Courtaney & Justin – 02/02/2020

Courtaney and Justin met at an apartment party the weekend of the V8 super cars on the Gold Coast of Australia in October 2015. “I had been travelling in the Northern Hemisphere for many years with very little contact with other kiwis,” Courtaney says. “To meet Justin, a fellow kiwi who also shared mutual friends, was massively significant. We had an instant connection.”

Two years later, Justin proposed, and he shares the story…

“I had bought the ring and was trying to think of ways to do this…how to drop on one knee and create a memorable moment that could be a great story to tell our children, but with all the thoughts I grew anxious. I couldn’t wait to have this amazing woman as my wife so after working late one night, I arrived home, walked into the bedroom and woke her gently, gave her a kiss, knelt beside the bed, pulled the ring out and asked her if she wanted to be my forever. She woke with excitement with a YES!”

“We chose 02-02-2020 because we love number alignments, then a year after choosing that date, we discovered our daughter would also be 2 years, 2 months, 2 weeks and 2 days old!” Courtaney says.

“Simple and elegant was the key for us. Not fussing over small details but really showcasing the incredible venues Ashburton has to offer. Coniston Home and Gardens perfect. Not only did most of the bride’s family stay there but the bride and bridesmaids got ready in the homestead. Coniston has so many beautiful backdrops, and different scenery types, and with the chapel right there it was a beautiful all in one venue. Our guests couldn’t stop talking about how breath-taking the location was.”

Courtaney’s dress was made by Australian designer Paul Fox from Purple Fox Bride. “I had been looking for a good year, mostly in Australia. But I was really struggling to find anything that stood out. Thinking I may have to have it designed I happened to stumble across Paul Fox. To Cherish Bridal Boutique was hosting him and his new collection truck show! It was an honour to find my dress so easily with the designer himself present. The dress was instant love and fitted me perfectly first fitting!”

With both the bride and groom having recently moved to Ashburton, most of the bridal party and the 60 guests had to travel to be join the celebration. “Everyone made a huge effort to travel to Ashburton for the week and with the huge personalities in our lives we were unbelievably in awe of how well everyone got along.”

At 2pm when the ceremony was meant to commence, Justin’s best man walked down the aisle in a wedding dress instead of the bride, giving Justin a massive surprise and the wedding guests a huge laugh.

Courtaney’s dad walked her to the chapel and at exactly 2:22pm she walked alone down the aisle to Justin.  A beautiful personalised ceremony followed, written by celebrant Jade Kyles.

“We chose Formosa Restaurant for our reception, and Don and Amber were incredible! When we initially approached them about hosting our reception they were as excited as we were. They truly made our day so unbelievably special and we could not be more grateful. Our guests still rave about the food, service and atmosphere.

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Judy McAuliffe is a writer, and publisher Essence Mid Canterbury. Her experience in media is extensive and includes approximately 15 years as Creative Director for The Radio Network, writing, and managing the writing of radio advertising, mainly in Invercargill and Greymouth. In the late 1990’s she transferred to Christchurch, moving into an Account Management role with 91ZM. In 2007 she and a business partner set up Essence Mid Canterbury, very quickly adapting her radio-writing skills to print media. Judy became sole owner of Essence Mid Canterbury in June 2014. Judy is a ‘people person’ and has found her niche writing feature stories about the community she lives in and the people who live there. She is also available for freelance writing assignments.