Martinborough Wedding by Fineline Photography

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Where to start with this utterly gorgeous wedding from the lovely Larissa from Fineline Photography - who really has knocked it out of the park. Mind with such gorgeous subjects and a stunning venue she had some pretty fine material to play with!! It’s not often I share the full proposal story but this one – as told by the handsome groom Hone – is one worth reading. It’s so incredibly thoughtful and touching, Mandy his beautiful bride is one lucky gal!

“Mandy had mentioned a few times that “if she were to get engaged”, she would love her grandmothers engagement ring. I thought this would be a good idea but wanted something from my own family too. So I grabbed my brother and a future groomsman, and flew home from Hong Kong to the Arahura, a sacred river in the South Island of New Zealand, where pounamu (greenstone) is formed and found in the wild. Pounamu is rare in New Zealand, and they say, “you don’t find it, it finds you.” We firstly visited the guardian of the river, a 70-year-old woman, to ask for her blessing, and fortunately, she gave it to us – even though there is very little pounamu left. After three days of hiking up into the mountains to the source of the river, we had no luck and were cold and very dejected. The local guardian of the river came to help, prayed for us and guided us on the lower echelons of the river – ultimately discovering the piece. Her husband then cut it into pieces, and I brought it back to Hong Kong where a piece was then forged into a silver necklace, with other pieces claimed on the journey set aside for their children. I had documented the entire process on video and made a video for Mandy. I then proposed to her at a Ball in Hong Kong – in a private room – but with her friends aware and waiting in the wings to come and celebrate.”

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For Mandy & Hone the inspiration behind their wedding was simple; ”having the people we love together for three days on one site.” They chose to hold their wedding at Lacewood, an old estate in Martinborough, a famous wine region, an hour north of Hone’s hometown of Wellington in New Zealand. Lacewood had a noble history of an ancient bond between the indigenous Maori (of which Hone is) and the Scottish settlers who arrived in New Zealand in the mid 1800s (Hone’s mother was born and raised in Scotland). To this day, it is the only private estate where a Maori chief and a European settler are buried side by side. The original barn still exists, and the new owners gutted it, transforming it into a rustic venue for 200 guests.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: My dress was picked from trying just seven on. I have always admired Jenny Packham and her beautiful designs. When trying on dresses with my mum and sister in Sydney I tried on a few and felt uncomfortable. I then tried on two of Jenny Packhams and could have worn either. Her dresses are elegant yet comfortable. I am not a traditional girl so this dresses suited me!

Favourite detail of the day: We searched for weeks to find a picture of each of our guests with us at some stage of our lives – whether it be as babies together, birthdays, school photos, rugby field – the more dated and intimate the better. We then printed out the photos and wrote on each of them – describing how they have influenced our lives. These were placed at their place settings for them to encounter as they sat down. With 180 guests, we envisioned it to be a daunting task, but it was a pleasure to revisit relationships and reacquaint ourselves with old friends and family. 

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What advise would you give out to a couple planning their wedding? Nothing can go wrong. Rain, wrong dress, drunk guests – none of this matters. The love that exudes from your guests overcomes anything that you think maybe wrong. Little things on our day definitely didn’t go to plan but nobody notices – not even us. Also – get a wedding planner! Our planner, Paula Bevege, was nothing short of a miracle worker who put us at absolute ease at every turn.

Most memorable moment? The speeches. It is when it dawned on us how much we were loved, and how we were both supported by the right people on both sides. We laughed and cried the whole way through them – with standing ovations and a haka for good measure!

Anything other details that help tell the story of your day: We had our Kapa Haka group (a Maori performing arts group) in Hong Kong fly with us to NZ and sing all of our guests into their seats – as the guests sit down and see the photos that we have printed out for them. The Kapa Haka group is an extension of our family here in Hong Kong, and Mandy and I sang Maori songs with them after all five speakers. Our last song, a song about love being the water of eternal life, was when time literally stood still. 

