Coast meets country - Birdy & Jono at Ocean Beach

New Zealand like you dreamed it would be...

By Hawke's Bay wedding photographers, Michelle Fey & Rebekah Trafford


Hawke's Bay's Ocean Beach is a special place filled with memories for so many of us from this part of New Zealand. But for Birdy Hansen, this long stretch of coastline has a history so deeply connected to her family, it was impossible to imagine her wedding to Jono happening anywhere else. Michelle Fey and Rebekah Trafford illustrated her day with their images, and Birdy has relived the special moments here on our blog in her own words. As always, we feel so honoured that our couples generously let us share the biggest, most personal day of their lives.


'I read an interview about a wedding that really resonated with me. They got married in his parents garden with 10 of their closest friends and family and then the bride cooked them all dinner. I absolutely loved that idea- that it was so warm and intimate and just about their love for each other. We ended up having 100 of our closest friends and family to celebrate with us so obviously me cooking for them all was not going to be an option but I still wanted it to have that warm and homely vibe where everyone just felt super comfortable and in the moment. I went with a rustic, earthy theme with plenty of soft lighting.'


'I was actually really nervous about trying on wedding dresses and first came across mine on Instagram! It wasn't available in Australia but thankfully the stockists were able to get the sample flown from New York to Sydney for 48 hours so I could try it on. It was even more perfect when I saw it in real life, and I knew straight away it was The One. I didn't want a veil. The cape was my take on a veil - it was simple but a little bit fun and edgy.'


'When I was 17, I moved to Australia to pursue my career as a professional show jumper. That's how Jono and I met, he rides horses also. He straight away became one of my best friends which eventually turned into boyfriend and now husband!'


'The farm, Haupouri Station in Hawke's Bay, is such a special place to me and my family. My Mum and Dad are the seventh generation to farm the land, my sister and I will be the eighth. It's so beautiful out there, there really is no other place like it in the world. We also have so much history there, and I think you can really feel that. So I couldn't have imagined getting married anywhere else. Even though I live in Sydney at the moment, the farm will always be the place Jono and I consider home.'


'There were so many! The ceremony was actually my favourite part. Our celebrant, Nichola Nicholson, was AMAZING. She wrote the most beautiful ceremony which made it so personal. We also wrote our own vows which I loved. Another favourite thing was surprising Jono by arriving by helicopter. It was such a hard secret to keep but he was blown away!'


'I was a little nervous about the photography session. Jono and I aren't used to having our photo taken but Michelle was so warm and fun that I actually had a blast! If I could recommend anything to future brides it would definitely be to go all out on the photographer and videographer for the wedding. The day goes so fast but it's so fun to look back and reminisce on the day.


'The wedding vendors in Hawkes Bay really are the dream team. They are all so talented in their own fields and are so helpful and friendly, so it makes planning a wedding easy. I just don't think you can beat that warm, homely feeling of a country marquee wedding. At times when you work out all the things you need and how much it's all going to cost it can seem a bit overwhelming, but on the day having that personal touch is so worth it.'


Photographers: Michelle Fey & Rebekah Trafford

Venue: Hapouri Station, Ocean Beach, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Dress: Alexandra Grecco from Helen Rodrigues Bridal, Sydney.

Hair & MU:  Rachel Haworth & Candice Dear

Florals: Zinna Floral Design

Celebrant: Nichola Nicholson

Catering: Orton Tailored Cuisine Cake: Buttercream & Blooms

Marquee, styling & rental: Hirepool, Miss Frou Frou, Lucy Chase

Videography: Grant Mayer