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Jo & Al’s Autumn Wedding

by | Weddings,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

joeyreflections
3
COMMENTS

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Jo and Al

We were married on 25 May 2014 at Poet’s Lane. As the leaves welcomed autumn with their crimson shades, we knew that our special day had arrived. Our year of preparation, which included handcrafted cards, invitations, guest lists, flowers, songs, origami, and so much more, was to culminate on this very day and we could not be more excited. This bubbling of excitement manifested quite differently for each of us. While Jo was completely relaxed, comfortable, and enjoying the day’s proceedings, my emotions could be accurately described as a bundle of frayed nerves and a hyperactive mind. Nevertheless, in our hearts we knew that it did not matter much if things went smoothly today or if it was an utter nightmare. Regardless, dreams were coming true.

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Our celebrations began on the previous day with both of our extended families gathering for our Chinese tea ceremony. Dressed in traditional Chinese garments, Jo’s a gift from her grandmother’s brother and his wife, and mine a shirt that my Dad bought during his visit to China, people looked on as we served tea to our older family members and relatives. In return, we received much appreciated, little red packets of moolah that definitely helped to pay for the wedding. As was apparently traditional for the groom, my family brought a full suckling pig for afternoon tea, much to the surprise of our guests. Jo’s grandmother also made a sweet dessert for us which we later found out was associated to the number of children we would have in the future.

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Image by Samuel Chan

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Image by Samuel Chan

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Image by Samuel Chan

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Image by Samuel Chan

The day I had been waiting for was here, but I don’t think I ever felt more anxious. Our first item of the day was the preparation shots with the photographer. My shoulders were frozen tight in tension, my stomach filled with anxiety about anything that might be forgotten or out of place (I later found out that Jo was completely relaxed and enjoying herself). Nevertheless, I smiled for the photographer and laughed at jokes made (funny or otherwise). Finding myself constantly checking with my groomsmen about timing, placements, and guests, I was chastised pretty soon for worrying too much. Marrying my wife was a dream, something beyond doubt. But my head continued to spin and wonder if everything was perfect, and I couldn’t stand or sit still.

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Jo says: “My perfect day began at my parents’ house, with a rainbow painted across the canvas of the blue sky. My bridesmaids and I had our hair and makeup session in the morning, and we were so appreciative of the wonderful professionalism and talent of Miss Aimmey and The Makeup Glossary. Our beautiful bouquets were created by our talented friend Amy from goldpop flowers. My dress and veil from Le Chateau Blanc Couture fit perfectly, but could hardly contain the excitement that was bubbling inside of me.  We had plenty of photos taken by First Impressions Photography during our preparations and with my family and after lunch, our dapper chauffeur and friend Daryl drove the four of us to Poet’s Lane in my brother’s car, which had been decorated with beautiful, purple ribbon across the front.

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I walked down the aisle with my Dad to the song “Marry Me” by Train – conscious not to trip on my dress while having the biggest smile on my face. The chapel was packed with our loved ones, some of whom had come all the way from Malaysia and Singapore to be here. Our bridal party looked respectively beautiful and dashing in their different shades of purple and grey. It was also such an honour to have our previous young adults pastor, Josiah Conner, conduct our ceremony for us. He was engaging, encouraging and humourous, and lent a light casual vibe to the proceedings. Two of our friends led the congregation in a couple of songs that we chose and also sang and played while, witnessed by our mums, we signed our marriage certificate. We also had a dear friend read a couple of our favourite Bible passages for us. We wrote our own vows, which were kept secret till the day. Al’s vows took the form of a heartfelt poem.

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Michael from First Impressions Photography was very professional in organising everyone for our many group photos and then patiently helping us to capture the perfect couple shots with the beautiful autumn scenery as our backdrop.

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Two of our friends were MCs for the night and they did a great job keeping everyone entertained and informed. Our bridal party entered the reception room ahead of us, bowing and curtseying to each other before making their way to their seats. Poet’s Lane had cooked up a lavish spread, even after all the canapes that they had served before the reception started. Entrees were alternated between veal white wine tortellini and minted lamb parcels, and as for the main course, there was bocconcini chicken and crispy pork loin. The highlight of the night according to our guests, only in regards to the food I am sure, was the dessert buffet.

