A Rustic & Relaxed Te Awamutu Wedding by Anna Allport

It doesn’t get much more Kiwi than when a couple meet at a young farmers quiz night! Today’s gorgeous couple Michael and Laura enlisted the help of family and friends to create their dream day among the Parawera hills at very cool adventure camp with accommodation options galore! An intimate wedding with a total of 70 guests, today’s love story will inspire those wanting to create a relaxed yet stylish shindig surrounded by the beautiful countryside of the mighty Waikato! Enjoy xox

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Who Michael & Laura Courtman
Where Castlerock Adventures, Parawera, Te Awamutu
Guests 70

How did you meet?

We ended up on the same team at a young farmers quiz night, when we had both just started dairy farming.

In three words describe your wedding style…  relaxed, country, natural

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What music did you play for those special moments?

Walking down the aisle Ed Sheeran – Kiss me
Reception entrance Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love
No official first dance but we had some funny first dance lessons from a friend during the reception.

Did you DIY? 

Yes, heaps thanks to my talented mother’s skills. The wooden boxes on the tables, blackboards etc were made with Totara from old power poles. The wooden ‘bar’, twig pictures, M + L letters, table numbers, bridesmaids dresses, wooden serving platters, boutonnieres and stationary were all her creations also, as well as the photobooth backdrop with many hours of paper flower making done by my Aunty. We collected random jars to put tea light candles in and hats for a photobooth dress up box. (Most things are available for hire if anyone likes something or wants something custom made by Mary)

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What were the save and splurge items for your wedding?

Save – Borrowed chairs and tables from Kihikihi Hall (thanks to the in-laws) hay bales, flowers for the tables and boutonnieres from family friends place, borrowed things like the ladders for decoration.

Splurge – The dress and grooms suit, definitely good investments!

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What was the most difficult part of planning your wedding? And the most fun?

Narrowing down all my ideas and the options out there can be overwhelming. I never really had a clear theme but it turned out better than I’d imagined! Also deciding what things to cut to save money.

Getting to daydream and browse online in all my spare moments then seeing it all come together on the day, and how much fun everyone was having.

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Do you have any money saving tips for engaged couples?

If you can provide your own liquor and hire a chiller trailer, it’s a huge saving. Plus you can return any leftovers for a refund with most liquor stores. I also kept an eye out for specials on wines leading up to the day.

Make the most of the friends and families talents and contacts, we were so grateful for everyone’s help; from cooking our nibbles and deserts to lending us a sound system.

Also just lots of research to compare prices!

Also using a Spotify playlist instead of a DJ, it worked really well.



Photographer Anna Allport Photography
Venue Castlerock Adventures
Catering Spit Roast Catering
Stationery & Signage Mary Schutte (my mother)
Hair Otto Inc, Te Awamutu
Makeup Marnie Jade Makeup Artist
Celebrant Marilyn Holmes
Brides Dress Rue De Seine
Brides Accessories Earrings & bridesmaids necklaces by Karen Walker, Shoes from The Iconic
Flowers The Bloom Room, Te Awamutu
Bridesmaids Dresses Mary Schutte (custom-made)
Grooms Suit & Accessories Barkers
Rings Micheal Hill
Music DIY Spotify playlist