Backyard New Zealand Wedding by Karen Willis Holmes
August 7, 2012
Australia & South Pacific
DIY InspiredVintageOutdoor Weddings

 We are total suckers for backyard nuptials here at SMP. We love watching the transformation of home to wedding haven, and this wedding, held at the bride's parents' estate, serves up a big batch of vintage-inspired goodness that is impossible not to fall in love with! We love this bride's ethereal, vintage style. Her portraits are simply stunning. Enjoy them and everything else here in the full gallery of photos, courtesy of Jessica Jones Photography.

From the Bride... We decided to have the wedding at my parents' home. It’s a really beautiful spot in the heart of the Marlborough wine district, and having the wedding there allowed us the freedom to make the day exactly how we imagined. Having the wedding at home was amazing. It also made if very relaxed – and people could dance well into the small hours of the morning as there was no curfew! Our wedding was sort of a big vintage garden party. We used a lot of traditional garden flowers combined with vintage lace and doilies and heaps of homemade touches. Our main colors were pale blue, cream and peach. It had been overcast and a little drizzly, so we weren’t sure we’d be able to have the ceremony outside. At the last minute we decided to go ahead with it, so everyone who was around rushed to set out all the chairs and the vintage carpet we had for the runner. Just before the processional, we played the Beatles' song “Here Comes the Sun” while everyone was seated. Several guests told me that when that song came on, the sun came out from behind the clouds. The weather held off and the stormy clouds made a great backdrop for the photos.

I always wanted a classic, romantic, vintage-feel wedding. I wanted to add as many personal touches as possible, and I have an extremely talented group of family and friends who helped with ideas and with making them become reality. I collected stacks and stacks of bridal magazines and spent hours trawling through blogs (Style Me Pretty in particular) and pinning things on Pinterest. A few things were particular inspirations — a sister of a friend of mine had gotten married and used this amazing mismatched vintage china. We tracked down the same supplier, The China Cabinet, and also hired vintage silver candelabras from her. My mother had found some beautiful vintage floral carpet for my cousin to use for her wedding, so we borrowed that. And my amazing mother also collected hundreds of tiny cut crystal bud vases, vintage champagne saucers and doilies from second hand and antique shops all over New Zealand for the table settings. The other thing I wanted for the wedding to be as hand-created and personal as possible. I really loved the hand-lettered stationery, which I saw online (e.g. Rifle Paper Co.) but we couldn’t reasonably afford it. Instead, with the help of my little sister, we created hand-lettered and hand-illustrated save-the-dates, pop-up wedding invitations, programs and menus. The table numbers were hand written on wooden love hearts (painted by Peter), hung underneath little birds with paper doily wings and suspended above the tables. My wedding cake was made by my aunt and me. I hand-painted the icing with flowers and our wedding date. I’d bought hundreds of little artificial birds and birds' nests for the table settings. My aunt arranged the flowers for the decorations and hid little birds amongst the bouquets, which was so cute. We filled the nests with candy eggs, and I hand-wrote the guests’ names to put on top as place cards. Everything was such a team effort!

Peter and I live in Brisbane, so we were a little worried none of our Brisbane friends would be able to make it to New Zealand for the wedding. We were so surprised and thrilled that we ended up having nearly 30 guests fly over from Brisbane for the weekend. The day after the wedding, we had a big relaxed BBQ brunch at the same venue. Almost all the guests came back for the brunch, which was great. It was a beautiful day, and everyone sat or lay on the grass chatting about the wedding. Nearly as fun as the day itself!

Wedding Photography: Jessica Jones Photography / Wedding Venue: Astrolabe Farm, The Bride's Parents' Estate in Marlborough, New Zealand / Floral Design: Pink Poppie / Wedding Cake: DIY by the Bride + Her Auntie / Wedding Invitations + Stationery: DIY by the Bride + Her Sister / Bomboniere Nests + Birds: Floral Trims / Vintage China + Candelabras: The China Cabinet / Band: Groove Collective / Wedding Dress: Karen Willis Holmes "Madelyn" / Bride's Earrings + Belt: Karen Willis Holmes / Bride's Shoes: Designed by the Bride via Shoes of Prey / Bride's Veil: Her Mother's + Aunt's / Bride's Cardigan: Monsoon / Bride's Head Piece: Pink Poppie / Bride's Bouquet Locket: From Her Grandmother / Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung via House of Brides / Maid of Honor's Bolero: BHLDN / Bridesmaids' Cardigans: Alannah Hill / Bridesmaids' Shoes: Their Own / Bridesmaids' Hair Clips: DIY by the Bride's Mother / Groom's Suit: Armani via David Jones / Groom's Tie: Versace via David Jones / Hair + Makeup: Deirdre and Mary-Jane of Locks and Lashes (Auntsfield)