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A Breathtaking Urban Dunedin Wedding Harbourside

Today’s breathtaking Dunedin wedding is beautiful beyond words. Without a doubt one of my favourites for the year, and a spectacular showcase of my favourite little city, this love story is also a very emotional one.

From the bride Rebecca…

“Even before we were officially together at High School it was always ‘Bex and Julz’. Everyone saw it coming and we officially started dating in 2006. Fast forward to 2016, I am sure everyone even saw our engagement coming but what no one saw coming was finally tying the knot only 10 weeks later.

After almost 10 years together, having been engaged for 10 weeks, we set a date and planned our wedding day from scratch in 10 days after unexpectedly receiving news that my father-in-law has advanced terminal cancer.

With no day promised, without hesitation, we knew it was important that our nearest and dearest were there to celebrate our special day with us. So without a venue, a dress, guests or absolutely anything else we set out with a ‘make it simple but make it significant’ mindset to create our modern, urban, imitate dinner party dream day in 10 days and it was precisely that – our perfectly imperfect day was a dream!”


Who Rebecca & Julian Robinson
Where Dunedin
Guests Approx 60

Describe your wedding style…
modern, urban, imitate dinner party



Photographer Acorn Photography
Estelle Flowers
Harbourside Grill, Custom House
Hire Company 
Gold Cutlery fromThe Pretty Prop Shop
Invitations, printed signage, table numbers & wine glasses 
Rebecca Ann Design (the bride)
Zaibatsu Hair Art
Makeup Rebecca Cameron Makeup Artist
Mandy May’s Pantry
Angela Port Weddings
Brides Dress, Accessories 
Hera Bridal Couture
Brides Shoes Merchant
Bridesmaids Dresses 
City Chic
Grooms Suit & Accessories 
Barkers (the boys got dressed at the store!)
Michael Hill
Entertainment & Photobooth Gravity Events

A Stunning Two Day Dunedin Botanic Garden Wedding Under $5000!

Today’s wedding is going to blow your mind. Not only did this wedding cost less than $5000 (AND it was a TWO day event, including a trip to an island!), but the couple realised they really had something special when they went on a date at Taieri Beach, which just happens to be where I live! (It’s a REALLY small place!) YAY. Oh and the proposal is so very beautiful, seriously Tuaine you deserve a medal! Emily & Tuaine, thank you so much for sharing your stunning day with us, it makes me proud to call Otago home!, and a massive thank you to the always amazing Erin from Acorn Photography, you really are a superstar!

Who Emily & Tuaine
Where Dunedin Botanic Gardens
Guests Immediate family – 15

Our love story began…

We met at a local bar where Tuaine was playing a gig with his friend, in between songs we got talking. He tracked me down through a mutual friend and asked me out. It wasn’t until a few months later we went on a date out to Taieri Mouth Beach that we knew we had each met someone special.

I said yes…

Tuaine and I went shopping for rings 4 months before he proposed so I knew it was coming but had no idea when. He proposed when our daughter was 6 weeks old so it was an emotional day (crazy baby hormones!) He had planned a whole day of my favorites, we went for a walk around the Dunedin Botanic Gardens. We went to my favorite Florist, Estelle Flowers where he had a massive bunch of flowers waiting for me. Then we went to lunch at my favorite cafe, he had organised for me to get my makeup done so I felt all pretty, then he ordered our favorite dinner and got it to bring home and set the lounge up like a restaurant, so sweet considering we could have not/ would not have wanted to leave our daughter at that age.

Then as I was putting our daughter to bed he set up our garden with candles in jars and tea light candles, he came to get me saying he needed help with something and when I got to the back door I saw the candles and burst into tears, I had been waiting so long and it was so beautiful, and also by this point I was tired, had got my PJ’s on and thought he wasn’t going to end up proposing that night! Haha He led me outside where he got down on one knee. It was just perfect.

Our wedding style/inspiration was… Intimate, surrounded by nature, low key

We saved by…

Having our wedding in the Dunedin Botanic Gardens cost us only $25 and being the beautiful place which it is it needed no decoration.

We didn’t want a wedding party which meant that we only had two outfits to buy.

Instead of a catered venue for our reception we opted for one of our favorite restaurants the Esplanade out at St Clair beach where we all just ordered what we felt like.

I did my own wedding flowers as I love flowers and enjoyed putting them together the day before.

Our family helped out heaps.

We had online wedding invitations to save paper.

Our whole wedding (both days) cost us less than $5000 which we are really happy about. We value close relationships and love nature so having a relatively cheap wedding we not hard once we worked out what was important to us and good company and nature are free.

We splurged on…

We had a party the next day on Quarantine Island with all our families and friends to celebrate. We wanted to take them on an adventure as that’s a big part of our relationship so we chose to take them to an island! We had a big potluck meal and played games and hung out. It was great fun! But getting everyone over to the island on a boat we chartered cost us quite a bit. We also spent quite a bit on our photographer as we wanted the best! And it was important for us to have good photos to share with those we chose not to invite to our ceremony.

