We recently had the absolutely pleasure of photographing the wedding of Jess & Geordie at the Dunedin Botanical Gardens. Scroll down to read more about some of the things they did to personalise their wedding day and some advice for brides-to-be.
How did you meet? We played each other in a social netball game and of course I was partnered up with the guy far taller, faster and better than I was. I chased him around the netball court for an hour, we connected on social media and then he chased me for three years before it became official.
Tell us about the proposal: We went to Sydney with two of our friends for an All Blacks game. On the first morning we went for a walk along Bondi Beach, Geordie eventually got me down on to the sand, as we were walking along the beach he said “Oh look! Someone has written something in the sand!” I looked down and could just make out “will y___ ma……” I didn’t want to assume anything (I had assumed once before and just disappointed myself…) so replied “what does that say?!?!?!” Geordie had tears in his eyes and a ring in his hand, I don’t really remember much after that!
Where did you choose for your ceremony? We knew we wanted to have a garden wedding with a relaxed feel to it. Someone had mentioned to us that you could ‘book a space’ at the Botanical Gardens for weddings, we went and had a look around and loved the idea of having our ceremony in the rose garden – being 1 December, the roses were always going to look amazing!! It was a bit of a risky call having an outdoor wedding in Dunedin at the start of December but we were blessed with the most amazing day!! (Just as well as we didn’t really have a back up…)
Where did you decide to have your reception? We had our reception at the Otago University Rowing Club. I was a rower for 5 years and a coach for four years so it had special meaning to me. Aside from that it is a beautiful space with windows the length of the room looking out over the harbour.
Did you have a theme or style? I am very much a minimalist and don’t love colour a whole lot and the wedding was much the same. We had loads of beautiful white flowers dotted all over the venue and running along our tables, we also had fairy lights all over the ceiling which looks gorgeous once the sun had gone down. We didn’t want too much going on that would detract from the gorgeous view over the water.
Tell us about your wedding dress? I got my wedding dress from House of Kavina in Dunedin. I knew that style of dress that I wanted but didn’t have my heart set on it as everyone always says that the most unlikely dress will be the one that suits you most and that you fall in love with. I went dress shopping with my maid of honour and my mum. Mum found the dress and I didn’t really like it to start with (although it was similar to what I though i wanted) but as soon as i put it on and saw mum and Kels crying – i knew it was my dress.
What advice do you have for future brides? Choose one thing that you want for your wedding and focus on that. For us, we wanted to make sure that everyone was having an amazing time – not just us! Also, it really is worth all the stress!
Where did you get your shoes? My shoes were from Maher in Wall St Mall and Geordie got his from Hannahs
Who did your hair & Makeup? Hair was by Aurum Hair in Mornington, Dunedin and our makeup artist was Shannon Gale. The three ladies who came out to beautify us were amazing, fun and a head of schedule! We actually had time to sit down and have a glass of bubbles afterwards.
Where did the guys get their suits? The boys all wore Hallensteins suits
Tell us about your flowers? Our gorgeous friend Ayla from Twigs and Twine did our bouquets, button holes, cake toppers and provided all the flowers for the tables and reception venue. She was amazing! I always wanted to have peonies in my bouquet and she made it happen! I sent her a picture i found on Pinterest of my “dream bouquet” but i actually think Ayla’s was more beautiful.
Tell us about the photography part of your day? Like a lot of couples, we don’t love having our photo taken and aren’t overly affectionate people in public so we were pretty nervous about our pictures looking staged and awkward. The day ran to time perfectly and we all had a lot of fun having our photos taken. Craig and Sarah were amazing and worked together perfectly. Geordie and I are totally in love with our photos and can’t stop looking at them.
Why did you choose Sarah & Craig from O’Neill Photographics? I knew Sarah before we even started planning and got on with her really well, when she introduced me to Craig I could tell they were a really cool couple. Geordie and I both loved their work and knew that good photography was really important to us – if you don’t have good photos of your day, whats the point in all the effort right? If i am honest, O’Neill Photographics are the only photographers we even looked in to!
Tell us about your flowers? Our gorgeous friend Ayla from Twigs and Twine did our bouquets, button holes, cake toppers and provided all the flowers for the tables and reception venue. She was amazing! I always wanted to have peonies in my bouquet and she made it happen! I sent her a picture I found on Pinterest of my “dream bouquet” but I actually think Ayla’s was more beautiful.
Did you get away for a honeymoon? We went through to Clyde for three days which was dreamy, we based our days around different places we wanted to eat and didn’t do a whole lot else. I definitely recommend having a few days away together to relax after the madness that is a wedding!
Who made your cake? MY MUM! I was that kid that had awesome birthday cakes growing up so it was a given – mum was always going to make my wedding cake! When i showed her a picture of what we wanted she said “Oh easy! I’ll make three…”
What was the best part of your day? The best part of the day for me was getting to the end of the isle and seeing my handsome husband grinning back at me!!
If you could do it again, what, if anything, would you do differently? Nothing!! But actually one thing I would change is to have a videographer. It goes so fast and everything is such a whirlwind, it would be nice to be able to watch the day over again!