Emily & Conrad

Emily & Conrad

Conrad and I first met in person, when he turned up to a bikini car wash I was running. He was 24, I was 22, and we both lived in Auckland. The funniest part was that I didn't actually realise who he was, until he texted me afterwards! 

You see, my flatmate/best friend had signed up to a dating website, and after hassling me to join multiple times I gave in and joined too. A couple of failed dates later I spotted someone who took my fancy, and messaged him. There was some small talk for a few days and then he added me on Facebook. Which he reckons was an accident....but was it really?! The conversations continued and he turned up to the car wash to support us. I think the other funniest part about that day was, even though I didn't recognize him, I had mentioned to the other girl working with me that I'd date him! I thought he was good looking. 

Eventually there was a golf range date, which wasn't really a date, I just tagged along with him and his friend, and I had never swung a golf club before. I kid you not, in true romantic movie scene style, he said he'd show me how, stood behind me, placed my hands in the right position on the golf club and told me to swing and just try to hit the ball. So I did! Except when I did, he didn't think to move away, so I ended up accidentally whacking him in the head with the club! To this day, I always tell people that that's when I knocked some sense into him! Ha!


He wooed me over with cute dates, his good looks, charm and great sense of humour, and I basically moved in with him after a couple of months. Crazy I know. Another month later, I was pregnant with our first child. Now we're not ashamed to say that things were rocky for us for many months after, but I think that's part of what makes us so strong now. 


5 years later, he proposed. We were at our favourite concert One Love, with one of our favourite bands Sons of Zion, playing their song Good Love. Dancing away with our friends, he tapped me on the shoulder, I turned around and I think he had to shout in my ear "Will you marry me?". It was completely unexpected! He did not get down on one knee and he did not have a ring, but he just felt like the moment was right. With my sunglasses on, he couldn't see me crying and asked "Is that a yes?" I nodded and said yes!


We were engaged for 4 years before I finally convinced Conrad to set a wedding date. He wanted to be financially secure, which is 100% understandable, but at the same time I felt like we needed to have a date set to have that goal and give us that drive to get things sorted. We had 90% of everything booked and planned, before I unexpectedly fell pregnant with our 3rd child (approx 9 months before our wedding day!) We postponed everything, but unfortunately we lost that baby a couple of weeks later. We were extremely lucky that all our vendors had not been rebooked, and we were able to rebook everyone for the original date planned. 


Living in Tauranga, with family spread far and wide, we tried to look for somewhere in Tauranga to fit our budget, but we ended up looking further afield to a cute little sailing club in Thames, where we had seen a friend of ours get married. It was incredibly cheap, and central for all our guests who had to travel, but I think we may have been the last wedding they hosted. We needed a place we could BYO and bring our own caterers, as well as our own food as we have many divers and fishermen within our family, so seafood including crayfish was a must!


Finding my dress was kind of hard at first. I really had no idea what I liked, or what would suit me. Being 5'1, I knew I didn't want a poofy princess dress, because I felt it would make me look shorter. 

I ended up organising a weekend in Auckland with my mum, aunty inlaw, and my two bridesmaids. The plan was to go to a few different bridal stores and just try on dresses, to figure out what I liked. We first went to a place out West Auckland, where I found a dress I liked, but was double my budget. We then headed to Bridal Brilliance, where the ladies were incredibly welcoming and helpful. Everyone that was with me chose a dress or two for me to try on, including a couple of suggestions from the BB ladies themselves. It was a process of elimination, but before we knew it, I had found a dress I really liked. My sister in law/bridesmaid had chosen it, and I surprisingly loved it. The details were just stunning and although I said I didn't want a train, I had fallen in love with this dress, train and all! The BB team ordered the dress in for me and it arrived much sooner than expected which was fantastic! I had the privilege of meeting their in house seamstress Sandy, who took my dress in, and of course shortened the length to suit. 

When I came back to Auckland for the final fitting, she was incredibly nervous as she said it looked "so tiny". But it seriously fitted like a glove! It was absolutely perfect!


Even though we were on a budget, I managed to push the budget a little further and win Conrad over, in order to get a videographer as well as a photographer. We were blessed with the lovely couple Jason and Nancy from Papamoa who run Bad Panda productions, as our videographers and it is a cost that we will never ever regret!

Our photographer was an incredibly cool, fun, and relaxed lady Erika Kurth from Whitianga. It was like we had known her our entire lives, we all got along so well, which is exactly how you want to feel with a camera in your face for an entire day. 

We opted for huge grazing tables, as in food on the tables right where our guests were sitting, and a seperate dessert table. To our luck, we found The Platter Board, based in Waihi, who provided the most amazing food for our budget, and catered to our wish of including seafood from our whānau. 

Our delicious cake was from a local in Thames, Made by Paige, who sold us with a tasting of her devine Lemon and raspberry cake (lemon almond dotted with raspberries, with cream cheese icing).

Our celebrant, also a local, was one of my bridesmaids sister, Anna Barlow, from Hey Lover weddings. She made the ceremony planning so smooth and easy, and we're so thankful for all her help in the process. 

We used LL Furniture Hire for all our tables and chairs, including some beautiful outdoor couches and bar leaners. 

Hair and make up for myself, my bridesmaids and my mum were all done by Sharne, a beautiful friend from college - You can find her on Instagram SharneAliceInWonderland.

Conrad and the groomsmen suits were all fitted out by Barkers.

Our rings, yes I eventually got an engagement ring too, were from Michael Hill Jewellers. 

And of course, my flowers were all made by me - Oh Em Gee. As a felt florist (artificial flowers made from felt fabric), I actually wasn't 100% sure I'd make my own. I do love real flowers too, but I do get hayfever! And of course I didn't want to spend money on flowers that would die. I'm glad I decided to make my wedding flowers, even if I only made my bridal bouquet one week out from the wedding! My bridesmaids and flowers all got to keep their flowers as their own little keepsake. 


We were super blessed to marry in February 2020, right before Covid hit Aotearoa. We have now celebrated 11 years together, our 2nd wedding anniversary and expecting our third child later this year. We are so in tune with each other that we literally finish off each other's sentences, say the same word at the same time, or start singing/whistling along to a song at the same time! 



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