This gorgeous lakeside celebration by REBECCA HOLLIS epitomises summer weddings. Held on the surrounding grounds of the bride’s family lake cabin in Spirit Lake, Idaho, it holds special memories the both Kendall & Ari. “This is the place we long for when we are home in Seattle and the place we escape to as often as we can. This is where he proposed to me, in the boat, drifting amongst the water lilies, and this is the place we will always come back to, and eventually bring our children to. It was so meaningful for us to have all of our family and friends gather here to witness our marriage and experience our favorite place on earth. It’s so amazing to be able go back whenever we want visit the place we got married.”
The venue itself was all it took to inspire the look of the wedding. Taking place in the grassy surroundings of an old 1875 log cabin on the lakefront, they incorporated plenty or rustic elements, but ensured it remained beautiful and romantic. Kendall says, “I wanted it to be intimate and comfortable, as well as elegant and memorable. We used beautiful rustic farm tables, puzzle pieced them together in the space, and put the head table right in the middle of it all. The florals incorporated tons of greenery, old, rustic bottle bud vases, garlands, barn wood planter boxes, and gorgeous blooms of ivory, peach, and blush. We gave out Pacific Northwest wildflower seed favors that we hand stamped on brown paper packets. We also gave everyone mason jar mugs that they used for their cocktail glasses for the evening, which doubled as the escort cards as well as name tags for everyone. I got beeswax taper candles for the tables and made wood round table numbers boarded with gold leaf. We also used a beautiful wooden canoe, hand made by a family friend, and filled it with ice to chill the beer and wine.” You can see that so many thoughtful elements came together to create a special day full of lifetime memories.
HOW DID YOU MEET?Ari and I met in college through mutual friends our freshman year. It wasn’t until two years later when he moved into a house with some of my close friends that we started to get to know each other well. We were friends for a while, and at one point, as though we were in middle school, he asked his friend to ask my friend to ask me if I was interested in him. Through the chain, word got back to him that I was not interested… but he kept pursuing me anyways. Eventually, somehow, he won me over and we started dating. I had never met anyone that I could spend infinite time with and never get sick of. He made me laugh and we were just so compatible on some many levels. Once we finally started dating, we fell for each other very quickly. We stayed together while I studied abroad for six months (only three months after we started dating), and we graduated college together. We moved up to Seattle together and started our life here. After six years of dating and four of those living together, Ari finally proposed to me. We were at Spirit Lake and he suggested we go pick some water lilies. They grow all over the lake and whenever we are there, we pick some and keep them in a bowl to enjoy. He was navigating the boat and I was leaning over the edge plucking the lilies out of the water, when he turned the boat off. I turned around to see what he was doing and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS:My dress was right on target with the rustic, romantic lake theme. I wore “Devotion” by Claire Pettibone. People told me I looked like a beautiful lake goddess who had just emerged from the waters. I don’t know how accurate that really is, but I did feel very beautiful and very much like I belonged in the setting. I also had a beautiful green and floral headband that looked fantastic with my dress and my hair. My bridesmaids all wore the same green tea colored floor length dresses but in different styles.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY OF THE DAY?From the bride: This is SO tough. So many amazing memories from this day. I would have to say that one of my favorite memories is getting my dress on and going to see my groom for the first look. All day I had been jittery and anxious and could hardly eat, but the moment I saw Ari I felt this huge sign of relief and immediately felt relaxed and at ease. His reaction to seeing me in my dress was completely unforgettable – he just started crying and telling me how beautiful I was. We had prepared some cute, funny vows to read to each other and it was so amazing to have this moment be so intimate and private. I’m so glad we did it. From the groom: Our whole wedding day was such an amazing and transformative experience. From the very beginning of the day, when I started getting ready, the joy, excitement, and anticipation kept building and building. All this culminated in my favorite memory of the wedding day. This was when I was standing at the alter, and then I saw my beautiful bride walking down the isle to join me. There I was filled with the most wonderful of emotions and complete acceptance and embrace of the union I was about to enter into with the love of my life.
WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO THOSE PLANNING NOW?Get everything you can done as early as possible. If you are doing DIY projects, do them as you think of them so that as the wedding approaches, all you have to do is the small things that come up last minute. It really helped me to space projects out throughout the year, and to buy the things I could get ahead of time (straws, wedding favors, guestbook, etc) far in advance so I didn’t have to worry about them getting shipped in time or anything like that.
Also, really think of your guests. When planning, think about what would make them the most comfortable and get the most enjoyment out of the day. We did things like testing out chairs to see which ones were most comfortable (Chiavari chairs are NOT comfortable), making sure the cocktail, ceremony, and dinner areas would be shaded at the times the guest would be in them, and ensuring that there would be plenty of water and refreshments for everyone. And, I know everyone says it, but your wedding day really does go by so fast and it’s really hard to get time in with all of your guests. My advice is to spend as much time at your own wedding as you possibly can. Take as many photos before the wedding as possibly and stay at your wedding until the very end (we even went out with everyone to a local bar after the wedding because we had to be out of our venue at 10:30). We took all the photos except the big family photos before the wedding and only had to spend about 15 minutes after the ceremony taking photos. We also had a cocktail hour before the ceremony that Ari and I attended. I’m SO glad we did this. It really gave us time to greet everyone as they arrived and it was a nice transition for everyone into the ceremony.
I’m always a little envious of the wedding venues I see in the UK or Europe… I’m sure the same goes for Europeans looking at NZ venues and all the outdoor ones we have, but what we don’t have are beautiful old buildings like this one in Cornwall. BOCONNOC is a historical space called the Stable Yard built in the 18th century and designed by a well known British architect. The space used to house up to 25 horses and the grooms used to live in the cottages within the area. How fun to hold your wedding at a venue with such history!! For Natalie & Anthony it offered them the perfect place to have the informal yet charming country wedding of their dreams and AMY SHORE PHOTOGRAPHY was there to document it all.
THE GARDEN GATE FLOWER COMPANY – talented florists that they are, created florals that were ‘loosely gathered’ and offered the natural look they wanted. And the fact that all their flowers are grown locally on their nearby farm was a nice touch. The bride carried a loosely bouquet of white, cream and pale peach flowers with a darker shot of dusky coral and fresh green foliage fitting her request for texture and scale. The Coach House itself was decorated externally with a garland of evergreen foliage and frothy white flowers, which was dressed over the barn doors and tapered down at the sides.
HOW DID YOU MEET? We met in the arrivals lounge at Alicante airport! We were on our way to a mutual friend’s villa in Spain and Anthony got a different flight to the rest of the group so we met him at the airport.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: Anthony booked a long weekend away in the Lake District to celebrate my qualification as an Architect. Little did I know that he was also planning to pop the question half way up the mountain Scafell!
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I found my dress in the second shop I went to, loved it immediately but thought I should try a few more dresses on before deciding. Nothing else compared though (although the process was fun!) and so I went back to buy it! I didn’t want a ‘traditional’ big wedding dress. I fell in love with this dress because it was slim fitting, an unusual style and was so comfortable to wear – no corsetry in sight!
ANY DIY ELEMENTS? I designed and made all the ‘save the dates’, invites, sign posts and place names for the dining tables. Both our mothers sewed the 150 metres of white bunting which was strung up in between festoon lighting in the room where we had our wedding breakfast. We also enlisted the help of friends and colleagues who collected 300 jam jars for the wedding. These were placed in a circle around the large planter at the centre of the courtyard, and each filled with a tea light – it was very atmospheric at night.
FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: Many but one was the beautiful shawl my bridesmaids gave me – they had embroidered our names, the location and the date of our wedding day.
