Christel & Dan - Black Barn Underground Cellar & Bistro wedding

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Sometimes the stars align and I find myself working with a couple who think and feel about weddings so much like I do that the buzz, for me, almost has echoes of being a bride all over again. I felt that way when I first met Christel and Dan and they told me that not only were they to be ‘Mr. & Mrs. Eva’, but that they were getting hitched at the same location as me and loved the style and feel from my own ceremony so much that they’d used a photo from it for their invitations. We obviously then spent the next year crushing on each other’s mutual good-taste and first/last names before pulling off a day that I’ll always remember as much for the sense of fun and joy as the sense of style. I’ve been waiting patiently to share this day with you and now that it’s hit the streets as a feature in the latest issue of New Zealand Weddings Magazine, here goes…with our pictures and a few words from the bride herself…

“We started planning quite early on and we're glad we did, because we managed to book what we think were the BEST vendors ever! And we had time to organise everything how we wanted. A year planning sounds like a long time, but it passed by in the blink of an eye. We obviously didn't know how to plan a wedding or what to expect, but the help and support we received from our families and vendors was amazing. Don't get me wrong - I sometimes struggled to hand things over being a perfectionist and super organised myself, but I'm glad we did. We had our vision of what we wanted, which they took on board and then did what they did best! “

“They say the day goes really fast and that’s so true, but we knew that photography and video focused on documenting the little emotional stories would always help us to relive the moments again and again.”

“We were both quite nervous in the lead up to the big day (Dan more so than me, which was surprising!), but once I locked eyes with him as I was walking down the aisle, all those nerves disappeared. I think the nerves for me were felt most walking down the aisle and getting through my vows without tears streaming down my face. I'm still actually surprised that I managed to get through it! I was so smitten though, and felt in love all over again. Some of my nerves disappeared when I saw the look on Dan's face, because I knew I had blown him away! Yuuss!!”

“Our advice to anyone getting married is to enjoy every moment of the planning and don't sweat the small stuff. The build up can sometimes seem stressful, overwhelming and impossible but we always reminded ourselves that this day was about our love and future together. Don't get me wrong - we nearly burnt ourselves out in the led up - it was hard planning a Hawke’s Bay wedding as well as maintaining our busy lives in Auckland, but when we got to the day we said to each other, ‘this is it, it is what it is, let's do it.’ Looking back, everything was worth it.“

“People ask if anything has changed from before the wedding to now and we actually think it has. We're still living our normal day to day lives, but we're husband and wife now. There's something about being married which takes your relationship to another level. Or maybe we’re just still in the honeymoon period?! I do keep reminding Dan, ‘happy wife, happy life’.”

We had sore jaws by the end of the day, from smiling so much. We were so happy to be M.r and Mrs. Eva…hubby and wifey.

Christel & Dan planned their wedding from Auckland using 100% local Hawke’s Bay vendors. Weddings are what we do here in this gorgeous part of New Zealand, and we’re good at it!

PHOTOGRAPHERS: Eva Bradley & Andrew Caldwell

VENUE (cottage, ceremony, reception): Black Barn Vineyards, Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay

MAKEUP: Candice Dear

HAIR: Natalie Doidge

LASHES: Trish at Lashworx

CELEBRANT: Nichola Nicholson

FLORALS: Magdalen Hill

STYLING: Miss Frou Frou and (for LOVE sign) Lumina

DRESSES: Rowan McLennan Design (bride+bridesmaids)

CAKE: Pretty Little Details Co.

DJ: Eager Entertainment