Category Archives: Real Wedding

Heartfelt and Nostalgic Oregon Wedding


I have a lovely heartfelt Oregon wedding for you today from OLIVIA ASHTON PHOTOGRAPHY. The inspiration for Stephanie & Neil’s wedding was exactly as it should be, their love, and the idea of bringing two families together into one. The couple focused on how best to represent themselves, and went about creating a romantic, nostalgic atmosphere for their guests – one that also showed off the beautiful Pacific Northwest. They ensured they’d all have a great experience, with a stunning view on offer, excellent drink, food and music and course a thoughtful ceremony.

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HOW DID YOU MEET? Neil and I met when we were both traveling. I was on my own, and Neil was with a couple friends. We both ended up being a part of a grassroots tour that helped organize our travel from Bangkok, Thailand to Singapore. Technically, we met in a small village outside of Bangkok.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: Neil proposed as we were backpacking in the Goat Rocks Wilderness in Washington during the late-summer of 2012. It was kind of wonderful to be so excited, and not be in cell reception to share with anyone else for a couple days.

TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I went to a three different boutiques in Portland- two when my mom was in town, and one with a couple girlfriends. I was at the boutique with my girlfriends when I found my dress. Then I found it on sale from the designer directly! It was a little big, but I worked with a great seamstress to make it my own.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? Olivia snapped a beautiful photo that captures it all for me – it’s the black and white one of Neil and I embracing just after the ceremony. We walked out the aisle together into this wooded cove-like area; a moment away from everyone (the wedding party and all other guests filtered out another way). We were so overwhelmed with emotions at with what just transpired, we just embraced and took it all in. We felt so incredibly loved by each other, and our community that day.

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ANY DIY/BUDGET ELEMENTS: Neil and I chose the venue because we felt that would say so much about what we valued: being outside in a beautiful, mountainous, garden setting. There was natural décor everywhere. Nothing I DIY did could top that, but we attempted to add pieces that would add to the day. These additives were created with the help of the amazing community we have and included; programs we made & a borrowed instamatic camera for guests to photo-document their arrival, all table centerpieces were terrariums hand-made; most succulents for the center pieces were purchased from our local Sunday farmers market; some were from our own garden. 

DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: Succulents! We made our own centerpieces, and gifted flowers to guests as well. We did have bouquets made for my sisters (the “bridesmaids”) and I; as well as flowers for our parents and brothers (the “groomsmen”) to wear. 

FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: My favorite part of the day was our ceremony. We took time to work on it, but also didn’t previously share with each other what exactly we were going to say to each other. Our friend and officiant had a surprise for us too – he surprised us with gifts during the ceremony. When he was recently traveling in Asia, he bought us two Doremon watches, which he had Neil’s little cousin bring up the aisle to us. This watch was the topic of Neil and my very first discussion, when we met in Thailand. His friends were all talking about Neil’s cool, new Doremon watch, and I chimed in across the lunch table we were sharing with my honest opinion: I thought it was stupid. 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Let it be about you. Focus on your most important priorities, and make them happen. The rest will fall into place. 

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Soft Pink Richmond Park, London Wedding


I’m quite excited to feature this wedding in Richmond Park, London as I used to live not far from there, and I even attended a wedding there once. This is such a beautiful part of London and and PEMBROKE LODGE is a lovely spot to celebrate in! Gorgeous bride Heather wore the JENNY PACKHAM ‘Dentelle’ gown that she actually had all picked out before she even met her husband!! A simple chignon bun ensured she looked picture perfect elegant on the day as these gorgeous images by CLAIRE ESTELLE show. Booking Claire was an easy decision for the couple. “She was the one and only photographer we met with. We had intended to meet up with a few photographers but after meeting her, we knew she was the one. I wanted to email her straight away when we got in, but my husband told me play it cool. Not my style, I emailed her that night! We loved her approach to the day. It was fun and relaxed and really captured the day. We couldn’t have chosen a better photographer. Our wedding guests are still raving about how gorgeous the photos are and how nice a photographer she was. We absolutely loved her!

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“My Mom had a very bad fall two weeks before my wedding and we were worried she wouldn’t be able to fly to England from Canada. Having lost my father, my Mother was going to be the one to give me away. Nothing was going to stop to her from that! What made the day so special for me was that she was hardly able to walk, but she put on a brave face, ditched the crutches and walked me down the aisle. 

For our flowers Claire from Love Blooms was absolutely amazing! I basically sent her images and she made them a reality. The flowers were really important to me on the day and I wanted the room to look and smell beautiful. Claire really understood my vision and when I arrived on the day, I was blown away by the amazing job she had done. She’s also one of the happiest and nicest person I’ve ever met! My absolute favourite thing were the table arrangements. We hired candle sticks and did a large round arrangement on the top with roses and hydrangeas. I wanted gorgeous flowers on the table, but didn’t want them to obstruct people from chatting, so the candlesticks were perfect. They were absolutely stunning and just suited the venue and day perfectly! The aisle had jam jars filled with gypsophila tied to the chairs with natural string. So simple and so beautiful.”

