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On the 10th January 2015, Matt & Rachael said their vows in front of their closest family & friends with the rolling hills and sunny skies behind them. With a ‘rustic’ theme as their guide, Rachael & Matt styled their wedding with gorgeous DIY and abundant floral arrangements. In her own words, Rachael describes all the wonderful details of their big day…
Matt & I (Rachael) met six years ago on the dance floor & there was something about his moves that just made you want to learn them. We quickly became good friends and, eventually (three years later), our romance blossomed. In fact, everyone was telling us we would get married well before we were together! Although we never expected to be attracted to each other, we are so glad we gave it a go and our strong friendship made our love even stronger. After 1 & 1/2 years together, Matt proposed while we were on holiday in Melbourne. We had just enjoyed a fancy dinner and had decided to go for a stroll along the dock. The lights were reflecting off the water making it glisten magically when Matt proposed – it couldn't have been more perfect! Soon after the proposal I called my Dad to let him know the good news. He started laughing and crying happy tears. He had already known Matt was going to pop the question since Matt had asked him for permission. Dad told me that he couldn't have asked for a better son in law. Sadly, Dad couldn't be there for our big day as he passed away shortly after our engagement. But Dad told us it was one of the happiest things knowing that Matt would be there for all of us – “You caught a good one” he said.
After a lot of searching we found the perfect venue for our wedding – Queendom Gardens. Rustic yet elegant and modern, it suited both mine and Matt’s taste. For decoration, we had several botanical rose floral arrangements placed throughout the reception hall, as well as flowers in wired bird cages and flowers dangling from the bridal table. The floral decoration really brought the room to life. We also added lots of DIY touches, for example a gold MR & MRS sign, milk bottles covered in lace, framed photos of us. To make it truly OUR wedding, we hid a few skulls (my faves!) throughout the room, made a sign from a card my Dad had written in which said “Lots of love…Keep smiling,” and had a locket on display with an image of my (Rachael’s) deceased parents in it.
Finding my dress was quite the mission! I originally purchased two dresses in a princess & mermaid style but they didn’t feel right even though they looked stunning. Eventually I realised that they just weren’t 'me'. I needed a more ‘down to earth’ dress, a style which still made me standout from the crowd but was comfortable and simple. After a seemingly endless search, I finally found the one! It was cheaper than the first two (only $200!). It was flowing, easy to walk around in, simple yet elegant & was very unique in style with its lace tie up at the back. Ingridz Dressmaking added the final touch by shortening the length and adding the chiffon around the bust. I couldn't have found a more perfect dress! As for my hair & make up this was something I rarely get done. All I knew is I wanted my hair to be curled and hang down to one side that way people would still be able to see my tattoos. I wanted my makeup to be as natural as possible - Face Me Makeup & Hair NZ did it perfectly! The floral crown was also a must as it fitted with our rustic theme.
Our ceremony & reception were both held at Queendom Gardens in Wainui, out in the Auckland countryside. The scenery was absolutely stunning! The stream and rolling hills made for a picture perfect backdrop for our ceremony, and we only had to add a few little touches like the arch we were married in front of. My brother and sister walked me down the aisle and gave me away to Matt since my parents were unable too. While this may not be traditional, it was just as special. During the ceremony I tried to put the ring on Matt’s right hand instead of his left! Everyone started laughing but I was completely oblivious! It made for a very memorable moment.
The reception was a whole lot of fun! The amount of times Matt’s gaming addiction was mentioned and how I need to fold the washing was priceless - my bridesmaids even sang a song about it. Our cake was a real feature at the reception. We chose to have it three tiered (traditional) but naked to give it a rustic feel. The flavours included caramel and buttermilk with Jim Beam maple infused bourbon, vanilla bean and Dulce de Leche icing, drizzled with Hershey’s chocolate sauce and sprinkled with toasted pistachio nuts. Now that’s a cake! For our first dance we chose Ed Sheeran’s song “Thinking Out Loud.” Shortly after Bruce French joined us and played some tunes on the Saxophone. It was a magical night! All of our guest loved the photobooth, it really topped the night off. All our guests walked out of the booth with happy faces, seeing them laughing even more once they got to see their photos was priceless.
To all the brides-to-be, my number one piece of advice is this: Be true to yourself. The more you make your wedding day your own, the better you will feel and the more you and your fiancé will enjoy it. Don't feel pressured into having a strictly traditional wedding, this is your big day, so have it how you want it.