Category Archives: Real Wedding

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

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

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

Abbeville Estate Wedding by Anne Paar

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I love how different these bridesmaids outfits are… such a cute and fun pop of colour! Just confirms you absolutely don’t need to source from traditional ‘bridal’ places. The bride ordered these Oasis dresses from Asos. Thanks to the lovely Anne Paar for sending this beautiful Abbeville Estate wedding our way!!

Jamie and I have been together for 12 years – we started dating when I was 15 and he was 17! Jamie proposed in January 2013 on a secluded beach in Koh Samui (we were in Thailand celebrating Jamie’s parents’ 30th wedding anniversary and after the proposal my parents surprised me by flying to Thailand for a combined family holiday!).  We decided early on that we wanted a truly personalised wedding held in one location full of fun, love, colour and acknowledgment of the strength of our relationship and the family and friends who have supported us throughout.  Our venue – Abbeville Estate – was perfect for this with its beautifully restored church, homestead and barn all on one site.  

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Our intimate ceremony was held in the little church (our lovely celebrant was a childhood acquaintance of mine) followed by drinks and canapes on the lawn, reception in the homestead and party in the barn.  I wore a gorgeous two piece v-neck and v-back ivory gown – a charmeuse slip beneath a heavy lace overlay with a subtle silver thread running through it – which I instantly fell in love with upon trying it on!  My bridesmaids wore floaty cream dresses with a floral print in similar colours to our flowers.  Jamie wanted a ‘statement’ bow tie to wear with his three piece light grey suit so my amazing mum made a red and white chevron self-tie bow tie for him and stripy bow ties in light peach for the groomsmen.  Our flowers were our big POP of colour – the bouquets had large dahlias, roses, silk peonies and other in-season blooms in shades of red, coral, pink, peach and yellow with dusty miller and other greenery all tied with twine and the boys’ buttonholes complemented their bow ties.

Our reception was a real highlight.  The tables were beautifully decorated with chevron table runners that we made and bright flowers in bottles and jars (that we spent hours de-labelling) in our summer colour palette.  There were lots of kind and love-filled words during the speeches including an original poem by my dad and original song by Jamie’s dad, which he sang accompanied by his guitar. Following the reception we partied the night away in the barn carnival-style!  The boys had decorated the barn the day before with strings of festoon lights and 130 meters of bunting (all handmade by my mum, grandma, a family friend, the bridesmaids and I) and, together with a candy bar, candy floss machine and photobooth, our barn party made for an epic end to our day.

We could not be happier with how the whole day come together, and with our fabulous vendors, and are looking forward to the next 12 years (and beyond)!

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Photography | Anne Paar Photography, Dress | Allure Bridals from Felicitys Bridal, Shoes | Jeffrey Campbell Shoes, Bridesmaids’ dresses | Oasis through asos.com, Groomsmen’s suits | Crown Tailors, Bangkok, Hair | Mia Carrie at Essex Hairdressing (styledbymia), Make up | Elise Wilson Hair & Makeup with assistance from Chrisè Page Johnson, Flowers | Flowers by Anna Carrie, Venue | Abbeville Estate, Catering | The Great Catering Company, Cake | Cockle Bay Bake Shop, Celebrant | Laura Giddey, Stationery | Groom, Photobooth | Little Black Photobooth, Hireage of table numbers | When Squirrel Met Bear

Vancouver Island Farm Wedding by Sherri Koop

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It’s amazing how inspiration for your day can come from one single item. In Sonja’s case it was the Claire Pettibone gown she fell in love with. As she explains further below, she instantly knew it was ‘the one’ and it was from this their ‘day in the French countryside’ (albeit in Canada) wedding was borne. The couple married at the groom’s parents farm on Vancouver Island. With a beautiful old barn – complete with mint green roof – it offered them the perfect venue for the relaxed, intimate gathering they had hoped for. After searching far and wide, they were thrilled with Jarrett’s father suggested the use of their barn and fields, especially as the bride had dreamt of a pretty barn wedding since she was a child. After a great deal of effort from lots of friends and family the barn had an overhaul and was ready for their big day.

Thanks to Sherri Koop for sending this beautiful wedding our way!!

