Introducing Jess and Luke

Last updated 05:00 12/10/2012

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Registered nurse, 23-year-old Jess Waymark met Luke Claris, a 31-year-old galvanising supervisor, in a bar three years ago. In April they walked down the aisle at St John's Anglican Church in Whangarei.

How did you meet? "Despite the saying 'you never find a decent person in a bar!' our story was the complete opposite, Jess says. "I have know Luke's younger brother for a number of years but had never met Luke as he had just returned from overseas. We met  and you really could say the rest is history!"
Tell us about the proposal: "Completely unromantic!," she says. "Luke and I had been together for three years and I guess we both knew we would spend the rest of our lives together but never really had 'The Marriage Talk'. After a night plonked in front of the TV Luke said to me 'How do you feel about getting married?' I really did think he was joking, so told him if he was to ask me properly he had to get down on one knee and he did.  We chose the ring together afterwards which was really special."
Location of wedding: "We are both from Whangarei so we really wanted to keep it close to home.  We had the ceremony at St John's Anglican Church which is where my mum and her husband got married.  We had our reception at The Old Library which is a wonderful place in Whangarei that was originally the old Whangarei district library."
Describe your wedding day: "Eclectic! Too many wedding blogs and ideas ended up with a real mish mash of vintage circus funfair spectacular! Luke and I wanted our wedding to be fun for everyone not just us.  We really wanted everyone to feel comfortable with good company, good food and a beverage or two. We also hired a photobooth for the evening which was a hit with the kids as well as the adults, we used these photos as our guestbook which was great looking back over the evening and being able to see everyone having a real laugh.
We were very lucky to have a good friend travel up from the South Island to act as our MC - she took charge and if it wasn't for her I really don't think the day would have run as smoothly as it did!"
The dress: "After buying two wedding dresses online and then not living up to what I expected, the traditional trip to the wedding store was on the cards," Jes says. "Beforehand though, while having wines at a friend's place, her sister had a wedding dress there that she had bought but did not end up wearing on her special day.  I tried it on and it was perfect."
The flowers: "One of my very talented (there were many!) bridesmaids is a florist so she organised all the flowers. She arrived at my house the day before with her little Mitsubishi packed to the brim with roses, greenery and various branches and twigs. After extra foraging around our garden for gum nuts and figs she set up all the bridesmaids making their own bouquets, which they loved doing."
Highlight of the wedding: "I think the highlight for both of us was our son Jake walking me down the aisle with my dad.  We also had lots of family and friends travel from all over the country overseas which we really appreciated!  It was also the fact our wedding felt like a team effort.  I made bunting, lanterns, toffee apples and table settings.  My grandma made me and my bridesmaids dressing gowns to wear the morning of the wedding, my mum made our wedding cake which I iced the day before. I am blessed to have artistic friends who each added their own touch to our day.  Also everyone who helped with the food did an amazing job."
Was there any drama? "Our original reception venue sadly closed two months before the big day.  The rush was on to find a new venue and caterers.  The Old Library was so accommodating in supplying us with everything we could ask for in such a short period of time.  Catering however was a bit of a mission to source on such short notice.  Our wonderful family & friends rose to the challenge and we ended up self catering for 120 people and it worked out perfectly! "
The honeymoon: "Sadly we did not get a honeymoon. I was studying a post graduate certificate and had a presentation due three days after the wedding!  We were also planning a trip to Turkey and the UK but those plans are put on hold as we found out we are expecting a little bundle of joy in January next year!"
Your photographer and favourite photo? "Louise Panther of Louise Panther Photography here in Whangarei did a fantastic job! We tried to shy away from "traditional" wedding photos and she was more then willing to accommodate my crazy ideas.  We decided to have some photos inside a local second hand bookshop as it was something Luke and I like to do together on a Sunday, trawling the shelves for a bargain."

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