Stuff's wedding of the week
We're suckers for a romantic back story and what's better than marshmallow toasting and long-distance desire to kick off a relationship?
Penny and Vince met through friends and four years later the groom-to-be was down on one knee in their lounge popping the most important question of them all.
The pair shared a lovely ceremony at the picturesque Newberry Lodge in Christchurch surrounded by family and friends.
We'll let Penny fill you in on the rest...
How did you meet? Vince and I met back in 2007. One of my friends from polytech was having a birthday celebration in Hanmer, so I travelled up with a few friends, as did Vince. We became fast friends that very night - and had a great time toasting marshmallows on the fire. We were just friends until a year later, when I returned from 3 months in America - at which point Vince announced he had really missed me, and asked me out on a proper date!
Tell us about the proposal: We had been together for four years and I was sitting on the couch when Vince got home from work one evening. I proclaimed I had 'bad news' - there was no baking paper to use for our dinner! I wondered why he ignored my 'disaster' completely, until he knelt down and presented me with a box. It contained a beautiful ring - he had bought it that day and biked home with it in his jacket pocket! We were up till all hours that night, driving around the city, sharing the news with our friends and family. It's pretty cool to know that noone else has ever got engaged in the same spot as us!
Location of wedding: We got married at Newbery Lodge, a beautiful 1930s homestead here in Christchurch. As soon as we walked up the driveway of the venue for the first time, we both knew we had to get married there! We had the ceremony outside in the gardens, and the reception upstairs in the lodge.
Describe your wedding day: It was perfect. My bridesmaids and I stayed the night before at my parents' house and then got ready there that morning. While us girls were busy getting our hair and makeup done, we presumed the boys were busily prepping back at our house - it turns out they went ten pin bowling! The rain in the morning had us all a wee bit nervous, but by lunchtime the sun was out and we had a beautiful afternoon. Although we wanted to retain some traditional aspects of the day, it was also important to us that our wedding represented us as a couple - fun, casual, and a bit quirky. We had lots of small touches which helped personalise our day - Vince and the groomsmen wore Converse sneakers, our pug Benson was the first to walk up the aisle, our amazing cake was made by a good friend, and we got the caterers to bring out hot cheeseburgers at 10pm, which all the guests loved after several hours of drinking and dancing!
The dress: I knew I wanted something comfortable, elegant, and different. In the very first wedding magazine I bought I fell in love with a photo of the back of a dress designed by John Zimmermann Couture in Auckland. After working my way around bridal shops in Christchurch, I just couldn't fall in love with any gowns - I couldn't stop thinking about that 'one'! So, with my mum and two of my bridesmaids, we headed to Auckland where I got to finally see the dress. John's shop was heavenly, full of beautiful flowing gowns made of the most luxurious lace and satin. And I knew straight away that this man had to make my dress! That trip was followed by three more (for various measurings and consultations), before I finally got to bring my gown home less than a week before the wedding.
The flowers: Doris at the Court Florist did a beautiful job. We knew what we wanted, but considering neither of us have any knowledge of flowers, we struggled to put our vision into words - so we took in lots of photos. My dad picked up the bouquets on the day, and when he brought them back to my me, I couldn't believe how beautiful they were! I bought two miniature photo frames which I filled with photos of my grandparents who have all passed away. Doris incorporated these into my bouquet so that my grandparents could be with me as I walked up the aisle, and throughout the day. We also included freesias, my mum's favourite flower.
Highlight of the wedding: There were so many highlights. Probably the most special moment of the day was when I arrived at the top of the aisle, and went straight up and shared a kiss with Vince. And of course, we enjoyed dancing the night away with all our friends and family, particularly my 5-year-old nephew who stole the show with his sweet dance moves!
Was there any drama? The only minor mishap was that about 30 minutes after my hairdresser left, my headband came loose and started to fall out! But one of my bridesmaids gave him a call, and he came all the way back again to fix it.
The honeymoon: We had a week at home after our wedding to spend with family who had travelled to be here, then we spent 10 days in New Caledonia, relaxing and enjoying French cuisine!
Your photographer and favourite photo? Our photographer was the amazingly talented Rebecca Bijl. She captured our day perfectly, lots of sun, smiles and laughter, and she was so much fun to have with us on the day. We couldn't pick one favourite photo - although we love the one of Vince lifting me into the air in a big hug! We also had Rowan from Christchurch Videography with us to film the day, it's great to have a video record as well as photos.