Andrew Peart asked Christina Schmutz to marry him by flying her to Raglan and writing “will you marry me” in the sand. Unfortunately Christina didn’t realise the message was meant for her…until Andrew dropped to one knee and produced a gigantic flashing plastic diamond ring.

“Of course I said yes!” says Christina. “Then, from behind a bush came a gorgeous little girl carrying some celebration ice-cream. We flew back to Hamilton and I realised Andy wasn’t scared of flying the plane at all, it was just his nerves that had made him so anxious on the way over! On our arrival back in Hamilton the airport staff were waiting to see if we came back together or not. Andy had prepared a packed lunch to enjoy down by the river. It was such a beautiful day.“

Their wedding day was just as beautiful. The couple were married at Whale Bay Reserve on a gorgeous summer’s day in January 2014. “Andy was born in Raglan and has lived here ever since,” says Christina. “Although I’d only lived in Raglan for two years, I felt a special connection with the place and the people – it was the perfect place for our wedding.”

Not so perfect were their plans for a big group photo after the ceremony. Thinking the rocks at Whale Bay would make a picturesque setting, they hadn’t anticipated the difficulty of getting their 180 guests into position. “We had people sliding down the muddy bank, including Andy’s 83-year old granddad, people tripping on the rocks and people giving it a miss completely once they realised the effort it took to get down there. Luckily we can look back on it now and laugh at how terrible it was!”

While Andrew’s proposal was a high-flying one, the newlywed’s entrance to their wedding reception, held in a marquee at Andrew’s family farm in Te Uku, was slightly more sedate – atop two vintage bicycles. Before she met Andy, the thought of riding a bike terrified Christina. “We were going to Andy’s grandparent’s bach at Lake Rotoiti with friends and during our stay we planned to go to the Redwoods for a bike ride. I was very embarrassed but eventually I built up the courage and asked Andy to teach me to ride a bike. For Christmas he brought me my very own vintage bike.”

Their alternative choices of wedding transport didn’t stop there – the couple borrowed the Raglan Surf Academy bus to transport guests from the ceremony to the reception and the rest of their bridal party rolled in behind the wheel of a classic VW Kombi. “We didn’t have a strict theme for our day,” says Christina. “We used bits and pieces from everything we liked and combined it altogether. Overall we had a very rustic look with old pieces of wood used for signs, the archway and the ceremony doors.” 


Wise words

Prepare a list of people you’d like photos with before the wedding day – the day goes by so quickly you don’t remember who you’ve had a photo with. And it only happens once so take lots of photos, they really help capture the memories. 


Carlton Party Hire. They were so helpful and able to cope with last minute changes. They went over and above what I expected! 
Sarah Manning Hair & Makeup. Sarah travelled all the way from Auckland to Raglan. She’s very easy to work with and her communication skills were fantastic. She even went the extra mile helping getting the girls ready.  


Photography: Anne Paar Photography

Dress: Aurora Bridal

Hairdresser: Sarah Manning Hair & Makeup 

Make-Up Artist: Beauty World Hamilton

Florist: Jasmin Aebischer (Cousin) 

Cake: Renee Wilkinson 

Ceremony Venue: Whale Bay Reserve

Reception Venue: Te Uku family farm

Celebrant: Roger Peart 

Stationery: Ourselves and family. Amplifier Graphic Design. Matthias Schmutz (Brother)

Catering: Spit Roast Catering Company

Marquee: Carlton Party Hire, Hamilton. 


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