Mackenzie + Sam by Jim Pollard and Jonny Scott

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

I am I am in architecture, working in Melbourne and competing as an elite Track and Field athlete for New Zealand, Sam is a professional rugby player currently based in Japan. I met Sam in 2016 when I became his housemate. He was playing Super Rugby for the Melbourne Rebels and I had moved to Melbourne for athletics and my masters. 

The guy I was seeing at the time introduced me to Jimmy (one of Sam’s groomsman) and I move into his house. Sam was his housemate and when he turned up from Bali I was in the other room, he didn’t even know I was moving in. We both love cooking, eating and traveling and are lucky enough our sport allows us to do so. These are two things we bonded over from day one.  

We knew we were in trouble from the moment we met, and it didn’t take long before we were inseparable and moving out together before purchasing our first house in 2018 not long after he proposed.

I had no idea it was coming; it was a very bust time for us, we had just moved into our new house, had a new puppy Bella and Sam was leaving to Japan for six months the following day. He proposed in the new house, I walked in and he was holding Bella outside he let her go and she came running over to me. 

I noticed a pink bow on her neck and saw a sparkle I had no idea it was an engagement ring until I turned around to see Sam on his knee. He said I was the best thing that ever happened to him and asked would I marry him. I don’t think I had a chance to say yes before I started crying, I was in complete shock for about a week.

I love Sam for his funny and outgoing personality, but I get to see his softer side, he is infinitely kind and would do anything in this world to protect me, he is my greatest supporter and the man I always dreamt of meeting. He shares my goals, passions and desires for life and I can’t believe how lucky I am to call him my husband. Marriage is about making a commitment to your best friend that you promise to share all that comes in a lifetime good and bad both together and as individuals, I like to think I’ve found that in Sam.

Sam: I can best describe Mackenzie as the energizer bunny. She never stops. She is also the most kind-hearted and sensitive person I know. Mackenzie is my best friend, my motivator and my everything. I knew I was in trouble from the moment she moved into my house and every day since then I’ve grown to love her unconditionally. Marriage is a partnership. It’s a commitment to be there for your partner for the rest of our lives.

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…

Our day was located at Peregrine Wines just outside of Queenstown. My childhood holiday spot was Queenstown and it holds a special part in my heart, I always dreamed of getting married in Queenstown and after Sam and I had spent two very special holidays there together he was convinced it was perfect. We exchanged vows in the valley overlooking the idyllic mountain range and rocky outcrops with the distinct design of the winery itself a prefect reception for an architect. My mother is also an interior designer and we had strong ideas for the style of the wedding (Sam wasn’t too interested in the style).

Inspired by the location, our day embodied all that Central Otago has to offer highlighting our beautiful New Zealand scenery and surprising our guests at every corner with intricate details and unique moments. We created an ethereal, dreamy setting with a soft colour palette and romantic feel. Our reception was classic and chic with sharp architectural accents for contrast and peonies en masse. Finally our party area, rich and romantic, complimenting the old barn that housed it.

Astrid from PS I love you worked tirelessly to create our very detailed vision with a stunning floral display like no other, she searched all around New Zealand for the statement pieces we were after. Artisan worked every little detail, having multiple tastings/meetings and even staying extra time on the day doing additional work to ensure the day went smoothly and Jim went out of his way staying an additional few hours at the end of the night to capture all our beautiful moments – they all went above and beyond.

Tell us about your main outfits:

Berta 19-20 is from the Miami collection and is handmade in Israel. It is an A line gown with three-dimensional detailing, a V plunge with fly-a-way tulle bow detailing on shoulders. The veil matched the length of the gown and I wore Dior white singback pump with J’ADIOR ribbon detailing.

My second dress was the Pallas Couture Robe Mini from the Pallas collective range. It is a standout with sequins and luminous bead embellishments lined with a semitransparent nude tulle.

Sam wore a custom M.J. Bale suit based on the Saunders style. It is a navy tuxedo with a slim fit and half canvas construction with a white tuxedo shirt to match and traditional black lapel. He wore a thick navy velvet bow tie with black R.W. William boots and classic cufflinks.

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

Peregrine itself is a unique wedding venue and they only do a handful of weddings each year, this meant each element was unique to the setting. We had five space divisions, the first was the ceremony with the landscape as the hero, clear ghost chairs and a simple layout, we had six clear acrylic plinths with decadent while lush roses and peonies behind.

The second and third were two simplistic bar areas one on the grass with white umbrellas and white bar leaners, the other under the wing with black velvet sofas and black velvet high bar stools and leaners. A long marble bar and lunch florals decadently falling from top to ground level with silk backdrop. The bar menu was nestled in front of the florals complete with clear glass votives. This was divided to the third space with a lush white silk georgette drop, crisp white linens, asymmetric florals, gold cutlery and acrylic luggage tags. Each guest received a custom fragrance George and Edi candle. The hero floral was six acrylic plinths suspended above and framing the head table dressed in pockets of lush asymmetric white and blush floral.

The final space was in the wool shed with a palette of sage green blush, black and gold. It housed a large pink and blush balloon display on entry with a fairy light and balloon ceiling inside. A feature black bar with blush curtain and neon “The Jeffries” sign behind. On it was a cake display with a lush black floral display. Minimalist furniture occupied the space with low sage ottomans and gold leaners. 

Most memorable moments:

Mackenzie: Walking down the aisle, I remember looking at Sam from a distance and making eye contact. It was the happiest moment in my life and I practically bounded down the aisle.

Sam: When the cars pulled up and I saw Mackenzie for the first time and I knew she was about to become my wife.

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

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on what is important for you as a couple, not what you think weddings need. Its best to focus on a few key areas and make these special for your guests, rather than spreading yourself thin. Enjoy the process, this is a once in a life-time opportunity and there is no point letting stress get in the way of this special time with you and your partner. (Something will go wrong so just accept it and move on)

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Perigrine Wines | Videographer: NZ Wedding Films | Photographer: Jim Pollard and Setup by Jonny Scott | Celebrant: Sarah Cowley | Entertainment: Kayne Taylor Trio and DJS4U | Event Planner and Stylist: PS I LOVE YOU EVENTS | Flora: PS I LOVE YOU EVENTS | Catering and Beverages: Artisan Catering | Cake: Cakes of Wanaka | Hire Furniture: The Hirer | Ghost Chairs: Truly Yours | Table Settings: Major & Minor | Linen: Whistling Reindeer | Draping & Feature Lights: Lalumiere | Guests Gifts: George and Edi | Lighting: Tom Tom Productions | Balloon Display: Lunar Balloons | Neon Sign: Neon Signs NZ | Stationery: Brides own collaboration with Custom Crafted | Signage: Sketch and Etch | Bride’s Dress: Berta Purchased at Raffaele Ciuca | Bride’s Reception Dress: Pallas Couture | Veil: Raffaele Ciuca | Bridal Shoes: Dior | Groom’s Attire: MJ Bale | Jewellery: Youngs Jewellers | Fragrance: Marc Jacobs | Groom’s Shoes: RM Williams | Groomsmen Suits: MJ Bale | Fragrance: Tom Ford | Flower Girl Outfit: Kenny & Harlow | Bridesmaid’s Outfits: Hexie | Hair Stylist: Sarah from Pure Hair Studio | Makeup Artist: Beauty By Alexandra | Rings: All Diamonds