Our parents, maid of honour, and best man gave excellent speeches and toasts, while Jo and I did a combined speech, where instead of Jo tossing her bridesmaid’s bouquet, we presented them to our Mums on the night. Later in the night, we cut into our beautiful masterpiece of a wedding cake made by my sisters Connie and Cassie as more photos were taken. The cake had layers that took turns between chocolate and butter, and was gorgeously decorated with flowers, butterflies, and birds. Our night ended with our “first dance,” where we danced a few steps to “All About Us” by He is We, before singing the rest of the lyrics with myself on guitar.

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Our wedding day was everything we had envisioned and we are deeply grateful for all our willing helpers and generous support that we received from family and friends.”

Photography by First Impressions Photography

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Ms Gingham says: A beautiful post! I love having both the bride and the groom write about their experiences of the day.

Jo says: I enjoy laughing and crying through chick flicks and the fuzzy moments that make my heart melt. D&Ms are one of the best ways for me to connect with my friends, especially over a delicious home cooked meal made by my husband. I would like to visit as many beaches around the world and explore as much of the world as I can.

Photographer: First Impressions Photography / Ceremony Venue: Poet's Lane / Bride's Hair and Makeup: Miss Aimmey / Bridesmaid's Hair and Makeup: The Makeup Glossary / Flowers: Goldpop Flowers / Bride's Wedding Ring: Diamond & Platinum / Groom's Wedding Ring: Poh Kong / Sound Equipment: The Sound Guys / Tea Ceremony Photographer: Samuel Chan / Cake Baker: Cornelia Chong and Cassandra Chong / Logo: Rachel Leong / Bride’s Dress: Le Chateau Blanc Couture

Christine and Tobys Intimate and Small Garden Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Weddings

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christine Murdoch
2
COMMENTS

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Toby and I decided on our very small garden wedding for a few reasons. The most practical factor was cost! A few months before the wedding we bought a house that needed a lot of work. So we couldn’t justify spending a lot of money on one day, we would much rather put that money in to our house. So instead we opted to have just our close family with us on the day, there was a total of 14 guests plus ourselves. Even my extended family who had expected an invite to the wedding thought the idea was great and congratulated us for breaking the norm.

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After hours of research, I stumbled upon The Wise Foundation. The event coordinator, Kendal, told me they would be opening a new venue called The Gardens Club which should be open in time for our wedding. I could not believe my luck! The heritage listed Curators Cottage in the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens was entirely ours for the day, and 100% of the profits raised from our booking were redistributed back to the community. We loved having a relaxed and meaningful ceremony outside the venue with our Celebrant Jamie Eastgate surrounded by the amazing Botanic Gardens with the contrast of the City skyscrapers in the background. Toby and I love the city, and the view was just perfect!

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At first I was incredibly stressed about the day going well, but once I realised that I had chosen an amazing group of talented suppliers it was so easy to relax and let them do what they do best! We loved that the venue allowed the toddlers to run amok safely, and their parents could relax and enjoy the incredible lunch put together by the chef, Alastair McLeod. The Gardens Club also lends itself to some pretty amazing photo opportunities which Kate captured so beautifully.

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The best advice I can give to couples planning their wedding is to be yourself and stay true to yourself! Of course our parents and grandparents had expectations of how the day would go. My very religious grandparents had never been to a wedding that wasn’t in a church but on the day they were all thrilled and thought it was lovely and very ‘us’.

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Photography by Quince and Mulberry Studios

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Ms Gingham says: This wedding is proof that even the smallest affair can be full of the couple’s spark and personality. I absolutely adore this fun wedding cake with the adorable cake toppers!

Photographer: Quince and Mulberry Studios / Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Gardens Club / Ceremony Officiant: Jamie Eastgate - Brisbane City Celebrants / Cake Baker: The Cheesecake Shop / Lego Cake Toppers: ebay / Groom’s Attire: Roger David / Hair and Makeup Artist: Canary Hair and Beauty

Caroline and Michael’s Stunning Wedding In Akaroa

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CarolineThomson
1
COMMENT

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Michael and Caroline

Michael and I had been together 10 1/2 years when we got married. We met one night out on the town, in a bar in Christchurch. After spending the night dancing we exchanged numbers and have been together ever since!
I wanted to keep traditional elements in our wedding, yet keep it fun and relaxed at the same time. We chose to have our wedding in Akaroa, the picturesque French settlement on Banks Peninsula. It’s a gorgeous little place about an hour from Christchurch city and actually where we celebrated our first year anniversary together and where we got engaged too.

