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

Both Josh and I (Philippa) are based in Christchurch where we both grew up and have our own home – I’m in marketing and Josh is a lawyer. 

The Great Hall was somewhere we both fell in love with, so much so, that I enquired five years ago just to make sure it was for hire. The venue is spectacular and not only boasts beautiful architecture in the heart of Christchurch City, but it meant that we could have almost all of our families there to celebrate their special day which was a decade in the making. 

When Josh and I first met, it definitely wasn’t love at first sight but that slowly changed and eventually we became friends and now husband and wife. Having known each other for so long, we have built a strong network of very close friends which was reflected on the day and the bridal party was made up of these people making the day that much more intimate and special to everyone involved. Being able to have as many people there as they did, especially given the circumstances over the last year with COVID and restricted travel, was something that wasn’t taken for granted so it meant the world that friends and family living all around the world were able to make it back to celebrate. 

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:

Luckily for Josh, I (Philippa) already a Pinterest board saved. A neutral theme of black and white complemented with earthy tones and golden hues reflected a classically calming and sophisticated day. All stationery and signage was designed by myself which added another personal touch to the day. 

When it came to the flowers, there was only one option. Alicia from Bunch Floral, she skilfully created the most divine bunches of dried arrangements, some of which I had sourced. These combined with the aesthetic of the hall meant not much more was required in the way of decor. 

Tell us about your main outfits:

Again wanting to keep things chic and classic, Josh decided on a Joe Black tuxedo, topped with a black velvet bow tie. The rest of the groomsmen wore classic tuxedos which complemented the bridesmaids black silk dresses. Philippa wore a custom made dress from Alice at Hayes Bridal – the Sloane top with a slight adjustment to the neckline and the Melva skirt, paired with Alexander Wang velvet heels in blush pink. 

Josh wore a classic Joe Black Tuxedo paired with a black velvet bow tie. Philippa wore the Sloane Top and Melva Skirt from Hayes Bridal. Alice was amazing, she made everything so easy and it was like I was working with an old friend, I have never felt more comfortable with someone and her designs are incredible. Philippa finished off her outfit with a pair of blush Alexander Wang velvet heels.

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

The day flew by but being able to pause for small moments and take in day was important to us. Being able to walk into the Great Hall which had been set up beautifully, with the sun streaming over all of our cheering friends and family through the stained glass windows was a pinnacle of the day – seeing everybody there together made us feel incredibly grateful and was one of the happiest moments of the day.

Rather than sticking to the traditional ‘set’ photos, it was important the day was kept fluid and authentic so photos were taken as and when meaning the pressure of having to pose was taken out of the equation. Just as everyone says, the day flew by so being able to look back at photos taken with friends and family, some who we hadn’t seen in a while, in a relaxed way added that little bit extra to the whole occasion. 

All of the speakers did a wonderful job, but it was the MC, Harriet, one of my (Philippa’s) oldest friends that made the night incredibly fun, energetic and entertaining. It’s not often you get one Mexican wave, let alone four to welcome the groom up to speak. 

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

This is something that is very easy to say now that we’ve been through it, my advice- don’t worry about the details, I (Philippa) started planning on Pinterest and become obsessive over detail only I would notice. Closer to the day I made a choice to not worry about the finer details and focus on what was going to be remembered. 

I’m so glad I did this as it took a lot of pressure worrying about anything going wrong on the day and meant the week leading up was spent with my closest friends and family just embracing the time we had together, especially because a lot of them had travelled and quarantined. 

A friend told me after their wedding a month prior to make sure you invest on the things you can reminisce on like the photographer, the videographer etc. my second piece of advice, if you are thinking of getting a videographer or can’t decide, just do it. You won’t regret it. 

Ceremony and Reception location: The Great Hall / Videographer: Midge Edine / Photographer: Emma Brittenden / Celebrant: CeCe James, family friend / Entertainment: Danger Baby / Hire: Truly Yours / Flora: Bunch Floral / Catering + Beverages: Catering Dept / Registry: Corso Merivale / Grooms Attire: Ballantynes / Bride’s Attire: Hayes Bridal / Ring/s: Engagement Canterbury Jewellers and Wedding Band Jasmin Sparrow / Shoes: Alexander Wang / Earrings: Earrings from Jasmin Sparrow / Makeup: Kasia Stanicich / Hair: Alex Pennell / Fragrance: Opia by Curionoir

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