Ryan & Bridget | The Grandstand, Claudelands

Autumn 2019

A stunning wedding - there isn’t really another way to put it. These high school sweethearts escaped to Raglan for some of the most beautiful wedding photos! Such a cool wee adventure to have on their wedding day ~ before coming back to Hamilton to celebrate with their nearest and dearest.


Our love story began…

When we fifteen as teenagers in high school (high school sweethearts). Our love for each other grew stronger as we got older and we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. We have been through everything together, all the ups and downs life has to throw at you, but nothing makes me happier than him.


Tell us about the proposal…

We are two very adventurous people who love the outdoors and anything that gets the adrenaline pumping. So what better way to propose than at the bottom on a 100m free fall abseil. The lost world tour in the Waitomo caves was amazing! The views were captivating and the staff were so on board and supportive with everything my husband had planned for the engagement.


What were the highlights on the day?

The main highlight was certainly marrying my best friend. We also loved seeing our families and friends having such a fun and enjoyable time! The smiles on their faces said it all and listening to the speeches about our love for each other was so lovely to hear. The food was delicious and we were so pleased with the quality and tastiness of it all. Dancing at the end of the night was also a huge highlight of the evening. This was a time to kick off our shoes and relax a bit more and just have fun!


Tell us about your venue and why did you choose it

We chose ‘The Grandstand’ in Claudelands, Hamilton. This stunning venue was simply gorgeous and elegant all in one. With its fresh new design, white walls and wooden furniture, it had a rustic vintage and classy look- exactly what we were after!


Where did you purchase your dress and accessories from?

My dress was purchased from the beautiful wedding designer Anna Shimmel in Auckland. She is extremely talented and very good at what she does. She has a range of different dresses that are elegant and stunning!


We saved & splurged on…

We saved on our wedding venues - unlike other wedding reception venues, this was a fraction of the cost. We also spent little on accessories and wore mostly what we already owned.

We splurged on making sure we looked the way we wanted to. We spent money on the dresses and suits. We wanted them to look good for the photos - another thing we spent money on, a photographer (your images are with you for life, so why not make sure they are going to be good!). We also wanted our friends and family to have a fun time, so we put a bit of money towards finding a great DJ, someone who could get the party started and keep it going all night!


Do you have any tips for other brides & grooms?

Relax and enjoy every minute of it. The day will go so fast and there will be so many people that want to talk and congratulate you, but take a moment for just you two in the day. Whether it be in the car ride on your way to photos or before you walk into the reception. Take a moment together and breathe it all in because this day is for both of you!


R+B’s Vendors

Ceremony + Reception venue: St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church, Te Rapa and The Grandstand, Claudelands 

Photographer: Amy Bell Photography

Videographer: Christel Yardley (a family friend)

Hire: LoveClub Hire- the best! x

Entertainment: Addictive DJ’s- Matt Naylor

Wedding planner/stylist: Kate Gibson (sister)

Celebrant: Deacon Matthew Gibson (brother)

Caterer: Montana Catering

Florist: Primm Gardens

Cake: Polka Dottie Cakes- Jane Bell

Hair and makeup: Adora Hair and Abbie Hartland Makeup

Stationery: CMYK printing 

Dress: Anna Schimmel

Accessories: Lovisa + Barkers 

Rings: Michael Hill Jewellery