Hannah and Charlie- Photography by Lucy Li

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

Hannah – I work for twenty-seven names as Design Assistant and Retail and Visual Merchandising Manager. Charlie works as a Policy Analyst for the Ministry for the Environment.

We are both very lucky to love and believe in what we do. We love travel and adventure, exploring New Zealand and travelling overseas whenever we can. Our most recent trip took us to India, I think the colours and ceremony of life there inspired our approach to our wedding day a bit. Our meeting was fortuitous, the timing was right for us both and we were able to sneak in just one date before Charlie left on a trip to Bali. While he was away he wrote these long, detailed emails about his travels, I loved waking up to them. We have been together ever since. I am not sure that there is anything particularly unique about us and our relationship! We are just two people who share a common set of values and dreams, set on navigating this crazy, wonderful life together. Doing our best to keep it real and honest while loving the ride. Our stars aligned and here we are!

Charlie – Hannah is a great cook, and has a phenomenal talent for styling spaces and arrangements. It is really cool to be married to someone with these talents, completely different to my strengths. I’m quite analytical and a bit of a detail-junky, haha. Together, Han and I enjoy exploring NZ’s outdoors, and recently we’ve been getting into a spot of gardening.

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…

Hannah – Our idea was that we were inviting 135 of our closest friends and family to join us for dinner at our home. We wanted the day to feel intimate, colourful, genuine and joyful. For us the day was all about people,
the people who had supported us on our shared and individual journeys so we wanted it to feel personal and not too bridal. We wanted the takeaway for our guests to be a feeling rather than a look. We were married at Rose & Smith at Tauherenikau in the Wairarapa, near where I grew up. The reception hall there is a big, beautiful white room with high ceilings and lots of windows. We had long tables with white cloths, brass candlesticks, natural beeswax candles, pillar candles and bright blooms in coloured glass vases. Again, the idea being that it felt like home. I worked with a very dear friend Rachel to create our stationery in bright colours to keep things playful and fun. I had a very clear idea of how I wanted it all to look and with a team of people it was pretty wonderful.

Mum and her friends worked on the florals while my dad and godmother made up beautiful pots of coloured flowers for outside. Dad even turned part of his garden into a market garden growing amazing blooms just for us! Outside we had colourful Balinese umbrellas from Charlie’s parents, cane furniture and bean bags. It is pretty humbling to see just how many people want to help you make the day happen, I loved the day before for that reason, it’s a solid reminder of how lucky you are. Our ceremony was held in a natural clearing in the bush, with pots of flowers lining the aisle. After some morning rain, the day cleared up beautifully and the ceremony had cicadas buzzing and kereru perched in the trees above. It was exactly what we hoped it would be when we chose Rose & Smith as the venue. As a vegetarian I wanted a focus on local and vegetarian food (whilst also providing fish and meat for our guests) and Dale Keith, the caterer at Rose & Smith did an incredible job, the food was delicious and shared on large platters in a communal way. We danced all night under the stars and trees to our amazing, amazing band Superbad!

Tell us about your main outfits:

Hannah – growing up I loved trying on my mum’s wedding dress. To me her wedding look was always so beautiful – a dress designed by her uncle, ballet shoes on her feet and daisies in her hair. Although our wedding was set for nearly 40 years to the day since mum and dad were married, it still seemed perfect to me and with no alteration to the fit needed it was meant to be! Unfortunately the under dress wasn’t in great condition so we set out to try and find something new to go under the silk over-piece. Katie of Hera Couture was amazing and helped me to find the perfect dress, she also lovingly restored mum’s dress for us, adding the cherry blossoms from my veil to the bottom of mum’s dress – a way to make it my own. I wore mum’s dress for the ceremony, a lovely surprise for our friends and family, and then slipped it off to just
wear the heavy silk slip from Hera Couture for the reception and dancing.

Charlie – I wore a Barkers suit – navy with a subtle pink check. White shirt and paisley bow tie. We had great service from the Barkers team who made sure the suit was the perfect fit.

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

Hannah – Walking up the aisle with dad and seeing our friends, family and Charlie there waiting was a pretty
wonderful moment for me in this beautiful place – I wanted to push pause and just take it all in. We were married by my big brother James, I can’t imagine having been married by anyone else – it was so special. During our ceremony two Kereru flew over and perched in a tree just above us, having them there with us was pretty incredible. Although, dancing under the stars with our guests was pretty hard to top! It truly was exactly what we hoped it would be, I am not sure that it is possible to anticipate just how cool it is – getting married with your favourite people around you, in a beautiful part of the world, it’s a pretty great way to open to a new chapter in life.

Charlie – I enjoyed sneaking away for photos with Hannah part-way through our reception – a nice way to reflect on the ceremony and share a laugh and a few kisses. I also enjoyed our photos with the bridal party soon after the ceremony – again, nice times with special friends.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

Hannah – Remember why you are doing it and what it’s all about. As long as you get married and you have your people there, nothing else really matters. Don’t rush the ceremony, take your time and enjoy the ritual.

Charlie – wedding planning can be pretty intense at times – but forget all the details on the day and enjoy the company of family and friends. Relax and be yourself and you’ll have a great time!

Photography: Lucy Li | Ceremony and Reception location: Rose & Smith, Tauherenikau |Celebrant: Hannah’s brother,  James Harper | Bride’s outfit: wore her mum’s wedding dress (overpiece). Under her mothers dress she wore a dress and veil by Hera Couture | Groom’s outfit: Suit from Barkers and Rembrandt shirt, tie found online | Rings: Both rings are from Tinakori Road Antiques in Wellington | Shoes: Hannah- shoes at Hera Couture by Chaos and Harmony, Charlie- Florsheim brown Oxford-style shoes | Jewellery: pearl and daisy earrings by Christie Nicolaides | Make-up: Alice Napier | Fragrance: 100BON natural French fragrance, Bergamot & Rose from Mecca | Bridesmaid’s outfits: custom made twenty-seven names | Groomsmen’s outfits: suits and shirts from Rembrandt | Entertainment: Superbad Soul | Styling: Hannah (bride) | Flora: bridal bouquets by Flowers Manuela of Wellington | Reception flora: Hannah’s mum and friends, Dahlias grown by FleurAsian in the Hawkes Bay | Hire: Vases, candlesticks and votives from Miss Frou Frou | Food/beverages/catering: Dale Keith at Rose & Smith | Cake: Finom Bakery