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stunning dunedin wedding on a budget acorn photography

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

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