Real Wedding: Helen & James

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We’re nuts about each other. Our loves include music, joking around with our friends and biting off more than we can chew. We met at Rainbow’s End at a friend’s 30th birthday party, got engaged in Tokyo and currently live in Amsterdam.

Pourerere Beach is where James’ family has been holidaying since the early 1990s. The beach house has been the venue for 21sts, Christmases, New Year’s Eve parties and countless scrabble battles. His granny’s ashes were poured into the bay a few years ago… So it was a no-brainer for us to get married there.

It was really special being away from civilisation for three days with our best mates – Pourerere Beach doesn’t have any mobile reception so everyone was really ‘present’. The key to a good party we think.

We didn’t really have a theme per se. We’re tongue-in-cheek calling it ‘Cowboys & Indians’. We just wanted to create a fun and elegant atmosphere that embraced the rural landscape. With that in mind, we chose colours, fabrics and lighting that would work with the late summer in Hawke’s Bay.

The woolshed was our rain back-up for the ceremony. We did very little to it other than sweeping out the dags and hanging lights and bunting. The rustic feel was exactly what we were looking for.

The tipis and festoon lights made an awesome carnival atmosphere for the reception. We added a touch of sophistication by adding white tablecloths, gold cutlery and smartly dressed waiters from Capitol. The piece de resistance was getting our good mate Angus Muir to design lighting for us. Hanging vintage bulbs really set the scene.

My dress was made with a combination of beautiful silk and beaded lace, as well as some beaded detail appliques from India on the back of the dress. The intention was to create something simple, elegant and timeless that would work as well in a rural setting as inside a church… or a wool shed.

The most memorable part of the day for us was seeing each other at opposite ends of the aisle.

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Photographer: Heather Liddell with Gem Adams second shooting
Dress: Anna Schimmel
Suit: Ivan Luketina-Johnston at Crane Brothers
Shoes: James – Mark Kendall Shoes, Helen – Kathryn Wilson
Makeup: Katherine Giles
Hair: Katherine SliperWedding rings: James – his dad’s wedding ring, Helen – Partridge Jewellers, Wellington
Bridesmaid’s attire: ASOS 
Best men’s attire: Topman and Barkers
Videographer: Mike Braid