Bride Tribe: Amy Carlyon

bride |brʌɪd| nou

a woman on her wedding day or just before and after the event.

tribe |trʌɪb| noun

1. a group of persons having a common character, occupation, or interest

2. a community linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognised leader

Bride Tribe: a supportive community of brides, newlyweds and industry experts uniting to encourage, uplift, and share experiences and first-hand advice.

WOW! Can I just say I LOVE this girl and her fresh and real approach to wedding planning

How did you and Ryan meet? What’s been your story so far?

Ryan is an incredible chef, and was the head chef at a beautiful restaurant I was waitressing at while I studied my nursing degree. We instantly clicked! It was literally one of those “Did we just become best friends?!” “YUP!” moments.

We were pretty much inseparable from my first week in the job but remained “just friends” for years! I’m talking we would go out partying together, have sleepovers and I would put a pillow wall between us so we didn’t touch! hahaha! Our friendship grew stronger and stronger but nothing ever happened.

Ryan then started his own restaurant & of course I was going to leave my current job to work with him. Somewhere along the line… we fell in love. We definitely weren’t one of those super romantic love-at-first-sight types, we fell slowly & then all at once.

I remember looking at him one day and thinking I didn’t ever want to be without him.

He actually still hasn’t “asked me out” but he did ask me to marry him so I think we skipped the boyfriend/girlfriend part. Currently we own a restaurant in Palmerston North called Table 188, I couldn’t be more proud of Ryan for this business he is created. It is truly beautiful.

Megan: I’ve got to say, it does look absolutely beautiful, and when I’m in Palmy, I’m going to spend all my time there! 

I did finish my nursing degree and worked in paediatrics for a couple of years but we decided we were better to both be working our butts off for one goal so for now I have left my nursing and it was the best decision I’ve made. I manage the front of house, Ryan manages the kitchen and I can tell you right now if we can successfully work in this industry together, I know for sure we will have a successful marriage! Although there has been a few silent car trips home 😉


What about your proposal story?

I have just finished writing this story in my little white book! I can’t wait to look back on it in years to come!!! We were in Rarotonga for Ryan’s birthday… he wanted to go out for dinner one night and I didn’t. He convinced me we should so I gave in and went (hard life!)… I thought we’d go to the local burger shop but instead we turned up to “The Little Polynesian”, the most incredible restaurant on the island and were taken to our beachfront hut lit by candles and lanterns. I am an absolute beach/water baby so I was in awe at the beauty.

We ate all our meals and were about to leave when Ryan quickly said “Do you want anything else?” to which I replied “Na but let’s take some wine home”… he just froze. Then came out with “what about this?”

He pulled out the ring box, said some beautiful words and asked me to marry him!! I couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t even say yes so he had to sit there sweating until I could breathe again, let alone say yes!!! We called our mums, snapchatted our best friends and then announced our news on Facebook (and of course Instagram 😉 )… we so wanted to celebrate with our dogs so instead we went to the beach, found some stray dogs and fed them bacon.

We drank champagne and stared at my finger in silence on the beach in the moonlight.

It was perfect!


You just had the most incredible looking engagement party, did you organise that all yourself?

Thank you so much! It was honestly the best day. I could cry even thinking about all of the love we had around us and the effort people went to to make it!!! (even though we told them they were off the guest list if they didn’t come hehe)!



The whole vision was all mine. I’m a little bit of a control freak so I organised all of the decorations (I had my heart set on a balloon garland), concepts & left the food up to Ryan. I managed to find some amazing businesses that were able to provide things to fulfil my vision and it all came together perfectly! A stand out was a personalised balloon from the lovely “Millie’s Custom Designs” & a greenery wall from “Accent on Flowers”.

I also designed and printed our own wine and chocolate labels which people were super impressed by (so easy and effective)… My Mumma was on the other end of the phone every day having to listen to me though, I definitely couldn’t have done it without her (she also cleaned pre AND post party yussss)!

Having now done so, do you have any tips to share?

You have no idea how many messages and comments I’ve had on our engagement party and I didn’t spend any more than $600! Make it BYO alcohol, get creative and get on Aliexpress ASAP!

I do recommend having one though, it was such a great way for family and friends to meet and mingle before the wedding!

How much have you already got organised for your wedding day?

As I mentioned above, I’m a control freak so we’re over a year out and basically everything is organised. Our venue, omg it is to die for! We have a guest list of 100, 4 babes in each bridal party and some amazing surprises for throughout the night!

I wish I could tell you everything in detail but I’m trying to keep as much to myself as possible – otherwise I’ve found people give their opinion (and I don’t want it haha)! One of the things I am super excited about is an instant print photo booth from “Wild Mint photo booth” paired with a “Sienna Reid” flower wall

How have you decided on your guest list?

I’ve been absolutely brutal!!! Your partner has never met Ryan?? They aren’t invited!

Haven’t heard from you for two years?? I’ll send you a snapchat the day after!

Guest lists are tricky but when each guest costs you around $250-$300 I just am not going to have any old ‘Joe Bloggs’ there! Also those who we are close with but didn’t come to our engagement party (for no good reason) are off the list.

What have you prioritised when you were planning your wedding and/or what did you forego?

