Olivia and I met in London in 2013 at a Halloween party. As we had mutual friends, we would see each other almost every weekend at house parties and social gatherings. We would always gravitate towards each other – we had great chemistry and our sarcastic humour brought us even closer together. Before we knew it, we were inseparable and moved in together only a few months later. Our love of travel saw us jet set around the globe creating lifelong memories, and we’ve never looked back.
I planned to propose when we went to Lake Wanaka for Olivia’s family Christmas in 2017. On one of the last days of the trip, we decided to go on a family bike ride around the lake. We took a break by a beautiful bay and I finally gathered up the courage after many previous failed attempts. I asked for a photo by the water together and Olivia reluctantly obliged, but my plan to surprise her with the ring didn’t work as Olivia had had enough after a few photos! Within seconds she had walked away about five or six metres and, almost in shock as my plan hadn’t worked out, I awkwardly yelled, “Wait, I have something for you!” I outstretched my arm with the ring box as Olivia turned around. I became a bumbling mess and somewhere within the gibberish I asked her to marry me.
We wanted to get married in Wanaka as it was where we got engaged and it now holds a special place in our hearts. Wanaka is also a place that holds many memories for Olivia and her family, from years of family holidays. We began researching venues in the area and, with the help of Olivia’s mum Alison, we came across Glendhu Station and fell in love instantly. We chose the location as it’s just stunning with panoramic views of the lake and mountains. It’s magical. We chose a spring wedding as the weather is warm and the snow-capped mountains in the distance bring a sense of wonder. The best thing about a spring wedding is that the days are warm without being too hot, and the nights are cool. All the flowers have bloomed, and the landscape looks luscious and green.
Our theme was rustic and boho-esque. Gypsy from The Vase was our florist. All of her creations have been so beautiful, and we didn’t want to restrict her creativity, so we gave her free range to create whatever she wanted. All we asked for was colour; we wanted the flowers to pop against the rustic woolshed and our bridal party. Gypsy suggested reds, apricots and shades of pink, with pops of dried delights. The flowers were perfect for our boho-esque style and the flowers added so much beauty to the day.
I wanted a lace dress and through my searching I came across the Karen Willis Wild Hearts Collection. I loved her simple yet elegant designs. When I tried on the Kristy dress I instantly fell in love. I could see myself walking down the aisle in it and couldn’t get it off my mind! The dress was floor length fit and flare with a boat shape bodice. It was ivory with detailed lace and backless with cross body straps. My train was adorned with organza ovals in various sizes and was finished with webbing on the hem. Stud earrings and a beautiful flower crown, again made by Gypsy, were the finishing touches. Patrick’s jacket and chinos were from Politix Australia. We found that they had a great range of colours and style and had Patrick’s desired fit. The black woven leather shoes were from ASOS. Pat wanted to show a little bit of ankle and they were perfect for that! His grey jacket, white chinos and black shirt aligned with the neutral colour palette.
My bridesmaids wore ivory Shona Joy dresses from the core range. I let them choose the style of dress as I wanted them to feel comfortable. We liked the cohesive aesthetic of the ivory. As it was an outdoor wedding, they wore low nude block heels to ensure they didn’t sink into the ground! The groomsmen wore the opposite to Patrick – black chinos with white shirts that allowed Pat to stand out but were still consistent with the desired look. For our couple photos we went to the top of Glendhu Station, high up on the hills and only accessible by 4WD or helicopter. It felt surreal to be in amongst the grand landscape and we felt overwhelmed by the beauty. It gave us a chance to reflect on the day up to that point and to celebrate our love for each other. It was special to have this time away, just the two of us. Many of our guests were from Australia, as Patrick is Australian and we live there, so the stunning scenery is something they continue to talk about. Glendhu Station really showcased the beauty of New Zealand and Lake Wanaka. When we look back on our wedding day we remember a relaxed day with friends and family in a rustic flower filled location. It was just so much fun.
BRIDE’S GOWN Karen Willis Holmes. BRIDE’S ACCESSORIES The Vase, Amelia George Bridal, Merchant 1948. RINGS Lawrence Sanders. HAIR Biddi King from The Kingdom Hair Studio. MAKEUP Janine Joseph. GROOM AND GROOMSMEN’S ATTIRE Politix, ASOS, The Academy Brand. BRIDESMAIDS’ Attire Shona Joy, The Iconic. VENUE Glendhu Station, Wanaka. CATERING Aspiring Catering. CELEBRANT George Konia. FLOWERS The Vase. STATIONERY GF Designs. MUSIC Matt Mulholland, The Corks. HIRE Major & Minor Hire, Wanaka Wedding Hire. VIDEOGRAPHY Charlotte Kiri Photography.