Rachael and Andrew agreed they wanted a “relaxed family wedding that allowed us to spend quality time with all our guests, in a kid-friendly, accessible, and beautiful environment”.
They chose the garden at Ruth and Paul Pretty’s Springfield. “It was the perfect solution: we definitely achieved our wish list with Springfield.
Rachael says “we made the hard decision to have a very small wedding: only 29 guests including 7 children. Our three-year-old daughter Ada was ring-bearer.
“Although we have friends and family all over the world, and it would have been fantastic to include everyone, we decided our immediate family and grandparents were the “very most important people” to witness our ceremony. Plus the friends who introduced us, who are virtual family, and had to be with us.
“After being engaged for over 4 years, with a daughter and our own home, we decided to keep the occasion intimate.
“It meant we could all enjoy a very relaxed wedding day, where everyone knew each other. The children were all part of the festivities and behaved themselves beautifully, loving being able to run around on the big lawns and had lots of fun playing the lawn games. They had a special meal with their own menu, and then were looked after in the Springfield house with a babysitter organised by Ruth’s team.
“When we started planning and talking with Ruth, she was so easy to deal with, and outlined various local venues that catered for small weddings, including Springfield. It was an easy choice -- we knew everything would go well and that the food would be spectacular.
“Ruth’s planning team was a real bonus. They helped us think of things we hadn’t before, acting as wedding planners.
“With them, we put together a document which ensured that every possible requirement was put down on paper and part of the plan. The timeline worked perfectly, and ultimately, the day itself was completely stress free and flowed so well. For example, we had all the speeches before the celebration dinner, everyone could then relax and enjoy the outstanding food and wine.
“Our friends and family enjoyed Ruth’s famous passarounds while we had our photos taken in various photogenic spots around the garden – it was so much friendlier than going somewhere else for ages and not having enough time to spend with the guests.
“We chose to have the dinner inside, with everyone at one long table. Adding to the real home feeling, we could display family photos and a tribute to remember our grandparents who had passed on.
For maximum enjoyment, and choice, we served a tasting plate entrée with three delicious small portions, and then a choice of served main course. See menu
“Dessert was our wedding cake (made by Ruth’s team), served with Ruth’s ice cream and fruit. Amazing: a choice of four fabulous ice creams and two sorbets, in cones or sundae glasses! Our guests have honestly not stopped talking about how incredible the food was.
“We really went to town on the cake, bringing in our favourite flavours. The top tier was Gingerbread Cake (layered with Salted Caramel), the middle tier was Lemon Curd Cake (layered with Cream Cheese Butter Cream) while the bottom tier was Chocolate Mud Cake (layered and frosted with White Chocolate Vanilla Buttercream), which also frosted the whole cake.
“It was decorated simply but beautifully, with olive leaves from the tree my employers were gifted on their wedding day, which was quite special.
“I did not want to spend a fortune on my dress, but of course I wanted it to be gorgeous. I found mine – by Maggie Sottero -- on the Stillwhite site and can still hardly believe I found such a beautiful dress. One bonus is that it was comfortable and easy to wear.
“Another bonus was meeting the previous dress owner’s Mum, seeing her photos and hearing the lovely story of her daughter and husband – I felt a real connection. My Mum loved it too, and that helped the decision.
“Perhaps the biggest bonus was that Andrew loved the dress too! The photo on the bridge is our favourite, and shows him being cheeky, and making me laugh, as usual!
“We live in Waikanae Beach, and wanted to feature local providers wherever possible: our ceremony was held at the Apiti Chapel at El Rancho in Waikanae Beach. It is a beautiful space, moved to its current location from the Manawatu. I am from Palmerston North, so we loved this little connection with my home region.
“Our celebrant, Trish Robbie, was able to officiate there as it is a non-denominational chapel. Trish helped make our ceremony exactly what we wanted, and we’re so thankful to have found her.
“Uzabus transported everyone from Waikanae Beach to Springfield, very efficiently, and even dressed the bus up with ribbons to add some festivity to the journey!
“Our photographer Michelle Davies, and her partner Charlie, are local Waikanae people and we are over the moon with our photos. They were incredible, made everyone really relaxed, and were very organised, along with being lovely people.
“We kept the decorations quite simple, with my bouquet from Posybloom Boutique (Waikanae), blooms from Ruth’s gardens on the tables, hair by Kristine Chapman and Makeup by Julie Scott.
“As we look back, we are delighted we made the right decision to keep our wedding small but beautiful, with great food and service in a relaxed environment. Thanks Ruth, and your amazing team!” Rachael and Andrew concluded.
Photo Credit: Michelle Davies, Kapiti Photographer