In a month of celebrating gold, today, we’re going for glamour! Today, we introduce you to Hana and Ammon. Lovers of all things vintage, these two embraced old world glam in a gorgeous garden setting. Says Hana “We wanted our wedding to be 1920’s inspired – dress, suits and decor all channelling a subtle Gatsby vibe. Green, glass, white and gold, with accents of black, would best describe our palette. A chill atmosphere filled with laughter and inappropriateness.”
With their two children as VIP guests “even if the 3yr old was a nightmare” laughs the bride, the pair filled their day with so much sparkle, and we don’t just mean the glittering gold bridesmaid gowns. These two made sure that their wedding reflected their unique personalities, and after the years together? On their tenth anniversary, (to the day!) this is a story we can’t wait to share. Thank goodness we have all the photos by The Official Photographers to help!
The couple met through friends over a decade ago. We’re handing it over to Hana to fill in the gaps of the story. “We met through a mutual friend while I (Hana) was back in NZ on holiday for my 18th birthday. There was immediate chemistry, but living in Sydney had to reluctantly head back to Australia two weeks later. Fast forward six months, back in NZ for Christmas, that chemistry was still there. We jumped straight in and within a couple of months, the ‘L’ word was flying.
And then? “Two kids, a house and 8yrs later, he finally got on one knee and popped the question. The Taitua Arboretum is a beautiful spot in Hamilton that is hectares of forest, farm and lakes with walks and plenty of areas to stop and picnic. This is where we had what we consider “our first date”. We went with a group of friends to the arboretum for a picnic. We set up in a field under a tree and had lunch and a kick around.
One morning we decided to take the kids out there for a walk. Near the end of the walk, in a field with long grass, a little box laid near the stump of a tree that was no longer there (the tree we picnic’d under years ago). With the kids next to me, Ammon got down on one knee and popped the question.”
Ammon embraced the vintage vibes of the day with a three piece suit from Asos. Hana explaining “Ammon has always loved the dress, look and vibe of the “old days”. He was all too happy to follow the 1920’s inspiration with a three-piece herringbone suit, gold collar bar in place of a tie and gold pocket watch to match. He was in the perfect forest green while his groomsmen were in a classic brown matching set. The groomsmen wore no ties, but gold collar bars took their place for a subtle point of difference, tying in the theme and gold from the girls. Such a small detail had such an impact.”
Hana was unsure about gown shopping but found the beauty she ultimately wore at Jessica Bridal. She tells “I am not a dress girl or a girly girl. My mother, sister and I booked three back to back appointments to visit wedding salons and attempt to find a dress. I had no idea what I wanted. At appointment number two, my sister and I shopped around and selected a bunch of things to try on. One dress in particular we LOVED but it was everything I didn’t want and super different from anything else we chose. Beaded head to toe, sparkly and fitted.
About four dresses in, we were just about to discount this different dress because all the others we chose just weren’t cutting the mustard. We decided to try it anyway – it was the one.
While I awkwardly stood there holding a fake bouquet, the first time in a veil, not overly expressive of any emotion other than awkwardness, I casually confirmed with the consultant that this was the one as mum cried. Celebrating with a glass of bubbles – it was as easy as that! DONE!
The dress is a fitted full length VERY HEAVY 1920’s inspired dress with a sweetheart neckline and beaded spaghetti straps. Beaded head to toe with beautiful art deco patterns, this set the tone for the rest of the wedding.”
All the GOLD! Hana’s bridesmaids wore gowns that were gold and glittering. “My vision for my bridesmaids has always been to have a palette of colours to work to, with no two dresses the same.
All the girls wore different dresses in different tones of gold. Following the ‘Gatsby’ vibe, we chose very different dresses that complimented each other and that each of them felt was “them”. The biggest thing that tied it all together, was the matching hair and makeup. This era is all about dramatic makeup and slick shiny finger waves. The red lips, dramatic eyes and perfect hair pulled everything together and achieved the look I was after.”
The couple chose all in one venue Old Forest School for their day. “Old Forest School is such a stunning venue. It’s a beautiful old school in the middle of nowhere, out near Te Puke and Pukehina Beach. Nestled in the forest with no reception, it’s full of natural beauty with big old trees, beautifully restored buildings and a reception area to die for.
Before even parking the car on our first visit to the venue, we knew this was the place for us. It tied in Ammon’s love for nature, my love for restoration and attention to detail, it ticked all the boxes and needed almost NO extra decor because it was perfect as is. We went very minimalistic for our decor, predominantly sticking with flowers and greenery for tables, the arch and hanging ladder as the main decor feature. Complimented with lights woven through the greenery, crystal glassware and our favours of crystal shot glasses, nothing else was needed.”
