Lizzie & Adrian. A Stunning Martinborough Wedding by Toni Larsen Photography


The love between todays bride and groom simply ooozes from every image of them. I love Lizzie’s reasons for why she said yes (and check out her ideas on how to save mulah!) and it is so obvious by the way these two look at each other that they truly are each others soul mates. Awwwww sooooo romantic. Of course the breathtaking images by Toni Larsen Photography are responsible for capturing the magic, talk about a feast for the eyes (and the heart!).

A huge congratulations to gorgeous soul mates Lizzie & Adrian, and a massive thank you to the incredibly talented  Toni Larsen, It is always such an honor to feature your work.


How did your love story begin?

It sounds like the start of a bad joke but Adrian and I met on a Friday the 13th in an Irish Pub in Wellington. The following week Adrian went in for shoulder reconstruction and subsequently moved back home out of Wellington while he recovered, so our relationship started off as a long distance relationship. With Adrian’s profession he spends a lot of time living outside of Wellington so we have got used to long distance and this has only made our relationship stronger. When Adrian did return to Wellington following his surgery we decided to move in together and things have just taken off from there!

TLP-A&L-007boys readyTLP-A&L-011TLP-A&L-022TLP-A&L-027TLP-A&L-036

What are the boys wearing?

Adrian’s suit was a Kenneth Blake from Lorenzo Uomo with a plain black waistcoat and champagne tie. Adrian’s cufflinks were his grandfathers; his Nan had given them to Adrian as a birthday gift the previous year so it was the perfect occasion to wear them.

For the groomsmen we decided to hire from Major Tomms in Wellington. We chose to only do pants, shirt, waistcoat and tie for the boys – good decision seeing as it was 30 degrees on the wedding day. The ties I had made using a silk that was of the same shade as the bridesmaids’ dresses.


Why did you say ‘YES’? 

It was pretty early on in our relationship that I knew Adrian was the one. He is so supportive of me, and my career, which I really appreciate and he has similar values to me. We balance each other nicely and together have achieved a lot in such a short amount of time. My family is the world to me and when I saw how well he got along with all of my family, including my young niece and nephew, that’s what really sealed the deal. I feel safe and secure with him in my life.


Who did you stunning hair and makeup?

 Lucky for me my sister-in-law (and also a bridesmaid) Amy is a hairdresser and did all of our hair. All of our make-up was done by my cousin Mary. It was really special to have family help get me glammed up in the morning, also made sure I remained relatively calm and relaxed.


Did you have a budget? 

We didn’t have a set budget as such… but I am a sucker for a spread sheet so I was very careful to budget and monitor our spending as we were paying for a part of our wedding. We didn’t want to go over the top and I think we managed to produce a wedding that was everything we wanted within a reasonable budget.


What were your Save & Splurge items?

Splurge  // The dress of course! I knew roughly what I was willing to pay for a dress but I also knew that if I found the one I LOVED I would pay whatever they were asking. Luckily for me my dream dress happened to be within my budget.

Another splurge was Adrian’s suit. Initially we were going to hire, along with the groomsmen, but when it came time to find one that Adrian liked it proved a little difficult. In the end Adrian bought a new suit and I am so glad he did. He looked so handsome in it, and because it had been tailored it looked amazing.

Save // We chose to get married and have the reception in a private homestead we hired. We managed to save by choosing caterers based on price and also buying our own wine and beer. Over the 10 months leading up to the wedding I kept an eye out for wine and beer specials at the supermarket. When I saw a good deal I would buy a few bottles and slowly stock piled it over the months. Because I was buying it with our weekly groceries I barely noticed the cost.

Other ‘saves’ included our invites (I designed them then got them printed locally), table decorations (I made candle holders out of small jars, ribbon, and paua shell), and floral arrangements for tables (my Mum ordered to lose flowers and we used greenery from the garden to put together the arrangements ourselves in mason jars).


What was your inspiration or theme for the day?

There was not one main inspiration or theme for the day but as we planned a garden wedding we wanted to keep everything quite simple and rustic, we wanted to let the beautiful gardens do all the hard work. We also wanted to do a lot of the work ourselves, and with the help of our family, it was great to have everyone involved and you could see the personal touches.

Subtle spots of colour were used and I incorporated the light purple of the bridesmaids’ dresses into the table decorations along with Paua shell as this has sentimental meaning to both Adrian and I. All the table decorations, lamps, and even table flower arrangements were hand made by either myself or our family. We had so much fun in the days before the wedding arranging flowers!


What music did you play for those special moments?

