New Zealand Garden Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,



Richard and Vicci

Richard proposed after five years together. For some reason I had been so sure he would never pop the question, that I hadn’t noticed he had been making the ring box in front of me for months! We met through friends at a New Year’s eve party in Mapua, at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. So we decided to marry nearby in my parent’s beautiful garden on the third of December 2012.

The wedding was planned from Melbourne, with only one short trip back to New Zealand, so the Internet was indispensable! I spent hours hunting for inspiration and vendors for the casual, folksy wedding we wanted.  A couple of weeks before the wedding we returned to New Zealand, after a pre-wedding honeymoon in Sydney, and finalised all the little details. My bridesmaids arrived the day before, and we spent a relaxing day picking flowers for the tables and bouquets from my parent’s  garden. A family friend kindly put together the bouquets, finishing them with ribbon, and vintage brooches belonging to my mother and late grandmother.

After some expensive indecision, I decided to have the dress I had been looking for made by the now closed Harvey and Ella in Melbourne. I would definitely recommend getting a bespoke dress, it was a wonderful experience watching my dream dress come to life. Mine was made up of  tiny oyster coloured sequins, with little cap sleeves and it fitted like a glove. The floral headdress was from Be something new on Etsy, and I made my own veil.

My bridesmaids found their own dresses. I really wanted them to be comfortable and to choose dresses that felt “right”, so I just gave them a colour range and let them look… but in the end they both decided to wear the same dress! For a personal touch I made all the boutonnieres and the bridesmaids headpieces out of scraps of felt and ribbon. A good friend did all our makeup as a wedding present.

Richard wore a mint condition vintage suit from Lost and Found in Melbourne, which my mother kindly tailored to fit.

On the day of the wedding we had to make the last-minute decision to move the ceremony site, as overnight rain had made the grounds soggy! Half an hour before our hair appointments at Hair in Mapua, I was still sorting out decorations, until my bridesmaids pulled me away. If it hadn’t been for all the work of the men in my family things would probably have never got done!

My step-father walked me down the aisle to Royal Wood’s “I’m so glad”,and we met Richard by a heart and lace covered arch. All the way down the aisle, Dad kept saying “smile! all these people are looking at you”, not as helpful as he thought! Our simple, personal vows were penned by us a few days before and our wedding rings were tied to our wrists, so the ceremony was close and uninterrupted.

Our recessional was Mango tree by Angus and Julia Stone, and we walked back down the aisle in a cloud of bubbles instead of traditional confetti. While our lovely photographer, Candy Capco, took the wedding party shots our guests wandered the gardens and enjoyed shortbread and elderflower punch.

After our first venue fell through we found  the award-winning Riverside cafe, run by a small community committed to co-operative and sustainable living. Their relocated meeting hall was the perfect venue for us, and the wonderful free-range, organic and locally sourced food was everything we hoped it would be.

Over winter we had folded hundreds of origami hearts to make the heart mobiles. The tables were covered with vintage tablecloths and decorated with bunches of flowers, candles and origami bird place cards. I made our fingerprint guestbook, with minis of us, holding thumbprint “balloons”. A Polaroid camera was a huge hit, and we have ended up with so many wonderful photos! Richard and I made our own cake and sweets, and decorated it with a handmade pair of birds.

Our wedding was all we hoped it would be, and we loved spending so much time making, baking and planning. It really was a community effort, with so many family, friends and vendors putting in time and effort to help us achieve our dream, from collecting endless vintage-ware, to taste testing food at possible venues. We truly couldn’t have done it without them.

Photography by Candy Capco

Ms Gingham says: I just love the polaroids. They give such a candid and honest account of the day! Such a gorgeous wedding to start off the week!

Vicci says: “My name is Vicci, and I married my husband Richard in a folksy/homemade celebration in Upper Moutere, New Zealand. We planned our wedding over a craft-filled year while living in Melbourne. I became obsessed with wedding mags and blogs, so much so it was like another job! Our wedding was all we wanted it to be, individual, heartfelt and very “us”. We now live in Wellington, New Zealand, with the two cutest kittens ever!”


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  • Wedding News and Inspiration | Polka Dot Bride says:
    June 29, 2012 at 10:01 am

    […] Roundupby Polka Dot BridePhoto from New Zealand Garden Wedding by Candy CapcoMy oh my what a week it has been! I can’t quite believe that it’s already […]

  • Katie says:
    July 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Such a cute wedding!
    What is the blue foliage used in the bouquets?? Adds the perfect touch!



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