A Wednesday afternoon is the perfect time to share this serene, New Zealand wedding.  Its romantic details and relaxed, peaceful spirit is sure to cure any mid-week slump you might be experiencing.  I can’t help releasing a huge sigh of happiness as I gaze at each pretty picture by Meredith Lord Photography.  Do yourself a favor and spend the rest of the day in the full gallery!

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From the Bride… There is a Norfolk pine on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean on the West Coast of the North Island that I took Gareth to when we first started dating. If you climb to the top you can sit up there and take in 360 degree views of the ocean and the countryside behind. It’s pretty spectacular! This is where, seven years later, Gareth asked me to marry him. Our love of beautiful, big trees was one of the reasons we chose Parkhill Estate in Hawkes Bay for our reception venue — its tree-lined driveway and gorgeous oak trees in the garden. Hawkes Bay, where my family is from and where I spent all my summers growing up, has amazing countryside, vineyards and beaches combined — the perfect location for a wedding weekend away. We knew we wanted to have a simple, intimate wedding because that reflected our style — not too fussy or complicated. We really wanted to make our day about beautiful music, fabulous food and a stunning location. When planning, we were always thinking about how we could make our guests feel special, and how to show them that they are an important part of our wedding day.

Our poor little church had survived two floods (only just) the month before, so it was looking a little worse for wear. Gareth and I spent some time before the wedding fixing it back up again, but it was our florist Kim who saved it with the prettiest garland over the front window. The ceremony program, seating chart and menus were designed by Gareth and me, with an illustration Gareth had made of the church featured on the front of our program. We also included hand-written thank you notes to each guest on the back of their menus. We did this a couple of days before the wedding, and it took quite a while to get through them all, but it was really nice taking time out to think about each guest who was attending and realising how many had helped and supported us either in the wedding planning or just in general — we have truly amazing friends and family! Those feelings of gratitude and kindness are so lovely right before the wedding, when you can easily feel overwhelmed and too focused on all the little details.

An old oak tree fell down on my parent’s friends farm so my dad cut, sanded and oiled a few pieces for our cake stands. My mum sewed the table runners and the strips of fabric that we tied around the pew ends in the church. We had friends potting herbs and wrapping string around menus and jars for our table settings the night before. A big group of us stayed at Parkhill Estate for the weekend so we had a BBQ dinner the night before to thank everyone for their efforts! One of my most memorable moments of the day was walking back down the aisle as husband and wife to ringing church bells and smiling faces. We very wisely chose to have the amazing Wallace Gollan singing at our ceremony — her beautiful, soulful voice filled up the church brought many a tear to our guests’ eyes. All of our vendors what worked on our wedding were so wonderful — they really made the day so special for us. The food was absolutely amazing, and guests are still talking about the meals they had in detail. Our photographer Meredith was amazing as well — it’s so important to choose someone who not only has great talent and shares your vision but also someone you get along with. You’ll be spending a good portion of your day with them, and it’s much nicer to have someone who makes you feel relaxed and happy!

Wedding Photography: Meredith Lord Photography / Ceremony: St. John’s Anglican Church in Waimarama, New Zealand / Reception: Parkhill Estate in Haumoana, New Zealand / Floral Design: Lushka / Wedding Invitations + Save-the-Dates: Printable Press / Band: Wallace Gollan / Wedding Dress: Modes / Bride’s Shoes: Mi Piaci / Hair: Caroline Gichard / Makeup: Cushla Bower