Easy-breezy couple Marissa and Blake are pretty relaxed and, even when planning one of the biggest days of their lives, they didn’t sweat the small stuff. “We found the lead up to the wedding really enjoyable. Our engagement period reinforced some qualities we already knew about each other  like Blake’s eye for detail and Marissa’s ability to never get frazzled!”

Held at New Zealand’s Sudbury, a unique location overlooking the valley – the pair tells us they knew immediately that it was the right place. “I was raised in Geraldine (a small country town in the South Island) and Blake was raised in Auckland  and we wanted the wedding to be located somewhere in between those cities, and near Wellington where we live. Sudbury was the perfect location, and it had the classic, bohemian feel we wanted,” explains Marissa, who adds that their goal was to have a wedding that suited both of their personalities, values and styles.

“We wanted it to be elegant, relaxed, fun, with an alternative taste! Our guests also remarked how relaxed we were, and how the atmosphere reflected our unique personalities, and to give it our own flavour, we asked family and friends to be involved in the wedding as much as possible.” This meant that many of the couple’s key vendors were friends or family – makeup artist Eleanor Dorn is a good friend, Blake’s brother Joel van Velden became a marriage celebrant specifically for their wedding, and Marissa’s aunty was their florist.

Not only did these newlyweds have a tonne of friends and family on board, but they also recruited Hello May faves like photographers Tim Kelly and Nadine Ellen, bridal designer Rue De Seine, and cinematographer A&Y Videography to join their capable crew. “We found Alberto and Yago after discovering some of their wedding videos on Vimeo (and Hello May), and we loved their innovative, fresh and heart-warming style. We knew they visited Australia for work, so we made contact with them and hoped the timing worked for them to come to New Zealand. We were so excited when they said they could  it was meant to be!”

While Marissa and Blake admit that they loved every moment of their wedding day, they leave other brides and grooms to be with this important piece of advice (take notes, people!): “Have fun and enjoy the engagement period and the wedding day! Our wedding was a fantastic time to show our love for each other and be surrounded by the love and warmth of our family and friends. It’s never going to go to plan, so relax, be present, and go with the flow! Most of all, it’s important to remember why you’re getting married.”

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CREDITS Photos Tim Kelly and Nadine Ellen // Bridal gown and flower crown Rue De Seine // Shoes Dkode // Hair Pearl Hairdressing // Makeup Eleanor Dorn // Bridesmaid dresses and groom and groomsmen ties Twenty Seven Names // Bridesmaid shoes Overland // Groom and groomsmen suits and shoes Rembrandt Suits // Shirt TM Lewin // Stationery SO Design // Ceremony and reception Sudbury, NZ // Catering Egmont Street Eatery // Cake Stiletto Studio // Other desserts Moore Wilsons // Prop and furniture hire Trade Me // Entertainment DJ Luke // Celebrant Joel van Velden // Cinematographer A&Y Videography.