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Photographer | Larissa Warren, Videographer | Jono Tucker, Cake | Jeanette Drummond,
Florist | Horrobin and Hodge, Stationery | H2 Cards Wachai Hong Kong, Venue | Lacewood, Dress Designer | Jenny Packham
Shoes | Vickies, Jewellery | Jenny Packham hair piece, Hair | Siobhan Jephsen, Make-up | Maggie Watts
Bridesmaids Dresses & Grooms’ attire | Designed by Alice Holm, made by Stephanie at Lark Tailors, Shenzhen, China,
Planner | Paula Bevege, Stylist | Anna Roberts, Caterer | Blue Carrot, Beverages | Andrew Williams of Upstream Hospo

Spring Bridal Shower ideas by Marzipan Wedding

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What could be nicer than getting together with your favourite girlfriends and celebrating your impending marriage surrounding by beautiful blooms and a some creative projects to share? That was the concept Marzipan Wedding Studio created with this shoot captured by Karina Savina. “We strived to create an easy atmosphere of early spring to highlight the beauty of the moment when the bride is getting ready to become a wife. Just like a bud ready to bloom. We’ve decorated our space with branches coming from the ceiling with the buds of flowers and leaves.

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Concept, decor and floral arrangement | Marzipan Wedding Studio, Photography by Karina Savina
Hair & Make-up | Elstile, Location | ARENA Photo-studio, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

California wedding by Romabea Images

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Beatrice from Romabea Images is truly one of the sweetest people I’ve met online through the blog and magazine, therefore I delighted to feature her work in the current issue of Magnolia Rouge Magazine.

Diablo Dormido, an historic Californian Ranch nestled into the Oak-studded hills of the Santa Monica Mountains, offered Adelina & Blake the simple, down to earth wedding celebration they sought. Getting married outdoors was a big attraction, so the sweeping views of majestic parkland and glorious oak trees to wed beneath provided them an unrivaled intimacy and privacy.

The couple sourced vintage soda boxes from local flea markets for their centrepieces, and re-finished them by hand. They were then filled with white blooms including roses, lisianthus and peonies.

When it came to choosing her dress Adeline had a hard time finding ‘the one’, but finally decided on a delicate lace dress. That was until it was time to show her parents and before they arrived at the boutique, had a complete change of heart and settled on something more simple and fun. Once a friend made her a belt to add to it, she had her perfect dress.

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Photography | RomaBea Images, Videographer | Ning Wong, Florals | Happy Flowers, Cake | Sweet and Saucy
Stationery | Bright Room Studios, Venue | Diablo Dormido, Hair | Audrey Rae, Make-up | Sabrina Mae, Bride’s Gown | Jim Hjelm
Shoes | Toms, Planner | Orange Dove Events, Jewellery | Inherited family jewelry, Groom’s attire | Klein Epstein & Parker
Bridesmaids Dresses | Adrianna Papell, Caterer | Kitchen 12k

Autumn Inspiration by Esther & Gabe

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The colours of autumn truly are Mother Nature at her best! Esther & Gabe from Bell Studio made the most of this magical season with this young couple who wanted a ‘love shoot’. With the woodsy setting and an apple orchard it reminded them of the time of year they first met.

 

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Photography | Esther & Gabe of Bell Studio, Bouquet and headpiece | Floralili, Coordinator | Szelencees Kuvo, Dress | Zara

 

Provence wedding by Xavier Navarro

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I had to pick my jaw up off the ground the first time I laid eyes on this wedding by Xavier Navarro! I mean it’s seriously swoonworthy – and trust me that is not a word I’m prompted to use often at all! If I didn’t know any better I’d say I was featuring the wedding of hollywood superstars… I mean these two and their gorgeous wedding are just insanely gorgeous! You can also see this feature in the current issue of Magnolia Rouge Magazine.

For Elizabeth and Michael their wedding was about much more than just themselves. They focused on the love that transported family and friends across an ocean to celebrate with them in the breathtaking surroundings of Provence in the South of France, in the process creating life-long memories. The bride says “Provence is one of my favourite places on earth and once you arrive, it begs you to leave all other worries behind and embrace the beauty of the landscape and present moment. Chateau de Massillan was simply a dream – perfectly elegant and magical and had a very odd way of making you feel as if you always belonged there“.

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“Fashion has always been a strong part of who I am so the dress was an important dream of mine. I wanted a dress I could breathe in, for starters, where I could spend all hours of the night dancing and live each moment of the wedding day fully! I found the J. Mendel dress at Bergdorf Goodman with my mother and sister. I loved its’ simple elegance with a twist of something different – when I tried it on and turned around to find my mom and sister in tears, I knew it was the one.”

