Real Weddings

Hannah & John


John and I met in high school through mutual friends. We ended up sticking together through all of the big life changes that occur throughout school and university. When we moved to Queenstown and began living together it really cemented how right we were for each other. One day nearing the end of 2019 John took me and our dog Tyson up to a spot that he had found while mountain biking around Jack’s Point. He proposed as we looked out over Lake Wakatipu with The Remarkables mountain range behind us.

Just over a year later, we married on private property on the Jack’s Point Preserve in Queenstown. John had seen a wedding at the location while out playing golf as it is right beside the 10th green at Jack’s Point Golf Course. We live in the area so not only is it very special to us, but the proximity meant that our wedding was easy to organise while feeling far enough away from home to be a bit of a destination. The Remarkables were the backdrop to the location and we could even watch the sun setting over the lake on the evening of our wedding. We had chosen summer for the weather but there was actually snow on the mountains on the day, and it had rained for three days straight in the lead-up. Fortunately, we got pretty lucky with the weather in the end! Because of the cold blast that had come through that week, we made sure to prepare for any potential cold with some heaters and blankets.

When it came to aesthetics, we went for a white wedding with little pops of rust orange. We decided on white flowers as they stood out against the shades of brown and green on the property. Our modern and classy florals were arranged by Michele Coomey Floral for One Fine Day. The colour palette was quite simple, so it was easy to tie everything together. We added special touches to the day like personalised cocktails – ‘Hannah’s bramble’ and ‘John’s Moscow mule’ – which our guests loved, and a gelato stall with flavours that we curated.

I wanted a wedding dress with a long train and when I tried on the Mallorca gown from White April, I knew it was the one. It had 3D floral lace and an illusion V neckline with bow wings and a chapel train. The team at Jessica Bridal were super helpful and made finding a dress a great experience. I accessorised with a Jessica Bridal veil, white heels from Bared Footwear and Karen Walker earrings. My four bridesmaids wore silk navy dresses from Max with black heels and Zoe & Morgan earrings.

John had always wanted to wear a tux for our wedding, with his groomsmen dressed a little more casually, though still looking classy. All of the groom’s party was fitted out in items from Working Style. John and his dad went on a trip to Auckland where he got his tux, while his dad got a nice black suit. His dad wore the new suit when John asked him to stand in for his Melbourne-based best man who could not attend due to border restrictions (instead making an appearance via Facetime). The other three groomsmen were fitted with nice open collared white shirts, black pants and matching shoes.

Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed some drinks and games on the lawn as they were served canapes like fried chicken, seared venison loin and duck liver parfait. We then had a sit-down meal with a menu designed by our private chef Chris Bindon, who incorporated all of the foods that we love into a single meal with mains like slow-roasted lamb shoulder, eye fillet of beef and crispy-skinned duck breast. Our guests raved about the duck – people even thought it was venison because it was so tender – and the duck fat roasted potatoes were also a hit! For dessert, we served the gelato with central Otago stone fruits and our two-tiered wedding cake – one layer of chocolate, and one of white chocolate and raspberry. Chris also prepared some little mince pies that came out at around 11pm.

John and I are glad that we did not do a first look and saw each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle. We really hope that our guests enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. It was all very special, and it is impossible to choose a moment that was our most memorable – the whole day was our favourite part! You could feel how much love was in the air – it was quite amazing! When we look back on our wedding, we cannot help but smile. It was so perfect and exactly how we wanted the day to be.

If your wedding is not conventional, then do not stress! It is the unconventional parts that make it special.

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