When Jodi and Jonathan talk about their wedding you can see and hear their happiness. Their “low key, intimate and special wedding, surrounded by people we love” was held at their Wellington hillside home, with “an abundance of generous food and our favourite wines.”
Even the weather came to the informal but organised party, allowing the ceremony to be held outside on the terrace.
Jodi and Jonathan say having the wedding at their house set the tone perfectly for their day. “We invited 70 people important to us to share our special occasion at our own place. Looking back, it was an inspired idea, as we can always point to the exact spot we said our vows and never forget the moment.
“Being at home felt right for Jodi, a self-described introvert, who was uncomfortable with being too much in the limelight. But welcoming friends and family to her home came naturally, so she was relaxed.
“We’d always played with the possibility of getting married at home, but it seemed too difficult and risky. Ruth and Paul visited and worked out exactly how it could be done. They suggested curating the house to include a marquee in the upper courtyard and the ceremony on the deck. It was just genius – and suddenly it seemed super achievable. All we had to was show up (more or less!).
“Fabulous food and wine was a priority for us. (See menu here) We served substantial passarounds as guests arrived and after the ceremony with our favourite Quartz Reef bubbly.
“We couldn’t seat 70 guests, so Ruth and Paul’s expertise was invaluable. We served fully plated stand-up meals (eaten with a fork) with spicy lamb, snapper fillet and vegetarian choices for our main course.
“A clip attached to the plate held a wine glass. Ruth and Paul are closely linked with Martinborough’s Ata Rangi wines, and we loved having the Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay and Bordeaux blend Célèbre, plus a Ma Maison Pinot Noir from Martinborough to complement the food superbly.
“Once dark, we went inside for speeches, plus late evening ham on the bone in baps with Ruth’s condiments to boost any flagging energy.
“The most fun was Ruth’s sumptuous homemade ice cream station. Ice cream was served by Ruth herself! Not only was the flavour array amazing but we were delighted to find containers of leftovers neatly stacked in the freezer the next day. We enjoyed them for the next month,” they laugh.
Finding Jodi’s elegant dress was a story in itself; for a while it was (fondly) known as ‘Distress’. Jodi says she was a conservative bride, and definitely did not want a ‘frou-frou frock’, but struggled to find the right one. Then in a moment of serendipity, returning from the gym and not even thinking about dresses, she spotted a beautiful lace overlay in Sophie Voon’s Wellington store.
From there, it was easy. Her sister approved the look, a classically-styled silk under-dress was made to complement the lace, and Jodi achieved the simply elegant, restrained bridal look she wanted and that suited her so well. Jonathan was dressed by Rex at Working Style, with a tad less angst.
Looking back, Jodi and Jonathan say “we still have guests tell us it was the best wedding they’ve been to, and especially the abundance of great food. The house performed brilliantly, the different spaces inside and out it absorbed everyone effortlessly, and being our home gave the day a relaxed and welcoming feel.
“Ruth, Paul and their team were simply wonderful. They combined creativity with amazing attention to detail – one lasting memory is Ruth quietly turning newly-acquired plant pots around to obscure price tags!
“We also have to give a huge amount of credit to Ingrid at Scent Floral Boutique, recommended by Paul. Ingrid transformed our home into a purpose-made wedding venue, complete with spectacular floral arrangements, ceremonial garland and bouquets. Her talents extended to setting up a whisky bar, that got far greater patronage than we anticipated …
“We were fortunate with the recommendation of our celebrant James Harper and his wife Ella. They took care of the formalities without too much formality and played a big part in our day.
“On Sunday morning, we came downstairs to find all the prepped food for our 40 lunch guests ready for us, with clear instructions, the house cleared up and even the garage swept out. Everything was done with a smile: it was though the staff were genuinely celebrating with us, and that added to the friendly atmosphere.
“We absolutely got everything we wanted for our wedding and so much more. There was a lot of love and warmth, we had fun and celebrated our marriage with our good friends and family. Ruth and Paul said they would take care of everything, and they did.
“We are delighted we did not go for the softer option, of running away!” echoed the happy couple”
Photo credit: Lindsay Keats Photography