Beth & Jamie

  • Photography by Ash Photography

Unbeknown to us, Jay and I were setup by mutual friends six years ago. I turned up at our mutual friend’s house to meet ‘their friend from Wanganui’ in my fat man pants and a hoodie (I was mortified) but Jay said that's how he knew I was the girl for him!  

Whenever we came back home to the Bay one of the first things we did was go for a run/walk up the peak. On this particular night, I wasn't in the mood for either. Jay dragged me up the peak at sunset and I complained the entire way up (oops)!! I had a hoodie on, no makeup and was a sweaty mess! As I reached the top of the summit Jay was down on one knee. Knowing full well I wouldn't be able to eat anything after all the excitement, Jay arranged an engagement lunch the following day celebrated with close family and friends at Elephant Hill Winery!

We were engaged for 16 months and married Saturday 14th January 2017, the same day as Richie McCaw ;) at Mission Estate Winery in Hawkes Bay. Our top 3 ‘must haves’ for our wedding was good food/wine, a walk-in walk-out venue and a place where we could have an outdoor ceremony! The Mission easily ticked all of those boxes. We took both of our mums to the venues we liked and this was a stand out for them and us!

Whether to do a first look or not can be quite controversial. We tossed the decision up for a year but in the end decided that spending time with our guests was more important than spending hours getting photos after the ceremony! The first look shoot, up on Te Mata Peak was magical, intimate and filled with raw emotion – and we got it all on video and camera. Going into the ceremony we were both more relaxed and enjoyed the extra time we were able to spend with our guests after the ceremony. 

I fell in love with a dress well out of my budget so chose to get a simplified version of it made by Robyn Bastin, a local dressmaker in Hawkes Bay. I really wanted a fitted style silk dress with some lace detailing. I wanted something simple, but sexy! My dress had a low back and V-neck front. It was fitted down to my upper leg and then splayedout. There was lace detailing on the bust and straps and down the lower back. My train was cut out and filled in with lace detailing.

My aunty Sheryll, from The Flower Barrow Florist was amazing! She was not only an amazing florist, but family as well. For years I had always wanted her to do my flowers for my wedding. I knew I wanted soft pink and white flowers to match the bridesmaid dresses with lots of loose greenery to go with the rustic style theme. These were really the only recommendations I gave her. I 100% trusted her and other than the above details I let her do her thing and she more than delivered!

I cried when I saw the flowers the morning of the wedding. She did all the bouquets, boutonnieres, the cake topper, table arrangements, and even made corsages for our grandmothers. When we turned up at our reception she had surprised us and made a large flower arrangement that went across the front of the head table. 

I had always wanted a ‘naked cake’ as it tied in with our theme and was very rustic looking! My talented cousin has been making cakes for years and agreed to make ours. We had a two-tiered chocolate mud cake with salted caramel ganache! We opted to have our cake as a plated dessert. We had been to SO many weddings where the wedding cake wasn’t eaten!

Believe it or not, the cake flavour was the only major disagreement Jay and I had. He wanted carrot cake and I wanted chocolate mud! We ended up agreeing on chocolate mud cake, but I secretly arranged for him to have carrot cake at the wedding reception.

My mum is famous for her Russian fudge so she made heart shaped Russian fudge favours for each guest.

We designed games for the guests to play while they were seated; “I spy” with a hashtag so photos could be tagged to Instagram and ‘Advice Cards.’ We got our MC to read a few out in between the meal courses and speeches. Our MC introduced the bridal party one-by-one. Jay and I had written some funny, factual facts about each bridal party member so that guests knew who they each were. We also made up some quirky dance floor rules which we had displayed and read out by our MC. 

We knew we wanted a sit-down menu and we knew the food was exquisite at Mission Estate. Guests raved about the pork belly and beef! Lots of guests said they couldn’t decide between the choices so a lot of couples order one of each and then switched half way through!

I have two very important pieces of advice for any bride planning her wedding: 

1) All you need is Pinterest and Google Spreadsheets

2) Never judge your husband's choices... because you are one of them! 

THE DETAILS: Bride's gown ROBYN BASTIN; Groom's attire HALLENSTEINS; Hair [email protected]; Makeup MISS FROU FROU; Flowers THE FLOWER BARROW FLORIST; Cake GET CAKED; Rings PASCOES; Celebrant FATHER BRIAN CARMINE; Fairy lights A TOUCH OF ELEGANCE; Love sign, gold candleholders MISS FROU FROU; Venue and catering MISSION ESTATE WINERY; Photographer ASH PHOTOGRAPHY; Videographer MAYER WEDDING CINEMA

Would you like to submit your wedding to be considered for 'Wedding of the week'? Email [email protected] with the date you were married, the location, and at least a dozen images – the more details the better. We will only publish weddings that have not been published elsewhere, with the sole exception being your photographer's website.


The Winter Issue of New Zealand Weddings magazine is hot off the press; grab yourself a copy from anywhere great magazines are sold.  
HERE for a sneak peek of what's in the Winter 2017 (#6) issue!

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