Jess & Spencer’s Romantic Rural New Zealand Wedding

by | Bride, Inspired Weddings, New Zealand,


Jess & Spencer

Planning their romantic rural New Zealand wedding from the Cayman Islands proved no hurdle for Jess and Spencer, with a sublime day crafted so beautifully, we can barely take our eyes away! Chasewild  captured the day.

The bride and groom met at work, with Spencer welcoming Jess to the office. Their friendship turned to romance, which led to a knock out proposal. The bride shares, ”We got engaged on Spencer’s birthday. I wanted to organise the date but he said he had already booked us in for a comedy show. Before the show we had dinner and we were seated straight away at the same seats we sat at on our first date (Spencer had arranged this secretly ahead of time). Following dinner, Spencer told me that we had to get an Uber over the Shore for the comedy show. The “Uber” was already waiting for us as we left the restaurant. Not only that, but it was a brand new luxury car and the driver was wearing a suit. When we arrived at the comedy show, I was concerned we were in the wrong place, it was deserted. As Spencer and I walked towards the dock at Torpedo Bay, which looked across the water to the city lights of downtown Auckland, Spencer insisted they were in the right place and asked if I recognized my surroundings. As I looked out to the dock I remembered. This was the place where we had our first ‘serious’ discussion about being a couple and the risks of a failed romance working in the same office. So, having realised where we were, I turned around to tell Spencer and found him down on one knee (struggling to get a ring out of his pocket) and asking me to marry him. I could only scream “What are you doing?!” but it was quickly followed by “Yes! Yes! Of course! Please get up!”bride

Adding to the international theme of planning their wedding, Jess found her dream wedding dress in the United Kingdom. She tells, ”When I was visiting my sister in London, she made an appointment for me at the bridal boutique Heartaflutter. I met Sabina Ali, the designer for Sabina Motasem at the boutique and my dress was the first dress I tried on. It was a bias silk slip called ‘Elsa’ with the ‘Margot’ lace overlay. I loved the way the silk hung without any structure and had a simple, yet elegant style. I tried on a number of other dresses afterwards but kept coming back to the same one. Eventually I bought it online and had it shipped directly to New Zealand.” The groom wore a tuxedo from Crane Brothers.


Jess and Spencer worked to create a day where they could celebrate all that was important to them, spending time with friends and family being a top priority. The bride shares, ”We moved to the Cayman Islands one and a half years ago and travelled back to New Zealand for the wedding. We wanted to have as much time as possible catching up with friends and family at the wedding. Having a ‘first look’ and photos of the bridal party taken before the ceremony was perfect as it allowed us to spend more time catching up with friends and family we hadn’t seen in quite some time at the wedding.” For her bouquet, the bride chose stunning black dahlias and delicate Autumn anemones from florist Lydia Reusser.

The romantic and intimate ceremony was held at St Andrew’s Chapel. The bride tells, ”The chapel was built 110 years ago and is made mainly of kauri timber and still has its original kauri pews and pulpit. We loved the intimate size of the chapel as soon as we saw it, seating around 100 guests. We wanted the ceremony to have a non-traditional, relaxed and intimate feeling. Our celebrant, Justine Russell-Cowan was the perfect choice as she was very sweet, light-hearted and brought a fresh approach to the ceremony. My mum, Judith Lamb read a short reading called Apache Blessing (Author unknown).” Jess’s Dad walked her down the aisle while a close friend sung ‘Wings’ by Amber Leigh. The bride shares, ”During the ceremony, a close friend, Susannah Bull, sang for us. This was really special as when we were living in New Zealand we would go and watch her perform at open-mic nights at different bars in Auckland. To hear her voice again as I was walking down the aisle was simply beautiful.”

Styled rustically and romantically to perfection, the reception was held at The Stables Restaurant, on the same grounds as the chapel. The bride shares, ”It had room for two long tables which we wanted to create the setting of a large family dinner with everyone sitting together. It had a large lawn out the front with views of a dressage arena and the surrounding rolling hills of Matakana.” The room was styled with wild and organic floral arrangements, with golden lanterns and candlesticks. As a beautifully sentimental touch, the bride and groom cut the cake with an engraved cake knife sent by Jess’s grandmother who could not travel to be at the wedding.

The newlyweds stole away at sunset to take some more photos. They recall, ”Not only was it a beautiful setting, but it allowed us to get away for half an hour together and have some quiet, intimate moments after exchanging our vows.” Capturing the magic was Cameron Thorp and Jesse from Chasewild. Jess tells,”They were really fun guys to have around on the day and perfectly captured the atmosphere of our wedding. They like to take photos in adventurous places – at one point they even made a small ‘bridge’ out of a plank of wood they found nearby to create a bridge to get across a muddy, swampy trench!

Thrilled with their country New Zealand wedding planned from afar, Jess and Spencer loved working with Two Foxes to bring everything together. The bride shares, ”As we were planning a wedding from overseas, we used a partial planner/stylist to work with the different vendors. They were invaluable in suggesting different vendors, creating the look we were after and bringing everything together on the day. I can highly recommend using a planner to any couples looking to plan a ‘long distance’ wedding as it takes the stress out of the whole process. They were fantastic!”

One highlight of the wedding planning for the couple was learning their first dance together to ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ by Tori Kelly. Jess remembers, ”We took lessons each Sunday in the months prior to the wedding on top of a car-park in the Cayman Islands with views out to the ocean. Neither of us had any real prior dancing experience and it was really fun learning something new together and taking a break each Sunday from being tied to our emails planning a wedding abroad. It was such a highlight on the night – I think our family and friends were surprised that we had managed to learn a proper dance that even included some lifts!” The newlyweds planned a brunch the following morning to see friends and family in town for the wedding. Jess tells, ”It was so nice to be able to say goodbye to everyone properly before we flew back to the Cayman Islands.”

Congratulations to our stunning bride and groom, and thank you for sharing your breathtaking day with us! Thank you also to Chasewild for your photographs!


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  • Dance Lessons
  • Quianna Erb


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