Real Wedding | Sarah and Chris

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Chris and I both have older brothers, who became best friends when we were nine years old. Since the time they met, they have been planning our future together! Chris and I went to high school together and actually became best friends when we were about 14, we were inseparable until Chris confessed he had a crush on me, and when I turned him down he did not take it very well. We parted ways for a while and somehow I dated another guy named Chris and he dated another girl named Sarah! We rekindled the romance at Chris’ brother Tim’s wedding where we were both sober drivers and started dating shortly after. We were about 18 at the time, and I was in my first year of study. Fast forward a few years I graduated and got a three-month internship in Auckland at Rue de Seine Bridal, so we did a short stint of long distance, and once I was offered a full-time job Chris packed his bags and moved on up.

At the time that we got engaged Chris and I were living in different cities, but I felt like I knew that he was preparing to pop the question. I laid down 3 rules, 1. I wanted to have finished my internship, 2. I wanted us to be living in the same city, 3. Michael my brother was living in Canada for 6 months, and I wanted him back in the country - Chris broke every single one!

He had brought me flights back to Christchurch for the weekend, even though I almost missed my flight. We got up on Saturday morning and he took me to get my nails done, and he had borrowed his best friends flash car, and he drove me out to the Ohinetahi gardens in governors bay. Where overlooking a gorgeous bay was a bench seat with two glasses of champagne and he got down on one knee and popped the question! Hiding on the bank in the trees were his best friend, one of his brothers and his wife taking photos, and after they came running out and spraying us with champagne.

We didn’t want a huge wedding and felt that we really focused on having the people who we loved, and who loved us as a couple. It was such a special feeling to have almost everyone you love in one room celebrating with you. We had quite a large bridal party of 14 including ourselves because we just wanted the day to just feel like a party with our favourite people.

I loved planning my wedding and honestly felt like I was made for it! Naturally, it did come with its stresses, but I honestly feel that it brought Chris, my mum and I closer. It helped that I worked in bridal so I was already very familiar with the wedding industry. We were planning the whole thing from Auckland, so we made many trips down to Christchurch to meet with vendors.

We booked our venues first to secure the date, holding the ceremony at the Rangi Ruru chapel and our reception at Darjon Vineyard. Then it was the photographer - My dream photographer was already booked so we ended up going with Kylie from Catch You Photography. We used James from Flying Squirrels for our video as he was an old friend of mine and it became an absolute treasure from the day - I would 10/10 recommend getting one if you’re on the fence.

With my love for fashion and working in the bridal industry, what I wore was obviously very important to me but I didn’t make my own! I ended up with one of the first dresses I tried on during a girls weekend with my mum and two besties - An elegant, timeless gown by the brand Pronovias and a 3.5m lace veil which still made a statement. The Mi Piaci shoes I wore were a twenty-first gift from my Maid of Honour and my Dyrburg and Kern earrings were a gift from Chris on the same occasion.

I got my bridesmaids dresses from Evolution Boutique, I loved being able to have the same colour different styles cause I had them all pick a style that they would actually wear again!

The Groomsmen's suits were all from Hallensteins, but have you ever tried getting six men together to go shopping, because I swear that was the hardest part of the whole wedding planning! Chris’ suit we purchased from M J Bale along with boots from R M Williams.

We chose Canterbury Country Spit Roast as our caterer upon recommendation and they were amazing, followed by our cake - A four tier creation from Fleur’s Designer Cakes.

The day was actually perfect. I had all my bridesmaids stay over at my Mum’s house the night before so we spent the evening drinking champagne and watching Monica and Chandler’s wedding from Friends. In the morning we had hair and makeup done, with the photographer and videographer. It was a pretty standard wedding morning, I gave all my bridesmaids a personalised champagne glass, a personalised purse, and a personalised dressing gown.

Chris had a typical boys morning, riding dirt bikes, drinking whiskey and getting ready at the last minute.

The ceremony was beautiful and one of my favourite moments of the day. We are both Christian and our pastor from our church in Christchurch sealed the deal, and we wrote our own vows which were so emotional and funny in the same breath! Our flower girl was one of the bridesmaids' daughters and she walked down the aisle holding helium balloons. Walking down the aisle for me was one of the weirdest sensations because there were so many people that I hadn’t seen in months and I wanted to stop and say hi! It was so emotional having my dad walk me down the aisle, and Chris was tearing up when I saw him.

After the ceremony, everyone lined up and gave us all hugs and their best wishes which was really great because it meant we got to see everyone that was there.

We went to the botanical gardens for some bridal photos and we stopped while mum delivered pizza and some bubbles and a toast to the day. We were taking photos and ended up with about 50 bystanders all taking photos of us too! After that we ventured into the city so we would get pictures in front of the street art - These became some of my favourite photos. I loved having a big bridal party while we were taking pictures because it was so much just being able to hang out with all our favourite people at once. It was such a cold day that Chris had organised all the girls to bring denim jackets for our photos and he had given me on the morning of the wedding my own ‘Mrs Posthuma’ monogram for the back of mine!

We turned up to the reception with a big warm welcome from all of our guests. The speeches were all so amazing, and so special for us to hear such wonderful things from those closest to us. My Maid of Honour is also very close with Chris and this was one of the most special things to us both on the day, we both cried while she was talking, and it was really something else to have her say such beautiful words to us on our wedding day. We had another fourty guests arrive for the party portion of the evening where we cut the cake, had our first dance to a ‘Can’t help falling in love with you’ cover by Jess and Gabriel, and we partied the rest of the night way, danced a lot, drank a bit, sang a lot and we had the most wonderful evening with our friends and family.

One thing I found surprising was that we both didn’t feel as emotional as we expected. I expected to be a blubbering mess, but we were both so calm and just really happy, it was a really easy going day and we were both just so happy.

I would probably say my biggest pieces of advice are that organisation is key, no matter how relaxed the event is. Our day ran so smoothly because I had organised everything down to the hour, everyone knew where they needed to be at what time. Getting a videographer would be another, it was so awesome to receive our video, and the fact that we have our ceremony and all of our speeches on camera is something we can watch each year and it will forever be so special to us. And finally, do what is important to you as a couple. If having a top of the line dress is important then get it, if having a small low key wedding is important then do it. You shouldn’t ever feel bad about having the wedding you want, whether you spend $1000 or $100,000.

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Vendor Credits

Catering | Canterbury Country Spit Roast

Celebrant | Hamish Galloway

Dress | Pronovias

Florist | Family

Hair | Courtenay Tennant

Makeup | Carol Melek

Photographer | Catch You Photography

Rings | Partridge Jewellers

Venue | Rangi Ruru Chapel and Darjon Vineyard