For James Pretty “it was incredibly special to be able to get married at Springfield, where I grew up, adding another incredible memory to a place that was already a huge part of my life.
“When I asked Morag to marry me I knew Te Horo would be an amazing venue. To grow up in such a beautiful setting and then be fortunate enough to marry an amazing woman there, is something I am very grateful for.”
Although James and Morag were previously Wellington-based, they met and live in Singapore, so “we really wanted our wedding to be about bringing together all the people we love and are important in our lives. For many, it was the first time they met.”
“We also wanted it to be easy and down to earth. For us it was more about everyone having an awesome time, with amazing food and great people. We absolutely got all of that and then some!”
Despite some rain on the day, James and Morag say they wouldn’t have changed anything. “We decided to switch the ceremony from outside to the Marquee, so the RPC team swung into action with zero stress for us. The shower cleared in time for us to have drinks outside, and photos under trees I had watched grow from saplings to stately.”
Morag’s son Sam proudly walked her down the aisle, helped by Esther the pug, and her daughter Isla was a flower girl, escorted by Edie the pug, her cousin Polly, and cousin Ben as an usher.
“When you’re lucky enough to grow up with Ruth’s cooking you get used to having incredible food. And my father Paul’s wine knowledge is outstanding. The team really delivered on the Mojito bar I asked for, and it was probably best I didn’t get one before my speech!
“The hardest thing was narrowing the food options. We finally went with a seafood platter entrée, choice of served mains and then a fairly OTT dessert buffet. It meant we could weave some variety and tick off a lot of our favourites. We thought the format was brilliant.”
James laughs “I was left in charge of sorting the wedding cake and without supervision I went a bit rogue with the layers and flavours. The teasing stopped when everyone tasted how delicious it was, especially the lemon layers.
“I have a project background, so I’m a bit OCD on lists, which may be a Pretty family thing. It was actually a really straightforward process, and I was impressed with how easy the excellent Olivia and the team made it for us. We wanted it all to be chilled out, so took the same approach with the planning and it was absolutely seamless, even organising it from overseas.
“On their recommendation, for example, most of our family and overseas guests stayed at Longshore on Waikanae Beach, which sleeps 22 and was ideal.
“We believe in not complicating things, and with Ruth’s recommendations had effectively the A-team from hair and make up to florist to photographer, band and celebrant Pinky Agnew.”
Morag’s mother Dianne provided the table flowers. Ingrid from Scent tied a simple fragrant fresh herb bunch to seats for the ceremony and an enormous leafy chandelier in the marquee ceiling. Photographer Billie Brook, mistress of 500 photos in total, was so easy to work with and kept us all relaxed.
“We didn’t worry about themes and ‘wedding colours’ but Ruth’s sister Chrissy was awesome at organising all the stationery and place name settings, and we named the tables after places memorable to us.”
The dresses were the result of a Melbourne trip for Morag and her friend Kylie. She chose her Maggie Sottero Couture number from Raffaele Ciuca, and bridesmaid dresses from Saba, all in Melbourne.
The flower girl dresses were from David Jones in Melbourne, acquired after a Facetime call between Morag and her sister Kirsty, who acted as a virtual assistant in store all the way from the Hawkes Bay!
James sums it up as “It was funny being on the receiving end of a Ruth Pretty Catering wedding for a change, especially given how many I worked at over the years. I can absolutely say that being a guest is an excellent upgrade!
“Watching how Morag’s son Sam loved helping out with serving and carrying things for the staff, I wonder if we have the next generation of caterers coming along.
Morag added “We are so incredibly grateful and thankful to Ruth and Paul for making our day amazing and giving us such a mind-blowing wedding.
“To say the day exceeded even our wildest dreams is an understatement.”
Photo Credit: Billie Brook