Kirsty & Ben. A Romantic Vintage Barn Wedding by Sarah McEvoy Photography


“Tarureka Estate provided the perfect venue for Kirsty and Ben’s country barn loft reception, where the Bride and her team had gone DIY mad making all the decorations; lace wrapped jar vases, hessian table runners and homemade pickles and jams for favours to name few! Kirsty looked stunning in Paloma Blanca from Paperswan Bride, teamed with her Grandmothers vintage veil, family heirlooms adorned her bouquet, and Scottish influences were incorporated into the day as a nod to Kirsty’s heritage.”

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Almost five years ago now I was over from Scotland in New Zealand visiting my parents during my university holidays. I met Ben whilst working in an Irish bar in Petone and we had what we thought was the perfect summer romance! After returning to Scotland I decided to take a gap year and six weeks (and lots of emails and expensive phone calls later!) later I returned to New Zealand – we’ve pretty much been together ever since!

He proposed in December 2011 on a trip to Europe to visit my family in the Shetland Islands. We had a few days in Paris before travelling to Scotland and it was a very happy surprise when on the second day there he proposed while we were up the Eiffel Tower (hence the mini Eiffel Tower that was used for our rings). We made our way to Scotland a few days later and got to share and celebrate the news with lots of my friends and family in person.


After our trip to Scotland Ben was very keen to include elements of my Scottish heritage in the wedding. He decided that he wanted himself and the groomsmen to wear kilts which was really cool and certainly gave the wedding a Scottish feel! They looked amazing!

He also surprised me with a bagpiper on the wedding day to pipe me out of the church – something he and his mum, Suzanne, had organised. It was something I had really wanted but hadn’t gotten around to organising, so it was a really beautiful moment when I heard them start to play.

None of our Grand-Parents could be at the wedding and we wanted to include some things to feel like they were there with us. I wore my Grandmother’s veil and had brooches of my other Granny’s in my bouquet and had Ben’s Grandmother’s blue rosary beads on the front. My something old, something borrowed and something blue!


After all the hard work leading up to the wedding we really wanted for us to have a stress free day and to just simply enjoy the company of our beautiful family and friends. We had a large number of guests who had traveled a long way to be there for our big day and that was incredibly special – having themall there and to know how much love we had around us really made our day.

Other than that it’s hard to pick out a favorite moment – perhaps when I heard the piper begin to play or when Ben and I said the vows we had written for each other.


I really wanted a vintage country chic theme and Tarureka Estate fitted this perfectly. We fell in love with the magic of the place immediately. I loved Tarureka’s rustic old world charm and found that all I wanted to do with the loft was enhance its features.

With some help from our Mums and some friends we hand made just about everything!If I had an idea in mind I wanted to recreate it just so, and I quickly found that I would have to make things! All the bunting, jam jar covers & labels, table runners, the seating chart, the table numbers, the laced vases and lace hanging balls were just some of our projects!Myself, my Dad and Ben’s Mum also made all of the pickles/jams that were in the favours – with most of the main ingredients coming from either my parent’s garden or from those of friends.It was a lot of hard work but we feel like it paid off, everything was beautiful and just how we’d pictured.


My advice to future brides would be a couple of things; learn to delegate jobs before the wedding – trying to do everything yourself isn’t feasible and will only stress you out!

Also to try and grab a moment on the day just to stop…we had an hour with just our bridal party between photos and the reception, and it was the only time in the day we really got to relax and take it all in. The day goes in a flash, just enjoy it – don’t stress any little things.


Photographer // Sarah McEvoy assisted by Max Behle

Ceremony Venue // Anthony’s Catholic Church, Martinborough

Photo Venue // The Olive Grove

Reception Venue // Tarureka Estate

Catering // Zane from Chef on Demand

Dress // Paloma Blanca from Paperswan Bride

Bridesmaids dresses // Trade Me

Kilts // Kildonan Highland House, Lower Hutt

Hair // Mary-Ellen Orchard (Friend of the Bride)

Makeup // Arianne Morrow (Groom’s cousin, based in Auckland)

Flowers and Cake // Yvonne Lawrie

Decorations // DIY

Cars // Privately owned