Fact: when pretty pink hues join forces with a stunningly gorgeous New Zealand setting, you can pretty much guarantee an amazing day here at SMP. The kind of day that is rich with love-filled moments captured by Erin Summerill, fabulous details and enough pretty to leave you pinning endlessly. That’s just the way we like to spend our Tuesdays, and you can get a head right here in the full gallery.
From the Bride & Groom… Our day was made special due to a number of things. Firstly, the date we had chosen to get married on falls in the middle of winter in New Zealand, which is normally cold and rainy, however our day was absolutely perfect – sunny and warm.
What we found really special was the opportunity to unite our families together in one place for the first time ever, we were also blessed to have members of our family travel from all over the world to be present for our big day.
Joe’s special part of the day was the moment Jess walked into view at the church and began walking down the aisle – she was stunning! Jess’s special part was also walking down the aisle, knowing that it only happens once, and how it is over in an instant. I wanted to be present in that very moment to take it all in, surrounded by our special friends and family, the smell, the visual, the sounds, walking linked with Dad for the last time, and meeting Joe to begin our life adventure together.
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.
Wedding films have this way of making me feel like I’ve truly experienced the day. Like I can feel the emotion poring through my computer screen. So when we’re talking about a wedding from BubbleRock Studios - AKA the masters of film making, I basically get giddies all over. They documented this adorable New Zealand couple who tied the knot after 11 years together, and it’s sooooo worth a watch.
From the Bride… Our story is extremely special. We have been together 11 happy years despite the trials of years of illness. Our wedding was the most amazing celebration of us as a couple as well as a celebration of the people who love us. We also stayed true to our values as Christians and as vegans and animal lovers and included our cat Jetty in the day too.
We are both from the North Shore in NZ, but our wedding was held in Paihia (over three hours away from our home town). Our reception was held on Onewhero Bay which is a beautiful beach and farmland owned by Sophie’s family in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. There is no electricity or running water there so it was a big logistical challenge – we had to bring in generators, water tanks, portable toilets etc. We married on the 9th of February 2013 – the same date Sophie’s parents married (they celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary on the same day as our wedding) and we married in the church Sophie’s parents and sister married in, Sophie and her siblings were christened in, and where family funerals have been held. The church is the third oldest in New Zealand.
Our wedding was a true labour of love. We organised and planned everything ourselves. Sophie designed and made the cupcakes, lollipops and treats for the lolly buffet and wrote every single guest a personalised, hand-made card telling them what they meant to us. She brought dozens of candelabras, jars, vases and signs and we styled the wedding ourselves. We made our own napkin holders and gift bags. We used dozens and dozens of Etsy retailers and loved that we did this and helped support independent businesses – we literally made well over a hundred transactions on Etsy for our wedding! We used white, ivory and light pink as our wedding colours and used lace everywhere (lace runners on our lolly buffet, our handmade cards featured lace, we made our own lace napkin holders, our save the dates and invitations used lace etc). The flowers/foilage we used included dahlias, tuber rose, lamb’s ear, tea roses, fresias, ornithogalum and lizzianthas.
We really wanted to spoil our guests. These were people who had loved and supported us over the years and we wanted it to be a day celebrating them too. So along with the personalised cards and lolly buffet, each guest was also given vegan chocolates and beautiful wildflower seeds, as well as a gorgeous pashmina to keep them warm later on in the night. We also made up special giftbags for our groomsmen, bridesmaids, MC and some special family members who were going above and beyond for us! Our guest gifts were quite a large expense for us, but we were so glad we honoured them in this way! :)
We incorporated our Christian beliefs on marriage by using Bible verses on love as table names, and had a beautiful Christian ceremony.
We squeezed our budget to include videography and it was one of the very best decisions we made! We had a fair few family and friends who couldn’t attend our wedding, including Sophie’s friends from her dysautonomia support group, DYNA. A lot of them couldn’t make the trip because of illness and we wanted to have a video of our special day to show them, as well as our other friends and fam that couldn’t make it. We are so glad we hired our videographers and would highly recommend hiring them for your wedding!