Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship… Jared and I met during high school and got together at the end of 7th form.  We had been together for 13 years before deciding to make it official!  When we called family to tell them everyone thought we had baby news.  We were just so preoccupied doing other things that marriage wasn’t something either of us was focused on.

A number of years ago Jared and I looked at buying a 1970s Fireball boat and Jared jokingly said to me ‘well you can have an engagement ring or a boat’.  I replied that the boat would be more fun than a ring and so we ended up with a boat.  When we did get around to it though there was no real proposal, Jared talked about marriage with Dad one day when Dad called in to visit and when I got home Jared told me I had one happy mum and that my parents were coming around to celebrate that night.  It was very cool.

I decided against an engagement ring which Jared wasn’t overly thrilled about but because I like to change things up and am not into diamonds or flashy jewellery it didn’t make sense to me to spend the money. We love our wedding rings.   

Jared spends a lot of time outdoors hunting, diving or fishing so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen these days…it’s a pretty good combo.  We both enjoy boating but you will only ever catch Jared getting off the side of it!  We also both enjoy gin, food, family, friends, our vegetable garden and listening to Fleetwood Mac or ACDC (not necessarily in that order).

Jared runs his own building business and I work for HeadQuarters Hairdressing Group which has branches nationwide so we are sometimes like ships in the night. We make the most of our time together and have a lot of joint projects that we work on together which is fun. 

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details… The location was a tiny town called Clyde in Central Otago.  We chose Clyde because we love spending time in Central Otago. My grandparents and Jared’s parents both have homes there.  You can walk everywhere which is ideal, it still has that laid-back vibe which is getting harder to find in central.

Jared was given the job of finding the ceremony location and he chose the waterfront where we go boating in summer.  Dad had made furniture for everyone to sit on as well as an archway and it all came together just right on the day.

Friends decorated the archway with a trail made by Estelle Flowers. To this day we still don’t know who owns the land…we tried to find out but in the end, we just turned up with a caravan bar and a whole bunch of well-dressed guests and hoped it would be ok.  Our goal was to have a laid back, fun day that was enjoyable for everyone.

The best part about being in Clyde is that you don’t need a car.  We stayed on site at Oliver’s Lodge and booked out Dunstan House across the road.  The accommodation at Oliver’s was a real experience, it’s a stunning property. They were the go-to for us because they had everything – accommodation, restaurant, huge lawn for the marquee and capacity for 160 people which can be a bit difficult.  We both have large families and a lot of special people in our lives so it was important to us that the venue size did not dictate our guest numbers.  We didn’t see any point in having a celebration if we couldn’t have everyone there.

Because Oliver’s was built in 1869 we tried to keep styling in line with the surrounding buildings.  This meant I had a good time at auctions buying brass, chaise lounges, trunks, gold mirrors, tea trolleys, a fireplace and a gramophone…and vintage fur hats.  We hired bentwood chairs and tables but purchased the rest of the decorations.

There were a lot of personal touches.  My Aunt and Uncle supplied the wine from their family vineyard, Ceres, and the girls and I personalised labels for the wine magnums at my hens do.  Jared’s Grandma made shortbread for us and we had lots of Danish and Dutch liquorice, reflecting our heritage and everything we grew up with.

Jolene at Estelle flowers was just amazing. Mum and I just listened to her expertise and I think we were sorted in about an hour, nothing was a problem.  She had the best ideas and suggested we put flowers from my parent’s garden shop on the table in brass pots and vases.  I purchased a heap of pots from Trade Me and mum potted them up.  They were perfect.  On the day friends brought the flowers up from Dunedin.

Tell us about your main outfits: The dress was the complete opposite of what I thought I wanted, but the minute Mum, Brooke and I walked into Louise’s workroom we knew our search had come to an end.  We had been to many bridal shops in Auckland and Christchurch but Louise really stood out because she is genuinely passionate about her craft and we had every confidence she wouldn’t let a dress leave that she wasn’t happy with.  I loved my dress and it was unbelievably comfortable.

