An intimate summer ceremony in a beautifully rustic old chapel nestled amongst the wild flora and over grown foliage of the New Zealand countryside. An ethereal bride adorned in lace Inbal Dror and a groom in classic Crane Brothers are lost in sundrenched fields of flowers. Andrew and Amanda’s wedding is rustic done well. It's moody and wild. It’s soulful and uncomplicated. It’s completely theirs.
A wild almost disheveled aesthetic brought the outdoors in to an enchanting reception, under a canvas tent lined with hanging blooms of earthy wildflowers. Think scabosia, foxgloves, garden roses, feathery astilbe, perris and jasmine! Earthy tones run throughout and create a romantic warmness with natural timber, raw linens, time worn rugs and rustic foliage. As darkness enveloped, the celebrations ended with a whimsical lantern send off for good luck and prosperity.
Captured the wild and rustic essence of this wedding was Danelle Bohane, with her soulful and incredibly artistic eye…
HOW WE MET: Andrew and I met at University through a part time job that I took on after he had left. A mutual colleague and friend thought we would be great together and should go on a date. So we did. While the date was lovely, sparks weren’t flying at first so a second date never eventuated. Six years later however we both coincidently decided to get in touch. Turns out after many emails back and forth that we had an incredible amount in common and got on like a house on fire! Andrew was living in Australia at the time but after a year of dating long distance and flying back and forth each month, Andrew finally moved to Auckland. Looking back I have no idea how we managed to get through that year of not being in the same country as we are inseparable now. I guess a year isn’t long to wait when you know you will spend the rest of your lives together!
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: We were on a 5-day hike in Abel Tasman National Park over New Years with a group of friends. On New Years Eve, we had decided to book in at a lodge for a non-camping meal and on arrival we all sat outside at the outdoor bar for a pre-dinner drink while we waited for our table. Andrew disappeared to get the drinks and when he came back he stood at the end of the table and set about getting everyone’s attention. I was expecting a group toast for New Years but out came his proposal! Apparently he had the ring hidden in his pack all week! It was the most wonderful start to the year.
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: Sharing the rest of your life with
the person who you cannot imagine living a day without. It is a
commitment that you make to that person that no matter what life
throws at you, you will always be there for each other for the rest
of your lives. While marriage doesn’t change a relationship,
it is a beautiful way of acknowledging your love that you have for
that someone special in front of all your closest family and
WEDDING LOCATION: For the ceremony we both wanted something traditional but not too long winded and formal. The little chapel that we selected was the chapel that my Grandfather had christened me in so it was really special to me. The other thing I loved about it was how beautifully old it was. And despite only holding 45 guests (and we had invited 80), we managed to squeeze almost everyone in and it certainly gave it an intimate feel! For the reception, we wanted somewhere out in the countryside that felt relaxed. The Tasting Shed ended up being the perfect balance between having a rural feel yet being fairly close to the city.
THEME/STYLE: I guess our theme would have been rustic/vintage but instead of focussing too much on a theme I focused on what we both loved and what we gravitate towards. I wanted the wedding to be a reflection of us as a couple and the décor was really an extension of our style and what we have in our home which is quite eclectic. We wanted a soft yet slightly unkempt vintage palette so we used earthy tones for the styling with lots of natural timber, wood rounds, vintage rugs and of course plenty of foliage. The look was moody and wild. To pretty it up a little we added splashes of blush into the flowers and I matched this with the bridesmaid’s and my shoes to carry the colour through.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Photographed by the talented Danelle Bohane. Danelle had done my bridesmaid, Hannah’s wedding and a soon as we got engaged she urged us to take a look at her work. Once we laid eyes on Danelle’s photographs we knew we couldn’t have anyone else (in fact we actually changed our wedding date so we could have her!). We loved how relaxed and natural her style was and how nothing felt contrived or too pretty and frilly. Danelle has a very ethereal and moody feel to her work which gives it a lot of substance. That is one of the things I love most about our images - they perfectly encapsulate what a wild, wonderland it was.
