Living in London, Belinda and James chose to have their Wellington wedding between Christmas and New Year.
“That was a convenient time for friends also living overseas to get time off work to come to New Zealand for our big day,” James explained.
“Mostly it wasn't an issue finding suppliers for those times. Ruth and Paul, and our venue Prefab were absolutely fine with it.
“Ruth warned that some specialist food and flower options were a little more limited as producers closed for the holiday season, and it took a little more time to confirm some suppliers, but otherwise it all worked well. Nothing was a problem really which made planning our wedding from the other side of the world very smooth!
“We wanted our wedding photos at iconic Wellington places, so fewer people about was actually a bonus. And it was a gorgeous Wellington day,” Belinda added with a smile.
“We wanted our wedding to be many things that together were ‘truly us’: semi-formal, romantic, traditional but with modern elements,” Belinda said.
“Old St Paul’s, and my cathedral-length veil were certainly traditional, but the big red London bus taking our guests to the reception, our ‘bridesladies’ (not bridesmaids!) and the women giving speeches alongside the men all showed how we wanted to give it our own fun yet pro-women touch.”
Belinda and James made catering and venue choices together. “Choosing Ruth Pretty and her team to cater was an easy decision. We’ve been to many fantastic functions catered by Ruth. Obviously, the food had to be wonderful, but we also knew that the RPC team would make sure everything ran smoothly, without us having to monitor everything during the evening.
“It meant that we could relax and completely enjoy our most special occasion!
“Prefab was a good choice, especially with the sunny outside courtyard for pre-dinner drinks and quiet breaks if guests wanted. The space was ideal for our just under 100 guests, with room for music and dancing.
“The neutral background complemented our deep richly coloured flowers and greenery arrangements, beautifully done by Mindy Dalzell (Twig & Arrow).,” Belinda added.
“Choosing my gown was a highlight for me: by US designer Maggie Sottero, I found it in London and we carried it to New Zealand. Although I had not originally imagined this style, when I tried on the silk-satin corset-style fitted dress with its sweeping skirt, I just loved it. And the cathedral-length veil. I received so many compliments, and I know at least one of my friends is going to Maggie Sottero for her dress!
“My bridesladies wore Phase Eight. After looking at many high-end bridesmaids options, Phase Eight simply had the style and colour we were after. And the bridesladies really loved their dresses – they were the perfect combination of style and fit that looked amazing, yet them let dance the night away.
“We were also impressed with our hair and make-up artists (Kristy Leigh and Nicky Olivier) who did a great job getting six women and two little girls looking fantastic in a very short space of time.
“Our marvellous photographer Candy Capco made us all feel relaxed and captured the day even better than we had imagined. We had some fun with photos around Wellington, and I smile every time I look at them.”
They emphasised that the food is always important at a wedding, and we didn’t want anything too formal. Ruth gave us some suggested options which we narrowed down to what we wanted. Our guests especially enjoyed the Tasting Starter Plates, and then the shared main course platters.
“Our wedding feast ended on a high naughty-but-nice note with a dazzling selection of sweet treats at the dessert bar. Everyone just loved choosing their own ice-cream cones from five fabulous flavours, plus some good old kiwi specialities like Raspberry Lamingtons.
“And that dark chocolate fountain with 100's and 1000's, jet planes and marshmallows – it brought out the inner child in all of us, and then we could dance it off!” Belinda laughed.
Photo credit: Candy Capco Photography