Rustic Romantic Bella Vista Lodge Wedding
October 31, 2014
RusticLodgeSummer Weddings
Not gonna lie, I teared up big time (like to the point of sniffles) after watching these two commit their love to each other in Moving Films' beautiful film. The Groom's reaction was more than I could take—it made my heart swell, to say the least. And what made this day even more special were the little touches, the infusion of family and friends and of course, the gorgeous style and design. It's the perfect way to start off Friday—see the full gallery from Maree Wilksinson!
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From the beautiful Bride...Our wedding day was better than we could have ever imagined! We loved every minute of it. We did not have a wedding planner so I planned most of it but I had lots of help from my sister who was my maid of honour, our families, wedding entourage and friends. We wanted a day where our families and friends can relax and enjoy and our wedding venue, Bella Vista Lodge, was the perfect place for that with its luxury boutique style lodge that spells indulgence. It was a bit of a drive for most of our guests but it was definitely worth it. The panoramic views were amazing and we hired the entire venue which made it even more special, exclusive and intimate. We had all our preparations, hair and make up done in the lodge. It was very relaxed and the wedding party had time to enjoy food platters and champagne while getting ready. We had the ceremony in the garden outside overlooking the picturesque hills of Tauranga and Mount Maunganui. We then had our reception in their beautiful, spacious function room.

The theme of our wedding was rustic and pinterest was a great source of ideas for the look that we were after. I had put together a wedding portfolio during the year categorising each component of our wedding from flowers, table settings, down to the design of our dessert table. Our wedding stylist was wonderful and she made our vision happen.

As it was an outdoor garden wedding, the style of our wedding ceremony included a beautiful chandelier with curtain draping and a centrepiece table resembling an altar. We also had a unity candle on the table which was part of the ceremony and both our Mums lit it symbolising the coming together of both our families. We had bible readings during the ceremony as well which incorporated our Christian beliefs. At the end of each aisle were tree trunks with jars of fresh flowers. We also had musical scores folded into cones containing rose petals which was thrown by our guests on our first walk down the aisle as a married couple. A string quartet played during the ceremony and afterwards while our guests enjoyed their canapes.

As most of our guests traveled quite a distance to attend our wedding, we ensured that they were spoiled. We had a Magnum ice cream cart which was fitting as our wedding was on a beautiful hot summer day. We also had a lemonade stand and a picnic area where guests can relax and put their feet up while having their canapes. Additionally, we hired a giant jenga and other lawn games for our younger guests.

As we wanted our wedding day to be as personalised as possible, some of our things were DIY. For instance, our escort cards were made of burlap which we then shaped into hearts. We used letter stamps on a lace for each of our guest's name and this was individually sewn on the burlap. For our wedding favours, I was able to recycle small bottles from work which we then filled with potpourri. For its finishing touches, I used ribbons and corks that I found online. My husband's cousin is a graphic designer so we were blessed to have her design our save the date cards and our wedding invitations, both of which were letterpress printed. We used purple baker's twine to put the whole invitation together and had a calligrapher to hand write the names of our guests, which made it really special. My husband's cousin also designed our wedding program which we made into a fan using popsicle sticks tied with different shades of purple ribbons.

One of the most special details in our wedding was having my grandmother's ring which she wore since she was eighteen hanging on my wedding bouquet as my 'something old'. My grandmother passed away a few years ago and it was my way of remembering her on such a special occasion. For my 'something blue', we had our initials and the date of our wedding embroidered in blue and it was sewn in my wedding gown and a matching one sewn in my husband's suit pocket. My 'something borrowed' was diamond earrings from one of my bridesmaids and my 'something new' was a diamond necklace.

My wedding gown and veil were both from Pronovias. It took me a good few months to find my dress but it was definitely worth it as I love it very much! Our bridesmaids wore purple flowy gowns from Donna Morgan and each bridesmaid wore the design they are comfortable and confident in. They were all so gorgeous! My husband wore a grey suit from Armani and the groomsmen wore suspenders with a bow tie, which perfectly suited the theme of our wedding.

The whole wedding preparation can be quite overwhelming and brides like myself tend to get caught up with every small details, making sure that every single thing is perfect. What I realize in this whole experience is that what counts the most at the end of the day was not how well things were executed but rather the presence of loved ones, families and friends celebrating such a special occasion with us and dedicating the day and our marriage to the Lord Jesus. That in itself made our wedding memorable.