Erana & Zane

It was a blistering hot day when Erana and Zane welcomed their guests to their nuptials. But it seems that the heat only made the Western ranch venue even more appropriate. “We thought our choice was fun and quirky, but it was actually quite challenging to style without grabbing the cowboy boots and hat – we kept it casual, rustic and most importantly relaxed,” tells the bride. The onsite chapel, barn and rolling hills played host to a day that was all about a couple who wanted to tie the knot and express everything they love from their eleven years together. With photographic magician Georgia Verrells behind the lens, and days of preparation behind them, all that was left to do, was to enjoy the day.

It was on their ten year anniversary that Zane proposed. “We were on holiday snowboarding in Wanaka, NZ when he popped the question on the chairlift,” remembers Erana. “Everyone always asks if he was scared to drop the ring but we have spent a lot of time on chairlifts and it wasn’t a concern. He later told me he actually had it in his pocket all day and had accidentally forgotten to zip the pocket shut for a few runs – luckily it stayed put.”

The couple hired velvet couches for their forest photos.

Erana and Zane took to a local forest for their first look.

Erana chose a gorgeous lace gown from Rue de Seine, remembering, “I wore the Elea Gown by Rue de Seine – funnily enough, a New Zealand designer with a French name (my dad is NZ Maori and my mum is French – so it suits!). I didn’t try on a huge amount of dresses but of the ones I did, they were 99% hideous. When I tried the Elea gown it was the first one I felt comfortable in. I purchased the dress over a year before our wedding but was pleased I still really liked it by the time the big day came around.”

Gold Pop Flowers styled the bright floral details. “I don’t know much about flowers but I like lots of colour and that’s what I got!” tells Erana.

“My favourite photos are our bridal party shots on the velvet couches in the woods – they came out better than I had hoped and also show all of our outfits tying together nicely! I was a bit iffy when we were choosing everything so it’s nice to see it all work out!”

Erana walked down the aisle with both of her parents, explaining, “I walked down the aisle to ‘Heartbeats’ by Jose Gonzales, a long time fav of ours. My mum and dad both walked me down the aisle – call me a feminist but I don’t believe in the concept of the father giving his daughter away – my parents equally shaped who I am and that was why it was important for me to have them both there.”

Tells the bride, “Our ceremony actually unintentionally ended up being quite hilarious – we definitely didn’t want it to be cheesy or fake so we kept it relatively short. No readings or the like. Zane quoted Ralph Wiggum of the Simpsons in his wedding vows and our guests wound up giving him a round of applause when he was done – I don’t think I have seen that happen at a wedding before?”

“I was on the verge of happy tears when Zane was reading his vows until he finished with ‘I choo choo choose you’ and we all broke out in laughter.”

Erana and Zane wanted a blank canvas venue and Ace-Hi Ranch fit the bill! “We chose the Ace-Hi Ranch as it was a DIY venue and we could add all of our own little quirks to the day – such as ice cream on arrival and espresso martinis later in the night! We also loved this venue as it is a school camp venue and has lots of little cabins on site which we booked out for our guests. We are both from NZ so 80% of our guests were coming from abroad. The venue was also great as we could have our ceremony at the onsite chapel and reception in the hall. There is also a swimming pool which was perfect the next morning as it was a VERY hot couple of days.”

“Our venue was just a venue so we had to do a lot of work – we hired vintage furniture and wooden tables and chairs from all over Melbourne, purchased plates, water bottles, napkins, etc,” says Erana.  “Zane sanded down old windows to use for signage, and thankfully my brother is a website/ graphic design nerd so he put together a wedding website for us, did all our invites, place names, signage etc. My mum also makes and sells hand creams and moisturisers so she made small pots of rose hand cream for all our guests and my brother did the labels for them.”

“We loved her! 5 stars!” remarks Erana of the couple’s chosen photographer Georgia. “She really just seemed like one of our guests, everyone got along with her really well and were on a first name basis with her by the time that she left. We were super nervous about the “cheese” involved in the bridal party shots but she made it funny which relaxed us a lot.”

Guests enjoyed a sit-down feast catered by Mr Hall Catering Co. “Our caterers Mr Hall Catering were particularly awesome. The food was delicious but, equally important, the staff were over the top awesome,” remarks Erana.

Erana loves to plan, so planning the wedding was right up her alley! She notes, “I really enjoy planning so I enjoyed 98% of the process – only in the final two weeks’ lead up did things get a bit hectic. My favourite part was probably working on my Excel spreadsheet – ha! Going to see bands was pretty fun as well – an excuse to get out and about!”

Just like every other part of the day, the first dance was relaxed! Erana remembering, “Our first dance again, was very chill, just a little-unchoreographed shimmy to ‘Sea of Love’ by Cat Powers. Our band did an excellent cover for us. We actually chose the song because it is really short and we didn’t want to be swaying around too long by our lonesomes. Turns out even the short song was too long and we ended up calling people up to join us pretty quick haha.”

Music was a high priority for the couple, who chose The Mac Project to perform all night long. The bride tells, “Music was always really important for us so we had an awesome band – The Mac Project – followed by a DJ. We also really wanted to include espresso martinis – everyone gets a little snoozy after drinking in the sun all afternoon followed by a big dinner. Espresso martinis were a perfect sidekick for our wedding cake. We also wanted to make sure our guests were looked after, as they were all staying the night – we had pizza delivered later in the night and also had a food truck serving up breakfast and coffee in the morning.”

Congratulations Erana and Zane! Thank you for taking the time to share your day with us. Thank you also to Georgia Verrells for sharing today’s beautiful wedding with us.