WHAT ADVISE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING?My top tip is definitely to comb through the finer details in good time before the wedding, but on your actual wedding day, make sure you take off your planning hat and enjoy every second.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? Walking out of the ceremony room as a married couple and being showered in confetti.
ANY OTHER DETAILS THAT TELL THE STORY OF YOUR DAY? We didn’t want a traditional wedding cake. Instead my mum, Anthony’s mum and my aunt each baked a particular cake. My mum baked hundreds of traditional Czech wedding pastries with various toppings (my parents are Czech), Anthony’s mum baked a few of her famous cinnamon cakes and my aunt baked a few flourless chocolate cakes. These were all displayed at the end of the dining room on vintage cake stands.
With the beautiful scenery and landscapes in the Hawkes Bay area of New Zealand, it’s not hard to see what inspired Natasha and Richard when it came to planning their big day. With Te Mata Peak in the background and the Tuki Tuki river there was no need to bother with any additional decor since Mother Nature did a pretty fabulous job! Their wedding took place in the midst of a very hot summer in a magical spot right on the river and they had MADELINE DRUCE there to capture their beautiful day.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: After 8 years of being together keeping secrets from me isn’t the easiest. Anything out of the ordinary I know he is up to something so Richard had to play it cool, not let anything be out of the ordinary, not to mention he was very nervous so had to play it cool. We went away for the weekend to our local beach. I made lunch grabbed a bottle of rose and some beers and we headed down onto the beach. Richard of course had to act his usual self and want to go fishing with the boys so he threw me off the scent completely so he reluctantly agreed to join me. We had the beach to ourselves the sun was shining and there in the picnic bag was the ring. At first I thought I wasn’t meant to see it so kept my mouth shut of course he kept asking me to collect things out of the bag (so yes looking back this part is hilarious it was definitely the elephant in the room). What seemed like an eternity and was probably only 30seconds I couldn’t hold it any longer! It was the only way he could propose but was the most like us, it was perfect!
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: We live in Hawkes Bay so not exactly spoilt for choice for wedding dress shops. Trish Peng was recommended to me by a friend, after one visit I was sold – there was no need to go anywhere else. I saw one of her wedding dresses on the internet and Trish took care of the rest altering it to fit my body. She was an absolute dream to work with, honest but with integrity – nothing was ever a problem.
ANY DIY ELEMENTS? We have very thirsty friends and we see how much wastage there is at weddings with half drunk bottles so Richard stumbled across a picture of a help yourself beer bar. He’s a carpenter by trade and can make anything so he made a beer bar out of recycled wood. We ordered in the beer taps and Heineken keg set up. All the table numbers and signs were old fence batons from the farm. We also did all our invites on paperless post- so easy to use and to track especially for those overseas or travelling as it is all on email and easy to track.
DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: All our flowers were handpicked- it was a perfect time of year for hydrangeas and the antique colours were perfect for our setting. All the flowers were collected by our mums Dot and Gel, family and friends on the morning of our wedding.
FAVOURITE DETAILS OF THE DAY: It is very hard to pin point just one, the details all sort of merge together. Richard and I managed to sneak away during our dinner service for our couple shots and it was nice to just get away just the two of us.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? Anything other details that help tell the story of your day: We wanted a family sharing style catering so we had shared style food, an outdoor Argentinean BBQ, breadboards, and tapas style food. We also had a whiskey and cigar bar which was a hit with the lads.
Photographer MADELINE DRUCE / Cake KATE HARDING / Stationery PAPERLESS POST / Venue BLACK BARN OFFSITE VENUE / Dress Designer TRISH PENG / Shoes MI PIACI / Jewellery WALKER & HALL, GLISTEN + SWAROVSKI / Hair SUZANNE HARDY / Bridesmaids Dresses JULIETTE HOGAN & ASOS / Grooms Attire WORKING STYLE + THOM LE VAR / Caterer KATE LESTER CATERING, EL SIZZLING CHORIZO