We first met at the Cemetery Circuit on Boxing Day, an event we now never miss as Marc races bikes in it every year. A year on from our first meeting, Marc asked me to join him at his Christmas work do and we have not been apart since. Marc and I believe we work so well because we’re complete opposites but have taken on each other’s interests. We enjoy experiences together that one of us would not normally do – I’ll attend motorcycle rallies, while Marc joins me at wine festivals.
Three years after Marc proposed to me in our hometown of Wanganui, we tied the knot at Stoneridge Estate on Lake Hayes in Queenstown. Queenstown is my favourite town, and Marc loves riding his Harley down the South Island. After hearing about Stoneridge Estate through a work colleague, we found that it really suited our style. We loved the aesthetic and atmosphere of the place which has a really rustic vibe to it, particularly appreciated by Marc who loves hunting. It has lots of wooden features including a large wooden chandelier lit up with candles along with stained glass windows, stone floors and a large open fire next to the bar. There is even wheel carts, armour on the wall and a swing bridge with lanterns that we had leading into our reception. After attending summer weddings on really hot days I knew I wanted my wedding to be in a cooler month. Marc and I chose October as it would be warm enough for a garden wedding, but we would still have snow-capped hills around us. We loved the idea of taking a helicopter ride to have photos taken on the mountains after the ceremony. For a simple, yet modern and sophisticated look we chose to use black and white as our theme colours alongside neutrals. I love roses as we have always had them growing at home, so they had to be included in our flower arrangements with the addition of peonies. The Flower Room used minimal neutral colours and greenery to create the right look and we went for single bloom bouquets for the bridesmaids.
My Stella York wedding dress was the first dress I tried on at Churchwood Bridal in New Plymouth, accompanied by my mother and maid of honour. I had always wanted something fitted with lots of fabric around the bottom. The dress was ivory and beaded with lace and tulle over organza which I accessorised with an ivory cathedral length veil. For the mountains, I swapped my heels for white ankle boots and put on a white fur shawl. My three bridesmaids wore androgynous off-white suits from ASOS – I had always wanted something different to the usual dress for my wedding and they were well suited for the cooler temperatures of the day. To tie in with the black and white colour scheme, Marc wore all black with white buttons, while the groomsmen wore white shirts with black buttons.
Stoneridge Estate catered for our sit-down family-style meal, serving us salmon steaks, free-range chicken breasts and boneless legs of lamb with sides. Dessert followed with vanilla cheesecake with malt crumb and sour cherry compote. Everyone raved about the whole lot! Our two-tier white chocolate mud cake was made by our maid of honour and carried on the plane from Wanganui to be iced at our accommodation in Queenstown. It was ivory and decorated in a simple, rustic style with a few roses to match the venue. Marc and I hired a large house in Queenstown for us, our bridal party and their partners. We’re so glad we all stayed together – we had the best time. The house had two living areas, so it was easy to separate boys from girls while we all got ready on the day. There are so many parts of the day that we hope our guests look back on fondly: the reception, the speeches, the venue and the atmosphere. Marc and I particularly loved hopping into a helicopter after the ceremony and having an hour on the mountain alone, just the two of us. Our wedding was a relaxed day of love, laughter and tears of joy with a backdrop of majestic scenery.
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