Caroline and Michael’s Stunning Wedding In Akaroa

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,



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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

Swirl divider

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.”


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