Mon and Matt have been together for nearly a decade, so for them, getting married was a chance to have a good party! “After building a wonderful foundation together over the past eight years we decided marriage is more of a celebration of our relationship, rather than a law or a ceremony,” they tell us. 

Cue one seriously gorgeous garden party-themed wedding, shot by Emily Hugo. “We planned to keep it looking modern and crisp so opted for a base colour of white along with a clear marquee and ghost chairs so we didn’t block out any of the garden views,” the couple share of their vision. “Once we had this sorted we knew we needed bright colours to complement the green lawn and make everything stand out. We wanted it to really pop and be bold to create a fun and vibrant atmosphere for the day because we were there for a good time after all!”

In the end, they picked colours based on the bridesmaids’ knockout red and pink dresses. “When we locked in pink and red everything just started falling into place!” Um, heck yes it did! Scroll and you’ll see what we mean! 

THE VENUEDue to COVID closing a lot of venues down in New Plymouth, we ended up viewing three options, but only one fit our brief of a modern, fresh garden party. As soon as we saw the Goodin Country Garden we both knew that it was the perfect venue to accommodate us with its large lush front lawn, beautiful five-bedroom homestead and stunning views of Mount Taranaki all the way to the ocean. The whole venue was stunning on its own and we fell in love with it in the pouring rain, so we knew it could only get better!”

THE THEMEOnce we had found our perfect venue, we knew that we really wanted to build on it, rather than take away from its natural beauty. We locked in the theme of ‘garden party’, which fit in well with the venue, and from there it was creating a cohesive style by choosing colours and furniture that would complement the homestead and the views.”

FAVE DETAILSI can’t not talk about our luggage tags by Hey Lola Design. We didn’t want to clutter the tables with lots of items and we also didn’t want to spend money on things that would either go unnoticed or just get thrown out, so we came up with these place cards/wedding favours as they were meaningful to us. When Tyne from Hey Lola told us she could do pink acrylic I locked it in then and there! It’s really cool to see our guests rocking them in everyday life.”

DIYI (Mon) decided to make everyone coming to my hen’s party little pink bead bracelets with their initials. I was in lockdown and wanted a fun wedding project so this fit the bill and I just went with it! I’ve never made jewellery before so it was fairly basic, but everyone ended up loving them so much that we decided to wear them at the wedding as well. It was a cute little keepsake I wanted them all to have and the fact they wear them all the time makes me so happy!”

THE DRESSI organised a girls’ weekend up in Auckland to visit three bridal boutiques in one day with my mum, aunty and nana. Our last visit of the day was to Trish Peng and I was starting to get a bit overwhelmed but we met with Ashleigh at Trish Peng and we immediately clicked. I was quite set on a ¾ sleeve number with a low back, but hadn’t found anything like it, so Ashleigh went to the complete opposite end of the spectrum and made me try on the strapless Marinol gown. I was sceptical, but she was confident. As the curtains opened I heard everyone gasp and they were in love with it. I wasn’t sure yet, but I don’t think I had ever worn anything strapless before either! They all really wanted me to get that dress! I didn’t choose right away though, I went back a few weeks later and we chose the Marinol Gown after a lot of deliberation.”

TAKE ON TRADITIONMatt knew that my Grandad Bill was going to marry us from the beginning of our relationship and he was all for it! It made the ceremony that much more personable for everyone that attended and it was so special for all of us. Since Bill is a Reverend Canon at the New Plymouth Cathedral, we wanted to let him do the service his way as he is amazing at his job. He got dressed up in his robes and looked so lovely! He did want us to get married in a church, but I think he understands now why we wanted to get married in the garden so badly.”

STANDOUT VENDORSI don’t think we could have got a better bunch of vendors! We went through a full postponement together and that was so tough for all parties, yet everyone was so keen to pull off the best day for us in February! Lizzy (our wedding planner, of Elizabeth Jean Weddings) was definitely a standout. She’s part of the family now and my Mum probably messages her more than I do! We could not have done any of it, least of all the COVID rescheduling, without her. She made everything so stress-free and on the day all we had to do was have a good time with our loved ones, while Lizzy was in charge of organising and solving problems that popped up (and sounds like there were a few funny ones). Also, our amazing photographer, Emily Hugo. We knew she was our gal when we were at our engagement shoot in Christchurch and she asked if we would be keen to get doughnuts afterwards. We chose Em because we loved how she captured couples so naturally and artistically, so the fact she’s also a legend was a huge bonus. She even saw a photo of my parents on their wedding day and got us to reenact it at sunset!”

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Emily Hugo Cinematographer Mark Lahood Films Event Planner & Stylist Elizabeth Jean Weddings Florist Lu Diamond Flowers Stationery & Signage Hey Lola Design (menus) Ceremony & Reception Goodin Country Gardens Catering Fork N Knife Food Truck Flo-Jo Coffee Cart Cake The Cake Diary Desserts Duck Island Ice Cream (ice cream sandwiches), Chunk’d Cookies Alcohol Liquorland, Soljans Estate Winery Wedding Favours Hey Lola Design (personalised luggage tags) Hire Items L.L Hire (furniture, marquee), Stellar Events (cut-crystal coupes), TLL Events (glassware) Entertainment Titus Funk Celebrant Reverend Canon Bill Marsh Rings Naveya & Sloane Transport Withers Cardboard Cut-Outs Graphix Bathroom Hire Tool Hire Taranaki Wedding Map Written THE BRIDE Bridal Gown & Veil Trish Peng Robes Cotton On Body Pajamas Papinelle Sleepwear Shoes Mi Piaci Accessories Alexandra Dodds (ceremony earrings, pendant necklace), SOPHIE (initials necklace), Meadowlark Jewellery (reception earrings), Bride (pink bracelet) Hair Rachel Lander (family friend) Makeup Makeup By Annalee Fragrance Jo Malone Bridesmaid Dresses Molly Perkinsons Bridesmaid Shoes Mi Piaci, The Iconic Bridesmaid Gifts The Horse (pink handbags) THE GROOM Suit, Shirt, Tie & Shoes Working Style  Watch The Horse Groomsmen Suits Barkers Groomsmen Shirts Working Style