We don’t feature weddings from New Zealand all that often on these pages but by jove I wish we did if Julia and Ben’s big day is anything to go by. Honestly folks the light is sublime!
And that’s not all that I’m going to spend the next three minutes waxing lyrical about because there’s so much to pour over from this glorious wedding. There’s the neutral colour scheme of course (a firm favourite of mine), the chic bridesmaid dresses complete with lace panelling and the rustic all-white bouquets. Oh and did I mention the ruffled cake? Well you should definitely keep your eyes open for that confectionery beauty as well as for the sweet portrait shots of the lucky couple.
Lastly I couldn’t not mention the beautiful venue where Julia and Ben tied the knot. Gear Homestead is definitely up there for me on my top international venues list. Saying ‘I Do’ on the veranda under boughs of green foliage surrounded by their loved ones looks flipping immense.
Julia The Bride: I had trouble finding a dress in London I liked, so while on a trip to Bath I went and visited Jessica’s shop. I told her what I had in mind for a dress design, and she made a mock up using fabric, then once I was happy we chose the silks and lace and she made the dress; I wanted something that was ‘me’ and a bit different than off the shelf designs.
The boys were dressed in classic black single-breasted tuxedos and white French cuff shirts from 3wisemen. The groomsmen wore black ties with black cotton cufflinks, and Ben wore white cufflinks; the idea was for a classic and timeless look.
We looked for an all-in-one venue where we could have the ceremony and reception. Gear Homestead was great as it also had picturesque gardens and grounds so we could have photos without leaving the guests for too long. Our guests were entertained with petanque and croquet in the garden while we had our portrait photos taken around the venue.
We wanted to keep the colour scheme neutral; the flowers on the table where white with greenery, white linen and seat covers, with most of the atmosphere coming from the period look of the homestead.
The bouquets were natural looking, clusters of white flowers, again to keep the look and feel of the day as neutral as possible. My bridesmaids wore neutral coloured classic dresses that looked gorgeous on all the girls. They all wore pearl earrings and their hair up. The ushers all wore matching black suits along with Ben, with the only subtle difference being the white cufflinks and a lapel flower for Ben.
The ceremony was taken by the Ben’s father who is a minister. Midi Tsai did a bible reading and our close friend Aaron performed an acoustic rendition of Jason Miraz “I won’t give up” during the signing of the register. Immediately following the ceremony the Daniel Hayles Jazz Trio started playing on the balcony and the guests were served bubbles and canapés while Ben and I had our photos taken with the rest of the bridal party.
We served canapés and bubbles while the guests where mingling in the garden after the ceremony, to keep them occupied during the photos. For the reception we had a buffet to cater for all tastes; all the wine was local New Zealand wine.
Tim was chosen as our photographer as we had seen a number of his other wedding photo shoots on his website and really liked his artistic style. My husband spoke to one of his clients who highly recommended him and he was also very professional to deal with. On the day we hardly noticed him as he blended in with the other guests. His turn-around time on the images was really quick and we absolutely loved the photos from the day!
We originally wanted the ceremony videoed, as my Grandmother wasn’t able to make it to the wedding. However, Anna Robinson put together a beautiful clip of the day to background music, which was a lovely additional touch.
Our advice to anyone looking to do something similar to us is that you don’t have to spend at the top end for everything. Our wedding planner Libby gave us really affordable options, which meant we had more money to spend on our honeymoon.