This is the sort of classic affair that I can never get enough of. You know the type: a gorgeous bride in a gorgeous gown (hello Anna Schimmel) meets a breathtaking Mudbrick Vineyard setting meets all kinds of beautiful florals from Wildflower to create a day that is simply mesmerizing. It’s traditional elegance at its very best and you can see it all captured by Joanna Wickham right here.
From the Bride… From the onset I was adamant I wanted a glamorous affair to celebrate our wedding, therefore location and venue was paramount. We wanted a (close) destination wedding to ensure guests could completely relax and enjoy themselves without having a long trip home; Auckland is geographically very spread out and our friends and family would be travelling from many different pockets of the city.
Waiheke Island with its panoramic city and harbour views, gourmet food and wine and understated luxury was an obvious choice. There is something special about Waiheke which makes people relax instantly and allows the finer things in life to be celebrated. I had been to the restaurant at Mudbrick with my family many years ago and I suspected its rustic elegance would be a fitting setting. Together with our parents, James and I ventured over on the ferry to have a tour of the venue with the wedding coordinator. We immediately knew it was where we wanted our special day to take place; the gardens and decor leant itself to an element of old world glamour and combined with the calibre of the food and wine, we couldn’t achieve a more romantic backdrop.
I was in my element during all facets of the wedding process and I loved organising every detail! We wanted a wedding that was elegant and traditional but also glamorous, and I wanted it to have a touch of vintage. However, it was vital that it also reflected us as a couple. We decided on a palette of mint green, blush pink and gold as we felt this encapsulated our ideas.
Our friend Natalie created the invitations and wedding stationary based on a design I had found. I envisaged classic and elegant invites that also alluded to the glamour of the occasion. Natalie crafted not only the invites but the stunning seating plan design, favour tags, table numbers and place cards. All of these components were instrumental in allowing my overall ideasto come to life.
Anna Schimmel designed my dress for me based on our theme; a princess style dress using hand beaded French lace for the bodice and duchess satin with box pleats for the skirt. The cap sleeves and full length tulle veil were to complete my glamorous look. Her attention to detail, use of luxury fabrics, quality of design and construction resulted in a dress that exceeded our expectations and the experience was truly unforgettable. I was after a gasp inducing dress due to my love of fashion and I certainly received that!
I approached the bridesmaid dresses and styling with the concept of old Hollywood glamour. I wanted them to look like they were attending the Oscars (and not a wedding!) and used four dresses from the same Marchesa range (to ensure they worked together) as inspiration for the dressmaker. Each girl had a style that suited their body shape and personality. My absolutely amazing Maid of Honour Laura then applied beaded lace to them. We finished the look with champagne or gold shoes and a hand-made floral hair piece. We decided on a charcoal grey suit for the boys which complimented the mint green and blush pink beautifully.
For the favours, Laura made a variety of chutneys and jams which we decorated with lace and gold or mint ribbon. Very few were left over and I received countless compliments for weeks after the wedding about how delicious they were. They also worked perfectly with the rustic elegance of Mudbrick and I adored how they added to the overall look of the tables. We booked Vicki from Wildflower to do the bouquets and table arrangements. I originally wanted a pallet primarily made up of blush pink and cream roses and peonies but they were out of season. Vicki instead used David Austin roses and traditional roses for the bouquets and these blooms in addition to stock and ranunculus for the table settings. Our ideas were interpreted perfectly by our suppliers and all features of our wedding day played together flawlessly.
The maids and I got ready at a holiday home overlooking Oneroa Beach which provided a beautiful back drop for Jo to capture the day. A vintage cream Daimler transported us to Mudbrick for the ceremony amongst the wind and rain but nothing was going to dampen my excitement!
We wanted to make our ceremony as personal and entertaining as we could but also ensuring we didn’t lose any of the formality or sincerity of a traditional service. We used a pin I found on Pinterest as inspiration and wrote our own vows as a series of promises; some comical and some serious. They highlighted our differences (movie genre preferences for example!) but also our genuine love and care for each other. We selected the poem ‘I Carry Your Heart with My Heart’ by E. E. Cummings and a reading from ‘The House on Pooh Corner’ by A. A. Milne as Winnie the Pooh was a childhood favourite of mine. Our celebrant Kim was integral in helping create a personal service and we were so grateful for her contribution to our magical day. James has since said that his favourite part of the day was our first look at each other and I would agree. I cannot express the overwehlming delight and excitement I felt walking down the aisle to marry him.
The grounds at Mudbrick were so stunning that there was no need to venture for photos off site. And the wind and rain had generated the most captivating light! The weather made for lots of laughs and allowed all of our personalities to shine through. Jo did a breath taking job with the photography and the images are an honest portrayal of our enchanting wedding day. The sheer joy written on the faces of our dearest family and friends confirmed that James’ and our love for each other is palpable.
Photography: Joanna Wickham | Floral Design: Wildflower | Wedding Dress: Anna Schimmel | Cake: The Cake Parlour | Invitations: Natalie Morrell | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Make-Up: Freckles And Blush | Hair: Amelia Rush | Grooms Attire: Exclusive Suit Hire | Celebrant: Kim Jewel Elliott | Wedding Venue: Mudbrick Vineyard | Bridesmaid Hair Pieces: Emici Bridal | Candle And Votive Hire: Centrepiece | Favours: Laura Garshaw | Transport: First Class Classics | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother