Real Wedding: Sophie & Jackson – Photography by Charlotte Sowman

We met when we were eight years old and our parents, who worked at an advertising agency, needed two young children to feature in a commercial. Who knew those poster kids would grow up to get married!

We were in Auckland for a Coldplay concert and the band dedicated our favourite song, “Green Eyes”, to us, after a request on Instagram. The day after the concert I was annoyed because it would have been the perfect time for Jackson to propose and he didn’t seem to have anything organised. That afternoon, we came across a quiet little bay. Jackson gave me a love letter he wrote to me each month, and before I had even finished the letter, he was down on one knee. Planning a winter wedding was amazing. We had first pick of almost everything we wanted to book and made the most of off-season discounts. We went for a cosy, romantic theme — warm lighting and wooden tones. To ensure the colours were consistent, I went to Resene and asked for swatches of the colours I had chosen. This made it easier for vendors and when selecting anything. I am lucky to have a big, creative family, and I used their talents for our special day. My aunty helped with the styling; my cousin designed the invitations and menus; my uncle spent hours putting up fairy lights, and a church friend arranged the flowers. I walked down the aisle to ‘At Last’ by Etta James. It felt as if the lyrics were written about us. Our celebrant, Rocky, has known us since we were in the local youth group and watched our relationship grow over the years, so he was able to deliver a really personal message. My favourite moment came just after the ceremony. Jack and I were driving out to the reception, just the two of us, and we had half an hour to chat about the day. My advice for couples planning a wedding is to keep in mind what the whole shebang is really about: a lifelong commitment. The wedding is only one day in that journey and the relationships you have with your family are far more valuable, so don’t let disagreements become a bigger issue than they need to be. The hype of a wedding comes and goes far too quickly for you to sacrifice the things that really matter. Jackson is spontaneous, quirky and loses everything, while I’m organised, stubborn and a bit of a perfectionist. But we have in common our values of honesty and trust, and our love of family, friends and laughing. It feels like we are each other’s safest hiding place when life gets tough and each other’s greatest companion when life gives us something amazing.

Photography—Charlotte Sowman Photography  | Bride’s dress—Custom made Louise Anderson gown | Processional song—‘At Last’ by Etta James | Suits—Barkers | Ceremony venue—St Michael and All Angels Church Flora—Bride’s family friend | Hair—Courtenay Tennent | Rings—Custom made by Martinovich Exceptional Jewellery | Bridesmaids—BLAK the label | Bride’s shoes—Ziera | Gift registry—Briscoe’s Homeware | Groom’s shoes—Windsor Smith | Cocktail hour entertainment—Alice Tanner Music | Catering—Moveable Feasts | Dance party entertainment—DJ DaleReception venue—Larcomb Vineyard | Videography—Lovelight Photo and Cinema