During the ceremony, Michael and I turned around to see all of our loved ones in the congregation, under the beautiful plane trees with a soft wind blowing and the beautiful Chateau in the background. It was so special!”

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Photography | Xavier Navarro, Cinematography | Imagin, Stationery | The Paper Chase, Florals | Blandine Viry, Bride’s gown | J.Mendel, Venue | Chateau de Massillan; Uchaux, France, Bride’s shoes | Alexander Wang, Cake | Chateau de Massillan (Piece Montee), Bridesmaids’ dresses | Bella Bridesmaids, Planner | Lucy Till

 

Remote Scottish Wedding by Emma Case

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A wedding on the remote west coast of Scotland sounds like a recipe for an amazing celebration. If you haven’t travelled to this part of the world, it’s a ruggedly handsome landscape with a very special and sacred feeling to it. Emma Case travelled from her home in the south of England to capture this gorgeous wedding. And speaking of travelling, Emma and her husband Pete are heading down to New Zealand to spend the summer here and are taking bookings from November to February… um yes that’s darn pretty exciting for all you couples still on the lookout for a photographer. Get in quick before they book up!

Jessica & Nick wanted a personal wedding with a small guest list, with everyone attending being someone who meant a lot to them. To their delight they managed to convince all their nearest and dearest to travel from all corners to this very remote love nest on the west coast of Scotland. Jessica says “This worked far better than I could have imagined as everyone stayed for the whole weekend and it became more of a holiday. Crear itself is really magical and is marketed as a ‘space to create’. This was really important to us as we were very keen to be able to take over the venue and decorate with our handmade touches such as the colourful napkins that I made, or my mum’s bunting.”

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How and/or where did you meet? Nicky and I met nine years ago at Dundee University where we were both studying medicine. We were very good friends for the first year, and then right at the end of the year he made his move… and the rest as they say, is history.

Tell us about your proposal: We were visiting friends and their children in Dundee, and just before we were heading to the train station back home we decided to walk around the university buildings for old time sake. He stopped me outside one of the buildings, which happened to be were we first met, got down on one knee and said lots of lovely things before asking me if I’d become his wife.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I had always maintained that I would find a bargain dress in a charity shop, as I have never been one to spend excessive amounts on my clothing. My mum and I went scouring the charity shops in her hometown and nestled amongst the handful of dresses in the shop was a beautiful raw silk and lace dress. It was really lovely – but needed lengthening as the skirt was too short, and was quite tight like a pencil skirt. I took it to a wedding dress alteration lady in London, and she managed to transform the skirt so that it was flowing and long. I was just so happy with the dress on the day as I was very comfortable and I felt so elegant, and very lucky to have found it. 

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Describe your wedding flowers: Mel from Crear flowers was fantastic and really captured the relaxed, wildflower look we wanted, and there were lots of peonies (swoon!). I also have to mention my fantastic family members who lovingly decorated the willow arch outside the church with flowers helpfully supplied by Mel.

Favourite detail of the day: I loved that Nicky was wearing an off-cut from my wedding dress as his tie. It looked perfect and I loved that no one knew.

What advise would you give out to a couple planning their wedding? Just go with what you want, and what you feel expresses your relationship. At the end of the day if the two of you are happy that will spread to everyone else there. Definitely rope people in to help with the wedding. It makes them feel more a part of it and handmade things are always more special and personalised.

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Most memorable moment? Golly this is actually very difficult as the day was made up of so many fantastic moments. I will always treasure going back outside after the meal to get a few wedding snaps in with Emma and Pete (of Emma Case Photography). We had a really lovely walk and chat on the beach before rejoining the wedding party for some seriously fun ceilidhing.

Anything other details that help tell the story of your day: I have to mention my photographer Emma Case and her husband Pete. They were so fantastic, as soon as they arrived I felt that we were old friends. They seamlessly managed to take photos, make us laugh, and contribute to the overall atmosphere. We were blown away when we received our pictures, they managed to create such wonderful photos that really captured the emotion and happiness. 

Photographer | Emma Case Photography, Cake | Bride’s Mum, Florist | Mel at Crear Weddings, Stationery | Hand made by Bride, Ceremony Venue | South Knapdale Parish Church, Reception Venue | Crear, Dress Designer | Vintage, Jewellery | Family pieces, Bridesmaids Dresses | Phase Eight, Grooms’ Attire | Suit by Canali, tie was an off cut of the wedding dress