BRIDE’S DRESS: I stumbled upon the Israeli designer Inbal Dror on my way home from a trip to Paris (where I had hoped but failed, to find a vintage dress). We had one day in London so I thought I would scour the magazines for bridal inspiration and possible boutiques I could visit in my one morning before the flight. As soon as I found Inbal Dror I fell in love. I turned up to the boutique appointment-less and they kindly let me view the dress but as soon as I saw it I knew it was the one! I always wanted something very vintage but couldn’t find anything that flattered my figure. When I spotted this gown, it was the perfect balance of vintage, elegance and was just a little bit sexy! The back was originally a keyhole design, which was daringly low so I had this changed to be slightly higher and more open. My favourite part was the detail in the sleeves and in the train, which had beautiful cotton lace pieces with exquisite embroidery. When I twirled on the dance floor all the layers in their incredibly detailed glory, fanned out and the dress came alive. It is the most opulent thing I own and worth every penny!! I wish I could wear it again and again!
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: I really struggled with the bridesmaid’s dresses initially as I wanted something effortless and vintage in look that wasn’t screaming ‘bridesmaid’. I popped into Zara when I was in Melbourne and as soon as I saw the cream, cotton embroided dresses I knew they would be perfect. To enhance the vintage feel I added a long strand of pearls which were worn knotted at the base and 1920s style blush heels finished the look off.
JEWELLERY/ACCESSORIES: I bought my earrings from David Jones Bridal and had the most divine silk veil from Rue De Seine which floated so delicately. My talented florist made a beautiful head circlet for me to wear after the ceremony which was one of my favourite pieces.
WEDDING RINGS: Andrew knew I loved vintage jewellery but he wanted to get something made for my engagement ring. He did it all on his own and he couldn’t have picked a more perfect design. It’s a platinum band which has diamonds embedded into it then the main stone is a beautiful asscher cut surrounded by smaller diamonds. I went for a matching diamond band for my wedding band and Andrew wanted a plain gold band.
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Andrew wore a custom suit from Crane Brothers in a midnight navy. We also had the groomsmen in matching navy suits with navy bow ties and dark walnut shoes. The navy was nice and soft which suited the feel of our wedding.
MAKEUP: Kaitlin Chapman did both mine and my bridesmaid’s makeup for the day. I wanted a very natural look so I felt like myself. I have freckles so I wanted them to peek through as it’s what makes me me and I opted for a soft natural eye and a blush lip. As soon as I had a trial with Kaitlin I was thrilled, she listened and gave me natural but enhanced my features. I just wish she could do my makeup every day!
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: Being a rustic wedding we used kraft card with white ink as the base for our stationary. The ceremony programmes were bound together with white twine and then had white pages inside. The invitations were kraft with white ink and everything had rounded edges which softened it and made it an interesting shape. My friend Hannah (also a bridesmaid) is a graphic designer so she did the stationary from the save the date to the menus and order of service. I felt so lucky to have her do these as she understood the rustic feel of the wedding completely. My lovely friend Anna who came over from Dubai rounded every edge of the menus so they matched the invites. It took her hours, but she was incredible!
FAVOURS/BONBONNIERE: Our favours doubled as place names on the table. I found these beautiful kraft seed envelopes that had a lovely rustic feel to them when I was away for work. Andrew and I both love being in the garden, and Andrew has done landscape architecture so giving seeds for our favourite flowers and herbs was a lovely personal touch. We also loved that our guests could take away something practical and it’s lovely hearing and being shown where people have sown these too.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: I adored my flowers. As soon as I met Naomi from Leaf and Honey I knew I couldn’t go anywhere else. We chatted for hours and were absolutely on the same page. I trusted her completely and knew she would pull of something stunning. From the outset, I wanted hanging flowers and wanted to bring the outdoors in. The food at the reception was tapas style with shared dishes so it meant table foliage had to be kept minimal, which worked perfectly with hanging the blooms. Not being a frilly person, Andrew and I decided we wanted earthy, rustic blooms with plenty of wildflowers throughout. I specifically had my heart set on manuka which has a deep moody leaf and a contrasting soft and pretty flower. Naomi worked scabosia, foxgloves, garden roses, feathery astilbe, perris and jasmine together to create the most beautiful flower array I had ever laid eyes on.