The girls got ready at a classic kiwi bach which belongs to the family of our good friends who were also bridesmaid and groomsmen, and the boys spent the morning surfing! My dress was an all over lace style by Allure Couture. I adored wearing it on the day – it was the perfect mix of traditional and modern styling. As I am very petite I spent hours looking for the perfect dress style that would work for my size and wouldn’t swamp me. Michael’s suit was brought from J.Crew on a trip to the United States. Nearly all the other elements were bought online (I’m a big online shopper!); I bought my shoes online from the UK, my earrings from Etsy, my veil off Trade Me (an online auction site in NZ), my fur cape from ASOS and the bridesmaid dresses and Sequin jackets were from Forever 21.

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We had our ceremony at St Patrick’s Catholic church, a beautiful small historic church in the Akaroa township. The local Priest, Father Paul Shannahan married us. He was very relaxed and put us all at ease.

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My dad walked me down the aisle to a song called “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes.

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The weather on our wedding day was pretty awful (which wasn’t in the grand plan!). It was raining all morning, so our legendary photographer Jim Pollard spent the morning scouting out under-cover locations for us. We couldn’t be more grateful to him for that! He managed to find an awesome old wool shed for us to use, and also organised for us to go up the Akaroa lighthouse. Bad weather sure makes for fantastic moody photos though, and we couldn’t be happier with how they turned out!

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We did even get a break in the weather which allowed us to get some shots outdoors also.We chose our photographer Jim as we love his natural style of photography and his fantastic ability at capturing these amazing little moments and true emotion of the day – which was really important to us. Both of us really dislike the overly posed look. He was very professional and easy-going and we had a lot of fun. We really loved the candid moments captured at the reception from the emotional speeches to the first dance to some crazy dance floor action later on in the night. We really felt he captured the whole day from start to finish perfectly!

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We held our reception at Mt Vernon Lodge which overlooks Akaroa harbour. We liked that it was a bit of a blank canvas we could make our own. There was also accommodation on site which was awesome as our guests could party the night away! We decorated the reception room ourselves (with a lot of help!). It was really pretty with tons of fairy-lights and paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and lots of candles and flowers on the tables.

Our wedding was very much a DIY affair.​ Being a Graphic Designer​ I designed and created most aspects of our wedding myself (it sure came in handy!) – from designing our logo, to designing/printing/putting together our invitations, ceremony programs, dinner menus, seating plan, guest book and making our cake topper and banners/signs at the reception. For the place settings I used magnetic alphabet letters which I spray painted gold and hand wrote the guests names on. It was fun, but kept me a very busy lady! I spent hours trawling pinterest and wedding blogs for ideas and inspiration.

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I also did my own Bouquets (I figured how hard could it be?). I watched some you-tube tutorials, and spent hours hunting down the exact flowers I wanted to include and did a trial run a few weeks before. I couldn’t have been happier with how they turned out! It also was a big cost saving. I then had the bridal party and family help me arrange the other flowers for the reception tables and my Dad created the arrangements for the Church. I was lucky to have so many creative people help me out! My mother-in-law made the table runners for the reception and also made our stunning (and delicious) wedding cake which she decorated with fresh flowers.

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We had our first dance to “Can’t Take my Eyes off You” by Frankie Valli. We had a sit down meal catered by a local restaurant The Trading Rooms which was absolutely delicious, and for dessert we had cheese platters and wedding cake. We then had a friend DJ for us and danced the night away with all our guests! All in all we had the most amazing day.

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Images by Jim Pollard

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Ms Gingham says: What an absolutely treat to kick off 2015. Anyone who knows me knows that NZ is one of my absolute favourite places of all time and this is a stellar example of why! Congratulations Caroline and Michael!

Caroline says: “My name is Caroline Thomson, I live in Christchurch, New Zealand by the seaside with my husband Michael and our pampered black lab, Harvey. I am a Graphic Design who works for an apparel company, and Michael is director of a wholesale Audio company. We were married in April 2014 after being together for 10 years.”

Photographer: Jim Pollard / Bride’s Dress: Allure Couture / Groom’s Attire: J Crew / Bridesmaid Dresses: Forever 21 / Ceremony & Reception Venue: Mt Vernon Lodge
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