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“For jewellery, I wore my grandmother’s pearl earnings, my mother’s pearl bracelet and a single pearl necklace my mother gave me on my wedding day. I wanted very classic and simple jewellery on my day and loved how they were my something old, something new and something borrowed (I had a blue ribbon sewn into my dress for my something blue). I was after a fresh clean look for makeup. I don’t wear a lot of makeup day-to-day, so didn’t want to look unrecognisable on the day. The makeup was done by Panda Makeup and both Pamela and Andrea are amazing and very talented.

Andy groom wore a bright navy 3 piece suit and a crisp white Charles Tyrwhitt shirt. He looked so handsome! I never took my eyes off him once when I was walking down the aisle. 

We wanted the decor to be elegant but with a rustic touch. I went a bit mad ordering off BHLDN website, but I loved absolutely everything! I mean everything! I had ordered these lovely ombre fans from them. I had no idea what the weather would be like, but wanted them either way! They were placed on each chair for the guests. Honestly, it was as though I had known it would be the hottest day of the year. The fans were the most brilliant thing ever and saved everyone from melting!”

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New Zealand School Camp wedding


It’s been a little while since we’ve featured the fabulous work of BENJAMIN & ELISE on the blog, and what better return than with this gorgeously fun school camp wedding of Leila & Jonny’s. These guys put so much time and love into making their dream day look like this – from having ‘crafty Tuesdays’ with their friends creating things, to Jonny and his Dad making the tables for the reception! I love that their MC – one of their closest friends – embraced the whole ‘school camp’ locality and turned up dressed as camp leader complete with socks, sandals and a clipboard and ensured all the ‘students’ were aware of the camp rules! Leila is wearing a gorgeous gown from one of our favourite designers RUE DE SEINE.

We wanted our wedding to be a celebration, not only of the two of us, but of all the people who fill our lives with love. Both of us grew up in the countryside surrounded in green fields and blue skies and we wanted this to be reflected in the location. With this in mind we decided to hunt down an old school camp that we could call home for a few days. With cabins onsite for people could stay in, a beautiful grove of trees by a river to say “I do” under, an elevated field overlooking the paddocks – perfect for an outdoor dance floor – and a lovely old hall to feast in, we found the perfect spot in Hunua Falls, near where Jonny grew up. Laughter is also a massive part of who we are, so we wanted to make sure that there were smiles all round. We tried to bring in  little tongue in cheek twists on the signs throughout the cabins, the hall and throughout the invitations. We also found an amazing celebrant called Yvette. She is all around awesome and made the ceremony perfect. It was the perfect balance laughter and more laughter!

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL? Jonny proposed on the cliff tops of Uluwatu in Bali. When we first started dating Jonny was living in Bali so this is a place that is very special to us and one that we have spent many great memories. Over the last few years we have lived in Australia, Jonny part-time in Indonesia and now New Zealand. Although it was hard at times being away from each other in different countries it also made our relationship stronger as the time we did have together was really precious. Now that we are both living in New Zealand we can really appreciate seeing each other everyday. Well most days! We both have the same sense of humour so laughter is the key. 

TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS? My dress is from New Zealand label Rue De Seine. I was really unsure of what I wanted for my dress. I had been to a few shops and felt really lost, but once I walked into Rue De Siene it felt really special. With such a beautiful mix of vintage pieces and their own lovely collection it was easy to find a dress that I loved. The beautiful vintage lace used for the bodice already feels like an heirloom piece to hand down.

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ANY BUDGET OR DIY ELEMENTS? I grew up in an extremely creative family and have always loved making things. So when it came to our wedding day I was super excited to be given the chance to create the celebration of a life time! We made nearly everything ourselves or with the help of our wonderful friends and families. Jonny, his father and his friends made all of the wooden tables for the reception – definitely a bigger undertaking than originally thought! Every Tuesday night became Tassle Tuesday’s – dinner and wine with friends, scissors, paper and craft glue. Our lovely friend Chris Geoff made all of the hanging beams of lights that hung over the tables. We made white bunting for the fences outside, gold bunting for the roof inside, and coloured tassels for the outdoor dance floor. There were welcome banners for the entrance, outdoor signs made by my Dad, and lighthearted signs in all of the cabins. Needless to say Jonny is now very glad to have his evenings free from “crafting’!! Haha All of our beautiful cakes were also made by our loved ones – they were certainly a MASSIVE hit on the day with big debates ensuing over which flavour was the best.

FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: Seeing how happy everyone was. Being surrounded by smiles and love from all the people that you hold dear. It was an amazing feeling!

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Photographer BENJAMIN & ELISE / Cake FRIENDS & FAMILY / ‘Lovers’ cake topper FROM THE OWL / Stag & Deer Ceramic Cake Topper MELABO WED / Florist LIBBY YOUNG / Stationery BRIDE & HER SISTER / Venue HUNUA FALLS CAMP FOREST / Bride’s gown RUE DE SEINE / Shoes MOOCHI / Hair piece THE WOLF CUB / Jewellery KAREN WALKER and MEADOWLARK / Hair PAM GRIBBLE / Make up FRECKLES & BLUSH / Bridesmaids Dresses LEANNE DAY / Grooms Attire CUSTOM MADE / Bowties TOPMAN / Caterer SAUCE CATERING / Rings NAVEYA AND SLOANE / Dressing Gowns SILK AND MORE / Music CONNOR NESTOR / Celebrant YVETTE REID
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