PREPARATION: My two bridesmaids, my sister and I went to have our hair done nice and early followed by makeup upstairs at our family home while mum kept the food and champagne flowing. The boys relaxed with a few beers down at a bar in Kingsland then they came back to our family home and got ready in the flat downstairs. We were so lucky to have been based at my parents beautiful home which meant we could all be in one location yet be separate and not risk bumping in to each other before the ceremony! I have lived in that house for most of my life and have so many memories there so there was also something really special about getting ready for our wedding day there.
CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR: Being a stylist myself, the decorations were something I wanted to be spot on. Our style is very vintage and eclectic and I love pieces that have a story to tell. I am quite a forager and love fossicking for treasure at markets and in antique stores. So when we had a wedding to plan, I couldn’t help but use it as an excuse to store away wonderful finds throughout the year. By the time the wedding was close I had a wonderful array of vintage frames, old sewing machines, spools, crates and vessels. Working at a design company was also such a gift as I had access to the most wonderful furniture and several truck loads later we had set up the restaurant with our own beautiful recycled timber tables, Vienna cross back dining chairs, bench seats in the tent and kilim rugs scattered across the dance floor. The mix of vintage pieces with recycled timber furniture worked beautifully together to create a relaxed, warm and homely feel.
The tent was also a wonderful feature. We knew that space would be an issue but couldn’t find anything that was rustic enough locally. Mum suggested we had one of our factories make a big vintage inspired canvas tent, which was exactly what we had envisioned. We scattered the floors with kilim rugs and piles of wood rounds and had bench seating around the outside, which gave it a real bohemian feel. Once the festoon lights were draped across the ceiling, garlands draped everywhere and the flowers hung we ended up with the most spellbinding wonderland. To me it felt like being in a fairy grotto, it was just perfection!
The chapel was so beautiful and tiny that we kept decorations quite simple. We had beautiful greenery garlands draped across the pews and then again in the entrance way above the chapel door. At the entrance to the chapel we had a little wooden box filled with the order of service and another filled with confetti cones made from an old 1800s newspaper that I found in an antique store (they were filled with ivory rose petals). My mother had prepared champagne and nibbles to have after the ceremony so we made nice big cushions out of coffee sacks for guests to sit on while enjoying the sun and food.
WEDDING PLANNER/ WEDDING STYLIST: I did the planning myself and am actually now helping other brides with them so it’s great to be able to continue to use my knowledge and is something I really enjoy. Being a stylist for a job helped hugely as I could source pieces throughout the year and put the vision together. We spent two days setting up prior to the wedding and I felt so lucky that it all came together so beautifully. The styling is the icing on the cake really and no matter what anyone tells you, people certainly do notice the details!
CAKE: My mother made the cake and it was such a labour of love as it had to be gluten and dairy free. She managed to make the most incredibly chocolate, carrot and banana tiers which we didn’t ice so that they were nice and rustic.
WEDDING SONGS: We had our first dance to ‘Love Me Tenderly’ by the Felice Brothers. It was quite a light hearted, fun dance and my impractical shoes made it even more so!
ENTERTAINMENT: We had an organist at the ceremony and then when guests arrived to the reception we had an acoustic duo playing who really made it. The live music was just perfection in my mind. They continued through to speeches and then Andrew had done a playlist for dancing in the vintage tent. We had mostly alternative rock mixed in with old classics but Andrew put in a couple of songs that took everyone by surprise. Generally though, we had a balance of folk, rock and golden oldies.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: We had a seated meal although the menu was tapas style which we thought would be a great way for all our guests to interact.
TRANSPORT: We had an amazing old Range Rover Defender for our bridal car. Andrew and I both love Defenders and we thought that on our wedding day we should really pick our favourite car! Not being a run of the mill bridal option we had our work cut out getting one until a lovely friend of my parents offered us their car for the day. It was the perfect vehicle for a rustic wedding in the countryside. Mum being the traditionalist that she is set to decorating it with bridal ribbons instead using big calico bows which was more suitably rustic. It looked sensational!
HONEYMOON: We honeymooned for 4 days in
beautiful Wanaka, New Zealand. Andrew lived in Queenstown for
several years before moving to Australia and it was where we had
our second first date so it had a nice feeling to it. We love going
to this part of the country with its incredible mountain ranges and
lakes, it really is one of the most beautiful areas in New Zealand.
