Like all couples, Tom and I have endured some tough seasons, but we weren’t expecting to walk down the aisle into one of the most challenging yet. Immediately after the happiest day of our lives, the coronavirus pandemic hit. The world locked down as we were flying back to our home in London after our wedding.

Tom and I met eight years ago when we were working at an advertising agency in Auckland. It took Tom to move to Sydney, an ANZAC Day together featuring a few too many gin and tonics, and a year of long-distance dating to lead us to the start of our happily ever after.

Tom proposed during a hot air balloon ride while on holiday in India. After handing over our camera to our pilot for what I presumed was just a snap, Tom wriggled his way down onto one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.

A big part of our wedding day was showing off Wanaka, where Tom spent a lot of his childhood. For the ceremony, we found a property that boasted the most breathtaking views. For the reception, we opted for an evening of wining, dining and dancing under the stars. The only thing that separated us from the Milky Way was a canopy of 100 strings of lights, which Tom built with the help of our bridal party. We tried to ensure that there was a personal touch to every small detail: ingredients from family farms and favourite parts of the country, wines and whiskeys cellared from significant times, signage lovingly designed by my maid of honour, and cigars collected during our travels.

Tom wore a blue tailored suit from Rodd & Gunn with R.M. William boots, a Daniel Wellington watch I had gifted him for his birthday years ago, and a MacDonald tartan pocket square — a sentimental nod to his beloved grandmother’s family history. I wore a stunning custom silhouette designed by Mihailo Anusic from Mihano Momosa, with nude suede pumps and drop-pearl ear cuffs by German designer, Saskia Diez. For the reception, I changed into a floor-length sequinned kimono.

We included my beloved grandparents, who sadly are no longer with us, by reading from love letters they sent to each other on their first wedding anniversary in 1941, when they were separated by war. Tom was surprised by the unexpected attendance of his only surviving grandparents. I will never forget arriving at the reception to see Tom’s 93-year old grandfather sitting there very happily, washing down a plate of fresh oysters with a glass of whiskey.

photography Danelle Bohane / groom’s attire Rodd & Gunn / bride’s ceremony attire Mihano Momosa / bride’s reception attire ASOS / ceremony location Private property, Wanaka / reception location The Olive Grove / videography Phillip Puckey / flora The Green Room Flower Company / wedding styling & wedding-day coordination Samara Imhoof at Lavish Grazing / makeup Genevieve at Eve Beauty / hair Tina Andrews at Hair to Wed / celebrant Robyn Richards / lighting canopy Built by groom / bride’s shoes Steve Madden / groom’s shoes R.M. Williams / bride’s earrings Saskia Diez / groom’s watch Daniel Wellington / flower girls’ attire Chloe & Amelie / groomsmen attire AS Colour and Charles Tyrwhitt / pageboys’ attire H&M Kids / cake & desserts White Rabbit Cakes / glassware & candles The Style Depot / wedding rings Michael Hill / chair & miscellaneous hire Major and Minor Hire / table hire Crookedfield Furniture / other hire Wanaka Marquee and Party Hire / catering Tiritiri Kitchen / stationery & signage Maid of honour, Elizabeth Richards / engagement ring The Village Goldsmith / fragrance Dans Paris by Celine / guitar & vocals Friend, Dom Helson / dj Entertainment Solutions

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