Jack and I grew up together – our mothers were childhood friends from the Hawke’s Bay and our fathers were also close friends and farmed in the Rangitikei. Jack and I went to different universities and when he moved home to the farm we started spending more time together. Last year, the Lourie and Hurley families were having Christmas together at Jack’shome when he took the celebrations to a new level by proposing after lunch. We married three months later, in March.
Celebrating marriage has been a big part of my life as my family has been hosting weddings at our private home since I was five years old. There was no question that we would marry at one of our properties and with one ‘end of summer weekend’ date left at The Orlando Country Club, we knew it would be perfect.
We had the most spectacular blue-sky day. Being married by our local vicar in the Orlando Chapel was a highlight of our day. We chose a traditional, classic theme with morning suits for the blokes and formal black-tie dress for guests. I love the elegance of white and our florist created beautiful bouquets and table arrangements for us. A team of family friends made large floral arrangements in urns for the chapel and the marquee, along with 2-metre high specimen trees that lined the chapel aisle and marquee.
Post-ceremony, guests were served champagne and an assortment of gins, from an old flower cart we had converted to a gin bar and entertained themselves with golf balls to hit off the driving range while our photos were being taken.
We had a four-course set menu for our 210 guests, designed by our Orlando chefs, with a collection of canapes, a rolled pork belly entree, with the main dish being lamb rack and oven-baked south-island salmon. Each guest was served a trio of sweet treats for dessert (ambrosia, Orlando chocolate torte and cheesecake) along with a traditional four-tiered (chocolate, carrot and two layers of fruit) fondant cake with white icing.
A well-known local band kicked off our first dance singing ‘Hurts so Good’ by John Mellencamp, following up with old school classics to keep everyone on the dance floor.
My favourite memory of our day amongst marrying Jack, of course, was the exceptional time we had with our bridal party, from start to finish – they made the day just so much fun for Jack and I.
I dreamed of a gown that was timeless, simple and tailored, my dress featured a fitted bodice and full skirt, low back and a long train with covered buttons all the way down. I wore my mother’s veil from her and Dads wedding 32 years prior which was so special. It was my favourite element of the styling; I topped it off with a bespoke set of large pearls. Our four stunning bridesmaids wore cream cowl midi-dresses with pearl drop earrings and nude heels. Jack and his groomsmen wore morning suits and accessorised with hunting dogs on their socks, bullet cufflinks and silk duck ties.
We continued the celebrations the following day with lunch for all guests at Orlando Country. Two days later, we left for our honeymoon travelling the top of the South Island and around Abel Tasman.
My advice to other brides is to be present, take it all in and love every moment!
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