Introducing Renee and Guy
Southlanders Renee Richardson, 25, and Guy Murrell, 41, met when they joined their workplace rowing team. A few years later, they formed their own team when they married.
How did you meet? "Guy and I met at work and began thinking of each other as more than work colleagues after we had joined the corporate rowing team in November 2010... must have been his rowing prowess haha," says Renee.
Tell us about the proposal: "We went for a trip in April 2011 to Dubai to stay with my sister and she took us to a place called the Gold and Diamond Park. Somehow we ended up deciding to secretly buy an engagement ring. We decided Guy needed to meet my mum, who lives in Australia before we could get engaged. We told Mum we were getting engaged in the middle of a Brisbane mall in July but we didn't officially get engaged until September. Guy proposed to me while we were at home watching the news... not very romantic but I think he was sick of my pestering!"
Location of wedding: "We were married at The Orchard Garden in Clyde, Central Otago on Friday, April 13th. For some reason when we went to book location, photographer, celebrant etc they were all available that day."
Describe your wedding day: "Our wedding was very relaxed and laid-back. It was a beautiful autumn day and the colours were just magnificent. The venue owners, Wendy and Dale were incredible, they pretty much organised every detail and the food was magnificent."
The dress: "My dress was from House of Kavina in Dunedin. I had tried a few on before this one but as soon as I had it on with a veil I knew it was the one. Guy had told me the style he thought would suit me and this was it to a T. The assistants at House of Kavina gave me a long veil to put on which made the gown what it was. Instead of buying it, my Mum made it for me, gathering the material in Australia and starting it a week before the wedding, she was still sewing the night before! But the outcome stunned me, it was perfect."
The flowers: "We were trying to do our wedding on a budget so thought about using fake flowers. Guy's sister Tammie then told me to go to Spotlight and she created the bouquets, absolutely perfect! She even weaved small crystals on gold wire through mine to match my jewellery. Tammie was a bit of a lifesaver actually."
Highlight of the wedding: "The highlight would have been having my family together again, My mother, brother, his partner and their four children live in Brisbane, so catch ups are rare! My sister (one of the bridesmaids) lives in Dubai so it was great to have her home too! Walking down the aisle would top that though, seeing Guy there waiting, I knew I wouldn't be able to stop the tears."
Was there any drama? "Haha drama... yes isn't there always! We had people say they were coming and then decide not to at the last minute, and people who said they weren't coming and then turn up at the last minute! We were also in the middle of purchasing a house so Guy had to deal with a few phone calls from the lawyers and banks as we were supposed to have already signed something! Nothing like a little morning stress to help you appreciate the day though."
The honeymoon: "The day after our wedding we had a BBQ and then the next day we flew out of Queenstown to Rarotonga," says Renee. "Incredible! We spent most of our time lazing around the beach, eating and drinking. Very relaxing."
Your photographer and favourite photo? "Our photographer was Megan Graham from Megan Graham Photography in Winton. She was incredible and choosing this many photos was tough! My favourite photo would be where we are standing in front the building just laughing and Guy has his head in his hands. Very typical of our relationship," says Renee. "I must also make special mention of my make-up artist, Kyra Beaufill from Soul Time Cottage for managing to do myself, four bridesmaids and an amazing job of my mother. I also twisted my bridesmaid Laura Russell's arm into doing my hair, she's not a hair dresser - I just thought she could do it! The result was incredible and I feel terrible for the pressure I put on her, but it was worth it."