Stuff's wedding of the week: Simon and Courtenay
It all started with a night out after the rugby - six years later Courtenay, 27, and Simon, 31, celebrated their love and commitment for one another with a beautiful outdoor ceremony in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
But we'll let Courtenay fill you in on all the details...
How did you meet? Being from a small town slightly north of Christchurch where there is about 1 degree of separation, we sort of knew each other and our paths had crossed a few times over the years. But it took a night out after rugby for Simon to ask me out.
Tell us about the proposal: I guess a proposal was on the cards, we had been together for 6 years and had ticked most of the important things off the list.
Being an accountant I always thought Simon was too tight to go all out on a ring. Little did I know that he had been plotting away with my older sister to have a ring designed and custom made. He had been holding onto it for a few months as we had been too busy to get away.
We finally locked in a summer camping trip up to Kaiteriteri, and booked a night at Braemar Lodge on our way home for our final night away. Simon took the ring camping with us, but never found the right moment, so it was after dinner at Braemar, he finally got his opportunity.
Location of wedding: There weren’t many things that we wanted for our wedding day but we did have our hearts set on getting married at a location we hadn’t been to as guests before - this made it quite hard as Christchurch has a limited selection of venues.
We struck gold with both venues, our ceremony took place in Townend House Conservatory in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, a gorgeous and unique venue.
We then moved down to The Tannery in Woolston for our reception.
Describe your wedding day: It was an absolute beautiful whirlwind.
We had been very relaxed about everything leading up to the day (too relaxed for a lot of people to handle), and this carried through to the day.
My bridal party ensured that everything ran to schedule and that Simon and I just got to enjoy ourselves. There were so many laughs and the day just flew by.
The dress: Again I was very relaxed about choosing my dress, I didn’t have any big ideas or expectations.
A long weekend in Auckland with my Mum and sisters allowed us to do a spot of dress shopping and I found my gown at Jessica Couture in Newmarket, a part of the Zavana Bridal Collection.
I did have reservations that I hadn’t brought the right dress, but in the end, it was perfect.
The flowers: The flowers were one thing that we had a solid idea of what we wanted, lots of greenery and whites. Letty McEwan from Pepperberry in Christchurch absolutely nailed the brief and exceed our expectations.
Highlight of the wedding: I don’t know how you are meant to choose a highlight when the whole day was just so great.
A special part of the day for me would be the time spent with my bridesmaids and Mum in the morning. They all just made me feel so damn special and prepared me so well for meeting Simon for the first time and walking down that aisle.
For Simon, it was seeing the day actually come together, and having many of his friends and family travel from all over the world to be there with us.
Was there any drama? Haha yes... our relaxed, non-traditional approach to the whole wedding lead to numerous dramas. We were just so lucky that my sisters, bridal party and MC kept us on track.
At times, I did wonder if we would actually make it to our wedding day.
The honeymoon: We are escaping the Christchurch winter in late July for 10 days of warm weather in Fiji.
Your photographer and favourite photo? Joseph O’Sullivan, only the most professional, lovely, genuine man in the business. Joseph brings his wife Jody along to assist and what a combo these two make.
We truly can’t pick a favourite photo, we just love how between Jody and Joseph they captured just how fun and comfortable the day was.