We are such summer lovers so getting married in windy Welly in winter was a shock to our system! However, life works that way and we were thrown a very exciting curveball of moving to France for Ihaia’s job as a professional rugby player this August and we decided we both wanted to tie the knot in front of friends and family before we left. We got engaged in March 2018 and we had three months to plan our wedding! I’m writing this blog on my experience and as much as Ihaia was involved (lol) these are my thoughts, opinions and favourite things on it.
THE PLANNING –
Personally, I found the short time frame really good as I had to make decisions quickly so that left no time for over-thinking! I also liked not having to wait long for the day to arrive once everything was set, I do not know how people deal with the anticipation! I didn’t have a Pinterest board or saved Instagram photos as inspiration for a “dream” wedding, nor did I have a wedding planner or anything as such so everything that was done was pretty much if I liked what I saw then and there or if I came across something I liked during the planning. Ihaia was involved, had this opinions and suggestions, sorted himself and his boys with their suits and accommodation but it was me that did all the communication and organising which was fine as I found it super hard to delegate tasks and mostly didn’t :):).
Ihaia and I only went up to view the venue once before we were there for the rehearsal and then wedding day. We didn’t do menu or cake tasting which we were fine with not doing as the food Boomrock served up was 12/10 anyway and the cake was delish too. I had one meeting with our florist where we planned the set up of our day and then left it in her hands. We went into Naveya and Sloane once after getting engaged to select our wedding bands and then dealt with the very helpful Lisa to get them sent to us in Wellington. We Skype’d our photographers once, had lots of email communication then saw them on the day. I had my makeup trial on my hens day and my hair trial the Wednesday before the wedding, lucky I was very happy with them both as I didn’t leave much room for changes! Ihaia had 2 suit fittings then he stressed about there being too much navy in the line up (but once the photos came he said it actually looked all good lol), my dress was a biggie as I had issues with it up until the day before the wedding but all ended up fine on the day, just lots of admin in the last couple of weeks. We had 2 playlists that we put together ourselves which we added too throughout the planning whenever we’d hear or think of a song we liked. One was for before the ceremony which were real mellow, love songs and the other one for the reception onwards which was more mainstream, party music.
During the few months of planning, email and spreadsheets were my saviour!! I love having everything accessible and in order and to have everything together in a folder and on my Google Drive was great. We were gifted a wedding planner and as much as I wanted to use it, it just wasn’t necessary with all the online communication you do now. So as much planning as there was, we actually did it real chill compared to what some people may make or think of it. Everyone is different and some might want to try everything they’re serving on the menu or they may need to go back to the venue 7 times to make sure the way they’re decorating it works. Just because you see Sally at 10 wedding meetings a week or Julia always Gramming’ her wedding planner, its your day honey, do it how you want!
THE DAY –
The night before we stayed separately with our bridesmaids and groomsmen at Air BnB’s we’d rented out and this made seeing each other at the end of the aisle that bit more exciting. My bridesmaid, Brooke and Ihaias groomsman, Kaleb, cooked a huge breakfast at each house the morning of that included eggs, hashbrowns, tomatoes, halloumi – you name it! It is something that sticks in my mind as it was so selfless, helpful and needed! A big breakfast the morning of is a must! Brooke also drove us girls up in our Jeep Wrangler where we had Drake playing on the way (my fave!) people I’ve talked to about that think it’s so boss that we drove ourselves to the ceremony.
We had a small wedding of around 65 people and really put together our guest list carefully. At such short notice we were spoiled by friends and family flying in from London, Australia and all over New Zealand for our day. I had great grandparents attend and we had the kids closest to us at the ceremony with my 2 year old sister, Grace and Ihaia’s 7 year old niece, Ruby as our flower girls. We had four each on both sides of the wedding parties and I really have no explanation to how we choose them. How hard is this bit by they way!!? The four on my side are truly my best friends though and I loved sharing that special time with them.
