Real Weddings

Charlotte & Fraser

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Fraser and I were living and working in different cities – I was in Auckland working for Buchan as a Senior Associate Interior Designer and Fraser, CEO and Director of Peregrine Wines in Queenstown – when mutual friends suggested we meet. Fraser asked me out for a drink at a bar in the viaduct at the end of 2017. We felt a strong connection straight away and spent New Year’s together in Queenstown with friends. With the sheer number of connections we have through family members and friends, it seemed that we were destined to meet. On a trip to Europe in mid-2018, we realised we couldn’t do long-distance anymore so that October I moved to Queenstown to be with Fraser.

At the beginning of 2019, Fraser proposed to me while we were out on a run on the shores of Lake Wakatipu at a gorgeous spot that is special to us. It was a perfect moment as Fraser said some beautiful things and I screamed ‘YES!’ That afternoon we flew to the US where Fraser had arranged an appointment at Tiffany & Co. to select my ring – linking the proposal to my idol Audrey Hepburn. Afterwards, Fraser arranged an ‘engagement-moon’ on the beaches of Mexico where I began my dream of wedding planning.

Fraser and his father Lindsay own Peregrine Winery, one of the most stunning places you could host a wedding in New Zealand, so it was an obvious choice of venue. We knew that our guests would enjoy Queenstown which is spectacular at any time of year. Fraser and I chose summer for its warmth, clear skies and luscious green vines – also knowing Peregrine would make a stunning backdrop for photos. We chose to have our ceremony in the Barrel Hall which allowed for an indoor ceremony away from the elements no matter the weather. It meant that product had to be removed, and some of the barrels themselves taken away, but the Peregrine team were incredible and made it all work.

I went to Trish Peng to create my dress as I had a specific idea of what I wanted my wedding gown to be. It was inspired by my love of abstract bows, which Trish linked to the wings of the Peregrine Falcon, and Audrey Hepburn’s style. The overall look was ‘classic vogue’; elegant, simple and sophisticated in a structured unembellished fabric with a low back and a soft lowered neckline. It had a large abstract bow train that was detachable, and Trish suggested a four-metre veil to suit the long dramatic aisle. She was the most incredible designer to work with and created exactly what I wanted and more. I loved having my best friends around me as I stepped into a dress I dreamed about. It was the moment my Mum placed the veil in my hair I felt goosebumps of happiness. My accessories were my late Grandmother Helen’s jewellery, and I also carried a photo of her in my bouquet. Trish also designed and made my Mother’s dress which linked beautifully to the style of my mine and the bridesmaids. 

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Fraser and I planned, designed and styled our whole wedding, so every part had touches of us. We went for a traditional, classic wedding with a uniquely modern approach and set the venue up in a fresh, summery style. A ceremony had never been held in the barrel hall before which made a great surprise for our guests. The aisle was 35 metres long – it was very dramatic as my Dad walked me towards Fraser, and the lighting was incredible. We created a backdrop to resemble our invitations. It is obvious from our wedding what family means to both Fraser and me, from the extended wedding party members to a large number of guests.

Following the ceremony, we took a helicopter up to the top of Cecil Peak. Holding on to each other laughing as we had photos taken in the strong winds was another moment where we couldn’t wipe the smiles from our faces – we were on top of the world. Another favourite moment was popping magnums of Peregrine Methode Traditionelle Fraser had made especially for our wedding with our fabulous bridal party on the ridge of Peregrine. Bottles were shaken to celebrate and guests were cheering from a distance.

The reception was held under the Peregrine Wing with a large ‘Mr & Mrs McLachlan’ sign welcoming guests as they entered the reception, and later becoming the backdrop to the dance floor. I love large-scale hanging florals, so Fraser and I made our own with help from our bridal party and my parents’– including a seven-metre one for over the bridal table. A lot of the greenery came from Fraser’s family Estate at Bendigo. We wanted a paperless reception, so our place settings were red wine glasses printed with each guest’s name which also served as favours. The talented team at Artisan Catering catered, serving us an incredible four and a half metre grazing platter for our celebration hour, plus an outstanding three-course menu for our reception which our guests loved. Our cake was specially made for us by one of Fraser’s talented staff of which the upper layer was Peregrine Rosé White Chocolate, and the base layer Peregrine Pinot Noir Chocolate. The decorative flowers on top of the cake were a special link as they were from my Grandparent’s wedding cake in 1951. The evening was fabulous as my brother James was the Master Of Ceremonies keeping our guests very entertained.

During the reception, much to our surprise, a Falcon appeared and glided in front of the marquee on the thermal updrafts. All of our guests watched in amazement as it put on an unforgettable show. Not at all typical as falcons are wild creatures. It was one of many magical moments in a day that was perfectly us. 


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