“We met online back when you actually had to fill out an online profile. I sent him a smiley, he sent a message back and after chatting for a week or so we arranged our first date. The date was set for a Saturday afternoon and on the Friday night before, we both ended up out with friends at the same bar. He came over and introduced himself in person and we had a quick chat before confirming our date for the next day. On the Saturday afternoon a drink at a bar led to dinner followed by a movie and a cheeky kiss goodnight and the rest is history!”
Who Lara + Ben
Where Te Waka-Iti, Featherston
I said yes…
I was about 6 months pregnant at the time and suffering from hyperemesis so when I got home from work on this particular Saturday afternoon I was ready to dive into bed. Instead I found an overnight bag packed and a note to say meet me at so and so address. I immediately text my friend Nicole and said I think Ben is going to propose! It was a miserable night but when I arrived to the beautiful Guthrie Cottage in Eastbourne I could see from outside it was all lit up with candles. He’d enlisted the help of a friend who had lent him a few props and helped him buy some flowers and he’d set up the most amazing indoor picnic, which included the only thing I was really keeping down at that stage – our self-named Nutri-tana bran (mix of sultana bran and nutrigrain…yum!). It didn’t happen straight away but he eventually got down on one knee and proposed with a beautiful timber ring he had made. I cried, said yes and we spent the rest of the night ringing family and friends to share the news.
We saved by…
Having both ceremony and reception on a private family farm. And as we’re both creative, a lot of time and effort went into DIY’ing and rummaging through op shops. Ben made all the ply features, cake stand, centrepiece stands, the signs which I then painted, and even one of the easels at my last minute request! All the succulents we had at home and our florist potted them for us, one of my bridesmaids hemmed all the table runners, and our families and friends put in a huge effort to help us pull it all together. We couldn’t have done it without them!
We splurged on…
We didn’t really splurge on anything in particular, however we had quite a large guest list. We have a large group of close knit friends and so went with the ‘more the merrier’ mantra. Also being a private farm there were months of hard work and preparation put in by Ben, his dad and brother amongst other friends and family members who gave hours of their time.
Special moments + music…
We had so many special moments! The whole day was personal to us – the celebrant was a family friend, Ben’s brother was MC and also sang throughout the ceremony, and my mum played the harp as we signed the register. The gale force winds that had closed the Rimutaka Hill Rd only the day before, completely eased for the ceremony and returned with rain the day after. The speeches were amazing – everyone who spoke did such a great job – we were in hysterics the entire time. So many running jokes, good banter, love and lol’s. To top it off, we had a brilliant Irish folk band so the dance floor was pumping right from the first song – so much knee slapping and floor stomping! Vince and Alex of The Filthy Two stuck around after most of the guests had left, for an impromptu three song acoustic sing-along.
Advice for brides to be…
Sounds cliché but don’t sweat the small stuff, our marquee set up was delayed by a good 8 hours due to weather which meant we didn’t get everything done that we wanted to but it didn’t matter. No one noticed the things that were missing and everyone had a great time! AND Hire a great photographer – you won’t regret it! And be yourself and do it your way – there are no rules!
Photographer David Le Design & Photography
Brides Dress Vintage from Paperswan Bride
Hair + Makeup Penny Rose
Florals Ems Flowers
Cake Stiletto Studio
Groom Hallenstein Brothers
Catering Fine Touch Catering
Marquee Happy Hire Wellington
Band The Filthy Two
Celebrant John Faisandier