Whitney Veit and Andrew McGoram at the Auckland Art Gallery before their wedding reception in Okahu Bay on Dec. 30, 2011. (Jo Currie)
Whitney Veit & Andrew McGoram

Whitney Veit, 25, is a communications strategist. Andrew McGoram, 28, is a mechanical engineer. They live in Rockville.

Wedding date: Dec. 30, 2011

Location: Okahu function center, Auckland, New Zealand

Guests: 84

How they met: Veit was a Boston University junior studying abroad at the University of Auckland in spring 2008 when a mutual friend introduced her to New Zealander McGoram. On their first date, their dinner at an intimate Italian restaurant was followed by a drive and stargazing. She extended her stay in New Zealand into summer, and the couple spent the next year traveling to see one another and running up phone bills.

The proposal: On Dec. 31, 2009, they hiked to pristine New Chums Beach. Veit had just put her towel down when she turned around to see McGoram on one knee. Each of them was willing to move across the world to be together, but they decided McGoram would move to Washington, where Veit was working and about to start a master’s program at George Washington University.

The wedding: Since the couple would be living in the United States, they held their wedding in New Zealand. Bridesmaids picked the flowers and fashioned the bouquets and boutonnieres, and a family friend baked the cake and decorated it with sea shells. Veit made welcome bags filled with Maori necklaces, sheep magnets and a guide to key “kiwi” phrases for the 30 American guests who could attend; her best friend collected personal notes from those who couldn’t and shared them with the bride throughout the day.

The honeymoon: Instead of a traditional romantic getaway, the couple stayed in New Zealand to spend time with McGoram’s family.