Real Wedding | Candice + Tom

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It was ladies night at the high school old boys club rooms and my sister had taken me along to meet someone. Long story short, it didn’t go as planned! Tom was a bachelor ‘for sale’ and he was auctioned off to a rather boozed lady who ended up not seeing the night out - which meant Tom was free!

Six years later, on new years eve, we were holidaying in the Marlborough Sounds with friends. Tom asked me to go on an early morning walk, which I really wasn’t so keen to do. As we were crossing the beach at Mahana Lodge, I looked behind me to see Tom was down on one knee. It was a great way to celebrate the new year!

After our engagement, we booked all of the main wedding vendors before we made the move over to the UK, where we have been for the majority of the past 18 months. The venue, photographer/videographer and caterer. Admittedly I did leave the celebrant until quite late in the piece, along with the cake as I thought we might make this ourselves, but in a bid to make the wedding morning less stressful, we decided to outsource this. Planning a wedding from overseas wasn’t hard at all as we had the larger details locked in, and with my background in events I was surprisingly the most relaxed I think I’ve ever been putting together something this size. I think the main difference was that I realised if something was to go wrong, it was only going to affect Tom & I, and not a client - Nobody else would know!

I said yes to the dress at Brides Of Merivale and worked with Lisa to make it my own. We took out a little scalloped detail in the bust piece to create the neckline, and Lisa managed to source pearl strings almost identical to the straps that we attached to the back to create more of a glam, 1920s type vibe to suit the theme of the day. Originally I had purchased earrings on a trip to Venice but found them a little overpowering. Lisa unpicked these for me and attached them to the back of the dress to add the finishing detail.

Having such a large guest list meant that we were reasonably limited to the venues on offer, but we very quickly settled on The George for our ceremony, and the Isaac Theatre Royal for the reception. I’m not sure if many people say this, but my favourite part of the day would have to have been our ceremony and all the beautiful memories we created. Instead of opting for the traditional Best Man/Maid of Honour to sign the marriage certificate, Tom and I each picked a friend or family member and had the celebrant read out a few words about them before we went into the crowd and brought them up to sign the document.

We're not really photo people, which for us meant choosing a photographer that would capture more of the candid moments and the emotion of the day. That also meant we were able to spend more time with our friends and family - A win/win! Jess from Cressy Lane did the most amazing job on our styling, and we were lucky enough to be taken up to a private bar at the back of the theatre for a drink with the wedding party before the formalities began, to watch the curtain roll up to unveil the gorgeous setting and all of our guests filtering in. It was pure magic.

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Vendor Credits

Ceremony Venue | The George

Reception | Isaac Theatre Royal

Photographer + Videographer | JD Smit Productions

Styling | Cressy Lane

Floral | Family and Friends

Catering | Continental Catering

Cake | Cakes Galore

Celebrant | Graham Jones

Makeup | Juleah Nairn

Hair | Salon E + Renee Spicer

Dress | Brides of Merivale

Bridesmaids Dresses | Storm

Grooms Party Suit Jackets | Moss Brothers

Rings | Naveya and Sloane

DJ | Paul McKessar