To say that Jared strongly dislikes shopping would be an understatement.  He sorted out his outfit three days before the wedding and he and his mum managed to organise the boys under a fairly tight timeframe!

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

We struck it so lucky with the weather – it was the hottest day in February.  The lake was just picture-perfect Central.  It was so hot we arrived early to the ceremony and had to wait in the cars while everyone got sorted.  One of my dad’s best friends Joe drove us in his Ford Fairlane and the girls were in Jared’s Dads Holden Caprice. When we did get going Dad cracked jokes almost the whole way down the aisle, I don’t think either of us particularly liked being the centre of attention.  We were sung down the aisle by family friend Madison Cooper.  She did an incredible job. The boys had been waiting in the searing heat so they were relieved to see us and get the ceremony underway.

The Celebrant had asked our friends to contribute some information about us include in the ceremony, this was absolute gold.  They each had to describe us in three words…the girls definitely put more thought into it than the boys but this was hilarious and certainly set the tone for the rest of the day.

After the short ceremony, everyone made the most of the refreshments from the caravan bar and a few people even went for a paddle to try and cool down.  We had big platters of crayfish and tuna canapes which were amazing.  The boys had been diving for crays and caught an enormous tuna on the west Coast the week prior to the wedding and so they were turned into canapes by the caterers.

Our MC Tim Couch made the day – he did such a brilliant job creating the atmosphere, and the dance floor was all on from the first song.  He got everyone out of their seats and into it.  I’m sure the dance moves were assisted by high percentage craft beer in 34 degree heat.  Guests still talk about the band, food and service from Oliver’s.  When we finished for the night they wandered across the road to the only pub in town and carried on.  Jared had given the pub a heads-up so they kept it open.

Having our family and friends together was unreal, and without a doubt the highlight.  Friends came from Australia.  Cousins came from Canada and Malaysia, and almost everyone we invited made it.  We had recently lost grandma and seeing how happy my grandad was being around us all was a real highlight. My dad also had a triple bypass the month prior so I felt quite lucky to be walking down the aisle with him.

Everything really went to plan except for a couple of things.  The hire company forgot to drop off our tables…that was less than ideal!  Luckily Oliver’s saved the day and sorted it out for us.  Also, the boys accidentally had been given the wrong length belts so they had to drill holes in the belts on the morning of the wedding to make them fit.

Jared’s parents hosted a day-after BBQ for us.  After a big day bridesmaid Georgina and her partner Dan got engaged on the deck in front of everyone after Dan lost a high stakes game of giant Jenga to Jared.  We all raced back to Oliver’s and popped the last bottle of Champagne with her parents.  We will celebrate our 1-year anniversary at their wedding BBQ in February.  George and I have been friends since we were 5 so it was very special.

The boys caught the food for the BBQ so we had crayfish, venison, paua, toheroa, whitebait and wild pork on the spit.  A family friend who happens to be the manager of the local pub is Portuguese and an amazing chef so we hired him to cook up the food.  He went from serving drinks over the bar the night before to bringing his family over to run our BBQ a few hours later!  He did an awesome job.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together? It’s not the destination, it’s the journey!  Always have something to look forward to, but enjoy every second along the way.

Photographer: Holly Wallace | Ceremony location: Lakeside, Clyde, Central Otago | Reception location and catering: Marquee on the Lawn, Oliver’s Restaurant | Celebrant: George Konia | Entertainment: LA Social Club | Flora: Estelle Flowers | Hair: TuMeke Hair | Makeup: Janine Joseph | Catering: Colony Catering | Ceremony drinks: The Workroom Caravan Bar | Wine: Ceres | Cake: Cakes by JC | Bride’s dress and hairpiece: Louise Anderson Bridal | Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes | Groom’s shirt, belt, shoes, and tie: Barkers | Groom’s pants: Ballantynes | Rings: Jeremy Leeming | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Blak Bridesmaids | Bridesmaids’ jewellery: Creeps and Violets | Groomsmens’ attire: H&J Smith and Ballantynes