Our advice to engaged couples…

Think seriously about whats important to you and create something that reflects and honors who you both are.


Photographer Acorn Photography
Flowers DIY
Venue Dunedin Botanic Gardens (Cost them $25!)
Dinner The Esplanade
Hair Aurum Hairstylists
Makeup Kim Tuliau
Cake Naturalley
Celebrant Adam Dodds – Elim Church
Brides Dress Pretty Things
Grooms Suit & Accessories Rembrandt,  BarkersWindsor Smith
Brides Ring Keepsake Journals
Grooms Ring Lolide on Etsy

Romantic Floral Dunedin Garden Wedding by Acorn Photography

We saved by… I have to admit…I’m not a very do-it-yourself kind of person, in fact I don’t think I have a single artistic or crafty bone in my body! Because of that, Andy and I definitely went for convenience over affordability and kept our DIY to the minimum. However, my Mum did spend many painstaking hours creating 75 beautiful confetti cones and a wonderful “Advice Board” for us.

Today’s gorgeous wedding took place in a beautiful garden setting on the Otago Peninsula, inspired by romantic florals…

The only thing I was 100% certain on for our wedding theme was that we would have peonies at the center and everything else would work around them. – Cara

Moody skies + lush green backdrops + mirror like harbour views make this wedding seriously romantic, with it all captured perfectly by Dunedin based Acorn Photography. Enjoy! xox 

Who Andrew + Cara Ridden (nee Raal)
Where Glenfalloch Gardens & Restaurant Dunedin
Guests 67 in total – mostly close friends and family

Our love story began… four years ago while working in the same job – Playball Dunedin, however this work was quite sporadic and so it took us a long time to actually get to know each other. Andy is incredibly shy and quiet and although I am very outgoing, trying to talk to him on the brief occasions when we worked together was painstakingly hard! Eventually I had decided I’d had enough of trying to make things happen at work and I needed to take things a step further… So after some discussion with some of my closest friends I decided to throw an “end of year” party. My friends and I dubbed this party “Operation Candy” (Cara + Andy = Candy)…safe to say it was a success and we’ve literally been inseparable ever since.

I said yes… Although quiet and shy, Andy has a real knack for making the simplest things incredibly romantic. Our proposal was much the same. As I’m a nurse I often work shift work and the weekends, whereas Andy works Mon-Fri and plays football in the weekends. After about 4 weeks of not having a single day off coinciding we eventually had a Saturday off together. Andy had a whole day of activities planned which basically involved re-creating our first few dates together. First he took me out to the Otago Peninsula to watch the seals frolicking, we grabbed an ice-cream and some lunch and then went for a stroll in the Dunedin Botanic Gardens.

After an hour or so of wandering around the gardens I mentioned maybe we should head back home as it was looking like it was going to rain. Andy seemed really hesitant to head back home and kept insisting that we try “one more path”. So, reluctantly, I agreed and we walked down this derelict path which opened out to a large lawn and bench overlooking North Dunedin. Once I saw the bench I realized that this was where we had our second date and we had spent hours sitting and chatting at this bench. When I sat down Andy got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I had been given the diamond for my ring 8 or so years ago from my Grandpa in South Africa and my parents had kept it safe for me until we decided to get engaged. Unbeknownst to me, Andy had spoken to my father and got the diamond made into a beautiful ring for me.

Our wedding style was… Romantic/floral. The only thing I was 100% certain on for our wedding theme was that we would have peonies at the center and everything else would work around them.

We splurged on… Photography and videography. Personally, I always thought one of the most important aspects of a wedding is the photography as it’s something you get to keep forever and share with your children and grandchildren. After hearing endless amounts of friends and family say things like “your day will go by so quickly, make sure you take it all in” I decided that I really needed to go all out. After our wedding, I can safely say this was the best decision I ever made – the Acorn Photography team were spectacular and I cannot get enough of our photos and video. Having the creative video was like the icing on the cake as it meant we got to share our day with our friends and family who couldn’t make it.

Our advice to engaged couples… The biggest piece of advice I could give couples is don’t stress the little things. They may seem like big things now, but on the day they will seem insignificant compared to the fact that you just got to marry the love of your life.


Photographer Erin & Dave Isaacs at Acorn Photography
Flowers Amaryllis for Flowers
Venue + Catering Glenfalloch Gardens & Restaurant
Stationery + SignageJust My Type
Welcome Sign Harlan Creative
Hair Aurum Hairstylists
Makeup Sam at Ivy Make-up Artists
Cake The Tart Tin
Celebrant Nicola Wall
Brides Dress + Veil Venus Bridal from House of Kavina
Brides Accessories Necklace / Earrings Stewart Dawsons + Shoes Merchant
Bridesmaid Dresses Venus Bridal from House of Kavina
Grooms Suit Ace Suit Hire + Shoes Number One Shoes + Cufflinks & Watch ASOS+ Belts Hallensteins
Rings Dunedin Goldsmiths
Transport Two family friends who owned vintage cars
Music DJ from Gravity Events

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