Todays venue blows my mind! Gorgeous couple Leandri & Johnny chose to wed in Jonny’s parents backyard (seriously, they need to start renting that space out!). A bright, beautiful and casual affair, this unique wedding comes with happy rubber duckies and the most amazing paper bouquets I have ever seen (and the brides dad helped make her bouquet, talk about sweet!)
Auckland based superstar photographer Lydia Rachel captured the details & emotion so perfectly that by looking through the photos I actually feel like I was there (I totally wish I was there!) The colours are so vivid and the quality is incredible!
A huge congrats to Leandri & Jonny and a massive thank you to the fabulous Lydia for sharing this special day with us.
How did you go about planning such a stunning wedding!?
When we started planning our wedding, the initial planning was done for our engagement party. It first started as a joke to have a two-in-one celebration, but as time went by we realised the amount of effort required to bring everything together, and eventually went with our crazy idea to house a wedding within 84 days. It took 80 days to go around the world, so we figured that it surely could be done, and so it was done!
It took a lot of late night planning after work (and sometimes within work hours) as well as help from family & friends to bring it all together, but looking back we wouldn’t have done it any other way.
What helped the day go perfectly?
Most things featuring within the wedding was thought of, designed and created either by ourselves or a friend/family member. We are very fortunate to have friends who could either help us with our wedding at “mate’s rates” or suggest a friend of theirs to help us make this day perfect. The wedding planner was Jonny’s sister, the chef, DJ, videographer, dancing instructor, stylist and baker was all friends that helped us keep the cost of the wedding reasonable.
From the beginning, we wanted to see three main things featuring in our wedding:
1) A casual affair which would allow the guest to enjoy themselves & not be annoyed with the typical/stereotypical monotony that can, at times, be associated with weddings.
2) FOOD!!! There had to be good food & enough of it! There would be no going to McDonald’s once people left our reception.
3) We wanted the wedding venue & events to reflect our personalities.
The venue is amazing and very unique! Tell us more…
A lot of wedding venues were on the options list, originally I wanted to get married in a Canola field, obviously envisioned to occur on a bright sunny day (and obviously my husband rolled his eyes at my crazy idea), but since we live in NZ we could not bet that it would be the bright sunny day that I had planned in my head, so we started looking at other options.
Most of the venues that we visited were either not the look that we were after or plainly just not fairly priced for the services offered. In the end, and with some sweet-talking, we were able to make use of Jonny’s parents’ residence for both the wedding & reception. This was the only place that we could find, that would see our dream day be perfect.
With a swimming pool platform as the ceremony area, and a big tree bellowing over it, it was the perfect backdrop for the service. The back yard would be the perfect size too to cater for 140 people.
Where did you get those amazing paper bouquets?
The last thing that was still missing for the overall look of the venue was the flowers. Besides the fact that the flowers I liked at the time were $8 per stem, I have been besotted with the huge paper flowers that I once saw on TV. There was just one problem: we had to make it ourselves…and so we did! This item was probably the biggest team effort from friends & family that helped to create a unique feel. The amount of yellow, white & blue tissue paper that was cut up was inconceivable: 15 pieces of paper was required per flower. Each of which was handmade after doing many trips to & from Spotlight. The ones that required the most patience was the bridesmaids’ & mine. Here each petal was roughly the size of an A3 paper, it took me & my dad (which was actually quite special) 3 hours to make mine! But we got there in the end and it was well worth the effort!
How did you style the ceremony & reception area?
In order to ensure that the “casual feel” was consistent with the venue, we chose to hire a tent structure (not a marque) from Schupepe Tents as cover. Below the tent, the space would be filled with the soft lounge style seating from Villa Kula decorated with fairy lights following the curves of the tent.
Our wedding planner from Entertaining helped a lot to get main things such as the tent, seating & lighting organised but also with the soft touches such as tea lights & candles which were positioned all around (some within vintage style glass containers) and cool yellow & blue patterned scatter cushions which was placed on the loungers; most of these were hand sown by her.
The ducks that she placed on the pool were the perfect touch & a huge hit with all of the guests on the day. The casual feel that we were after would definitely not be obtained without these items. As an addition to the overall look, we also had a few hay bales from Jonny’s uncle’s farm which were wrapped in similar coloured fabric as the hay. It was also symbolic to the fact that my surname would change to “Hay”.
