We are thrilled to bring you Harriet and Ben’s elegant outdoor wedding in New Zealand on Polka Dot You today! Their beautiful ceremony and reception took place amidst the stunning landscapes of their family property in Central Otago. As bride, Harriet explains, the day was so relaxed, filled with joy, dancing, and the love of family and friends, made it an unforgettable celebration.

“Although we had 100 guests attending, it felt intimate, relaxed and there was a lot of positive energy in the air. We felt so much love.”

We met officially as two kiwis on a sailing trip in Croatia, August 2015. Not exactly “the love boat” but an adventure to get out and meet others and have some fun. I was living in London at the time and Ben was making his way to live there himself.

In terms of the engagement, it was a no-brainer decision wise; we couldn’t picture life without each other. Ben organised a weekend camping trip to Wilsons Promontory National Park. Suspicions aroused as he tried to convince me that he had fixed the air bed, alas once he proposed during walk overlooking the beautiful ocean, he had booked a secluded and luxury cabin for the night.

The theme and atmosphere for our wedding was casual elegance, and the overall atmosphere of the wedding was relaxed, allowing the guests to enjoy the beautiful outdoor setting of my family property in Central Otago, New Zealand.

Our colour palette was neutral, key colour being a mocha bronze, shown in the bridesmaid dresses and stationery. Neutral colouring reflected in the dried flower arrangements which were grown and dried by my parents and styled by my sister.

Ben wore an MJ Bale natural linen tuxedo jacket, a timeless and sophisticated look. He paired the tuxedo with white shirt, black pants, a tie, and black boots. He chose a lighter coloured jacket in contrast to the traditional dark coloured options to add a modern touch. He opted for linen to align with the relaxed feel of the wedding day.

The groomsmen wore a similar outfit, but with black suit jackets instead of cream so that Ben could stand out on the day.

My dress was designed with simplicity and elegance in mind from white silk fabric.

As I am indecisive, I could not decide on any of the dresses I tried on. I liked multiple dresses.

I contacted D’Italia Couture, custom dress makers to create a unique and versatile outfit. Combining multiple elements from an array of dresses to create two looks for the day.

The dress consisted of one bias-cut silk skirt with button detailing and small train paired with two different style tops that match the skirt giving the appearance of a cohesive dress. For the ceremony I opted for a sleeveless 70s style relaxed top with low back, reflecting my desire to have a comfortable yet chic look.

The reception top featured cap sleeves and a silk t-shirt style cut designed to show a glimpse of skin. This choice was prefect for the celebratory atmosphere allowing me to move and dress freely while maintaining an elegant appearance.

By selecting two tops that match the skirt, this allowed me to effortlessly transition from the ceremony to the reception without the need for a complete outfit change, but the joys of having a second look.

My shopping experience was amazing, collaborating with the D’Italia couture dress maker to create a custom outfit tailored to my body and my preferences was a great experience. I trusted Mary, my dress maker, fully and she did not disappoint. It was a fulfilling experience, and I felt so confident and beautiful on the wedding day.

My engagement ring was Ben’s great grandmother’s, and I wore my grandmother’s gold bangle on the day.

For the walk down the aisle, I chose “I’m With You” by Vance Joy.

I initially thought I would be nervous for the ceremony, as my I don’t enjoy attention or speaking to a crowd, but honestly walking out and seeing all the closest people in our lives all their to help celebrate our love in one of our favourite places was so special and warming.

It ended up being the most favourite part of the day (well one of). Our celebrant, Esther, did a great job. We wrote and read our own vows, and then Ben’s sister did a short reading, “here’s to right now.”

We had both our mothers sign the paperwork which was special.


We had three bridesmaids and five groomsmen, three flower girls (my nieces) and a ring bearer (my nephew).

For flowers, we opted for dried flower arrangements which were grown and dried by my parents and styled by my sister. The wild style flowers were all grown on the family property in which the wedding took place.


A champagne tower added a touch of sophistication and luxury, poured before the first toast, to celebrate love.

The florals and the grazing table stand out, but as it was at the family property, we did everything yourselves, with massive support from friends and family, from the planning stage to the final clean.

My sisters helped with the graphic design and floral arrangements, and the bridal party helped to set up the location. The family put together an amazing grazing table, and friends organised an incredible barbecue the next day. It was all hands-on deck to make sure everything was arranged to perfection.

I couldn’t pick a favourite detail. All of it came together to create the perfect day.

The clear roof marquee (decorated with romantic festoon and fairy lights and candles) for the reception created an open feel allowing guest to dine under the stars enjoying the surrounding mountain views.

The live band set the tone for a lively and celebratory atmosphere, encouraging guests to dance (which every guest did) and have a really good time.

For the first dance, we chose “Coming Home” by Leon Bridges.

Kate Roberge did such an incredible job with the photography. She captured us as a couple perfectly without us even having to think or pose for photos. We were left to live in the moment of the day, and she slotted in seamlessly. She was amazing from our first interaction to once she shared our photos.

5 things which made our wedding special to us include,

  1. Meaningful location, family property in Central Otago – getting to show all our guests a place that means so much to us was very special.
  2. The atmosphere – although we had 100 guests, it felt intimate, relaxed and there was a lot of positive energy in the air. We felt so much love.
  3. The speeches – from our vows and heart-felt (and funny) speeches to congratulatory messages and cheers, the love and joy from the start to the end of our day was so special.
  4. The support and shared effort – from the planning stage to the final clean up, our friends and family made the whole experience enjoyable. From my sister helping with the graphic design, floral arrangements, the bridal party helping to set up the location, family putting together an amazing grazing table, and friends organising a barbecue, it was all hands-on deck to make sure everything was arranged to perfection.
  5. The live band.

Some advice for future marrieds to be – enjoy it!

Harriet and Ben’s stunning wedding film was captured by Woven Images. 

We love how simple that advice is Harriet and Ben! Thank you to you and photographer, Kate Roberge for sharing your beautiful day with us and all the very best!