Celebrations: Auckland: Country Glam

Rustic and whimsical was the order of the day when Alice Buwalda married Sithon Sok at Auckland’s Abbeville Estate on Friday, February 28, 2014.

  • Story by Photos I Do Photography

Rustic and whimsical was the order of the day when Alice Buwalda married Sithon Sok at Auckland’s Abbeville Estate on Friday, February 28, 2014.


Our love story
Sithon and I met when I landed a room in his Ponsonby flat. Six months later, he moved out to travel South East Asia. I joined him for eight weeks at the end of his trip before we returned home as a couple. Five years later, he proposed – he won a competition from Naveya & Sloane for the 'ultimate proposal'. It was after I had said yes that Sithon slowly revealed each part of the prize package – an amazing black Maserati for the weekend, a 10-course degustation meal, and a huge bouquet of flowers from Orlando and a bottle of Moët

Setting the scene
Every aspect of Abbeville, from the barn to the 1800s chapel, made it the ideal location for our rustic, vintage-inspired day. Florist Annie Oxborough created whimsical arrangements of pink, cream and peach-hued roses as decorations – her playful style matched our vision for the day, so we gave her free reign! Paired with hessian bunting and strings of festoon lights in the barn, our reception was as festive as they come. 

Laid-back dining
Guests sat at banquet tables named after streets Sithon and I have lived together. Inspired by Sithon's Asian heritage, our menu included dishes such as prawn samba and grilled snapper with hot and sour dressing. In keeping with the day's rustic feel, The Caker made four buttercream-iced cakes including gluten free dark chocolate, hazelnut praline, citrus and berry. As favours, guests filled polkadot paper bags with a selection of sweets from our lolly buffet.

My bridal look
My mum created a cream-coloured, vintage-inspired lace dress – it featured a fitted bodice, cap sleeves and full, knee-length skirt. I accessorised with a feather-adorned fascinator from Rue de Seine, tan Jeffrey Campbell wedges and simple Karen Walker heart-shaped studs. To prepare for an evening of dancing, I slid into a glittery pair of Anniel lace up shoes after dinner.

Fun and Games
On a mission to evoke a fun, down-to-earth vibe, we set up a giant jenga set and a ping-pong table as entertainment for guests, also organising a photo booth equipped with woodland creature masks for props.

Something special
As a nod to my heritage we carried out a Dutch wedding tradition, inviting guests to write well wishes and advice on luggage tags and tie them to a wishing tree called a Ficus Benjamina. The tree now sits pride of place on our deck at home.

My advice for brides to be
Do lots of research to find vendors whose style you love – choosing your vendors carefully (and being sure that they can share your wedding vision) will make the buildup to your day all the more enjoyable. 

The details
Bride’s gown handmade by bride’s mother, Gretchen Buwalda
Hair Fraser Foulagi of Ryder Salon
Makeup Ashlee Connor
Groom’s attireCrane Brothers suit/shirt, Tie – The Hill-Side, socks – Norse Projects 
Groomsmen’s attire Pants- J crew, shirts – Gubb and Mackie, ties - handmade
Bridesmaid dressesASOS
Bride’s shoes Anniel, Jeffrey Campbell 
Groom’s shoesVanishing Elephant
FlowersAnnie O
CakeThe Caker
CateringThe Great Catering Company
Celebrant Grant Taylor
Music The Beat Council
PhotographyJody Lidstone, I Do Photography

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