Happy #throwbackthursday, lovers!

Today, we’re stepping back to a simpler time… a time when lockdowns weren’t a thing and when wedding dates didn’t have to be postponed two, three, four times in a row… Yes, we’re heading to January 2020, when the delightful Jemma and Michael got hitched in New Zealand. This couple’s “wildly boho romantic” nuptials were first featured in our 2020 Real Wedding Special, which has since sold out – but not to stress! You can grab your copy of our latest special edition right here and check out even more amazing big days.

Tying the knot after a two-year engagement, Jemma and Michael’s ‘I do’s (which were beautifully photographed by the talented James Simmons) were as charming as their love story. “When we met online in 2012, we were long distance. We spent that summer driving the length of the country and sleeping on overnight buses to spend every moment we could together. After only about six months, I moved to Wellington from Hamilton to be with Michael. We’ve been inseparable for almost seven years now,” explains the bride.

Let’s take a look through the stunning snaps, courtesy of the fabulous James Simmons.

THE VENUEWe looked at quite a few venues in Hawke’s Bay, but we fell in love with the Cuve Room at Church Road Winery. The space was intimate… and moody and we love a glass of wine!”

DIY “About a year before the wedding I taught myself how to embroider and thought it could be fun to tie it into the wedding, so I decided to hand-embroider the table numbers. What started as a fun craft project turned into countless hours embroidering thousands of tiny knots, right up until the afternoon before the wedding! It all came together perfectly on the day.”

THE VIBE “My florist, Trista Foley at Botanical Lane, described it as a ‘colour crush’! It was wildly boho romantic. We went with what we loved and tried to avoid trends that might date. We tied in hints of things we loved, like the embroidered table numbers and spirit-bottle vase centrepieces, to make the day our own.”

THE DRESS “I went to a couple of boutiques, but I didn’t fall in love with any of the ones that I tried on. They were all way above budget, and none of them made me feel like a bride. So I went online to Still White and found my Needle and Thread London dress. It was completely unlike anything I’d tried on and I knew instantly it was The One.”

FAVOURITE DETAILS The flowers were absolutely incredible. I trusted Trista and gave her a very vague brief, and I’m glad I did because I honestly could not have even described what she put together. Every bouquet, buttonhole, table setting and hairpiece was totally unique.”

WE WISH WE…Had practised a little more for our first dance! But we still have no regrets. How it worked out (a little awkward and uncoordinated!) was pretty representative of our dancing ability.”

STANDOUT VENDORSWe met our photographer, James Simmons, before we got engaged when we were models for a photographers’ conference. He managed to turn what was, in reality, a freezing cold night standing in the wind and rain into some magical moments and memories. On the day, both James and his second shooter, Olivia, made us feel so comfortable. Once again they focused on the intimate moments that otherwise would have passed us by.”

A WORD OF ADVICE… “Try not to have a narrow vision of what your day has to be like because it will never be as you imagine. Think of a feeling, thought or mood instead, tell your vendors and trust them to work their magic. They’ve done it all before and know what works.”

Looking to create some of your own big-day magic in the Land of the Long White Cloud? Get in touch with the man behind the lens, James Simmons, who captured the stunning pics of this beautiful day.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer James Simmons Florist Trista Foley at Botanical Lane Stationery Pinc Ceremony, Reception & Planner Church Road Winery Catering Dish Catering Cake ‘Simply Perfect’ cheese cake by Whitestone Cheese Cake Topper Silky Oak Chocolates Sound Hire Sight & Sound Services Signage Kmart Entertainment Eilish Rose Music Rings Pacific Jewellers Transport Black Rose THE BRIDE Gown Needle and Thread London Bridal Boutique Still White Hairpiece Botanical Lane Shoes Siren Accessories Lovisa (earrings) Bailey Nelson (glasses) Hair Debbie Pearce Hair Bridesmaid dresses Pagani Bridesmaid gifts Stella + Gemma THE GROOM Suit, Shirt & Tie Barkers Shoes 3 Wise Men Watch Timex Barber Jason Debande at The French Barber Groomsmen suits Barkers