With such a long aisle to walk down, Hana chose multiple people to accompany her. She explains “The aisle at Old Forest School is extremely long! So I had mum walk me the first section, then at the end of the actual aisle, dad took over and gave me away. For the song – I chose an acoustic version of the first song that was “our song”. “Cinema” by Gary Go. It was super special and perfect.”
Hana and Ammon knew that their ceremony would be different to others they’d seen, so they worked hard to make it theirs. “Our ceremony. Well, it is definitely one to remember. We wanted our ceremony to be 100% authentic “US”. That’s exactly what it was with no filters, no line and no warning. We kicked off our ceremony by roasting the shit out of our bridal party. We shared some words with our celebrant who introduced each of them with words we felt best-taught everyone a little bit about them. No words were off-limits.
A back story led into our vows – which were equally as original. Plenty of swear words, jokes and inappropriateness was shared generating tears of laughter and disbelief from everyone. It was perfect and so many have said; unforgettable.
We didn’t want the ceremony to be the awkward lovey-dovey formal part that is forgotten about, we are not romantic types and PDA and saying sweet things is just not our cup of tea. So we thought… f$#k it! It’s our day, let’s do it our way no matter what anyone thinks. Thankfully it went down a treat and was well received. A lot of firsts for the venue owners & celebrant that day.”
The bride and bridesmaids carried garden gorgeous bouquets of greenery with white flowers by The Flower Patch. “Brooklyn from The Flower Patch did an absolutely stunning job! My only request was that I wanted only green and white, a couple of bits of toi-toi for the “fluffy/flapper” kind of feel and left the rest to her! Brooklyn’s work is always amazing, so I 100% trusted that she would do an amazing job. It’s fair to say I was NOT disappointed!”
Hana and Ammon chose Will Johnston to officiate their ceremony. Hannah telling “I have to say – having the best ceremony ever would not have been possible without Will Johnston, our celebrant. He is an absolute champ and encouraged us to make it our own. We love that he supported us to be original and made us feel comfortable with taking a different route that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but’s that’s okay because it’s what we want. A standard old ceremony with romantic lovey-dovey vows and metaphors about love just isn’t us. So I honestly could not be more grateful for finding Will!”
“Shannon and Aaron are incredible” raves Hana of the couple’s chosen wedding photographers. “Even before getting engaged, I always dreamed of having them as our photographers. I am soooo pleased they were able to make this happen and perfectly capture our vision, personalities and special moments. They made us awkward people feel super comfortable and gave us beautiful memories to look back on forever.”
“The thing I enjoyed most was giving everyone an experience that they didn’t expect for a wedding. Nothing was typical, lots of surprises and seeing everyone enjoy it and respond well to it. I love love love the process of wedding planning. Every second of it. The entire process of planning, preparing together with Ammon, really added another amazing layer to our already fairytale relationship.”
The newlyweds have all the rave reviews for their food and drink duo. The guests enjoying a BBQ style feast thanks to The Big Smoke BBQ Co and drinks by Beacall Hospitality. “I swear we had all the best vendors around! Absolutely everyone went above and beyond and each played a massive part in making our day super special.
We are serious foodies and eaters, so getting good caterers and food options was right up there in terms of priorities for us! Big Smoke BBQ 100% delivered on that and were even so amazing that they wrapped up all the leftovers and packed it away in our chiller trailer to take back – this made the best breakfast the next morning with all the wedding party!!
Our bar staff from Beacall Hospitality were FREAKIN AMAZING!!! They weren’t just there doing a job but genuinely cared and made every effort to go WAY above and beyond to help out and make sure everyone was happy and having a great time. They remembered everyone in the wedding party (and some outside of) and what each person drank, had it ready to go before you even reached the bar. Through dinner and speeches, they ensured everyone had what they needed, helped pack down as the night went on, had good yarns and got to know the wedding party and guests and even played with and entertained the kids. They hands down was the cherry on top!”
“Ammon and I are always the bad influence at the party – forcing everyone to drink more and level up. Ammon made sure to include this in our reception as well. He brilliantly came up with the idea to put all the guests’ names in a hat and asked everyone on the wedding table to pull out a name. All these people had to stand and finish their vessels. It was the perfect end to formalities.”
Of their first dance, Hana remembers “We danced to “Holding On To You” by Terrence Trent D’Arby. It’s one of our favourites! It was an awkward first dance, everyone watching, we were quick to invite our wedding party in to join us!”
A big congratulations to you both Hana and Ammon. Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us and thank you to The Official Photographers for sharing today’s celebration!