Tee & Tom

  • Photography by Samantha Donaldson

Tom and I met on a quintessential English summer's evening at the 2011 Trinity Hall June Event in Cambridge. The midsummer's ball vibe of the evening felt like a mix between an extravagant kid's party and music festival crossed with Downton Abbey and Harry Potter. I knew that evening and in the coming weeks that there was something special about him - that feeling when you just know.

Tee & Tom

On the anniversary of when we first met we were on a family holiday in Santorini with my parents, sister and brother-in-law. We were sitting on a clifftop looking out over the caldera and taking in the sunset and as the day turned to night, Tom asked me to marry him. We were engaged for 18 months before our first wedding and 20 months before our Kiwi wedding.

We held our ceremony on the beach reserve just above the main beach in Hahei. The spot is all the more special because we've walked past it hundreds of times to go down to the beach, and we will walk past it hundreds of time in the future. We were surrounded by just shy of 80 friends and family, many of whom had traveled from the other side of the world. 

Tee & Tom

My dress was vintage 1960s from Elizabeth Avey in Greenwich, London. I wanted a late-summer beach party feel and from the first spin I knew I'd found the one for me. I accessorised with a petticoat from Vivien of Holloway, vintage Rachel Simpson heels from ebay and a vintage Tiffany & Co pendant which was a gift from Tom for my thirtieth birthday. 

Tee & Tom

Tom went for a relaxed look for our Kiwi wedding. He opted for pink chinos and a white shirt with navy tie.

Tee & Tom

Because we had already had our first traditional wedding in the UK a few months earlier we decided to embrace the fact we were on the other side of the world and in the home of female empowerment so we flipped the traditional wedding gender roles on their head. This meant that it was Tom and his groomsmen who arrived ( by vintage tractor, no less ) at the ceremony where Tee was waiting. Tom was walked up the aisle by his mum.

Tee & Tom
Tee & Tom

My younger sister Jo was the Maid of Honour for both of my weddings, she’s such a star and made sure everything went smoothly along the way, as well as organising two amazing Hen Dos. In Hahei, I had my three closest high-school girlfriends with me as bridesmaids; Vicky, Hannah and Whitney and they looked gorgeous. We found the dresses on ASOS and they worked really well for all four girls, including Vicky who was about to pop with her daughter Olivia. Rather than bouquets, we opted for flower crowns. 

Tee & Tom
Tee & Tom
Tee & Tom

After the ceremony and drinks on the reserve we meandered back to my family bach for the reception where we'd set up a marquee on the back lawn, complete with Mum's favourite tree inside it. We had three long tables at both of our weddings and Tee stitched the table names (that were then framed by embroidery hoops) with the words Love, Aroha and Liefde - love in English, Maori and Dutch to represent all of the countries where Tee & Tom had lived and said “I love you”. 

Tee & Tom

We worked with Justine Davie from Divine Flowers in Coromandel Town for our flower crowns, bridal bouquet and buttonholes. I loved Justine from the minute I’d emailed her to enquire about availability – she got our vision, was a dream to deal with via email and created the perfect flowers for us. On the recommendation of our bridesmaid Vicky, we also sourced matching wholesale, Snowberry and Eucalyptus from Flower Wholesalers and had these assembled by family and friends in vases that my 92-year-old grandmother had made over the course of her career as a potter. Tom’s parents did a fantastic job wrangling olive foliage from our friends’ gardens into the ceremony arch and hanging wreaths in the marquee. 

Tee & Tom

Family and friends pulled together an awesome dessert table to go with the three-tiered semi-naked cake (chocolate mud, banana sour cream and lemon syrup layers) by local baker Fiona Withey from Sweet Addiqtion. 

Tee & Tom

We’re big fans of the Sweet Mix Kids from way back and so there was no other choice really when it came to who would help us to take us from late afternoon drinks through to dancing into the early hours. 

Tee & Tom

Our celebrant Raynor, shared a questionnaire with us to help her plan the ceremony. About six months before the wedding, we sat down one weekend with a bottle of champagne and filled out the questions together; everything from how we met, to what is special about the other person, through to what keeps our love strong. These answers formed our vows and are also now a constant point of reflection – as we celebrate our one year anniversary and beyond. 

Tee & Tom

CREDITS I Brides's dress I ELIZABETH AVEY I Hair I MELLE VAN SAMBEEK I Makeup I GREER MELROSE I Prop hire I MAREE & CO I Marquee I MARQUEE SOLUTIONS I Bouquet and flower crowns I DIVINE FLOWERS I Wholesale flowers I A1 FLOWER WHOLESALERS I celebrant I RAYNOR SIMICH I Music I THE SWEET MIX KIDS I cake I SWEET ADDICTION I cake topper I SOPHIA VICTORIA JOY I rings I FARRINGDONS I photographer I SAMANTHA DONALDSON


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