Jackson & Charlie

  • Photography by Rich Bayley

I’ve lived in Hong Kong for 6 years working as an airline pilot and Charlie was working with the Hong Kong Ballet while on a years leave from his permanent position as a dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet. We met at a friends house warming in Jan 2015. We both knew we were onto a good thing and moved in together after a few months until Charlie was recalled back to Denmark.  We decided we were both committed to long distance until we could figure out the logistics of life.

For the next 18 months I basically worked 1 week on, 1 week off and spent as much time visiting Charlie in Copenhagen as humanly possible.  We spoke every single day and made the effort to stay up late or get up early depending on where in the world we were at the time.

Jackson & Charlie

I proposed to Charlie in Hawaii, at Sunset January 12, 2016. I’d planned the rings in advance after much deliberation.  I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted so decided to get some black titanium bands from Tiffany’s as place holders and make the decision together on the wedding ring.

We went for a walk before heading to dinner and found a nice quiet spot where I got down on one knee, told him how much I loved him and that he made me the happiest man on the planet. When I told Charlie I had a matching one for me he took it from me and got down on one knee and proposed to me too.

We were married at Stoneridge Estate, Queenstown on the 26th of January 2017 surrounded by 50 friends and family from all over the world. We’ve both lived abroad for some time now and have friends and family all over the world.  We were limited to a few countries that would legally recognise our marriage and decided to pick Queenstown as it was such a beautiful location and it had the benefit of being relatively neutral ground for everybody.  Eveyone had to fly in for the wedding, some further than others.

Jackson & Charlie

One of the good things about having a same sex wedding is there’s no expected script or run of the day.  We chose to honour some wedding traditions we loved and made the rest our own.  We wanted both our parents to walk us down the aisle so that’s what we did.  We wouldn’t be the men we are today without the support of our parents so it was perfect that we walked into the next chapter of our lives with them by our sides.

Jackson & Charlie
Jackson & Charlie

We spent a lot of time looking at suits, different styles and fabrics and ultimately decided we’d have something made.  Like many things for this wedding we just couldn’t find exactly what we wanted, so we decided to design our own suits! We went into a tailor recommended one of our friends in Hong Kong with an idea of what we wanted and came out with something completely different. We chose fine silk patterned fabrics, one in black, the other in a deep navy and had many fittings over a few months.  

Jackson & Charlie

The most memorable moment of the day was the poem our aunt Joan read at the ceremony.  We absolutely adore Joan and asked her to pick a poem or verse to read as we wanted her to be part of our ceremony. Rather than just pick something beautiful to read she decided to have something commissioned.  She arranged Kealoha, the Poet Laureate of Hawaii to write a poem especially for the wedding.  He sent some questions to Joan who sent them on to us.  We answered them individually and didn’t share them with each other.

It was beautiful, sweet, funny and so meaningful.  It still brings a tear to our eye every time we read it.  And that’s often as it’s mounted on our wall!

Jackson & Charlie
Jackson & Charlie

Charlie’s men in black to compliment his suit and Jackson’s women in midnight blue to compliment his.  The finer details we left up to them, with minimal consultation from us.  Planning a wedding is exhausting!  (and we had people on each side with similar levels of OCD to ourselves so we had faith they would take care of it appropriately)

Jackson & Charlie

Our flowers were care of The Flower Room.  Dealing with Sarah was an absolute pleasure. We wanted beautiful, elegant flowers that complimented us and how we wanted things to look.  We’re two guys who don’t know much about flowers so pretty much gave Sarah an idea of what we were looking for and gave her free reign from there.  White flowers, plenty of green foliage, similar to what we saw on the website and whatever was in season. What she came up with was absolutely perfect!  I would highly recommend her services

Jackson & Charlie

We designed our own wedding rings.  We wanted something with diamonds in it but all the mens diamond rings we found were pretty boring.  Diamond’s aren’t just a girls best friend.  Guys like them too!

Luckily our friend knows an award winning jewellery designer in Johannesburg.  We sent her a few ideas that we liked but didn’t totally love and brief description of what we wanted.  She worked with her team and came back with a few drawings, the ones we liked turned into 3D models and we picked the final design to go into production.  

Jackson & Charlie
Jackson & Charlie

Charlie is a professional ballet dancer and has danced with The Royal Danish Ballet for over a decade so there wasn’t any way the night was ending without a choreographed dance between the two grooms.  Thankfully we made it through without me falling over and had a ball while doing it.  Our guests seemed to appreciate it too!

The photographer is everything. Talk to them beforehand. We had a video chat with Rich Bayley and didn’t bother talking to anybody else.  He gave us advice on celebrant, venue, helicopter companies and a whole bunch of stuff before we’d even officially booked his services.

On the day of the wedding we were so at ease that it felt like one of our good mates was taking our wedding photos. If you’re getting married in Queenstown then book Rich Bayley.  If you’re not getting married in Queenstown, fly Rich to wherever you are getting married.

Jackson & Charlie

THE DETAILS: Groom's suits MAXWELL CLOTHIERS, HONG KONG; Hair HAIR TO WED; Makeup EVE MAKEUP ARTISTRY; Rings SIVANA DIAMONDS SOUTH AFRICA; Flowers THE FLOWER ROOM; Cake CAKES BY KIM; Venue STONERIDGE ESTATE; Celebrant PHILLIPA COOK; Band LA SOCIAL CLUB; Photographer RICH BAYLEY

Would you like to submit your wedding to be considered for 'Wedding of the week' by New Zealand Weddings? Email [email protected] with the date you were married, the location, and at least a dozen images – the more details the better. We will only publish weddings that have not been published elsewhere, with the sole exception being your photographer's website. 

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