The aisle song was Cruisin’ by Gallant and Andra Day which we downloaded when we heard it while eating at Chinoiserie, one of our go-to cheap eats, in Auckland last year. When we were searching for an aisle song and that came on, it was decided instantly! We wrote our own vows which were super special to each other. We actually told each other our vows as we wrote them so we wouldn’t totally break on the day and so we were on the same page of how long each others was. My great grandad who has been married 65 years spoke in our ceremony about love and marriage, we are so lucky to have had that and are grateful for his words. I also wore my great nans diamond stud earrings and put on my mums veil for photos as “something borrowed” for the day. We choose Six60 “Closer” while walking back up the aisle together once we were officially Mr and Mrs because what is a New Zealand wedding without some Six60?! Once we were done with photos we were all making our entrance back into the reception, we were going to use Six60’s Closer again but something went wrong with the music and we ended up going back in to the explicit version of “Hot in Herre” by Nelly! HAHA it was too good of a mistake to even be fussed by it.
Our theme was green, white, gold and a lot of simplicity and Mindy from Twig&Arrow helped me put together the amazing outcome of what we were visualising. The bridesmaids held a single king protea which I loved the raw, wild look instead of a traditional bridal bouquet, I also wanted my bouquet to be really wild looking which it was. Ihaia, the groomsmen, both fathers and my mum who walked me down the aisle also wore a white flower buttonhole. We got cookies made by @thecookiecollectivenz which were our favours and put on each person’s place on the tables that said “GOING WEST 09.06.18”. Zane, one of Ihaias groomsmen, made us a sign that we put above the fireplace which we loved and my great grandad is a woodturner and we had wooden candle holders that he made above the fireplace too (both in the pictures), personal touches like that were special to have and important to us to have tied into our theme.
With the speeches, we choose our speakers specifically. We had Ihaia’s mum open our reception with a Maori mihi, my mum, Ihaia’s dad, a person from both sides of the wedding parties and finished with Ihaia speaking on behalf of us. Each speech brought something different to the night, the guests were constantly laughing and entertained and because there were only a few speeches, it kept the night flowing. We had food served throughout the speeches which broke them up as well. I think having great speakers (and not too many!) is the key to a successful night. Looking back on the photos that @timkellynadineellen took, there’s so much happiness and laughter and it really does capture the day perfectly. Ihaia and I did a 30second dance that we put together the Monday before the wedding to the song “Rock this Party” by Brasil Fiesta to start off the D-floor, it was definitely not a slow partner dance!!
The night of the wedding, Ihaia and I got on the 12am bus with everyone left departing Boomrock back to the city. We got in an Uber from where the bus dropped everyone and went through the cheeky McDonalds drive through and headed to the house the bridesmaids were staying in with cheeseburgers for them all. So funny as that is such a classic end to a night out! We stayed there the night and have no regrets! You spend every other night together, it was so cool falling asleep under the same roof as the gals too (lucky Ihaia).
WHAT I’D CHANGE – Having the bar open from the start. The guests had an hour to wait until the ceremony started and we had bubbles and canapés served on arrival but some were seriously cuffed when I arrived! Some lasted until the 12am bus though, I’ll give them that but if I had that time again, I’d not have alcohol served until after the ceremony.
WHAT I LOVED MOST – Oh God so many things!!! Ok so everything to do with Ihaia. Driving up with the girls in the Jeep, seeing Ihaia at the end of the aisle, heart melt! My baby sister running down the aisle in her cute outfit, Poppa speaking during our ceremony, Georgie holding Ihaias ring and Zane holding mine. Our invitations were an outline image of our hands which we flowed into our day using the same image for our table numbers and it was also on our thank you cards. That Boomrock was on the WEST of Wellington (such a great coincidence). But my favourite thing of the day apart from getting actual married of course, was my mum walking me down the aisle. That will always be a favourite memory of mine, I love her heaps and am obsessed with her so it was very special to have her by my side and get to do that together.
AND THATS A WRAP TEAM!! I hope that was an interesting read and if your planning, that you got something out of it.
When you find the one, they are an extension of you. Keep your day totally what you both want it like, there is no-one to impress. The secret to having it all, is knowing that you already do.