we got engaged we looked into other venues, but we knew Muriwai was where we wanted to get married – we just weren’t sure, however, if Henry’s parents were keen to take on a second wedding. Once we decided on a small family only wedding, we thought it couldn’t hurt to ask and it turned out that they couldn’t be more pleased to host our wedding.”

THE VIBE “We didn’t have a specific theme, we just wanted it to be a casual day where our loved ones got to celebrate with us and enjoy good food and drinks. We didn’t have any decorations, instead letting the natural setting of native New Zealand trees and Muriwai Beach be our backdrop. We did have a Persian rug as a sort of centrepiece, which is where we actually stood during the ceremony to exchange vows. Before the wedding, we dragged out all the various Persian rugs Henry’s parents owned and selected one we loved to use on the day. After the wedding, Henry’s parents gifted us the rug, which is now in our lounge in our home and is a lovely reminder of the day. It will furnish our home forever.

LITTLE LOL “We had a dinner the night before the wedding. The dads were getting in on the wines and we had to rein it in so they would be fresh for the actual day! ”

FAVOURITE DETAILS “By incorporating little details from our talented friends and people we knew made the day feel more personal and special. I knew our florist Izzy from Isadia through a mutual friend. She is very stylish so we knew she would do the most amazing job with the centrepiece and the bouquet. She used soft pastel-coloured flowers, which complemented the colours of the water and the beautiful blue sky we had on the day. The centrepiece sat on the champagne table and it still had a slightly wildflower feel to it, which fitted in perfectly with the random assortment of champagne saucers we had. I also loved my earrings. A good friend recently created Portfolio Jewellery, making beautiful handmade jewellery with pearls. I  knew I wanted to wear pearls on the day as it is a classic and she made me some simple but beautiful earrings to wear on the day. Henry, as a marine scientist who mostly works on oysters, couldn’t have been more pleased with my selection of jewellery. My veil was ‘something borrowed’ from a good friend.  I got to be her maid-of-honour and be part of the day when she wore the veil, so it also brought back lots of great memories from her wedding.”

THE DRESS​​Because it was going to be a family-only wedding, I initially planned on getting a simple slip dress off the rack, but it turned out to be more difficult to find one than expected. I booked into a wedding dress store in Christchurch one weekend not expecting much as I hadn’t had much luck and was running out of time. But that’s when I came across the dress by Oui The Label. The timing was perfect and I was lucky to find it when I did, because the dress was literally only at the store for a couple of weeks for a trunk show. It was only three months before the wedding so I had to make the decision regarding the dress on the day and we had to put a rush order on it getting made, shipped, etc!”

MEMORABLE MOMENT “We both loved the ceremony. We wrote our own vows, so hearing what the other person had written was a surprise on the day. We told funny stories and promised our ongoing support. There were tears, but also lots of laughs!”

TALK ABOUT TRADITION “My dad is a minister and so religious traditions have been important to my family. We didn’t have a religious ceremony, but we wanted to incorporate some aspect of my family’s history into the day so we had my dad say grace before lunch.”

STANDOUT VENDORS “Our photographer, Mikayla Bollen, and celebrant, Yvette Reid. Because it was going to be a small wedding, we were hoping for people who would fit right in and they did just that. They were chilled, happy to go with the flow and get in on the party. Henry’s dad thought they were great and sent them home with bottles of wine at the end of the day. Special shoutout to our photographer, who was sick on the day but was an absolute trooper and still brought a lot of energy.”

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Mikayla Bollen Florist Isadia Ceremony Venue Private Property Reception Venue The Tasting Shed Catering The Tasting Shed, The Difference Catering & Events Cake The Caker Celebrant Yvette Reid Rings Zoe & Morgan (engagement), Petersens Jewellers (Lydia’s wedding band), Alexandra Dodds (Henry’s wedding band) BRIDE Dress Oui The Label via Paperswan Bride Shoes Sol Sana Accessories Portfolio Jewellery Hair & Makeup Josie Wignall Makeup Artist GROOM Suit & Bow Tie Crane Brothers Shoes 3 Wise Men Watch Magrette Timepieces