Today’s lovebirds Hana and Aidan chose to tie the knot in one of my favourite parts of New Zealand, the beautiful and historic town of Russell in the Bay of Islands. What a beautiful spot, and what a beautiful wedding! Filled with pretty pops of blue & purple, and featuring a stunning vintage chic reception setup at The Duke of Marlborough, this elegant summer wedding will have you moving your wedding north for sure! A big congrats to the super sweet couple and thank you to the talented (and oh so lovely) Olga from Levien & Lens Photograhy. xox
Our love story began…
The old fashion way, on a blind date. Single and with a plus one to my Uncle’s wedding I was set up on a blind date with Aidan through mutual friends. We met the morning of before setting out on the ferry to Waiheke for the weekend, with a few rums under our belts and pirate courage we hit it off. Aidan charmed his way through meeting half my family in one night before wooing me on the dance floor and cheering me on as I caught the bouquet.
I said yes…
In the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, wearing one fashionable red poncho in the misty rain. Aidan organised my time off work and surprised me with a weekend away in Queenstown. With a car hired we took the most beautiful 5 hour drive to the Marlborough Sounds, as we arrived we took a walk along the waters edge to a secluded little platform, he dropped a knee and made me the happiest woman alive.
Our wedding inspiration was…
We were completely inspired by our venues, and the intention to have one hell of a good time alongside our friends and family. We decorated the heritage gardens with love quote signs made using recycled weatherboards and fencing from Aidan’s parents property and calligraphy courtesy of my amazing Bridesmaid Britney. We also set a challenge to all of our guests to gather lavender to tie to the aisle, this was briskly undertaken and we found bouquets of lavender at our doorsteps in the morning. Our friend Jayne was also amazing on the day and with plenty of helpers set up and created the ceremony atmosphere we were after.
For the reception I spent months collecting crystal decanters and silver trays for our centrepieces to complement the vintage environment of the Duke. My Mum and her friends arranged these the day before placing waterproof seed lights in the decanters before filling them with water and adding the amazing flower arrangements made by Donna Nicholas my ever talented Aunty. We used Makana chocolates as favours and place cards accompanied by a DIY “For richer or poorer” envelopes filled with scratchie cards. We also had our food and drinks menu designed and printed by Britney and I pegged them together with a stalk of lavender.
We saved by…
All the DIY mentioned above, as well as utilizing community and wedding Facebook groups to source decorations and ideas.
We also save by not hiring wedding cars. We used my Dad’s & Aidan’s Poppa’s white SUV’s as our wedding cars, my dad’s mate Mike drove me & Dad (He also drove my Mum and & Dad on their wedding day) and Aidan’s cousin Matt drove the girls. Poppa, Jacki and Colin all decorated the cars and they looked amazing!
We were able to BYO to the ceremony venue and our friends helped to pour the drinks instead of hiring wait staff.
WE only had a 5 hour package with our photographer and only got digital copies instead of prints which are pricey!
We had a lot of help from friends and family my Dad works in the baking industry so our wedding cake was made by a friend of his for a great price! The bridesmaid dresses only cost me the price of the fabric as my Aunty Julie made them as a gift to us, we paid for wholesale flowers and my Aunty Donna arranged them.
We splurged on…
Bands! We had two of them an amazing duo called Wiekko played at our ceremony, they had an amazing acoustic sound and added so much to the atmosphere. Then we had Dan Pinkney and the Red Squad for our reception, the dance floor was full all night!
A videographer, they were a last-minute addition and we’re so glad we were able to have our special day captured on film.
Our guest list! We wanted everyone important to us there and weren’t prepared to skimp on numbers for the sake of our budget.
Our advice to engaged couples…
Delegate and don’t be afraid to utilise your contacts. Invest in a good photographer/videographer, and make sure you have good quality food being served and keep an eye out for any deals for suits etc. Also invest your time into researching and finding the best product for price!
When you wake up on the morning of your wedding know that all that can be done is done and what will be will be! Close the door to visitors, have a glass of Champagne enjoy the excitement of getting ready alongside your nearest and dearest! You’re marrying the love of your life what day could be more magical than that!
Photographer Levien & Lens Photograhy
Videographers MATA FILMS
Flowers Donna Nicholas
Venue The Duke of Marlborough & Pompallier House Gardens
Catering The Duke of Marlborough
Hire Company Keri Party Hire
Stationery & Signage Britney Beeby
Hair Laurel Stratford
Makeup Philippa Krix, WIX Makeup
Cake Rob Burns
Celebrant Ida Birch
Brides Dress Kellylin Couture from Secret Lace Bridal
Brides Shoes Mi Piaci
Accessories & Shoes Pearl Necklace borrowed from my Mum | Pearl Earrings Walker & Hall | Diamond Nose Stud Pascoes
Bridesmaid Dresses Julie Smith
Grooms Suit & Accessories Suit Barkers | Shoes Merchant | Cufflinks Boh Runga
Groomsmen Hallenstein Brothers
Rings John Franich Jewellers
Transport Dad, Poppa, Matty & Mike
Music Wiekko & Dan Pinkney & the Red Squad