There was never any question James and I would get married in Raglan.
When we drove over the hill into this very special little town, our hearts were captured and we knew this was where we belonged. We were lucky enough to stumble into, and become part of, one of the most wonderful and heartwarming communities.
I have never been so totally embraced by such a group of strong, beautiful, independent, creative and kind women. Artists, designers, teachers, writers, florists, photographers, chefs, nurses, mothers, wives… friends. When my husband asked me to marry him, I wanted to share my day with these women who so loved me. And they wanted to share it with me. James and I wanted something small and intimate. ‘Understated elegance’ was the mantra – a natural, clean style. With the photographer, there was only ever one person I wanted – Geb Burns. I had seen Geb’s work at an exhibition at Rock-it Kitchen, and immediately fell in love with it. She has this amazing way of capturing light; dreamy, moody landscapes where colours are washed into a haze of tones. I went to see Geb at her home one rainy morning. We sat at her kitchen table, with the sound of tui in the trees, and discussed what I was hoping for. She showed me image after gorgeous image, and I knew she was the one to capture the feeling of our day. All I wanted was what she is so good at. I wanted her to see us, and wash us in that glorious light of hers. I wanted that to be the mood I felt every time I looked back, over the years to come, and recalled our day. We visited the sight of the ceremony several times together. I trusted Geb completely with my vision, as it became hers. On the wedding morning she came up early to shoot us getting ready, sharing in the joy of the day but never intrusive. Geb’s skill at capturing the feeling of a moment is so important, and shines in every photo taken that day. She turned a situation that could have been so unnatural and stilted, into something natural, elegant, fun and playful. And she stayed later than planned, in order to capture the special moments that can often get lost in the big picture. Geb saw us. She saw my husband and I. In the most beautiful way. Angela Hardy, the creative genius behind Leef Floral Deisgn, was my go to gal. On many evenings, drinking tea or a having glass of wine, on her deck overlooking the harbour, we hatched the most beautiful ideas to make my wedding day something perfect. After asking me very simple questions to get a feeling for what I was after, she presented me with options that were exactly what I had thought of, but didn’t have the ability to explain. Not only did she discuss bouquets, table arrangements and decorations, but between us we came up with the design aesthetic for the entire wedding! James and I got married on the 31st March, which as I learned is not the most auspicious time for the flowers I was longing for. But Ange went out of her way to source the most stunningly scented heritage roses from a tiny grower in the foothills of Mt Pirongia. We went out together one dewy early morning in our gumboots, and walked through beds of roses, learning names and scents and colours. Blue and silver gum came from the property of local friends; foliage came from my own garden; twisty willow came from her backyard, Ange’s beautiful mum came down and helped fill jar after jar with posies. Ange has such a personal touch with everything she does, it helped to create such a beautiful intimate feeling throughout the entire process. I was able to completely relax, knowing that she had my vision in her head and would execute it with such style and grace. She pinned the buttonhole on my dad’s lapel, and the corsage on my mama’s dress. She hand-delivered my exquisite bouquet and we had a hug and a cry. She stood up and spoke to my husband and I at our wedding ceremony. There is no one in the world I would rather have shared this experience with. Her artistic vision, her ability to feel a situation, to be gentle and kind and fun, is a wonder. Not only a fantastic artist, but my soul sister in life. Having two of my dear friends share their wisdom, expertise, joy and love with me for my wedding is something I will never forget. Marrying that person you want to share the rest of your life with is never to be forgotten. Sharing it with your closest friends turns it into a thing of true beauty.
“And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”- Khalil GIbran
Florist - Leef Floral Design
Venue - Rock-it