Real Wedding: Lisa & Rowland


We met at high school, in our hometown of Keri Keri – so a long time ago! We went to Elam art school together, then moved to Sydney, where we still live, not long after that. We both enjoy spending our weekends escaping the city, either camping, fishing or bushwalking. One weekend while camping, Rowland casually dropped the question. We were having a picnic on the beach. He’d had a ring made by one of his work colleagues, which was really special.

Our wedding was a New Year’s Eve party! We were married at a private beach, followed by drinks in my parent’s garden, then the reception inside my parent’s rustic shed. We both wanted it to have a really casual, low-key vibe. It was so important to us that everyone was relaxed and having a good time.

The most memorable moment was driving down the hill to the beach where the guests were waiting, while a huge rain cloud was coming in from the sea, getting closer and closer by the second. And as we were saying our vows, it absolutely poured with rain. It was so dramatic! But it didn’t matter. Everyone was just so happy and excited to be there. It made it all feel very real.

In terms of styling, we kept it really simple. All I wanted was loads of fresh flowers! I cast all the concrete candleholders myself, my dad had the wooden serving boards locally made, I bought all the vases from the local op shop, and friends sewed the cotton napkins, so it really was a mix of the handmade and readymade coming together.

We had champagne and sandwiches at the ceremony, canapes and drinks in the garden, followed by a sit-down gourmet barbecue dinner – fresh fish, eye fillets, salads and bread – all placed in the centre of the table for everyone to share and eat as much as they liked. The boys had caught 16 kilos of fresh snapper the day before the wedding.

I’ve known Sharon Burgess, who made my dress, for years – she made my high school ball gown! I was so excited she could finally make my wedding dress. It was everything I imagined.


Lisa & Rowland










Photographer: Jessica Sim
Dress: Sharon Burgess, Bay of Islands
Suit: Whangarei Suit Hire
Shoes: Bride – Gorman, groom – Baxter boots
Makeup: Lynette Watson from Heavenly Faces
Hair: Ka at Hair by Nature
Rings: Bride – Engagement ring: vintage Art Deco ring from Walker and Hall, wedding band: Diamonds Direct
Groom – Metal by Mitch, Sydney
Bridesmaids:  Fiona Giger (sister) Carina Oliver (cousin). I sourced the silk polka dot organza in Sydney and Sharon Burgess made their dresses. Sharon made my sister’s wedding dress many years ago. Fiona’s shoes were also from Gorman.
Venue:We were married at a private beach, followed by drinks and canapés in my parent’s garden and then the reception at my parent’s rustic shed in the small town of Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
Flora: Tracey Joe, La Cigale market
Catering: Food at Wharepuke
Cake & Sweets: Gin and Tonic wedding cake by Tikitoa Foods. I had close family and friends make the most delicious tarts and sweets for the dessert table.
Celebrant: Heather Townsend
Entertainment: We had friends sing and play the ukulele at the ceremony. Other close friends of ours brought their guitars all the way from Sydney to play in a the garden before the reception started. Rowland spent many hours creating our wedding playlists. On the day we had Tommy Taylor from Kerikeri supply and organise all the audio gear.