Jack + Emily by Mikayla Bollen

We opted not to have a wedding party, we had such a small guest list, only 23 people, that we felt everyone was already such a huge part of our day.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love

Nature lovers and part time adventure seekers – Together with our Hunterway Mowgli you will often find us hiking, camping or trying something new. Early on in our relationship we started to spend our weekends exploring new tracks or places in New Zealand. This has not changed over the 10 years we have been together. We often load up our truck and start driving with no direction in mind. We both share a creative side as well. Photography is something that we both continue to bond over and share a passion for. Creativity flows in our home, not only will you find our walls covered in photos of our adventures but you’ll find one of a kind items of furniture that we have dreamt up and built together. Jack is an Engineer who can make almost anything that I dream up or design.
We both work for ourselves and run our own separate businesses. Jack often travels for work, having flexibility in our work life means that we never have to go too long without seeing each other. We are very fortunate to have that balance available to us. It also means we are able to put our shared passions first when we spend time together.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

We had known each other in high school but had not kept in touch after Jack left and started working full time. I was about to move to Wellington when we re-met on a night out in Christchurch – Less than a week later we went on our first date and Jack said he better look at the prices of flights! And he kept to his word. He would fly up or fly me home over the course of the two years I lived away. I was very lucky that he put that much time and effort into seeing me.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

Probably when my job got hard with constant big hours and always being away from home. Emily is always supportive and looking after me.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

I had brought the ring months prior and ended up planning two trips that I was going to propose on but
it didn’t work out with the weather ruining one and work ruining the other. We had an overseas trip coming
up so I decided to do it then. We were in Tromso Norway and one day out walking I spotted the place to ask
Emily under these heart shaped lights in the snow. I waited till 3 in the morning and it was perfect!

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…

From the start I was sure that I wanted to spend the entire day together, which included getting ready at the same time. Seeing as we both did have a wedding party, by getting ready together Jack was able to help me into my dress – this was such a special moment for us. We continued this trend throughout the day – even walking down the aisle together to start our journey as Husband and Wife. As well as spending the day with each other we knew we had to also spend it with Mowgli our dog. When choosing a venue/location we made sure first that he was able to join us for the entire weekend. I think he ate more that weekend than we did! For the rest of the day we wanted to relax in the sun and enjoy the best views that the South Island had to offer!

The landscape inspired my vision and styling from there. I wanted our ceremony space to blend into the backdrop of the lake and Mt Cook , letting it be its own decoration. The rest of the venue was created to then complement the landscape as well as a nod to our engagement – I even used greenery and other plants that I picked from the station myself (with permission, of course) in my floral decorations. I wanted original items, from the matching bow ties my mum made for Jack and our Dog Mowgli to all of the macrame decorations. My Friends/Family and I happily crafted the summer away prior to the wedding day. Jack even contributed by making the light stands that held up our festoon lights outside the Tipi. Our wedding became a community project.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

We agreed early on that it would be our photographer – We knew straight away that we wanted Mikayla Bollen, we did not consider anyone else. We were both huge fans of hers and were absolutely blown away with the pictures she delivered us.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

We got to Lake Pukaki and realised we had forgotten Jack’s hat! – it was a gift from myself and something I really wanted for him to wear on the day. I was gutted! Leaving a spare key outside is not something that we do so the house was shut up tight! I am blessed with some talented friends and one of those being a locksmith who fortunity had the morning off – he was able to let one of our guests retrieve the hat. They timed it beautifully and arrived with the hat in tow just as we were off for our first round of pictures prior to our ceremony.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

Jack’s suit was harder to pick than my dress! Because we didn’t have to match anyone.I really wanted Jack to pick his own outfit, Not tell him what to wear. We talked about what he might want and looked at many options but in the end it was the hat that I got him that inspired the rest. I didnt even end up going shopping with him, he took his dad and together they picked it all out. The bow tie he wore was handmade by my Mum, she made one for Jack, one for our dog mowgli to match!

Ceremony + Reception Location Braemar Station  / Photographer Mikayla Bollen / Celebrant Aliana Morrison / Styling + Planning Bride / Hire and Marquee Gather and Gold Tipis / Flora Foraged and collected by the Bride / Catering + Beverages + Cake Aliana Morrison / Bride’s Dress To Cherish Groom’s Attire Working Style / Bride’s Engagement Ring Waker and Hall / Wedding Bands Michael Hill / Bride’s Shoes Emilie Sock Boots from Hannahs Groom’s shoes Iron Ranger boots from Red Wing Shoes / Groom’s Hat Hills Hats / Hair + Makeup Casey Roxburgh