Leah & Rob
Marrying in Queenstown, New Zealand, surrounded by friends and family at a picturesque venue? There’s no way Leah and Rob’s destination wedding wasn’t going to be a memorable one! Add in a stunning custom made gown by Angela Osagie Bridal that made Leah’s dreams come true, a party that lasted five days and incredible photography by Carla Mitchell, and you’ve got an even bigger winner! Below, Leah tells the story of how her and Rob wound up in Queenstown saying their ‘I do’s’.
Rob and I met in January 2013, very drunk at The Oaks (a pub in Neutral Bay, Sydney), all thanks to my sister, Leah! I don’t really remember too much of the night, however there was lots of dancing. We caught up again a week or so later and went to Pancakes on the Rocks for breakfast.
Unfortunately, after a few months together we decided to go our separate ways and I moved to London, with Rob following a few months later. We remained friends and caught up every now and then throughout our time in the UK. Fast forward a couple of years and we are now married!
We married on November 10th 2019 at Winehouse in Queenstown, New Zealand (my home country!). The style was bright and bubbly! We didn’t want a formal wedding. Quite the opposite, we were after super relaxed and good vibes. It helped that everyone travelled to Queenstown for the weekend, so everyone was in holiday mode.
On the day, I wore my mum’s beautiful sapphire diamond earrings (which I was not allowed to lose!) – it ticked off the ‘something borrowed’ and ‘something blue’.
My bridesmaids were my two sisters – Loren and Helen. For the flowers, the brief was simple – I wanted big and colourful, and Sarah at The Flower Room absolutely knocked it out of the park! The flowers were quite possibly my favourite part of the wedding – they were incredible. Still to this day I get so many comments on how amazing they were! All the flowers matched the bridesmaid dresses, which were a burgundy colour. Everything was in season and put together by Sarah and her team.
I LOVE my dress!!!!! I knew exactly what I wanted from the moment we got engaged! Long sleeves, pockets and a slit down the middle were key. After searching a few bridal stores in Sydney, there was nothing that fitted the brief, so I decided to get my dress custom made.
That is when I found Angela Osagie (the world’s best dress maker and the most amazing lady!). We had so much fun designing this dress. We caught up every couple of weeks for the first three months and then again for all my fittings in the months leading up to the wedding.
Angela, was the most relaxed, skilled and talented person to deal with, she went above and beyond and the attention to detail with all of the lace was incredible! She new exactly what I was going for and made me the dress of my dreams. I couldn’t recommend her enough!
Rob was going for a really casual look, which suits his personality down to a tee! I had a bit of a freak out, deciding my dress was too formal, which meant Rob and his cotton shirt no longer made the cut. We made a last minute dash to get a fitted shirt and ties, which pulled the outfit altogether. Rob’s best mate Ryan was his best man and Steve his cousin was second in charge.
After viewing a few venues on a weekend away in Queenstown, we couldn’t go past the Winehouse at Gibbston Valley! Sam made us feel so welcome and made everything seem so relaxed and easy from the first day we met. The venue had a beautiful backdrop of the mountains in Queenstown, with a waterfall adding to the beautiful scenery.
It poured down with rain all morning and then, just as I was about to walk down the aisle, the sun came out.
I walked down the aisle to ‘Arithmetic’ by Brooke Fraser. It makes me cry every time (except the day I got married! Haha.
We chose two readings that were read by Rob’s sister April and by one of my best friends, Brigette. The readings were, ‘Marriage is Not Beautiful’ and ‘He’s Not Perfect’.
Andrew Bell was our celebrant and we couldn’t recommend him more highly for anyone getting married in Queenstown. The detail and commitment he put in to personalising the ceremony was incredible and he made us both feel so relaxed on the day, even though we were both freaking out in the few hours leading up to the ceremony.
Our ceremony was really relaxed, short and sweet. We aren’t religious and we were happy for a short garden ceremony at Winehouse… and there was a champagne tower to be poured!
Carla Mitchell came highly recommended when we were searching for a photographer and the recommendations were spot on! We couldn’t have asked for a better person to capture our special day. Carla knew of all the best locations to get photos with our bridal party, and then Rob and I separately! She was also extremely patient with all the family photos required (there were a few!).
She also did an amazing job in calming the nerves when we were all taking photos getting ready.
Carla has a photobooth service that we used as well for two hours after dinner – we got lots of awesome photos in there.
Rob and I loved going down to the river to get photos of just the two of us, it meant we got to spend half an hour with just the two of us for it all to sink in
We didn’t do any DIY. Being international it was a challenge to DIY anything, and to be honest, there was no need. Sam at Winehouse is one of the most organised humans I know and sorted everything for us. Neither of us wanted the stress of having to set up anything on the day and we are so thankful that nothing was required of us.
The marquee was amazing and the perfect setting for our reception, and then there was a separate area for dancing, which we loved. The food was delish! All catered by Winehouse.
For our first danced we danced to ‘Higher Love’ – one of our favourite songs! Combined we have four left feet, so it wasn’t the most amazing dance you have ever seen, but we tried and were happy for our friends to join us after 30 seconds. There were no dancing lessons, although they were talked about. A live band was also key – we both enjoy live music and couldn’t have picked a better band in Freefall for all our guests to dance the night away.
My advice for brides and grooms to be is to have fun – the day goes so quick and before you know it, it’s over! Try to get a few moments of alone time with your new husband / wife to reflect on the day.