Charlotte & Byron

  • Photography by Charlotte Sowman

Byron is a soldier in the New Zealand Defence Force. I first met him on ANZAC Day five years ago, dressed up in his fancy Service Dress uniform. Three years on, he proposed to me at his favourite spot on the sand dunes at Mount Maunganui. It’s safe to say it’s my favourite spot on the beach now too. 

Charlotte & Byron
Charlotte & Byron

We held our summer ceremony and reception at Trott’s Garden in Ashburton – a gorgeous venue withlarge manicured hedges, a beautiful lake and an elegant white pavilion that could easily hold our 120 guests. 

Charlotte & Byron

We went for an elegant bohemian theme with a colour palette of pale blues and greys with a hint of peach. Being a graphic designer, I left no detail to chance. The invitations are the first impression your guests have of the wedding, so I wanted them to be super special. I designed it all myself and had it printed in Australia by Stitch Press. They were a mixture of pale gold and blue foil pressed into thick white card with blind embossing, tied together with velvet ribbon and fixed with a custom C&B wax seal. They were then sent in handmade pale blue recycled paper envelopes with beautiful gold calligraphy. 

Charlotte & Byron
Charlotte & Byron

I took images I’d found on Pinterest (that set the tone for my whole wedding) to our amazing florist Alicia from Bunch Floral. My bouquet consisted of roses, white lisianthus, olive and gum foliage, dahlias and a hint of peach from hypericum berries to tie in with the peach underlay of my dress. My bridesmaids’ bouquets were similar, minus the peach flowers and we added tassles of peach and blue ribbon.

Charlotte & Byron

I designed my gown with Robyn from Mille Feuille Bridal. It had a peach silk underlay with two layers of ivory silk and tulle with custom placed lace appliqué on top. I accessorised with silver drop earrings, a bracelet and heels. I also designed the bridesmaid dresses, which were all duck-egg blue with different strappy back details. They were made by a friend from DEVàL. 

Charlotte & Byron

Byron wore a custom pale blue suit jacket, from Sparrows, to match the bridesmaids’ dresses. He wore it with black trousers, a white shirt and black bow tie. The four groomsmen had identical black suits paired with white shirts, bow ties and white pocket squares. 

Charlotte & Byron
Charlotte & Byron
Charlotte & Byron

I didn’t want every table to look the same in our reception space so we had different seating options, wooden cross-back chairs and acrylic chairs and three different table styles with mixtures of blue linen, blue wine glasses and gold cutlery from the Pretty Prop Shop, and for height, candlesticks I’d collected from opshops.

Charlotte & Byron
Charlotte & Byron

We had a plated menu with mains accompanied by bowls of salads and vegetables for guests to share amongst themselves. Byron’s father was the runner up in MasterChef Canada so we were incredibly privileged to have him prepare all of our desserts for us. The extensive, fancy dessert menu was accompanied by our three-tiered cake created by The Cake Eating Co. The ‘naked’ cake was in three delicious flavours: mud cake with salted caramel ganache; raspberry, passionfruit and lemon; and the top tier in snickers.

Charlotte & Byron

The reception was the absolute highlight for us both. All of our guests danced their hearts out from our first dance right until the last song. The dancefloor was packed the entire night! 

THE DETAILS: Bride's gown Designed by bride, made by MILLE FEUILLE BRIDAL; Hair TANGLEZ; Make up NIKITA RINDEL; Groom's attire SPARROWS & NUMBER ONE SHOES; Groomsmen’s attire SPARROWS & NUMBER ONE SHOES; Flowers BUNCH FLORAL; Cake THE CAKE EATING CO; Venue TROTT'S GARDEN; Stationery DEAR LOTTIE (the bride); Prop hire THE PRETTY PROP SHOP; Photography CHARLOTTE SOWMAN


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