The Taranaki region of New Zealand is resplendent in its varied landscapes, from shimmering beaches to the stark, snow-capped peak of its namesake mountain, and lush forests and gardens in between.
This part of the world seems a likely backdrop for a love story, but perhaps less likely is the Jujitsu gym where this particular tale of romance had its start. As fate would have it, Kendell and Dustin were paired up as sparring partners at Jujitsu because of their identical height. It was 2009. At the time, both were in separate relationships of their own, so their connection remained a platonic friendship for the next three years. In summer 2012, unconnected and spending time together in the same group of friends and sharing the same passions, the magnetism between them grew to a fever pitch and they became inseparable. Kendell says that Dustin has always been a master of the romantic, and a stealthy one at that. So it was that one night, awoken by their scuffling husky pups out in the hall, Kendell and Dustin went to go see what was causing the commotion. Once they had calmed and separated their pups, Kendell suddenly noticed something on her left hand ring finger that hadn’t been there when she went to bed. Dustin had deftly managed to maneuver a beautiful diamond engagement ring onto sleeping Kendell’s finger during the night. No sooner had she uttered her surprise at finding the ring on her finger, Dustin was down on one knee proposing.
11 months later, a radiant Kendell and an awestruck Dustin stood together under the shade of a great tree in New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park to exchange their vows. What follows is a little window into the magic of their perfect day.
Ceremony Venue: Pukekura Park - New Plymouth, NZ
Reception Venue: East End Surf Life Saving Club
Bride's Gown: The Bridal Studio, Palmerston North
Floral: Dobson's Marquee and Party