Wendy & Alex. A Sweet Vintage Honey Bee Love Story

Today’s  fabulous wedding is the perfect blend of Rustic & Vintage with a touch of Retro (how kickass is the grooms vintage suit!) Wendy & Alex share such a beautiful love story (yep I got all mushy) and I am blown away by the stationery created by the bride through her company Wendy Maree Collection.

Beautifully captured by Kelly Shakespeare Photography with incredible floral styling by On My Hand, this wedding is chocca with stylish romance and dreamy details that are pure inspiration for any bride.

A huge congratulations to Wendy & Alex, and thank you to for sharing this very special day with us.

Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography

How did your love story begin?

Alex and I meet 5 years ago very briefly, when I say very briefly I literally mean a 30 second introduction where we said hello and walked in opposite directions. However in that small time I was drawn by Alex’s cheeky smile, his amazing kind eyes and of course his beautiful blonde locks. I did not think much of this until the next morning, I found myself wondering who this man was I was introduced to. I did not know a thing about him but I could not stop thinking about this man. I asked my friends about him, they all said “Alex, a really nice guy, went to University with us, think he is working up North building somewhere”.  Trying not to seem too eager I asked a few friends if they knew his number, turned out nobody knew how to get hold of him. I spent the next few months wondering but no luck in finding this mystery man with the golden locks.

A few months later some friends and I went to a country ball for a bit of fun and surprise surprise in the crowd I saw Alex! We chatted and my heart fluttered. I then found out he was there with a date, he said “I would love to stay and chat, but I am loyal to my date”. His loyalty made me like him even more! I however understood. I found myself that night still looking over at him from time to time from a far. Then a man came up to me and said “It looks like you have eyes for my best mate there”. I said “Oh, is it that obvious, I’m being silly he has a date here any way”. His best mate said “ Well I can tell you it is not serious with this date, so I think I should do the right thing and give you his number”.

I waited a few weeks looking at his number when I finally decided to make the call. We chatted and got to know each other over the next few months. With Alex being up North and myself down South we were yet to meet again. We finally meet up and both fell head over heels for each other, our first date was fish and chips on the beach. It took a long time, but it was so worth it. We continued long distance for the next year, flying up and down every few weeks until I made the decision to move up North. We bought a house and Border Collie puppy and were so happy. Alex proposed on the beach where we had our first date.

Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare PhotographyWendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography

Why did you say ‘YES’?

Like I said in my vow’s, Alex wears his heart on his sleeve for me every day. Not only does he always open a door for me, carry my bags in for me, or walk a mile in the rain to get the car so I don’t get wet, he tells he loves me before he leaves for work every morning. I said yes because Alex is an old soul, his old-fashioned respect and loyalty for me makes me feel safe and loved every moment of the day. I had never meet such a kind man before, and how could I say no to those blonde curls!

Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare PhotographyWendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography

What was your budget?

Our budget was 25k, we however did go over quite a bit which was testing at the time but the after thought was that every penny was worth it!

Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare PhotographyWendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography

What was your inspiration or theme for the day?

We decided to go with a theme that I loved! A Country Vintage Honey Bee theme. I wanted a theme that was still romantic but I also wanted it to represent Alex as well and I knew he wasn’t a flowery type of guy. So the Vintage honey bee styling was perfect, with rustic elements such as dried grass, chalk boards, brown twine, Honey pot favors and white, brown and butter yellow as our colours, it all created a romantic, vintage country atmosphere. The Red Barn was the perfect setting for this theme.

With myself in a full lace dress and Alex in his Fathers true vintage brown suit. The groomsmen in their brown suspenders and cords and Bridesmaid in butter yellow, it all really looked the part. I wanted to move away from the standard black/grey suit wedding. I wanted it to feel relaxed and a little quirky.

With the 1920 champagne glasses, bee hive drink dispensers, Pimms served in mini milk bottles with paper straws, Petanque and Croquet on the lawn and Elle Fitzgerald playing in the background. The day had the perfect vintage country feel. As the guests sipped champagne and Pimms we had photo’s down on Lake Karapiro and along the beautiful driveway of the Red Barn.

Before the ceremony I surprised Alex and his groomsmen with a bottle of port and a gift for Alex up in the loft of the Red Barn, it was the perfect setting to relax and simmer the nerves just before I arrived.

Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare PhotographyWendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography

Tell us about your incredible stationery!

Having my own wedding invitation and stationery design business made designing my own wedding invitations a challenge because I had so many ideas, choosing just one design was difficult, but it all came together in the end. I love butter yellow and carried the Vintage Honey Bee theme throughout the entire stationery set. I knew this was an area I could really go all out and show what really can be done. With letter-press save the date cards and invitations and lined envelopes with printed names and addresses. RSVP cards, menu choice card, info card and my husband’s hand drawn map.

