Stuff's wedding of the week
Inside the lovely day of Sarah Jones, 29, and Ian Olsen, 33, who are both from Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty.
How did you meet?: We met while working together in a perennial nursery, Ian was a truck Driver, I was the Sales Rep. We then packed in our jobs and moved to Perth for a year of adventure, this meant our friendship and relationship went from strength to strength. Especially when we travelled for 800km up to Cape Leveque and worked in an Aboriginal outback resort. We then returned to NZ for a family wedding nine years ago, and have been together ever since.
Tell us about the proposal: We booked a dream holiday: four weeks in Canada, Alaska and America. We flew from Auckland to Vancouver and then boarded the amazing Diamond Princess for a seven-night cruise, and on the first night of the cruise, after an amazing four-course dinner, Ian got down on one knee beside the dinner table (to the amazement of the surrounding passengers) and proposed. I instantly said yes, and we went off to enjoy some cocktails and the hostess took pictures of the pair of us. The next day we were in port and went to the amazing diamond shops, we spent all day searching and finding the perfect ring before returning to the ship, and from that day on we were greeted as the "newly engaged couple from New Zealand" by complete strangers! Ian had asked my father's permission before we left on our trip, and both our sets of parents were aware of what he had planned. I spent a lot of money and nearly two hours trying to phone home from a small town in Alaska and finally got hold of my mother at some strange hour of the morning to inform her of our news, she was delighted!
Location of wedding: Matahui Lodge, Katikati, a privately-owned secret hideaway with an amazing location and outstanding hosts, everything was perfect and just what we had dreamed of. We had everything in the same location: like the ceremony and photos, and we stayed the night there and had an amazing three course breakfast the next day before packing up and heading home.
Describe your wedding day: Ian woke up to inform me he was going to mow the lawns! It was a stunning day and I guess he wanted to get his chores done first! I woke up to find my bridesmaid had disappeared, but she returned with coffee in hand and everything I needed to get through the day. She's so thoughtful! We went to my parents were my two big sisters (who were also bridesmaids) cooked us all breakfast and then the prep began, the bridal party traveled to the lodge, the boys set up for the reception while the girls did the final touches inside. The day seemed to fly by, we had a bagpiper play while my father walked me down the aisle and we released a pair of white doves that Ian had bred especially for the occasion (he breeds and races pigeons as a hobby). It was an intimate wedding with 62 guests, three courses of amazing food by a local chef Peter Blakeway and his team. Plus, we got married on the 11/11/11 - so we wont ever forget the date.
The dress: We bought it from a Sydney boutique on a "wedding dress shopping trip" with a good friend and my amazing mother. I knew it was the one when I walked out of the dressing room and both their jaws dropped. We bought it then and there.
The flowers: White lilies and twine, just stunning.
Highlight of the wedding: Having everyone we love together for our special day. We were thankful to have a small amount of guests so we could talk to everyone who had made such an effort to be there.
The honeymoon: We had a large trip when we got engaged so wanted to stay in NZ, we stayed a night at Twin Towers in Mt Maunganui and then headed to the Hilton in Taupo for four nights, we enjoyed playing tourists in a town we so often just drive through.
Your photographer and favourite photo? Rebecca Dawson - a friend I went to college with, she did an amazing job and captured all the special moments. My fave photo is of us in Trevor's (the owner of Matahui Lodge) stunning wine cellar, we spent time picking grapes together in Western Australia so this had special meaning to me.