Number one priority for me was a wedding venue we BOTH loved!!! It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that it’s half Ryan’s day too so this was a really good way to make sure he was happy (love you babe 😉 )… other than that My videography was super important. I believe video captures something that photos just can’t, like those looks we give each other without even realising… argh, makes my heart melt thinking about it!!! Photography for me was disappointing. I came across lots of photographers, none I felt like I really loved their work & each quote was around $4000 for a HALF DAY!

I am SORRY but I flat refuse to spend 4k on a new facebook profile pic!!!

I then found a company “Newfound Photography”, her work is stunning (like seriously breathtaking) & reasonably priced so the iphones are away & we’ll let Bry tell our story!

Surprisingly a dress wasn’t important for me either. I knew what I wanted and I knew I was going to look and feel beautiful regardless of if my dress was $500 or $5000. We saved thousands with the dress I chose… it’s so stunning, people I’ve shown have cried at the beauty of it!!

Are there any other elements of the wedding planning that you chose to omit?

Wedding cake!!! YUCK! I don’t even eat cake. Sorry guests, get your cake fix at the local bakery! Another $700 saving off the budget woohoo!

What else are you doing differently?

Our dogs are in our bridal parties!!! We adore them. Maisy is one of our flower girls & Paddy is our ring bearer. I just cannot wait to see them dressed up!!! Also I’m going to be walked up the aisle by my two step parents. I wasn’t an easy child (I’m very stubborn), my step parents were amazing and CHOSE to take me on and love me unconditionally.

This choice they made blows my mind, I feel so honoured to have two incredible people who’ve had such an impact in my upbringing, life and relationship values take me on the most important walk of my life.

Is there anything else not so important to you throughout your wedding planning experience?

To be honest the only thing that IS important to me is that on the 16th March 2019 I get to marry the love of my life!

Oh and we’re also not having a first dance! I am so freaking un-co & I can’t think of anything worse than 100 people watch me awkwardly dance.

Do you feel any expectations or pressures as a bride?

TOTALLY! There’s a huge expectation to spend ridiculous amounts of money on the “perfect” wedding! It’s sad. I see people everywhere saying their wedding is going to be disappointing because they can’t afford much which breaks my heart! Are you going to be there? Is your hubby to be going to turn up? Then your day is already perfect!

How have you set out your wedding budget?

I haven’t actually been too organised with setting out a budget as such. I knew I didn’t want to spend over a certain amount so if I’ve splashed out on one aspect (which I’m about to do on videography) then I’ve cut back on another area (like my dress).

We’ve also splashed out on an amazing band. Our guests are important to us and we want them to have fun but to do that we’ve had to cut back on table décor which is totally fine by me!

Have you had any struggles in the planning phase so far?

OMG who knew invitations were so frustrating!!!! BABES I cannot stress this enough, DON’T SPEND THOUSANDS ON INVITES!!!!

They go in the bin! Like why?! I just can’t get my head around it! I’ve made my own and I love them. Minimalism is in anyway girlfriends! The guest list was difficult for Ryan and I so we split it to 50 each and boom, problem solved!

It’s not up to me to tell Ryan who is important enough to him to be there and vice versa so this was the best option. I actually gifted him 10 of my invites cos he’s more popular hahaha.

Who else do you have involved in your wedding planning?

So far just my mum & my maid of honour. They’ve been amazing! I’d say closer to the time I’m going to need my bridal party more but so far they’ve just been there to listen to me go around in circles and bounce ideas off which is actually really helpful!

My maid of honour is super organised and good at budgeting so she’s been good to put me in line if I’m getting a bit over the top. I honestly think my mum is going to ban me from talking wedding for at least a year once it’s over. Currently she gets a phone call at least once a day!

How involved is Ryan in the wedding planning?

Hmmm. I’d say about 30% haha. He does try! We’ve just built a house and about to start another so basically that’s his project & the wedding is mine! I do run everything past him and he just says yes or no but doesn’t offer alternatives. I’m happy with that cos I’m loving doing it!

Brides to be, don’t be offended if fiancé doesn’t seem interested, use the opportunity to get the things you want & know that he or she really just wants you to be happy and have the day of your dreams so they’re happy to take the backseat on this one!

What have you most enjoyed about planning your wedding so far?

All of it! But the best part has been knowing that at the end of it all I get a husband. I’m so excited to be married!

Are there any aspects of your wedding that you will DIY?

Probably not. In my experience DIY is still expensive & never looks as good as you thought haha. I’ll be paying professionals but looking past “wedding” vendors.

Lots of companies can do the things you’re after and if they don’t specialise in weddings they’ll be much cheaper. Like my wedding signage I’m getting decals made from a graphic design company for $30 each as opposed to the $180 quote from a wedding vendor.

Have you any idea what you’re doing for your honeymoon?

Undecided at this stage. We’re thinking either a month in Europe or the Maldives for two weeks. Both amazing so I’m going to leave that decision up to Ryan – at least then he gets to choose something haha.

What are you looking forward to about married life?

Spending my whole life with my best friend. It’s as simple as that.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Don’t lose sight of what a wedding is.

Forget your aunties and uncles and what THEY want.

Focus on who YOU are as a couple and whats important to YOU! Do it your way and celebrate your love. Above all else, enjoy the process and don’t neglect your fiancé throughout the planning. Nurture your relationship & enjoy a lifetime of happiness!

GUYS, I’m in LOVE with this interview! For more total realness, follow Amy below and head into Table 188 next time you’re in Palmerston North!