Chels & Fleet | Woodlands Historic Homestead and Gardens Wedding

Summer 2019

As soon as I opened this wedding album, I couldn’t stop scrolling. Insanely beautiful photos by Black Robin Photography but more than that, you can just feel the love between these two gorgeous people and their day really did celebrate that! You’d hardly know that it was a rainy Waikato day, and they were lucky enough to get a break at the perfect time meant their ceremony could still be enjoyed outside in the most romantic setting.

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Our love story began…

When we were just kids at Tamahere primary school. We then continued onto Berkley, where we “went-out” with each other (lol), and then onto Hillcrest High School together. We were the best of friends throughout our younger years, and it was in our later years of high school we decided to take a leap and scale our friendship to the next level!

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Tell us about the proposal…

Ryan dropped a knee one evening on the beach at Mount Maunganui. I won’t bore you with too much detail but he had actually planned to do it at the top of the mount that morning, it’s our little thing that we always do together when at the mount, however me being unaware of this had forced these plans to change and we never made it up! Nevertheless, he was committed to proposing and the Mount is one of my favourite spots so he saved it for later that evening when we were having a picnic on the beach. He had managed to sneak in a bottle of champagne, and I couldn’t quite believe it was all real! It gets better though…just after the proposal he handed me a postcard of the Amalfi Coast. I looked at him a wee bit puzzled and he said we are going there next year. The tin bum had won us a bloody trip to Europe when he purchased the engagement ring!! I don’t know if my eyes welled up because I get to marry my childhood soul mate…or the overseas trip

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Where did you purchase your dress and accessories from?

My dress was from Hera Couture in Auckland. I didn’t have many accessories – I got my earrings very last minute the day before from Lovisa!

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Where did you find your inspiration for your wedding day?

Inspo probably came from Pinterest and wedding pages I followed on Instagram. My mum and sister were also INCREDIBLE at coming up with neat ideas.

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Tell us about your venue and why did you choose it:

Our venue was Woodlands, a historic homestead and gardens near Gordonton. We chose this venue because both Ryan (aka. Fleet) and myself grew up locally so it was important to us that we had the wedding near to home. We also fell in love with the setting out under some Oak trees at Woodlands for our ceremony, after we had seen that we knew we had found the venue for us!

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Our wedding style was…

Being held at Woodlands gave it a rustic feel, the bridesmaid dresses were a forest/emerald green colour, our flowers were wildish with pops of burgundy. It also ended up being a wet day and that added another element – certainly made for some wild memorable moments.

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We saved on….

We decided not to do party favours, Fleet made the signs, and my mum and sister did an incredible job writing on these and printing the stationery for the tables.

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We splurged on….

Probably too much, haha, felt like our budget kept creeping North! Not necessarily a splurge but we are so stoked with our photographers, Black Robin, they really kept our spirits high when the rain started coming down and they made the whole shoot out in the rain so much fun! We also loved our band, this was led by Joe MacNamara, there was all sorts of crazy things happening on the dance floor as I’ve already mentioned before! The marquee was also a last minute splurge but so thankful we said yes to this!

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Do you have any tips for other brides & grooms?

If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, make sure you have a Plan B if the weather doesn’t play ball. We got married in mid-Feb and unfortunately the weather gods weren’t on our side, but because we had a marquee on hold and a plan in place for a wet afternoon, if anything the rain actually made our day even more memorable. The weather is the one thing that is completely out of your control so honestly don’t get upset in the lead up to the big day if the forecast is looking dodgy. Just embrace it and the photos are amazing too!!

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What were the highlights on the day?

A highlight was definitely the dancing later on – we ended up getting quite a bit of rain which made for an epic knee-sliding dance floor! Another highlight was the ceremony, we were SO lucky to manage to squeeze in the dream of getting married outside under the oak trees before it tipped down.

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The vendors:

Ceremony + Reception venue: Woodlands Historic Homestead and Gardens

Photographer: Black Robin Photography

Videographer: Megan Wallace

Hire: Love Club and Carlton Party Hire

Entertainment: Joe MacNamara

Celebrant: Lynn Buchanen

Caterer: Kerr and Ladbrook

Florist: Aster and Bloom

Cake: Dash of Ivory

Hair and makeup: Dede and Daph (Hannah Carter) & Baillie Buchanan

Dress: Hera Couture

Accessories: Lovisa

Rings: Naveya and Sloane