There are so damn many reasons to love Madison and Oscar’s big day, you guys – not the least of which is their super-cute love story! After meeting in high school, this pair have been by each other’s side for 12 years and made the whole thing offish after Oscar popped the question in Cappadocia in Turkey. “We got up at sunrise to watch all the hot air balloons fly off at dawn (neither of us are great with heights so preferred the safety of solid ground!),” shares bride Madi, who wowed the crowd in her dream dress by none other than Prea James Bridal. “After admiring the stunning views, Oscar popped the question, it was perfect!”

As was their big day, which was captured on camera by photographer Sophie Isabella. “We had initially thought we would go for a winery wedding, as the Hawkes Bay is famous for its wineries. However, after much deliberation, we decided that we would prefer to do our own thing,” the groom tells us. “We loved the idea of a marquee on a section with a great view and being able to bring in food trucks. After trawling through Instagram, Madi found the perfect place and contacted the owners. They were more than happy to host us and helped us put together our dream day!”

THE VIBEOur aim was for the overall vibe to be fun and laid back, while still keeping it classy.”

FAVOURITE DETAILSOur most memorable details were our name tags – we matched these to our invitations, which were a dark forest-green textured card. These colours worked in well with the dry surroundings and the flowers we had chosen. We also loved the look of our cakes, from The Picnic, but unfortunately we weren’t quick enough to get any slices! They flew off the table once they were served – we were gutted but also stoked at the same time at how popular they were.”

DIYWe went to the 2019 Australian Open and there was a swing set up as a photo op. We thought it would be a cool personal touch for the big day if we could recreate the swing. We spent one weekend with Madi’s dad buying the materials, drawing up plans and putting it all together. It was a great hands-on task, which was nice as all the wedding planning was mostly done by email.”

THE DRESSI fell in love with Prea James Bridal while living in Melbourne. I had my eye on the Mira gown as it was simple but elegantly beautiful, however it was a bit early for me to purchase a dress. We ended up moving back to New Zealand during our engagement and at that time there were no Prea James stockists located in NZ. On a trip to Melbourne I made it my mission to finally try on the Mira gown. I had a wonderful experience at Bluebell Bridal, as soon as I put the Mira gown on, I knew it was the dress for me.”

MEMORABLE MOMENTOur favourite moment was immediately after dinner. While our guests were busy mingling with each other, we snuck away for our sunset photos. Our photographer Sophie Isabella took us to where we could overlook our venue. It was really special to see all our loved ones making new friendships and seeing all our hard work come together.”

WE’RE GLAD WE…put the time and effort into the swing. Despite the blood, sweat and tears, it was such a special addition to the day and we got so many compliments on it.”

If you’re still on the lookout for your perfect gown, we’ve got to say, Prea James Bridal should 100% be on your must-visit list – seriously these dresses are divine (as proven by Madi). Plus, we can personally attest to what a legend Prea herself is! Check out her directory listing right here.

STANDOUT VENDORS All our vendors were amazing and made us feel so special! Sophie Isabella made us feel so comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera, Wild Souls captured every special moment effortlessly, L.L Hire and The Flagship Events Company were so easy to work with and we never had to worry about how the marquee and furniture would turn out. Alex from I Do Glamour Events executed the styling perfectly and helped make the day run smoothly. Vagabond Jack’s provided the perfect food for us and our guests loved it, and Mister Murdoch served our drinks with such a fun attitude and everyone loved spending time at the bar with them.”

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Sophie Isabella Cinematographer Wild Souls Stylist I Do Glamour Events Florist Magdalen Hill Stationery Bride & groom designed Printer The Big Picture Ceremony & Reception Private space in Havelock North Catering Vagabond Jack’s Cake The Picnic Caravan Bar Mister Murdoch Hire Items L.L Hire Marquee & Lighting Hire The Flagship Events Company Sound Hire Sight & Sound Services Signage I Do Glamour Events Rings Naveya & Sloane THE BRIDE Gown Prea James Bridal Bridal Boutique Bluebell Bridal Veil Trade Me (pre-loved) Pyjamas The Sleepover Shoes Gucci Accessories Zoe & Morgan via Walker & Hall (earrings) Hair Abby Schofield Hair Makeup Candice Dear Bridesmaid dresses Bec + Bridge THE GROOM Jacket & Shirt Barkers Pants Country Road Shoes R.M. Williams Watch Daniel Wellington