Emma & Jo – A New Zealand Wedding

We are both fairly emotional women, and so, naturally, our day was going to be a tear-jerker for every single guest – and it was.

We were never really sure when we’d get married. So we planned for about a two-year engagement and that we would have our wedding/marriage be a legal day no matter where we had to go. We always talked about Southland New Zealand (particularly Otago region) being our wedding destination from the early stages – we loved it there and had spent some time traveling around before. Also, we knew the New Zealand marriage laws would allow us to marry legally. For us, a two-event/two-anniversary thing was never an option. Our wedding was only going to happen once, and it was going to be legal. We never wanted to celebrate twice. Although, in retrospect, hell yes, we’d do it all again.

About six months or so after we were engaged, the plebiscite debacle in Australia had begun. I was sure nothing would change; there wouldn’t be a nationwide vote, and we wouldn’t win. Alas, it went ahead, and so we got heavily invested in it. Through the plebiscite is how we met our photographer, and our wedding planning journey began.

As part of the #rainbowloveau initiative, we’d put our hands up to be photographed and help spread the love on social media for those affected by the vote.

When we met Nic from Fox & Kin – a hetero/straight girl who was in love with our love, we felt so overwhelmingly accepted and fulfilled with support from someone out of our little bubble of life. We knew we had to have our wedding ASAP! As we have always been quite spontaneous and sure of ourselves, we decided on a much sooner date for our wedding. We had chosen our photographer and booked her in!

We loved planning our wedding and found it such an easy and fairly non-stressful process. It makes it easier when you have two brides who know exactly what they want. We made a pact to choose only vendors we would connect with on a slightly more personal level, who weren’t just after money; instead, they really wanted to help make our day spectacular and everything we’d ever imagined.

We didn’t do much Pinterest-ing. We just talked about what we wanted and what was necessary. A small wedding with our closest friends and family so we would get an opportunity to speak to everyone, sit down, eat and drink, and not be stuck in time slots. We never picked a style or colours, we had a blank canvas to design, but we just wanted to do justice to our views/location and surroundings. Even unintentionally had a plastic-free wedding, we think?!

We had Jo’s mother sew our napkins and table runners from mixed-matched material we found on sale. My close friend learnt, sang, instrumented, and recorded our isle song. The blokes made 4.5 liters of wet pussy shots. A good family friend ordered, foraged, and constructed our florals.

We’d met up with all of our vendors six months before to ensure they would be a good fit, and we felt they were there to enjoy what they do best and with a bit of freedom. We could even order in our cheese for the cake and have it delivered to our caterer’s house to store for the week! Wanting to make the planning process as fun as possible because once the day is over, it really is over, so you may as well enjoy the journey too.

Both wanting to have as little traditions as possible (apart from the outfits, of course). We got ready together, separated, and had a first look after we got dressed. And we decided to do our photos before the ceremony because we wanted the party to begin and not have to leave for pictures once we arrived at our wedding. We flew up to the beautiful mountains in Wanaka, and we had each written each other a letter which we readout. Flying into our wedding via helicopter as part of our “low key/relaxed” wedding vibe (typical!).

We walked each other down the aisle and served up pre-drinks for our guests while they waited for our surprise arrival. Then we all shared a celebratory wet pussy shot once we were officially married. Our cake was made of cheese and we cut it right after the ceremony at the “canape” hour. We didn’t announce our first dance. Instead just got up and did it.

We wanted it to be different and we didn’t want people to know exactly what was coming up next. We never wanted to be on a tight schedule.

Also, we didn’t use a wedding planner. It was great and saved us a lot of money. We had to hire land to have our ceremony/wedding and then hire the venue (tipis) down to toilets, generators, lighting, a chiller trailer, and everything in between. I had loads of help from our vendors, and everyone pointed me in the right direction. We made spot-on choices as everything came together perfectly. We didn’t fuss over where to place things or where people should sit. Oh, and we had a buffet of smoked food for dinner out of an amazing food truck!

It was truly a magical day, and all of our guests are planning to go back to visit beautiful Wanaka.

DWH Preferred Vendor
Photography by Fox & Kin

Celebrant Emily Cane Wanaka Celebrant
Dresses Grace Loves Lace
H&MU Shannon PhillimoreAbsolutly Fabulous Hair
Hire Major and Minor Hire
Tipis Gather & Gold Tipis
Venue Dublin Bay Weddings

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