Local Love love stories

Jess & Hayden. An Eclectic Wairarapa Wedding by WE DO Photography

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When a creative couple get married you just know the wedding is going to be a goody, but when you add one of my favie photographers We Do Photography into the mix, you know it’s going to be amazing!  I am loving the cultural and eclectic nature of today’s wedding, and all the little details like the mix and match bridesmaid outfits (the bride made the dresses!), the clever diy elements and the food from Blue Carrot Catering (which is making me seriously hungry), make this wedding truly unique. Enjoy!

Photographer We Do Photography | Flowers Juliette Florist | Venue Lacewood Estate | Catering Blue Carrot Catering | Stationery Matt Yee | Signage Handmade by the bride and groom, Hayden Poh and Jess Young | Hair & Makeup Sharyn Butters | Cake The Bride’s mum Joss Young | Celebrant Pam Bailey | Brides Dress Zimmerman | Brides Accessories Mimco | Brides Shoes Tory Burch | Bridesmaids Dresses Made by the Bride, Jess Young | Grooms Suit & Accessories Hallensteins | Rings Partridge Jewellers | Music Joseph Toga

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Who Jess Young and Hayden Poh
Where Lacewood Estate, Martinborough
Guests 160

How did you meet?

We met at a sports tournament in Auckland in 2008, but we didn’t actually get to know each other though until afterwards when we both returned to Wellington.

In three words describe your wedding style… Classic, Vintage, Rustic

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What were your save and splurge items for your wedding?

We splurged on the photographer and the venue as these were both really important to us. The venue is something that sets the scene and theme for the wedding, and I knew when I saw Lacewood Estate that it had the look and ambience I wanted. The photographer was really important as well, as the photos capture the moments of the day, so finding the right Photographer, with the right style, was key for us. Our photographers, WE DO Photography, had the exact style we were after.

Areas we saved on included the wedding dress and also the table settings. For the wedding dress, as I have never been keen on the “typical” bride type dress, I wanted something more classic and subtle. I didn’t even look or visit a bridal shop, and ended up buying a beautiful silk white Zimmerman dress, which cost a lot less than what a typical bridal dress would cost.  Also for the table settings, I got friends and family to gather fresh flowers from their gardens and the day before the wedding about 30 of us got together and arranged the loose flowers into vintage glasses and jars that I had collected from second hand shops.

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What was the most difficult part of planning your wedding? And the most fun?

The most difficult part was making sure all the little details were covered, that nothing was forgotten. Whenever you talked to friends or family or a wedding vendor, they would always remind you of things that you hadn’t thought about. Also, as I wanted an outdoor wedding, it was really difficult to prepare for a plan B should it rain on the day, luckily it didn’t, but we did buy about 30 umbrellas in case it did. And planning the seating chart drove me mental.

I enjoyed creating and designing the different details of the wedding. A number of aspects in our wedding were handmade either by myself (the bride) or by family. It was nice to be able to create things exactly the way you wanted, and it also meant that it became more personal and meaningful. For example our wishing well, and all our chalk boards were made by my brother and cousin, while our cake was made by my mum, so it just meant each of these details became that little bit more special to us.

I also loved choosing my wedding ring, as one of my bridesmaids is a jewellery designer and her father owns the jewellery shop that we got our wedding bands from. It was a really fun afternoon trying on all the different rings in the store, and having my bridesmaid there with all her wisdom and advice was amazing.

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What music did you play for those special moments?

Our walking down the aisle song was Bic Runga’s “When I see you smile”, our signing of the marriage certificate song was John Legend’s “All of me”, our entrance to the reception as husband and wife song was “Time of your life” by Green Day, and then our first dance was “To be with you” by Mr Big.

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Did you have hens/stag nights? If so, what did you do?

Yes, we both had a hens and stag night. The Stag night consisted of a run around at a local gymnasium playing basketball and ultimate Frisbee, followed by paintball. Then drinks and pizza at our house, followed by the groom being made to dress up in a banana outfit and run around town doing random dares.

The hen’s night started with a wine tasting, followed by a show at the Ivy Bar, which involved a Drag Queen Show and games against another hen’s party. And then drinks at an apartment in the city centre.

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Did you DIY? If so, what did you do?

Yes, our wedding had a lot of DIY aspects. I made the Bridesmaids dresses. I chose the colour and the material, but let each of my six bridesmaids choose the style of their dress because I wanted them to be comfortable on the day and have something that they could wear after the wedding as well.

I also made the candle wedding favours. Each guest received a scented white handmade soy candle (there were 10 different scents in total) in a glass jar, with their name hand-printed in gold lettering. I was really happy how the candles turned out and the favours also made a great talking point at the table, as guests tried to guess what scent their candles were.

Other details we made, included all the table runners out of hessian sack, all the candles for the table settings, the coasters that the candles sat upon, and the seating chart board. For the seating board, we found an old painting from a second hand shop, we used the frame from the painting as the frame for our seating plan, and replaced the painting with a board we covered in black chalk paint. We then hand wrote the seating plan with a chalk pen.

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Do you have any money saving tips for engaged couples?

Decide on your budget and actually stick to it, keeping everything in a consolidated spreadsheet will definitely help. Decide on what you want to splurge on i.e. the important things to both of you, and think about what you can save on by doing it yourself, or getting family and friends to help out. At the end of the day, most people don’t notice all the tiny details, as long as there is good food, drink, music and people, then guests will be happy and everyone will enjoy the day.

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Where did you go for your honeymoon?

We went to South America, it’s a place that we have always wanted to go, and thought it would be perfect for our honeymoon. We have recently come back from our honeymoon, and it was the most amazing place, full of lots of beautiful sights and great adventures. Machu Picchu had always been on my bucket list, and it was definitely everything I hoped it would be.

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Photographer We Do Photography
Flowers Juliette Florist
Venue Lacewood Estate
Catering Blue Carrot Catering
Stationery Matt Yee
Signage Handmade by the bride and groom, Hayden Poh and Jess Young
Hair & Makeup Sharyn Butters
Cake The Bride’s mum Joss Young
Celebrant Pam Bailey
Brides Dress Zimmerman
Brides Accessories Mimco
Brides Shoes Tory Burch
Bridesmaids Dresses Made by the Bride, Jess Young
Grooms Suit & Accessories Hallensteins
Rings Partridge Jewellers
Music Joseph Toga


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