I love the elegant, almost nautical touches Morgan and Ryan included in their wedding day. It’s so obvious they put a lot of thought into how they wanted their wedding to be, what they wanted for each aspect.
Morgan says “In keeping with making every aspect of our day ‘us’, we wanted to make the photoshoot very Auckland. It was an amazingly sunny and still day, which was lucky because the entire bridal party crossed the harbour from Devonport to the Viaduct Harbour by speedboat. For me, this was the most hilariously fun moment of the day. My new husband, our best friends, and a boat out on the harbour.
We had our photos at Imperial Bar in the Viaduct Harbour. Ryan took me out for dinner in the Viaduct on one of our very first Auckland dates in early 2006, and we had a drink at Imperial after dinner. At the time Ryan commented how amazing the leather armchairs, big fireplace and large oak tables were – and how it’d be a stunning place for wedding photos. Of course I had to take him back there on our wedding day!
We arrived at The Wharf by speedboat – having zipped across the harbour and under the harbour bridge. Our driver was hilarious and got into the excited energetic mood of the day and took us for a ‘blatt’ up to Chelsea Sugar works and back! Amazing.”
Prior to the reception and as a nod to Ryan’s heritage, the couple named their cocktail hour “Australia Hour”.
Morgan says “It was important for us to recognise Ryan’s Australian heritage. We decided to do it during the canapés hour whilst we were having our photos. It also provided a fabulous opportunity for some tongue in cheek jokes, starting with our directions in the order of service. We compiled a playlist of the best known and most fun Australian hits, including Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham and the hilarious Rolf Harris. We decorated the room with a large white wooden letters that spelled Australia, and collections of gumnuts and golden wattle in small square white ceramic vases. Sourcing these was quite difficult, but looked absolutely perfect (and we’re sure it made our 57 Australian guests feel at home!).
Ryan’s family have lived on their property in McLaren Vale just outside of Adelaide for seven generations and Ryan’s family heritage is very important to him. The grapes on their land are used to make a Sparkling Shiraz, a delicious chilled sparkling red wine that is a family favourite and consumed in large quantities at all special occasions! We brought 3 cases over for Australian Hour, as we wanted to introduce our NZ guests to our favourite wine – and also have some on our wedding day. We also served Crown Lager – a very Australian beer.”
Morgan and Ryan put considerable thought into their reception held at The Wharf. “We named our tables after places in NZ and Australia that are important to us. We made white wooden letters that spelled out each name, and surrounded them with white pillar candles (wrapped in wedding ribbon) and antique silver candlesticks that we had collected throughout the year from antique shops in Adelaide and all around the North Island.
The top table was called The Edwards (again, in white wooden letters) and we had a small white ceramic vase with poppies in it on either side, decorated with the wedding ribbon. These flowers were also hard to find, but there was nothing more perfect to represent the union of NZ and Australia and to commemorate our grandparents.”
The chocolate wedding cake was created by Rocket Kitchen. Morgan says “In lieu of bonbonniere we made a donation to Medicans Sans Frontiere on behalf of each guest. We both really love how MSF actively pursues equal health opportunities for people in the third world.
It was really important to us to acknowledge the important people in our lives and share what makes them so special to us. We gave each guest a booklet with information about the places that the tables were named after, and a small blurb about each person at each table. They were a huge success – my Maid of Honour’s mother told me how she’d spotted that the woman sitting next to her was a chef, and so asked her for a new and exciting recipe she could make for her dinner party the next night!”
Ryan says “We thought it was a novel idea to incorporate a photobooth into Australian Hour. Morgan’s stepdad Barry made us a large white photoframe for guests to stand behind, and our very close friend Ricky (a professional photographer) took photos of guests. The resulting photos are both hilarious and gorgeous. We’ve mailed them out as our thank you cards, and also have made a magazine style photo guestbook for our coffee table.”
The special touches were endless! Morgan says “In the girls bathroom we had a ‘Touch Up Station’ complete with GHD Hair Straightener, sewing kit, hairspray and bobby pins, plasters, blister block, insect repellant, mints, makeup removal pads, mascara, lip gloss and many more items essential to women in need!
We had three children at our reception: My brothers and sisters. They absolutely mean the world to me, and I realised early on that they would find the duration of the reception a bit overwhelming. After a bit of brainstorming I came up with the idea of personalised activity sheets for each of them, with a photo treasure hunt (and disposable camera) the same on each. I tailored them to each of their ages; my 8 year old sister had join the dots and my 14 year old brother had logic puzzles (among other things). They were so much fun to make, and the kids loved them.”
Ryan says “One of the many things Morg and I have in common is our passion to learn new things. We are constantly challenging each other with new ideas and so when I suggested we have lessons and make our dance extra special there was no turning back!
We had a series of lessons in Adelaide, and whilst at the start there was a lot of spaghetti arms and encroaching on each others’ dance space, we pulled “the” Dirty Dancing Dance off (almost) perfectly. We even did the lift!
With Morgan organising such an amazing day whilst completing med school, it was important for me to assist where possible and add some personal touch to the day. Among other things I was in charge of transport from the wharf to our accommodation. With the day planned down to the last perfect detail, I knew that vacating the venue as man and wife was just as important as our arrival so I arranged a chauffeur driven BMW 7 series to collect us (with a waiting bottle of sparkling Shiraz) and drive us to the amazing accommodation, Level 23 of the stunning Sentinel apartments in Takapuna. It was important for me to arrange the accommodation on the North Shore as it is Morgan’s home, and I wanted to share our first night in the place that she is hugely passionate about. The accommodation was simply amazing, and it provided the perfect setting to chill out together, enjoy just one more wine and reflect on such an amazing day whilst taking in the panoramic view.”
My favourite part of Morgan and Ryan’s celebration? In lieu of a honeymoon, the couple took a “mateymoon”.
Morgan explains “We had such an amazing time on our wedding day that we weren’t ready for it to be over. We were blessed to have a lot of guests from Morg’s Medical School in Brisbane fly over, as well as Ryan’s groomsmen and their partners and it seemed such a shame for them to fly home without spending more time with them.
Morg’s Maid of Honour Sophie helped us to organise what was known originally as ‘Tumeke’ and then became known throughout the Coromandel as ‘The Mateymoon’ after Sophie’s boyfriend Andy, a Coromandel FM DJ, announced our arrival on air. It was eerie how many of the vendors of each day’s activities had heard of us on the radio!
We had 35 people in total, and hired three beachfront bach’s in Tairua. Each day we partook in some of the amazing things on offer in the Coromandel, and each night one of the houses would host dinner and the ensuing festivities. We went kayaking to Cathedral Cove, rode horses in Whitianga, played golf in Pauanui and lawn bowls in Tairua, went fishing off the Alderman Islands, collected pipi’s in Tairua estuary and relaxed in pools we made at Hot Water beach and a day spa in Whitianga, all over the course of 7 days. We had Mexican, Indian, Thai, ‘Australian BBQ’, freshly caught fish and many other beautiful meals, and a fireworks display on the first night! It was the perfect ending to what was the most amazing day of both our lives, and incredibly special to have all of our best friends in the same place for the first time, and even more special to have them all in the Coromandel together”
Thank you Morgan an Ryan for sharing your thought out, beautiful wedding celebration with us today! Congratulations on your marriage! Thank you also to Lauren Indrisie Photography for sharing today’s photographs!
Photos by Lauren Indrisie Photography