Crisp, fresh styling and a sunny Southland day set the scene for JESSICA MCLAREN and THOMAS ROY’S summertime celebration.
Be inspired by these New Zealand couples who share how they made their big day dreams come true
T om and I met and fell in love while working together on a farm. One day I was feeding my horse and, unbeknownst to me, Tom had buried an engagement ring (in its box) amongst a barrel of crushed oats. When I turned around to look at Tom, he was down on one knee. With our wedding set for January, Tom and I wanted its every detail to capture what we love about summer: drinks in the sun, good music, and amazing food. Put simply, we wanted a big summer party in the countryside.
Our ceremony, with 220 guests, took place at Wyndham Presbyterian Church – I grew up in Wyndham, so it felt extra special. We held our reception at the The Hideaway 201 in Winton, a restaurant set amongst lush green gardens. It was small enough to allow an intimate feel, but spacious enough that there was plenty of room for dancing!
The venue provided a lot of its own décor. Inside the silk-lined white marquee were elegant chandeliers, fairy lights and sweeping white floral arrangements with an abundance of leaves in various hues and textures, all of which fit with our white and nude palette.
Estelle Flowers created our bouquets with flowers in whites and blush and swathes of vines and leaves – I particularly loved the gypsophila, which was arranged loosely and tied with cream and rose pink ribbons.
Our stationery also reflected our colour palette and was designed by Rachel Hay. Illustrated with watercolour leaves, it was printed on cream textured card, while the name cards were tied together with a sprig of rosemary and a white linen napkin.
When it came to my dress, I'd always imagined a boho, lacey number, but was unsure what style would suit me. If it wasn’t for the help of my sisters, sister-in-law and mum, I don’t know how I would have made up my mind! In the end, we found an off-the-shoulder lace gown with a fitted bodice, a draped skirt and a full train by Rue de Seine from Paperswan Bride. I fell more and more in love with it every day leading up to the wedding. Because the dress had so
much detail, I kept my accessories minimal, choosing to stick with simple pearl earrings and a matching necklace.
My four bridesmaids wore silk nude- coloured dresses, with pink pearl earrings and delicate necklaces, while the boys donned navy suits and white shirts from Barkers, with Tom wearing a pocket square as his point of difference. The bridal party definitely looked the part as they piled out of the 1970s Ford Falcons we hired to take us from A to B.
Our cake, by Mandy May’s Pantry, was two-tiered: gin and lemon, and chocolate and beetroot. We also had a sweets table where guests could take their pick from an assortment of chocolates, fudges and mints.
I love music, so in addition to having the talented Little Green Men play at our reception, I took it upon myself to put the wedding playlist together. It was quite the party, and to end the night, Tom and I arranged a celebratory sparkler exit. Waving our guests goodbye and driving off together as a married couple was a feeling I will never forget.