Inspired by fur, feathers and forest, today’s magical wedding took place in a quaint church and 300 hectares of Wairarapa native bush (amazing!), with plenty of unique personal touches celebrating the couples Scottish and Welsh heritage. Captured beautifully by the always awesome David Le, there is plenty of inspiration here for all brides to be, including gorgeous white and greenery reception details that prove that less is more! Enjoy xox
Who Jessica + Chris
Where Waiorongomai All Saints Church + Marquee on private farm property
How did your love story begin…
The way many of our kiwi friends and families love stories begin – at the pub on a Saturday night. It turned out we had many mutual friends yet for some reason had never really crossed paths. My younger sister is engaged to one of Chris’s good mates!
I said Yes…
On an unassuming Thursday evening three days before my birthday after returning from work. Chris was already home which was odd. Our dog Ruby came out to meet me as I arrived and had a note around her neck saying “Will you marry Chris”. I started to cry and say yes before I even saw him kneeling in our living room with a ring he had fashioned out of a twisty tie and a white pebble from our garden. I crossed over the threshold coved in rose petals and he asked the question again, I said yes (again) before he slipped on the homemade ring. We went shopping the following day for the ring, which we both love.
Inspiration for the day…
The property we held our reception on has 300 ha native bush with all sorts of wildlife including quail and wild deer. Fur, feathers and forest. Our Scottish and Welsh Heritage. A magic forest vibe.
“Chris’s very talented sister Morgan helped us design our wedding bands and then made them for us. Morgan also designed our wedding stationary and marquee and outdoor concept which gave the whole event a very cohesive feel. Having someone like Morgan take charge took most of the stress of the detail away from me.”
“Sweetest Devotion by Adele was the song I entered the Church to. It was perfect. My three bridesmaids sang Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love” while we signed the register, this was incredibly moving. We had an excellent bagpiper come to pipe us out of the church to “Skye Boat Song” which was a nod to Chris’s family heritage.
Our dog Ruby was the ring bearer and my little nieces and nephew presented me with wooden Welsh Love Spoons after the ceremony that had been brought over especially by my cousin from Wales. Some Welsh tartan was also made into a garter and bows for my shoes.
I wore my grandmothers earrings and my veil and belt were borrowed from my friend who was supposed to be in my bridal party but had her second chemo round on the day of the wedding. She and her husband made it in time for the ceremony and she did the most amazing speech at the reception. Having them there was truely magic.”
I bought my dress straight off the rack and had it altered. It was actually even cheaper as it was the last of its type as the fabric was no longer available, further to this a previous customers child had run a push chair over the edge of the train and left a mark. Once alterations were completed you would never have known.
Chris’s mum made our three wedding cakes Fruit Cake, Chocolate Guinness Cake and Carrot Cake which doubled as dessert. They were presented on an amazing cake stand that my father-in-law constructed based on an idea I had.
We kept flowers minimal and used talented friends and family to create all the bouquets and table/church/marquee decorations largely from greenery we had on hand in our own gardens and on farm. Flowers we did use were purchased through wholesalers rather than florists, about $100 worth which we didn’t even end up using all of. Marquee decorations were gathered and created by family and friends.
We had an outstanding caterer who allowed us to source our own meat including paua, crayfish, venison, beef and lamb.
Our silver, glass decanters and candle stick decorations were either recycled from my sister’s wedding or bought cheap ($2-$3 a piece) by my mum over the course of the year at second-hand shops. I had some amazing ladies from my local farm discussion group and some younger cousins run the bar – they did an incredible job for us and saved us a lot in wages.
We made sure we had excellent and generous food and top shelf photographer and videographer. We were not going to get a videographer initially but decided it was something we wanted to have to look at down the track. We also purchased reasonable quality wine on recommendation when it was on special through the Black Market website. I spent money on fairy & seed lights, fairy berry balls and confetti cannons to add to the atmosphere. This was a “luxury” spend but added to the magical forest feel on the night. My sister also created a guest care kit to put near the loos with mints, chewing gum, deodorant, panadol etc to keep guests fresh and comfortable.
If I could do anything differently…
I would have gone with a different hire company for the marquee package and set up. The company we used was not local but were cheaper. We got what we paid for and ended up having to clean the marquee walls and table and chairs before using them as they were very dirty. The silks were not clean and were poorly hung and many of the lights we were given needed new bulbs. The porta-loos supplied had no lighting! The sales pitch did not match the service we received. We also had to wait an extra day for the correct wall panels. The state of the hire gear and inexperience of their crew added a lot of time to our set up and pack down and had we not had some very practical people among our family and friends the end result would not have been anything like what it was. Always go on a recommendation rather than a sales pitch!
Things will go wrong. Don’t panic, focus on solutions not problems. Surround yourself with people you love and trust that will not concern you with trivial admin questions on your wedding day. DELEGATE – Choosing the right bridal party, MCs and ushers will help you with this!
If at the end of the day you and your fiancé are married and you have had fun it is a successful day! Remember that a wedding should be fun and planning it should be fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t worry too much about getting your dress grubby. I know we will get some great photos we will cherish forever as I was happy getting into the sand and grass and sticks (and cow poo) in my dress.
Have a bridal party kit with you at all times during the day in case of headache, hair or dress malfunction, make up crisis, blister etc. It is a long day so some makeup wipes and deodorant may just be the difference.
Put about $2000 in your budget for incidentals – you would be surprised what you end up needing to buy!
Weddings are an emotional time for everyone – be aware of each other’s feelings. Try not to get too fixated on certain things you think you want or need for your wedding day, the more flexible you are the less stressed you will be!
Photographer David Le Design & Photography
Videographer Ben Maurice – Sink or Surface (full film here)
Flowers Friends & Family
Hair Nicole Brown – Beneath the Veil
Makeup & Beauty Latasha Boyce – Alluminus Beauty Therapy + Paige Goodin Changes Medi Spa
Cakes Mother of The Groom
Brides Dress Churchwood Bridal with alterations by Helen Forster Bridal in Wellington. Veil & Belt borrowed. Furs all owned by family.
Bridesmaid Dresses Etcetera Fashion & Bridal in Wanganui
Groom NZ Kilt Company
Ceremony Venue Waiorongomai All Saints Church
Reception Venue Marquee on private farm property
Catering Ant North Catering in Featherston
Rings Morgan Terry Design
Wedding Stationery Morgan Terry Design