We were after a castle, and Larnach Castle is the only castle in New Zealand. Once we found the church down the road we knew we had the right place for our special day. The beautiful old colonial church in Pukehiki is like something out of a picture book, and Larnach Castle in all its grand splendour is like a magical kingdom.
We were adamant about creating the whole day ourselves, which is no mean feat, especially trying to coordinate it all from another country (we live in Sydney). We designed everything from our own wedding cards to Angus’ suit jacket and my evening ball gown.
Some of our favourite details were entering the church to a single beat of a drum followed by the ceremony we wrote ourselves, incorporating many pagan and Celtic traditions, including a hand fasting. At the castle we had our surnames in giant light letters across the stage and Angus’ brother Nicholas designed a family crest for us, which was emblazoned on all the invites and table name cards. Our cake was cheese, cheese, cheese! Multi-layered wheels of cheese made by Evansdale Cheese, just north of Dunedin.
Everything went according to plan. And if small things didn’t, we didn’t notice. The only thing we weren’t expecting was when our celebrant Richard said, “You may kiss the bride” and my six-year-old daughter Indigo yelled out, “Make it a sloppy one!”
Angus had planned a couple of surprises. The first was Indigo and her two new cousins Coco and Orlando singing and playing guitars to ‘Ho Hey’ by The Lumineers. The second was Angus singing ‘A Man is in Love’ by The Waterboys, and part way through the song Indigo did an Irish dance. I was blown away, it was so romantic.
It truly was the best day of our lives. It was everything we could have imagined and more – full of love, craziness, hilarity, surprises – and the dancing… my word!
Having found each other in our early 40’s, with a love that’s the most powerful we’ve ever experienced, is pretty damn cool! That feeling of knowing we are each other’s true love is so completely grounding, but at times quite overwhelming. There’s something to be said for getting married at our age, when you truly know who you are and what you want.