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Weddings of the week
Originally from Scotland, Claire met her future hubby in London back in 2007 while he was exploring the world on his big OE.
The pair hit it off and eventually moved back to New Zealand to start a new life together.
Three years later Joel popped the question in a beautiful spot in Claire's native Scotland and they went on to celebrate two weddings - one in each of their home countries.
We can't get enough of their lovely wedding video (see below) - the rustic setting is utterly gorgeous.
We'll let Claire fill you in on the rest...
How did you meet? Joel and I met in London back in 2007 where Joel had just arrived to begin his OE. I had moved to London a few years earlier from Scotland and was on a night out with my flatmates. We spent the next two years in London before packing up and moving to New Zealand in 2009, travelling through South East Asia on the way.
Tell us about the proposal: Joel proposed, with a ring he had chosen himself, on a trip back to Scotland in 2012 at a beautiful hotel on the banks of Loch Tay in the Highlands.
Location of wedding: Being from opposite ends of the world, we were lucky enough to be able to have two weddings so all our families and friends could celebrate with us and some even celebrated twice, travelling to both. The first was in New Lanark in Scotland last October and the second at Whatipu Lodge, Auckland in February. Two very different weddings in very different parts countries.
Describe your wedding day: In contrast to our traditional Scottish wedding, our Whatipu wedding was a laid back, rustic, kiwi affair... think hay bales for seats, home-made picnic tables, hand sewn bunting, jandals and a bbq/spit buffet dinner that everyone lent a hand in making. We hired the Lodge and our friends and family came to stay for the weekend.
The dress: My dress was 'Aniston' by Maggie Sottero - a strapless, champagne, lace and tulle dress which I matched with a lace bolero, a vintage lace cuff and blue polka dot shoes!
The flowers: My mum did the flowers at both weddings - a simple yet beautiful mix of gypsophila with ivory and lemon roses.
Highlight of the wedding: It was a reunion of our best friends from around the world who we don't get to see often and who we got to spend the weekend with and not just a day.
Was there any drama? Yes! The night before we arrived gale force winds hit the west coast and our marquee did not survive! The weather was poor the next day too so the marquee company was reluctant to set up another, but fortunately on Saturday morning, hours before the ceremony, the sun came out and our marquee went up.
The honeymoon: No honeymoon as such - we had two weddings which isn't easy on the pocket, but we did stop off in Thailand on the way back from Scotland (with Joel's family which was brilliant fun and a much needed relaxing, warm break... but not exactly a honeymoon!) We're off to Fiji at the end of July so we're calling that our honeymoon!
Your photographer and favourite photo? My friend Caroline Fergusson (Fergusson Photography) took our Whatipu wedding photos and Laurie Gray Imaging did our Scotland shots. We have far too many for a favourite but we do love the group ones with all the guests cheering.
We had an absolutely brilliant wedding cinematographer, Neil Smith from Ticklyfeet who shot both weddings... travelling all the way from Amsterdam to do the second one. We love his work and even as a photographer myself, I have to say that these short films are just the best way to capture the story, spirit and emotion of the day. We've watched them over and over.
Check out Claire and Joel's Whatipu wedding below:
Watch their Scotland wedding here.