For the ‘day of’ stationery we had ‘Yay’ flags and a rustic wooden covered guest book as well as table seating plan, table names and numbers. I love designing wedding invitations, it never feels like work, and these days anything goes with your stationery design! I feel your invitations are the book cover of your wedding, the first look at what is to come for your guests, the beginning of your wedding story.

Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare PhotographyWendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography

What were your Save & Splurge items?

We definitely went to town with all the wedding invitations and stationery, this was really important to us. Also all the little details which really made it our day. We wanted the food to blow our guests away, this was pretty much half our budget but it was worth it.

My husband is very handy and he made all our bits and pieces instead of buying them, like all the chalk boards, signs, wooden place-name and table number holders and our wooden guest book cover. Another reason I married this man!

Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare PhotographyWendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography

What music did you play for those special moments?

I walked down the aisle to a violin piece, ‘Fix You’ by Cold Play, we signed our registry to ‘Blueberry Hill’ by Louis Armstrong and walked back down the aisle to ‘My Girl’ by The Temptations. Our First dance song was ‘Wonderful world’ by Louis Armstrong. Our Background music was a mix of Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Johnny Cash and old timey country.

Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare PhotographyWendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare PhotographyWendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography

In hindsight, is there anything that you would have done differently?

The only thing I would have rethought was our choice of band, this was really important to me and they did not deliver to our expectations. Apart from that I would not change one thing!

Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare PhotographyWendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography

What advice would you give to future brides to be?

I would say to other brides to be sure you treat yourself to a most luxurious morning of your wedding. It was all quite mad leading up to the wedding and having a morning of complete luxury was the best thing I could have planned. I booked my Bridesmaids and I to stay at a beautiful Country Lodge ‘de Preaux Lodge’. Our host Joy Diprose created a morning of bliss for us girls.

I had the hair dresses and make up artists come to the lodge so I lounged in my silk rob all morning. A champagne breakfast, silk robe and a view to full in love with. Joy was like having a second Mother there with you, I can not believe how relaxed and excited I was that morning. Exactly what every bride should feel the morning of their wedding.

Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography

What do you love most about being a MRS?

I really love introducing Alex to people as my Husband because I am so proud to be his Wife 

Wendy & Alex - Kelly Shakespeare Photography

Photographer Kelly Shakespeare Photography

We flew Kelly up from Christchurch to shot our wedding, we had to and once you see her photos you will see why! She was amazing!!

Flowers Shaye Woolford from On My Hand – Props, Styling & Flora

One of the best elements that made our wedding so beautiful were the incredible flowers. I was literally blown away and when I saw my bouquet for the first time I was so emotional and so over joyed, they were more beautiful than I could have imagined and exactly the look I was after. When I saw them, that was the first thing that made me realise that this day was going to be everything I wanted. Shaye from On My Hand was incredible to work with!

I was originally going to go with another florist before I found Shaye when I got this awful feeling that I was going to get your plain traditional wedding flowers which I really didn’t want. Then while looking through The On My Hand website for the vintage props I had hired for our wedding day, the vintage champagne saucers and 1940’s croquet set, I realised Shaye also did wedding flowers and her wild flower flare really caught my attention. I loved the vintage feel her flowers gave.

Shaye was not just another wedding florist. Shaye’s work I compared to the work from over seas florist, nothing like this in New Zealand. She is young, artistic and thinks outside the square to create something amazing and different. I tell every one of my clients about Shaye as I think no one should miss out on her talent because it did make me so happy and I am just so relieved that I did find her!

Hair Bang Hairdressers | Make up Gloss Beauty Boutique | Cake Victoria Hatwell from Fine City Cakes | Brides Dress & Accessories Justin Alexander | Bridesmaids Dresses Light In The Box | Grooms Suit Alex’s Fathers Vintage Suit | Venue The Red Barn located near Lake Karapiro was the most perfect rustic venue for our wedding day. It was relaxed with the most stunning views and vibrant atmosphere | Catering Kerr and Ladbrooke Catering – Our guests commented that the food was absolutely divine, I quote “the best beef we have ever had”! | Bridal Accommodation de Preaux Lodge | Invitations Wendy Maree Collection – Designer Wedding Stationery



  1. paper and lace

    September 4, 2013

    Me too! I don’t know if it’s my curious nature but I LOVE hearing the story behind the wedding!

  2. [email protected]

    August 29, 2013

    Love the story of how they met!! Gorgeous wedding!

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