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How and/or where did you meet? We have both been big into photography for years and around the same time as each other we decided to go to photography school in Vancouver. We met in March 2010 on the first day of class…my alarm had not gone off that morning and I was an hour late for the first day. So Jarrett got a good glimpse into who I am right away with that! (when we started dating a few months later he took to calling me in the morning to make sure I was up and going to make it to class on time). At school we found that we worked really well together during shoots and we’d hang out a little bit on our own socially, but dating wasn’t on either of our minds at that point. It was a bit of a surprise to both of use when a romance developed, but it ended up being just the sweetest thing and such a gift for both of us. One of our classmates called it, though, within the first week of school. I don’t know how she knew, but she knew it was gonna happen with us.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I think I found a pin on Pinterest to the designer Claire Pettibone really soon after Jarrett’s proposal and while poking around on her site I saw a picture from one of her runway shows of a model in her Provence gown. That was it for me. I was done. I knew that was the dress. It was so different than anything I had ever seen before… I loved that it was cotton with a print! And had velvet patches and gold-threaded lace detailing. And the bustle. Oh my goodness, the bustle. I found a wonderful dress shop in Seattle that represented Claire and was so glad that I liked how how the gown looked when I got to try on the sample…it clearly put out of mind any other dress I’d tried on. That gown inspired the whole look and feel of our day…elegant yet easy-going, and, like the name of the gown suggests, a day in the French countryside!

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Describe your wedding flowers: Going with our French countryside theme, lavender played a big role in our flowers. We had our bridesmaids carry simple bundles of it, while my bouquet and the men’s boutennieres were slightly embellished with pieces of eucalyptus. We  wanted our flowers to seem like we had just gone out that morning and picked them fresh from the field, so the rest of the flowers we used on the tables and in the décor were mixes of hydrangea, baby’s breath, and other simple flowers. Each centrepiece was different, held in a variety of old tarnished silver teapots, serving vessels and antique wooden boxes that we collected and borrowed.

Favourite detail of the day: Hard to choose, but if have to pick I would go with a very practical detail and say the luxury portable washrooms with flush toilets that we rented. The farm property had no facilities whatsoever and the last thing I wanted was for our female guests to have to squeeze into one of those cramped, dark and often smelly porta-potty units while decked out in their finery. The first thing I booked for the wedding was a trailer washroom unit, complete with water, flush toilets, mirrors and not necessary but fun – a TV and DVD player. Our guests were so thrilled they didn’t have to rough it in their fancy dress clothes! It was one of the things I was actually most excited about for our wedding too… and I was so busy  that day I actually didn’t even get to use them once!  

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Most memorable moment? Hands down we both agree it was dancing with the live band, SideOne, at the reception, especially during our first dance where they performed Patti Griffin’s “Heavenly Day” and later when everyone joined in on the dance floor for a rousing version of The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey”. Patti’s song just described our whole day and our emotions so perfectly and it was incredibly special to have that moment together on the dance floor. During the Lumineers’ song there was just this huge sense of celebration and community! Foot stomping and hooting and hollering…. it’s a good thing we reinforced the barn floors! One of our favourite moments, absolutely.

 Anything other details that help tell the story of your day: One tradition that is a part of both of our families is pitching in and helping one another, and it was really neat to see this tradition practiced big time leading up to the wedding. Without it, the day as it was would not have happened. Jarrett’s parents would be up at the barn helping us on the weekends to power wash and sweep out the barn, mow and reseed the fields, and clear the barn out of all it had been storing for years. My sister-in-law helped with the DIYs before the rest of my bridemaids arrived in town and could pitch in. And when my family arrived the week before the wedding they were tireless, along with the bridal party, in helping us set up the decorations, plant trees on the property and run any errand that was needed. We both come from families that care about their members so much and who will do anything in a pinch to help. The wedding really was a way for both families to practice this tradition together, and having our families come together was one of the best things about that whole day.

Photographer | Sherri Koop Photography, Cake | Last CrumbFlorist | Long Lake Nurseries & Cowican Valley Lavender, Stationery | Shine Wedding InvitationsVenue | Dawson Farm, private venue, Dress Designer | Claire Pettibone
Shoes | Coach, Jewellery |  personal family heirlooms, Hair | Cutting Room Creative, Make up | Jessica Churcher
Bridesmaids Dresses | their own, Grooms Attire | Le Chateau, Coordinator | Filosophi, Caterer | Galloping Gourmet
Decor Rentals | Everything Old & Triplet Party