Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship:
Matthew and I met 6 years ago at the back of the local rugby club (as romantic as it can get). I was then persuaded to go on a date with him after he sent flowers to the school I taught at and the rest is now history.
In terms of personalities we are the complete opposite, but that is what makes us work. Matthew, a laid back farmer who enjoys fishing and diving in his spare time. Me, a relatively organised primary school teacher of five and six year olds. We both enjoy the outdoors and all that our rural life has to offer. Him with his hunting and me with my horse riding (although I make sure to regularly visit my girlfriends in Auckland for some shopping and wining and dining with them as often as I can). Six years on we were visiting Matthew’s family in Perth and we went for a day trip to the beautiful Rottnest Island. It was a stunning day and Matthew took me on one of his wild adventure walks around the side of a cliff top. I was strolling behind him very slowly and as I turned the corner there he was down on one knee.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day:
We both wanted the day to be very relaxed, full of love, happiness and a big fun party with all of our friends and family. We had 170 guests at my family farm and were so grateful that our wedding could go ahead with everything else going on in the world right now. Matthew was not at all keen on public speaking and said to me a few days after the wedding that he thought he was going to faint at the altar standing there waiting for me to arrive and watching all the guests turn up. One of his groomsmen suggested that they go and have a chat with the guests arriving before he flaked out, which must have calmed his nerves as he obviously made it back to the altar in time. Matthew made me so proud by writing his own beautiful vows and speech, reciting them straight from his heart in front of all our nearest and dearest, he was a pro and had nothing to even worry about. It was important to us to have the ceremony formalities finished early so everyone could enjoy the beautiful weather, dinner and for the band to start early to fit in with our relaxed vibe. We didn’t want the speeches to go on all throughout the night, so they finished at 7.00pm and the band started early before the sun had gone down. The dance floor was packed full all night as we danced the night away into the early hours. Our two MC’s Henry and Alexandra did an incredible job at managing the reception side of things and brought a perfect balance of humour to the night.
The venue was on our family farm in Waverley called ‘Waihau’. The name means wind and rain but luckily for us its namesake did not eventuate and we were so fortunate to have had beautiful Taranaki weather on the day. The sun was shining and skies blue for the ceremony with a light breeze in the evening. It was extra special to be married at home on the farm as it is actually the first wedding to be held on it despite it being in the family for over 150 years.
The ceremony area was held in an ex-paddock overlooking a lake on the farm. My father and his wife Brigit had a vision of where the ceremony could take place and shared this with us both early on in our planning. It was landscaped by our family during the first COVID lockdown in March 2020. With a bit of spare time and a vision for two trees that overlooked the lake we knew it would be the perfect spot for the altar. After many days with my brother on the digger, spreading of new grass seed and watering systems being put in place, Matthew and our family managed to turn the hilly paddock side into what would become a beautiful flat lawn where our ceremony was held.
I decided to go with a simple green and white floral theme to enhance the beautiful garden setting already present. All flower and greenery pieces in the ceremony and reception areas were put together by close friends and families. My mother Jane and a team of her talented friends created the table settings with hydrangeas and greenery from their gardens. The rest of the beautiful marquee floral arrangements were created by an amazing team led by Caroline Brice and her ‘flower fairy’ friends. Only the bouquets we purchased for the bridal party from a close friend, Grace Hornby of This Plus That floristry. I only had to catch up with Grace once over a wine or two and she understood the style I was looking for. Our tables were so cleverly put together by Sarah Dazley from Set and Flora in New Plymouth.
Having my custom wedding dress created by Liah Roebuck in New Plymouth, was also a dream. She allowed my vision to come to life and the whole process with her was so simple and easy. I went with a full silk gown that had a fitted bodice and square neckline but still felt absolutely amazing to wear. My beautiful bridesmaids looked picturesque in their khaki green silk dresses. I was so thankful that my sister Lucy made it back from London just in time.
For our photos we were lucky we didn’t have to travel far. Our photographer Christie Hoyle and videographer Scott Anderson became part of the festivities on the day as they enjoyed some drinks and made the photo taking process seem very relaxed and a whole lot of fun.
Our goal was to source everything locally, especially with the current COVID situation affecting many small businesses so we did our best to use vendors located close by. We went with a small marquee company from Whanganui and were lucky to have a team of 25 friends come and help us put it up, as well as a local catering company that showcased local lamb from the farm and delicious salads and platters. Matthew and his friends also caught up to sixty crayfish throughout the summer to add to this which many of the guests enjoyed.
Matthew and I are now looking forward to celebrating our marriage with members of his family who reside in Australia, who could not make it due to COVID, in the near future.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together:
If we had any advice for future brides and grooms who are planning their big day then it would be to make it your own unique day that represents parts of the both of you. Don’t try to copy other people or trends, simply focus on what’s important to both of you and what really is truly ‘you’ as a couple.
Ceremony and Reception location: Waihau Family Farm, Waverley / Videographer: @scottanderson_visuals / Photographer: @the_wolfpack_nz / Celebrant: Robbie Power, Whanganui / Entertainment: Edward Jackson and band, Auckland / Styling and planning: Bride & family / Marquee: Wanganui Hire Master / Bouquets: @thisplusthatnz / Catering: @thecountrydeli / Table settings: @setandflora / Cake: Cara Jane’s Cake Creations / Bridal dress: @liahroebuck_bridal / Shoes: @la.tribe / Makeup: Erica from @abridessecret / Hair: @hairbynicolebourne / Bridesmaid attire: @hansenandgretel