An Alternative Tropical Bohemian Wedding by Vanilla Images

I am very excited to bring you today’s alternative wedding. Not only is the bride rocking a gorgeous non traditional gown made by her Grandmother but the spectacular venue owned by family is a tropical paradise in Waimauku AND EEEEEE GET THIS… you can now hire it out for your wedding!. Catering for the DIY couple through to full service options you will want to get in quick with this venue, because not only is it drop dead gorgeous but it is also a BARGAIN!!!.

Joe & Laney and the sweetest couple and their day is a beautiful reflection of their love for each other, and their friends and family. This wedding gives me major warm fuzzies and I love hearing of all the hard work and passion from everyone involved that went into creating such a spectacular day. A big thank you to the talented Vanilla Images for sharing this  beautiful love story with us. xox

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Who Joe & Laney Walmsley
Where Waimauku, Auckland (On the beautiful property of my Aunty Donella & Uncle Todd, the property is now available for hire upon request though – it is rather fantastic!)
Guests 130

In three words describe your wedding style… Bohemian, Tropical-Paradise and Untraditional.

How did you meet?

Joe and I met through mutual friends at a ball in the Coromandel three years ago. We bonded over our love of Indie music and photography. He lived in Whangamata and I lived in Auckland so most of our dating life was spent going on skype dates and driving back and forth every other weekend to see each other. Then after two years on a Skiing trip with friends Joe proposed to me on Mt Ruapehu during a ‘white out’ and absolutely everything was covered in snow! He had hand made me a beautiful box he said I could use to start my ‘Glory box’, and inside was another tiny box containing a beautiful engagement ring. The rest is History!

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What music did you play for those special moments?

During the signing – Malleable Beings, The Paper Kites
Conclusion of Ceremony – Electric Indigo, The Paper Kites
First Dance – (We couldn’t come to an agreement on one song so we thought why should we have just one!) For Bride – Do You Want to Know a Secret, The Beatles. For Groom – Lovely Day, Bill Withers.

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What were the save and splurge items for your wedding?

Honestly our entire wedding was approached with the mindset of saving on absolutely everything we could. We saved so much getting married in my Aunty and Uncles property, and I saved so much on my dress having my incredible Grandmother make it and sourcing fabrics ourselves. We saved on his wedding outfits for the Groom and bridal party by searching ASOS, Op-shops and outlet stores. Decorations were all sourced from second hand shops or DIY’d by family and that saved us lots!

Our splurge items were the beautiful tents from Raj Tent Club, the most wonderful Caravans from Retro events, the festoon lighting and providing our Guests with nibbles and drinks.

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Did you DIY? 

Oh boy, did we DIY or what!! We are blessed with CRAZY talented families! I hope I can remember everything.

Our wedding invitations/posters were hand painted by my mother, hand written by me and then printed online. All the wine we brought was clean skinned, so Joe and I used Photoshop to create our own unique wine bottle labels. Every Moroccan cushion was hand painted, sown and designed by my Mum. The signs for the venue, bar menu board we made using recycled timber and hand painted by Joe and I.

My beautiful Flowers and the flowers in my bridesmaid’s hair were created by Joes Sister Melody!

My Dress was hand made by my Grandmother, Louise – she helped design it from my sketch and made the pattern and everything from scratch – SO clever!!

Our Dessert bar was a yummy array of treats made by our close friends, and Joe and myself. Our cake was made by our talented friend Hannah – Whiskey Mud cake – Joe’s choice and it went down SO well!

The bench seats that we used for our ceremony was made using logs from trees that were cut down at the venue and recycled scaffolding timber!

Our Band were in a way DIY – My Dad, little brother Donovan and his friend Jackson played an awesome playlist of our favorite songs live during the afternoon, it was awesome!

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

The most difficult part was the guest list. Both of us have large extended families and it was very important to us that they were all included including all our nephews and nieces. But making sure the numbers didn’t get out of control was also important so trying to balance the numbers whilst inviting all the people that were important to us was very difficult!

The most fun was working alongside our families to get our wedding venue ready! We were so fortunate to have the most beautiful property offered to us by my Aunty and Uncle and our whole family worked so hard towards making it such a beautiful paradise! For 8 months before the wedding we spent a lot of our weekends, summer holidays and any time we could spare out at the venue – weeding the pond, building pergolas, planting trees, sowing grass seed, creating rock walls, fixing decking, shifting barrels of dirt and rocks to create new space! The work was endless and the amount of time and effort our families put into the space was so special! It was the hardest work we had to do but it was the part we were most proud of. On the day it felt like we had worked really hard to create the day that we were blessed with – but also it brought our families closer together and that was really special!!

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Do you have any money saving tips for engaged couples?

My biggest tip is – break as many traditions as possible! We tried really hard to do this because the second you mention the word ‘wedding’ the price seems to triple, but also we just love to be different! By having the colour wedding dress I wanted to we saved so much on fabric costs. By having an awesome Pizza truck rather than a set course meal, we saved so much money on food, so much time on not having deal with seating charts – and our guests had a relaxed time eating when they wanted and sitting where they wanted!

Also, accept all the help you can get! I struggled with this because I hate not being able to pay people back for their hard work!! But as the bride and groom there is so much to do, it’s impossible to do everything; and people absolutely love being included in your day, it makes them feel special and it makes the whole wedding mean a lot more! So accept all help you can get and use people’s talents! It will save you much precious time, money and worry!

Note from Joe to new Grooms:  Don’t skip the honeymoon! Save money by keeping it simple not trying to do too much at once otherwise its more tiring! Just relax with a drink in a cool bar or by a pool with your wife, and tell her she looks beautiful every day!

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Photographer Chris & Tenille from Vanilla Images
Flowers Melody Rose Design
Venue Wiamauku venue via Retro Events
Catering Stumpy’s Wood Fire Pizza Truck
Bar, Dessert Bar, and Band Caravan Retro Events
Prop Hire Retro Events
Tents Raj Tent Club
Lawn Games Hire  When Squirrel Met Bear
Hair & Makeup Rebekah Moore Freelance Stylist
Bridesmaids Dresses  ASOS
Grooms Suit & Accessories ASOS, Barkers, Op-shops
Rings Etsy