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Queenstown Hilltop Wedding with a Festival Vibe

“Kate & Tom’s wedding day was chilled, simple and beautiful. The venue, NZ high Country is a stunning venue tucked up in the remarkable Queenstown mountains. The wedding had a festival feel with all the colours from the wild flowers, the lace on the tables and the dream catchers hanging from the roof. A day where everyone could play games, eat, drink and dance the night away.” – Carla Mitchell Photography

Who Kate + Tom Severn
Where NZ High Country – Queenstown, New Zealand
Number of Guests 130

Our love story began…

Back in 2011 – We met through mutual friends at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in Auckland. Which is strange as I am not much of a rugby fan and Tom was with all his rugby team mates but we hit if off straight away – We spent a few months keeping in touch as I lived in Invercargill and he was in Auckland. Then I made the move up to Auckland and the rest is they say is history! We were even lucky enough to be together in London for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and we are planning on making it our ‘thing’ heading to Japan in 2019. I guess now I am a rugby fan!

I said yes…

Tom had been putting me off the wedding/engagement scent as we had just got back from our OE, bought our first home and I was trying to start a business so we were keen to take it easy for a while. We had planned a trip up to Queenstown for the long weekend which we are lucky enough to do often so I didn’t think much of it.

We were driving along the devils staircase talking about our travels and how it was summer in Europe and everyone was taking all these beautiful photos of beaches and sun. Tom suggested we stop to take a selfie in front of Lake Wakatipu and the snow capped mountains to try and make our travelling friends jealous.

We pulled over jumped a few fences and stood in front of the amazing scenery. We took a few selfies then Tom dropped to his knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes before he showed me my beautiful ring. He then said the most beautiful poem that he had wrote for me – I felt very special!

Our wedding style inspiration was…

Our wedding was us to a T! We planned our wedding not only about our love and commitment but about everyone that was there. We really just wanted everyone to have a great time and to bring everyone together. It was chilled, simple and beautiful. The venue was a great starting point as to what our style would be.

We used the stunning Queenstown scenery as much as we could and I thought about what colours would go with the colours in the landscape. I wanted a slight festival feel with all the colours from the wild flowers, the lace on the tables and the dream catchers hanging from the roof. Just a day where everyone could play games, eat, drink and dance the night away. Queenstown was important to us as we have spent some time up there exploring and relaxing, Tom also proposed to me on side of Lake Wakatipu, so we really wanted everyone to come and enjoy it as much as we do.

We saved by…

Using our surroundings! Queenstown is an amazing spot so I didn’t want too much getting in the way of it! We kept it pretty simple – We did a lot of DIY – Tom is amazing at building things so he made the huge love sign out of pellets, the tipi and the wooden frames which I hung the flower jars and dream catchers off. It was a bit of an effort bringing them up from Invercargill but we made it work!

I wanted it to be pretty natural – we got our jars from second hand shops and used a lot of things that were available from our wedding venue – NZ High Country. I didn’t really have a theme in mind so just went with things that I saw and liked and brought them together. Also using my talented friends also saved us a lot – the beautiful wedding cake, our bouquets and signage/stationery they were perfect! My family and wedding party all chipped in to help set up and decorate the venue.

We splurged on…

The big ticket items – Venue, Caterer and Entertainment. We wanted the guests to really enjoy themselves and to have a fantastic time. I love the layout of NZ High Country as the ceremony was in one spot and the reception in another so you get two different views of Queenstown’s landscape. Food is a big deal to us so it had to be amazing! – Dad even added a third meat just before the day to make sure everyone was well feed. LA Social always knows how to bring the house down – so we knew we were in good hands to cut shapes on the dance floor all night long.

Our advice for engaged couples

Get the big things done early – caterer, photographer, venue etc and then you have time to enjoy being engaged before the few months before the wedding when things start to step up! Don’t make it complicated – my Dad always said its about the love between you and your partner not about what you’re wearing, or how you have dressed the tables. Enjoy the journey together – keep a wedding planning journal, write lists, prioritise don’t try and do everything in one day, use the people around you that want to help. One thing I am glad Tom and I did on our wedding day was, we stepped outside together just the two of us, just after the first dance and we reflected on the day that 5 minutes of us time was special as we caught our breath and just talked about how amazing it all is!


Photographer + Photo booth hire Carla Mitchell Photography
Bouquets + Flowers at the venue Bridesmaids – Erin + Nicole
Flower crowns, Button holes + Corsages Orange Blossom Designs
Venue NZ High Country
Catering Mash Catering
Stationery + Signage Shave Photography & Design
Hair + Makeup Blush
Brides Dress Made With Love
Brides Accessories + Shoes Siren Shoes
Brides Earrings Zoe & Morgan
Bridesmaid London purchases
Grooms Suit + Accessories Hallenstein Brothers
Rings Meadowlark Jewellery
Music LA Social

A Spectacular Rustic Chic Queenstown Wedding

Central Otago has long been a favourite wedding destination in NZ, and it’s not hard to see why! Today’s Queenstown wedding is simply spectacular, from the breathtaking mountain-top images (respect to the bride Janina who managed to look stunning and happy in what would have been freezing temperatures!), to the rustic and insanely romantic reception venue Stoneridge Estate. So many gorgeous details that will no doubt inspire many lovebirds to fly south for their shindig, and all perfectly captured by my newest photography crush, Kate Drennan. Enjoy! xox

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Who Johan & Janina Olivier
Where Stoneridge Estate, Lake Hayes, Queenstown, NZ
Guests 60

How did you meet? At work which was a hyperbaric unit.

In three words describe your wedding style… Rustic but chic.

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What music did you play for those special moments?

Down the aisle Eve by Lewis Mokler (an up and coming artist from the UK)
First dance Lego House by Ed Sheeran
Father/daughter dance I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack

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What were the save and splurge items for your wedding?

Save Wedding car.
Splurge Venue and food and drink.

What was the most difficult part of planning your wedding?

The timings for the day/run sheet. And the most fun? Getting our outfits sorted.

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Do you have any money saving tips for engaged couples?

Work more! And save as far ahead of time as you can, even if you don’t know what your budget is going to be yet.

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Photographer Kate Drennan Photography
Flowers The Flower Room
Venue & Catering Stoneridge Estate
Stationery & Signage Stoneridge Estate
Makeup Muse Makeup & Hair
Hair Amber Brinsdon Hair
Cake Raeward Fresh Queenstown
Pastor Andrew Waples of Queenstown
Brides Dress Janice Webster
Accessories Samantha Wills, Great Grandmother’s ring and Nana’s ring.
Shoes Trousseau Bridal Shoes
Bridesmaids Dresses Janice Webster
Grooms Suit & Accessories Suits on BroadwayMerchant
Rings Louis the Goldsmith