Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
We met in Dunedin while at university, in fact it was on the roof at Bath Street where we sealed our first kiss. I from Marlborough and he from Auckland. Initially we lived just a few flats apart and had many impromptu drinks before setting up life in Auckland a few years later and then London. Our 10 years were scattered with travel, which we love, but it was at home where Sam proposed with a stone by the lake edge, before we made the move back.
We are not the people who talk about the next step in detail, we just hang out, make suggestions, and jump at what we like. Sam has a very curious nature about him, which makes life that much more of an adventure. Experiences are important to us, stopping to appreciate the little things and constantly asking each other questions, which we always do.
We wrote our own vows on top of the hills the week of our wedding that I think encompassed a lot about us.
We also had a very good friend marry us – a surprise to everyone there. On the day he was incredible, but the prep and getting us to answer just what makes each other so special was a very rewarding process.
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…
We celebrated with 160 others in a paddock on the family farm ‘Aschworth’; a merino farm tucked in the Marlborough hills that has been in the family for over 100 years.
I was dead set that the ceremony and reception be over by the wool-shed, rather than by the house. A logistical challenge and with incredibly dry track record of the area, more fire risk. As it is a working farm, the work done to create the ‘venue’ was huge; fences removed, pipes down from the pond to feed the constant sprinkler, painting of the sheds, electricity set up, and even a dance-floor in the cleared out hay-shed. My parents are incredible.
It turns out that our timing was perfect; the grass was very green and the sun was shining amongst a season of storms.
We had a clear image of how we saw the set up, the large stretch tent that allowed guests to look out to the lit ceremony arches as the night went on was perfect. A breeze swept under to keep every one cool and it was flanked by the bar near the stock ramp, and the hay-shed that held the band. It was perfect.
As we were set up in a paddock so the style needed to suit; the flowers were kept to green and white hues, and natural materials were used where possible. It was a matter of tracking down elements that were available to buy, borrow or build to make it all happen. We loved the bar. We found an old cubbord, mirror and antlers in the shed. The slab of wood to make the bar top was borrowed, props were snuck from the house, with lighting and flowers added.
We really considered our seating plan. We’re quite social people and our families are incredibly important to us so the day was about sharing what we have with them, their friends and ours. Each table had a mix of our friends at one end together and each of our parents friends, mixed together at the other end. Everyone mingled, making the next day a catch up with new and old friends too.
The following days venue was pre set-up for the first of the inaugural ‘Wadworth Croquet Tournament’ around the house to farewell the name in style, with all guests in white. We are games people so this seemed fitting for us, with Pimms on hand and a very memorable winners speach. Blenheim on the Sunday night didn’t quite know what was going on when we made it to town. It rivalled the wedding day festivities and suited us to a tea.
Tell us about your main outfits:
I popped into many London boutiques with friends, trying on all styles and settled on an Elizabeth Dye dress made of beautiful crepe silk, and this was after selecting the feathered caps from Halfpenny London months earlier. With both tailored together I felt classic with a little bit of avant-garde… dad being the farmer he is was quick to make a duck shooting joke. Sam had his suit tailored in London, and we decided to gift the groomsmen the blazer and the bridesmaids Vivienne Westwood earrings for the day.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
Seeing everyone in that paddock was incredible, the family home looked incredible and my husband to be looked incredible. As a bride, I felt so proud.
Seeing how happy both our parents were, the hugs, words, laughter and the dancing. They tore up the dance floor with their friends and ours, with photos to prove it.
Our MC set the tempo from the get-go leading with tips from his mum on being a good MC. Rule number one, ‘the day is not about you’. He came out dancing to his own intro song, ‘Simply the Best’!
You read it on most blogs, but our sunset photos on the hill were a special moment in time, especially as we were looking down on all the activity as they looked up.
The crouquet on the day after ran like clock-work and it was couldn’t have been more fitting for us. Most guests were from out of town and we didn’t want the weekend to end.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
If you are planning spending the rest of your lives together, get married to your style and make a weekend of it. It is more fun that you can imagine.
Photography: Tim Williams – Celebrant: Sam Stewart- Flora: Taken from the incredible local gardens- Bride’s dress: Elizabeth Dye –Embellished with feather caps from Halfpenny London. Make-Up: Grace Simpson Hair: Rachel Gibbons– Groom’s Outfit: Suit- Merino Wool, tailored in London- Shoes: Hugo Boss– Rings: Jessica McCormack– Engagement Ring: Simon Wright London– Catering: Posh Nosh, Sally Wadworth- Entertainment: Super Bad– Invites: designed by Philipine Sohet, printed by LovePrint UK– Marquee and Lighting: FlexiTeNZ.