Hannah and Rich wanted a wedding that was "memorable for all the right reasons”. They identified the most important aspects for their big day: closest friends and family, great food, music to encourage everyone on the dance floor and good speeches. They agreed all criteria were well and truly met.
As a family of serious food-lovers, the wedding menu was particularly important. "We met with Ruth and Paul, and the suggested menu was spot on. As a farmer, it was very important to Rich we served really good beef. The food could not have been more delicious”.
"We were impressed that their team was extremely detailed in ensuring everyone’s special requests were easily catered for, without any fuss. The flowergirls and pageboys got their own special menu and felt very grown-up.
"My uncle Duncan Forsyth is involved with Mt Edward Wines from Gibbston Valley, so we chose their Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to complement the food.
"Deciding on the cake was one of our most difficult decisions,” laughed Hannah. "We ended up with a 37 cm high cake with five layers (Black Forest Cherry, Carrot Cake, Hummingbird Cake with Caramelised Bananas, Lemon Curd Cake and Chocolate Kaffir Lime Cake).
"This became dessert, accompanied by Strawberry Salad and Ruth’s own homemade ice creams. It was a great hit with our guests and I was quite disappointed to find the next morning there was none left!”
Hannah and Rich were determined their wedding would be a "fun challenge, over a reasonably short timeframe”. Family and friends contributed different strengths, and without them (especially Hannah’s parents Sue and Garth) it "would not have been the day it was”. Even the weather co-operated: a forecast cyclone held off until the ceremony and photos were done, and everyone was safely inside the marquee.
"The Ruth Pretty team was invaluable. Having such an experienced team was great, as they knew what to expect and had plenty of suggestions, but never made us feel they were taking over or were not happy for our ideas to be included. In many areas it’s best to leave the professionals to it, and the team of waiting staff was just great.
"We kept most of the arrangements quite simple, opting for an outside natural garden look and feel because of the setting. There was lots of greenery, relaxed colourful table flowers from Jane at nearby Bud Florists, wooden chairs and tables. We believe guests remember the food, people and atmosphere, and that’s what’s important.
"I was working in the Bay of Plenty at the time, and Corina Snow in Papamoa was recommended for The Dress. She was everything a bride needs! We talked about what I wanted; she contributed lots of tips and suggestions, and quickly created a dress that was both beautiful and practical. Cleverly, I was able to remove the bottom of my fitted strapless dress so it was perfect for dancing!
"My bridesmaids were all university friends, and finding their navy cocktail dresses online was slightly more nerve-wracking, but it worked out well. The little flowergirls were simply gorgeous in white with flower circlets in their hair.
"All in all”, concluded Hannah and Rich, "we had the wedding we wanted, shared with the people important to us, in a place that means a lot to my family. Perfect, really”.
Photo Credit: Billie Brook Photography