I couldn’t think of a more breathtaking place than the Wanaka hills (or rather mountains) to hold a DIY Wedding! Gorgeous couple Will + Jess got their creative on with some well thought out DIY (see save + splurge), but treated their guests to a rustic luxe party in what can only be described as a seriously kick ass woolshed! This unique love story will certainly warm the hearts of all winter love birds (and would give your guests a great excuse to take a mid winter ski break!). Enjoy xox
Who Will & Jess Dickinson
Our love story began…
Where all good things start – with a chance encounter in an Irish bar in Auckland. This was followed by a handwritten letter, 18 months long distance between Auckland and Christchurch before I finally made the move down South.
I said yes…
At Mirror Lake, Lake Louise, Canada. We were one week into a three week trip travelling around Vancouver, Whistler and the Rocky Mountains when an unplanned early morning walk from Lake Louise up to Lake Agnes resulted in a surprise proposal. Unbeknownst to me Will had the ring hidden in a pair of socks at the bottom of his pack waiting for the right moment. Half way into the walk we arrived at Mirror Lake. As we got closer it started to snow which is when Will decided it was time to pop the question. It was perfect as we were the only ones around so were able to enjoy the moment just the two of us.
Our wedding style inspiration was…
A rustic, winter alpine wedding with a touch of glam (and a few trucks thrown into the mix). We also wanted to have our family involved as much as possible. Will’s dad was one of his groomsmen, both our Mum’s were our witnesses, my dad was a very patient Father of the Bride and my brother was our fantastic (and hilarious) MC.
We saved by…
Doing the decorations, styling and venue set-up ourselves. We are both pretty creative and tried to make or source as many items as we could with the help of our family and friends. I did all the stationery while Will made steel decorations and carefully spray painted our matchbox truck place settings gold. We had a wonderful florist who did our bouquets, head table arrangement, buttonholes and corsages who then supplied us with cut flowers so we could decorate the guest tables and bar ourselves. We also spent a couple of days before the wedding cutting greenery, branches and berries from Will’s parents property to create the hanging foliage over the tables in the Woolshed.
We splurged on…
The venue, catering and entertainment! We focused on the elements that were the most important to us and our guests and prioritised our budget around that. Making sure the food was top-notch, there were plenty of drinks flowing combined with a live band (who were amazing) helped to create the informal, fun atmosphere we were going for – basically a barn party with our closest family and friends.
Our advice to engaged couples…
Focus on the things that are most important to you. Don’t follow the traditional route if that’s not your thing and don’t feel pressured to incorporate elements if they don’t suit your style or relationship.
Research your vendors and make sure you choose people who you click with, know that you can have a laugh with and get what you are wanting to achieve. We were so happy with everyone we dealt with and loved the end result.
Most importantly make sure you have fun and maintain a healthy sense of humour throughout!
Photography The Good Wedding Company
Flowers Bouquets, Head Table Arrangement & Cut Flowers Miss Feaver Florist
Venue Criffel Station Woolshed
Food Artisan Catering
Wine Straight 8 Estate
Hire Wanaka Party Hire + Inlight + Criffel Station Woolshed
Hair Sara Bollati of Absolutely Fabulous Hair
Makeup Vanessa Braghini of Sanctuary Day Spa
Cake Cheese Wheel Cake (organised by Artisan Catering) from Whitestone Cheese Co.
Celebrant Charlotte Winkel of Your Big Day
Brides Dress + Jacket Juliette Hogan
Brides Head Piece Anna Marguerite
Brides Shoes Beau Coops
Earrings + Rings Meadowlark
Bridesmaid Dresses ASOS
Grooms Suit + Accessories Barkers
Transport Wedding Cars + Yello! (buses)+ Wanaka Helicopters
Music Freefall Band