Charlotte + Chris | Bay of Islands wedding

Charlotte shares the story behind her relaxed and intimate wedding to Chris at Oke Bay in the Bay of Islands. 

Their Story

Can you tell us about your dress journey? 

I had a few dress appointments in Auckland but from the moment I met Meg I knew I was in the right place! I loved the whole process at Kenny and Harlow, feeling supported and heard at each fitting. I found that Meg really struck the balance between providing her own feedback and experience, while working with my ideas and dreams for my perfect dress.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted a timeless dress with a high neckline and long veil. I really wanted a dress that was elegant but would also feel relaxed and fit in with the setting of our wedding.

Can you share your engagement story?

Chris and I spent the early part of our relationship on the water in the Hauraki Gulf, it’s our happy place. The Saturday before Christmas he took me out on the boat and proposed in a small bay on Waiheke Island. Chris had organised to have our families come over to Waiheke as a surprise, so we all had champagne together on the beach to celebrate. I wish I could relive the day all over again!

Where did you get married / what was special about your venue?

We got married at Oke Beach House in the Bay of Islands with only 15 people. We had originally planned a big wedding but when Covid hit we realised a large number of our friends and family wouldn’t be able to come home, plus the lockdowns brought so much uncertainty. Oke Beach House was the perfect setting for a small wedding, we got married on the cliff top overlooking the bay and had dinner around one long table. We loved the fact that it could accommodate all of us, it was special waking up the next day and having everyone still together.

What was your favourite part of the day? 

It’s so hard to choose just one! I loved our first dance, it was very low key and a moment we could take everything in. It was also really special getting ready with my mum and grandmother.

If you could give other brides-to-be one piece of advice, it would be…

To go with the flow as much as possible, especially during Covid times when the future is so uncertain (easier said than done!). There are so many elements you can’t control, people you wish that could be there but can’t and sudden lockdowns leading up to your big day. We really focused on why we were getting married and our commitment to each other, even if it meant our day had to change from our original plans.

Our Vendors

They were all incredible, we were so lucky. All of our vendors were local, it was really important to us that we had a true Bay of Islands experience. I can’t recommend Kelly from Best Day Ever enough, she’s incredible. Our celebrant Julie Clearwater made us feel so relaxed and at home throughout the entire journey. All our vendors made our day uniquely stress free, beautiful and full of laughter!