For walking down the aisle we had ‘Just Know’ by Blindspott. For those who know Blindspott (now Blacklistt) you will know they are a NZ heavy metal band, but the song Just Know is beautiful and the lyrics were perfect.

I was given some advice in that the song you walk back down the aisle really sets the tone for the rest of your day so we wanted to ensure it was something fun. We ended up going with ‘Another Bites the Dust’ by Queen!

And finally our first dance was to ‘Be Mine’ by David Gray.


How did you choose your photographer?

When we started planning our wedding I knew the hardest thing would be finding a photographer that both Adrian and I liked. I also knew that it is one of the most important aspects of your wedding as this is the person who is going to capture your special day. So lucky for us we found the most perfect and fantastic photographer, Toni Larsen.

Being recently engaged I was all of a sudden very interested in the Stuff Wedding of the Week. It was here that I saw some photos of a couple’s wedding that Toni had shot and thought ‘wow I love those’. I got in contact with her and the rest is history. She was truly amazing and made the whole process so easy (and produced the most beautiful photos)!!!


Tell us about the gorgeous dresses and accessories…

My dress was Paloma Blanca, 4363 from Paperswan Bride in Wellington (they have the most amazing dresses). I felt like a princess in my dress. I wanted to keep my accessories quite simple and let the dress be the star so I chose to wear earrings (chandelier Swarovski Crystal) and a diamante tennis bracelet (a wedding gift from Adrian).

My sister (and chief bridesmaid) organised the bridesmaids’ dresses. After hunting around in stores we decided to order the dresses online. We were all really pleased with the dresses, and the colour worked so well!

The bridesmaids’ accessories were simple yet worked in with the colour scheme and my dress. We used a diamante and pearl brooch, and simple crystal drop earrings and crystal bracelets (both of which I made).


Tell us about your venue…

Our venue was Whare Hoa Hoa retreat in Martinborough. This not only served as our venue but also as accommodation; was so special to have everyone close by on the days leading up to the wedding. We got married in the beautiful garden and hired a marquee from March Hare which was set up out the back for the reception. It was great to have it all in the one spot and luckily the weather was perfect!

We chose Providore in Martinborough as our caterers – they were great! Amazing food and they also arranged all the hire equipment that we needed.


Tell us about the stationery…

I designed and created our wedding invitations. I incorporated peonies into the design as I knew these would feature in my bouquet. We had an ink stamp made up with both of our surnames that was stamped on the back of each envelope, and a personalised postage stamp which you can order online through NZ Post (we used a photo from our engagement celebration).


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

Somehow have the ability to make time slow down! Haha. The day just went by so quickly (as everyone told me it would). So in hindsight I would have made more time to stop and just take it all in.

Also I would have eaten our amazing wedding dinner! I think due to adrenaline and the hype of the day I wasn’t hungry when we had our dinner. I really wish I had forced myself to eat more as the food looked amazing and everyone commented on how tasty it was!


Tell us about that amazing cake!…

My mother-in-law Ann organised the cake. It was a three tier cake with a mix of chocolate and carrot cake. I loved it, especially the cute figurines which included one of our cat and our dog.


What advice would you give to future brides to be?

Get as much of the planning done early so the last few weeks before the wedding are uneventful and relaxing. Adrian and I had a couple of days to ourselves to just relax and spend some time together before our family started arriving for the big day. When I look back on it now those days were so important.


What do you love most about being a MRS?

Knowing I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend… and introducing Adrian to others as ‘my husband’ – I always get a kick out of that.


The A Team

Photographer // Toni Larsen Photography

Stylist // The bride

Flowers // The bridal bouquets and men’s corsages were by Tree Top Flowers in Martinborough. We had a mix of Roses and Peonies

Hair // The sister-in-law (and also a bridesmaid)

Makeup // The brides cousin

Brides Dress // Paperswan Bride, Wellington

Bridesmaids Dresses // Bought online

Grooms Suit // Kenneth Blake from Lorenzo Uomo

Groomsmen Suits // Hired from Major Tomms in Wellington

Stationery // Designed by the Bride, personalised stamps from NZ Post

Venue // Whare Hoa Hoa Retreat, Martinborough

Catering // Providore, Martinborough

Cake // Organised by the Mother in Law



  1. Jax

    February 18, 2014

    Agreed! You have to include the family animals on the cake (although ours would take up a whole tier! haha) xox

  2. Amy - Chic Vintage Brides

    February 18, 2014

    How cute are those cake toppers? I love that it incorporated the furry members of Lizzie’s and Adrian’s family 🙂 x

Comments are closed.