Stuff's wedding of the week
Although their first date wasn't the conventional dinner-and-a-movie, Emma and Sean Couthurst hit it off and married in February this year.
The couple now live in Melbourne but still call New Zealand home: they celebrated their big day with family in Whangerei.
Here's Emma with the details.
How did you meet? The first time I met Sean was just after Christmas one year (three years before we got married) at Pataua Beach where Sean's brother invited me up for a couple of days that summer. We didn't start dating until after though, he was 22 and I was 21. Our first date was in my Dad's tree-house! (not your ordinary tree-house!)
Tell us about the proposal: We decided soon after we moved to Melbourne that we'd start having weekly 'date nights' on Thursdays to explore different restaurants around this new city. After about seven months, I was at work on a Thursday and Sean called to say he had organised date night (slightly unusual as I usually organised it). I was delighted! He took me to a restaurant called Nobu, owned by Robert De Niro. Our dinner was divine; we were to share a nine course meal. At course five, Sean got up (me thinking he was going to the bathroom) but instead he came around to my side of the table and got down on one knee and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him. I of course said yes!
Location of wedding: Although we had moved to Melbourne, there was no question that we would go back to New Zealand for the wedding. The majority of our family are here and we still call New Zealand home. We had the ceremony at the Chalets Huanui in Glenbervie, Whangarei then our reception at the Kamo Rugby Club which had historical significance for Sean's family.
Describe your wedding day: My wedding day started at Pataua Beach with two of my best friends, then we drove into Whangarei to Charlotte Dawn Hair & Beauty Salon where we spent the next few hours getting ready. The boys went out for breakfast then got ready together at Onerahi. When the time came, my Dad and I were driven to the ceremony (several Tic-tacs later!) My girls; my maid of honour Amber, Steph, my sister Sarah and my to-be sister-in-law Charlotte, were all waiting there with parasols which we stepped out, covering ourselves so the guests couldn't see us. Each girl went down one by one until it was just Amber, my Dad and I left. Amber started tearing up (which almost got me going!) before my Dad helped me down the hill to Two Is Better Than One (acoustic version). The ceremony was perfect beside the lake and in front of all our family and many of our friends. It was a perfect summer day.
The dress: I got my dress made for me at Vassi Bridal Couture here in Melbourne. It had a strapless bodice with a flowing skirt, all in white.
The flowers: My bridal flowers were from Keepsake Boutique in Whangarei - they were cream and white roses with peonies.
Highlight of the wedding: The anticipation and getting ready at Charlotte Dawn with all the girls was a huge highlight, but most of all, walking down that aisle on my Dad's arm, seeing Sean with this amazing look on his face that made my heart jump.
Was there any drama?: When I was up in front of everyone with Sean, I realised a fly had got caught in my skirt! I couldn't just leave it there so I thrust my flowers into Sean's hands in the middle of the ceremony and started de-layering my dress to free it!
The honeymoon: We honeymooned in Hawaii straight after the wedding - spent half our time on beautiful Maui and the other half on Waikiki.
Your photographer and favourite photo: When I was looking for a photographer I searched Google for someone local but really felt that there would be no-one better than one of my great friends. Ciara Tejani was my gorgeous photographer who we flew over from America for our special day as it just wouldn't have been the same with anyone else. She did a fantastic job - we loved her style and she did a magnificent job. My favourite photo would be one of Sean and I in front of Whangarei Falls.