We had some much needed R & R, took long walks in the national
parks and as a treat we went in a helicopter over the ranges to the
sounds. There was also something quite nice about not having to get
on an international flight after all the hustle and bustle of the
wedding lead up!
CELEBRANT: Reverend Tony Surman.
READINGS: We had a great Reverend that was flexible and let us mix and match from services which made it more personal whilst still being traditional. The reading that we chose (1 Corinthians 12:31 - 13:13) I thought had beautiful life lessons in it and we wanted to share this with our family and friends.
A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans
Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good. Love each other as brothers and sisters and honour others more than you do yourself. Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying. Take care of God’s needy people and welcome strangers into your home. Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you. Ask him to bless them and not to curse them. When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad. Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people. Don’t mistreat someone who has mistreated you. But try to earn the respect of others, and do your best to live at peace with everyone. Dear friends, don’t try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says,
“I am the one to take revenge and pay them back.”
The Scriptures also say,
“If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads.”
Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good.
ANY OTHER SPECIAL DETAILS: Since much of the decor and
details were handmade, we were so lucky to have a lot of help from
our friends and family leading up the event - it was
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: As my husband will tell you, I
spend countless hours on Pinterest and bridal blogs. But whilst all
of these wonderful pictures inspired me, I still wanted it to be a
personal affair that reflected us both as a couple. Andrew is big
on the outdoors so I knew that it would need to be relaxed, earthy
and have a connection to nature. I also wanted it to be quite
eclectic so I worked with what I had collected. By doing this I
didn’t feel like it was someone else’s wedding from an
image, it had depth and a bit of grit to it. Because a lot of the
items were our own they had a bit more warmth to them. Little
details like the watering cans, which were from my late
Grandfather’s farm made the reception feel really homely and
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: Nothing can top the feeling of walking out of the chapel, knowing you have married the man of your dreams. That was the most wonderful moment that I will never forget.
ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING PLANS… One thing I wish I knew was not to take everything for granted. I had the most divine wedding day I could have ever imagined and I wish I had soaked up all these details just a little more than I did.
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE… Planning a wedding is always going to be a little stressful. It’s the one day that you want to be perfect so it’s understandable! My advice would be to select vendors who you trust with your vision. On the day I felt calm knowing that if something didn’t go to plan, the florist, stylist etc. would be able to handle it. When I arrived at the chapel and reception it was not only how I imagined it would be, it was better! In fact I had a little cry it was so beautiful!!
On a similar note, relinquish a little creative control to your vendors. While I spelt out what I wanted and we all had a plan, when it came to the styling or flowers and specific shots I also made sure they knew I trusted them to do what they thought would be best. At the end of the day, a photographer is going to know what shot will work best, just as a florist will know what flowers will last etc. It meant that I didn’t have to worry about these tiny details and could just focus on the overall vision.
Lastly, you always hear it but it really is true, your wedding day goes so fast!! I would suggest absorbing every detail. Not only at the wedding but in the preparation. Make the most of the process since it really is the most wonderful time of your life and a wonderful excuse to involve the people you love and spend more time with them.
ANDREW & AMANDA’S CONTACTS:
PHOTOGRAPHY: Danelle Bohane
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Zara
BRIDESMAIDS SHOES: Asos
HAIR: Gareth at Stephen Marr Ponsonby
MAKEUP: Kaitlin Chapman
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: Hannah Luxton
FLORIST: Leaf and Honey
CAKE: Homemade by Mum
CATERING: The Tasting Shed (Kumeu, Auckland)
WEDDING STYLIST/PLANNER: Me along with Claudia Kozub
CELEBRANT: Reverend Tony Surman
CEREMONY VENUE: St Stephen’s Chapel (Parnell, Auckland)
RECEPTION VENUE: The Tasting Shed (Kumeu, Auckland)
HONEMOON DESTINATION: Wanaka, New Zealand
ENTERTAINMENT: The Tattletale Saints
TRANSPORT: Range Rover Defender
PROPS AND FURNITURE: CC Interiors