Tell us about the food & wine…
Once the layout of the seats was locked in we were faced with the dilemma that there were no typical tables to eat dinner from. To bypass this issue we opted for food that would be served first of all as finger food straight after the ceremony; breads & dips was also placed all around on the lounge tables. For the reception we had bamboo boats in which four types of dishes were served, these only required bamboo forks to be eaten. Once the dancing began, cheese & crackers were available for the still-hungry. There was constant eating, and to be honest, we actually totally over catered.
Jonny really wanted to have wine which was proudly Kiwi, so we opted for the Frizzell range. It was the most pleasant feedback to hear that our guests thoroughly enjoyed the food…tick!
Dessert was an extension to the wedding cake by being 3 different flavoured cupcakes: chocolate mud, red velvet & white chocolate. These were made by the best baker in town, our friend Lisa Courtney from The Pretty Baker. They were decorated with a variety of toppers from The Pretty Baker’s range as well as with our wedding planner’s handmade hearts. Our wedding cake was simple but beautiful and even yummier than the cupcakes.
The boys look great. Where did Jonny get his suit?
When it came to Jonny’s suit, we at first were reluctant to follow our friend (who is also a stylist) Jane’s advice on spending more than anticipated on a Hugo Boss suit. We shopped around for others, but in the end the Hugo Boss was the one for Jonny. It was indeed also his special day, we wanted him to feel & look special too and we couldn’t be happier with the decision.
Tell us about your pre ceremony photo shoot…
Jonny & I had decided to get our photos done before the wedding. I was a bit sceptical about it because I didn’t really want him to see me until I came down (or should I say: along?) the aisle. Again, Lydia was amazing in order to still have that special moment to see one another “for the first time”. She had Jonny standing with his back to me, while I moved towards him. At the last moment he was allowed to turn around; we couldn’t be more pleased with how the experience went. After this we had our photos with the bridal party; it was quite special having our best friends there before the big I DO. Once these were done we didn’t need to worry to leave our guests waiting for us to come back after the ceremony.
You must be extremely happy with your images, they are stunning!
Our photographer Lydia had such a casual feel about her it helped us all to act ourselves & in the end we didn’t even realise that she was there. Thinking back, the day must have been so exhausting for her, driving around from the house where the girls got ready to the boys’, back to ours & then to the venues. She did a phenomenal job & one can see that in the photographs.
We love your dress! Tell us more!!!
My dress was from Rue de Seine. It was actually quite a funny story because I had something in mind more along the lines of a 1950’s dress, but once I tried this dress on, I knew that it was THE ONE; and it came fully equipped with pockets! For accessories I wore yellow shoes, my grandma’s broach & earrings that my parents gave to me. I didn’t wear a veil; instead my head was decorated with a beautiful antique head piece, also purchased from Rue de Seine.
Photographer // Lydia Rachel
Brides dress // Rue de Seine
Groom’s Suit // Hugo Boss
Clothes Stylist // Jane Mow
Ceremony & Reception Venue // Jonathan’s parents’ house
Flowers // We made our own paper flowers. Every single flower was handmade by bride, groom, friends and family. The bride & bridesmaids flowers were made as a super-sized version.
Brides Ring // Light fancy yellow diamond as the centre piece with eight smaller white diamonds, four on each side, set in both yellow & white gold. The diamonds was purchased in South Africa, where the bride is originally from, and the diamonds comes from the diamond mine where her grandparents (whom she too is very close to) are from. The bride had the Scottish family-name slogan “Serva Jagum” engraved on the inside. This gave honour to Jonny’s late grandfather. The ring was made in NZ by Sweeneys.
Other Jewellery // The bride wore a broach, given to her by her grandmother. The diamond earrings were a gift from her parents.
Hairdresser // Kaleb Pritchard
Makeup Artist // Margaret Ling
Wedding planner & stylist //Alannah from Entertaining
Brides shoes // Overland
Celebrant // Danie Marais
Cake, Straws & Tissue fans // Lisa Courtney from The Pretty Baker
Catering // David Lilley
Furniture // Villa Kula
Tent Structure // Schupepe Tents
Stationery // Invites designed by the bride & compiled with finishing touches by graphic designer friend Catherine Hugo. Each envelope had a hand cut 3D heart on the front