Louise & Gavin
Tell us about your love story, how did you meet etc?
We had a mutual friend so saw each other at a couple of social occasions but really hadn’t had the chance to talk or get to know each other. Our mutual friend set up on a blind date. Gavin worked off shore so we had a very intense week 1 ½ together before he went back off shore – by the time he came back I was hooked!
Why did you say 'YES'? How did you know/why is he the one?
In truth there was no dramatic romantic proposal – we were just lying in bed one night after talking to our parents discussing how they were all going to be here at the same time for a holiday and it was suggested that it would be a great time for us to get married….and that was it – decision made. We’d already been together almost 5 years – living together for 4 and had moved across the world together…..so we’d made the decision a long time before that we would be spending the rest of our lives together. We did everything a bit back to front – told our families, booked a venue and then Gavin bought me a ring. Then during a sunset walk on Fitzroy Beach he went down on one knee and formerly proposed…..couldn’t really say no then!
What was your inspiration or theme for the day?
Knowing that our family were travelling a very long way to be here – we wanted them to see New Plymouth at its finest and have their every needs taken care of. We didn’t want to crowd our beautiful venue with too many decorations or distract from the magnificent landscape and so we had quite a simple, minimal look. We also wanted to honour the fact that we’re Scottish without it being the main focus of the day so we had a thistle design incorporated into our stationery. The men wore kilts and we had some fantastic Scottish music in the evening! Our colour theme was a bit tricky to figure out….we wanted something that would work in with Gavins family tartan (Campbell) but I also wanted something that suited all three of my bridesmaids – after much searching we discovered a fine yellow stripe in the tartan and the colour was chosen and it was perfect. The yellow was the perfect accent colour to compliment the beautiful scenery, the crisp blue skies and sea and the glorious sunshine we were treated to on the day!
Amongst the many special moments, what are the “stand out” memories for you?
The whole day was one continuous highlight. You hear so many cheesy clichés “it was the best day of my life” type comments from brides and as reluctant as I am to say it – I can’t help myself – the whole day was beyond incredible and I loved every moment of it – drama and tears included. Having my darling dad there to drive me to my wedding and walk me down the aisle was a major highlight for me. He had to have life-threatening surgery after getting septicaemia just three months before our wedding and we didn’t know if he would make it through the operation never mind to our wedding. When he first arrived in New Zealand he was quite poorly and we didn’t know if he would be well enough to walk me down the aisle – so having him there to support me and dance with me was the most wonderful thing. Other highlights included a message being sent from home from one of my best friends who was supposed to be bridesmaid but had to travel home to Scotland three weeks before because she got cancer, Gavin's elderly Granny travelling out to see the first of her grandchildren getting married, my parents presented me with a hula-hoop during my dads speech and later that night it made an appearance on the dancefloor with me! Being driven home through town by my hubby, with glitter and streamers flying out the windows of the car hearing the cheers and shouts of “congratulations!” from total strangers waiting to get into The Mill! Taking a few moments out a few times during the day – just the two of us – to absorb all the excitement and emotion. More than anything, of course (and here comes the cheesy part – sorry) there was the ceremony itself. Our celebrant did the most fantastic job. It was very personal and for me the best part of all was committing myself wholly and without fear to my best friend – the day could have ended there and I wouldn’t have been disappointed.
There are so many aspects to make a wedding uniquely you. What were important to you to make your wedding day just perfect for you?
One of the key things for me personally was that I wanted to feel relaxed and myself. I didn’t want to look or feel like someone different – I just wanted to be myself in every way. I considered comfort to be the key thing when I was shopping for my wedding dress – I wanted to be comfortable, not too hot and not laced in or restricted. I didn’t get nail extensions, or a spray tan or even have a lot of make-up on because I wanted to look back at my photographs and look like myself and most importantly, feel like myself. This made for some very easy preparation on the day….and lots of free time! Gavin and I are very social people – we love to chat to people and spend time with our loved ones over good food and good wine and that’s exactly what we did on our wedding day. We had a BBQ buffet with the most incredible range of food and we took the opportunity to walk around and chat with our guests while they waited for their turn to head to the BBQ. The whole day had a very relaxed feeling which was exactly what we wanted.
In hindsight, is there anything that you would have done differently?
I probably wouldn’t have put as MUCH pressure on myself in the run up to the wedding. I’m a bit of a crafter and a major control freak and so I took on a big job when I decided to make the invites and the favours (4 different types – YIKES) and the Table Plan, the place cards, table cards, fairy wand for the flowergirl and a guest book all myself – I had NO idea how much work I was taking on or how stressful it would be. I was also reluctant to accept help from people so it made for a LOT of work. As for the details of the day – we wouldn’t do anything differently except maybe applying a little more sunscreen as I had some interesting tan lines for the rest of the summer!
What advice would you give to future brides to be?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – don’t bite off more than you can chew. Don’t get caught up in things and forget what the day is actually about – take a few moments out on your big day with your new husband to reflect and to stand back and admire all your hard work. Ask your guest for copies of the photos they take – some of our favourite photos, and the ones we display around our home, are the candid moments caught by our loved ones! Don’t scrimp on your entertainment, if you can afford it – hire a band or a really good DJ – the music MAKES the reception!
What do you love most about being a MRS?
It’s hard to put my finger on what it is that’s different between living together and being married – but something is different. It’s a truly wonderful feeling to think that you’re half of something special. I love the fact that Gavin and I have confidence and faith in each other – we’re stronger together than we could ever be apart. He has my back in every walk of life and vice versa and with my Mr by my side I feel like could take the world on!
Anything else you would like to add?
Yup – one more thing….no wedding is without its drama – for us – the weeks leading up to our wedding were scary. My closest friend and bridesmaid was diagnosed with cancer and had to go back to the UK – and saying goodbye and making the decision to go ahead without her was hard but I understood that being with her family was the best place to be while she was sick. Then with my dad being poorly when he first arrived – not knowing if he was going to make it up the aisle with me. Then one of the musicians had to pull out - Maid of Honour to the rescue! Our wedding car providers went AWOL the week before the wedding leaving us with no transport - husband and maid of honour to the rescue again – we used her car and my car which Gavin polished up to look perfect…..and then – to top the whole lot off I reversed my husbands car into my car (yep – the one we were using as a wedding car) the day before the wedding. FUN! But even despite that drama – the day was perfect and went off without a hitch!
Check out the wonderful suppliers that made it all happen!!
- Hair & Makeup: HQ Hair by Design – on the hill on Devon Street. They were amazing!
- Flowers: Nicci Goodin – the woman is a GENIUS
- Cake: Helen Sharpe – The Cake Gallery & Patisserie
- Brides Dress & Accessories: - Dress – Churchwood Bridal. Shoes from Frasers – a store back home in Glasgow. Jewellery from Swarovski.
- Bridesmaids Dresses & Accessories: Bridesmaid - Dresses from CC Wards. Flower Girl Dress – missfrilly.co.nz, shoes and cardi from Pumpkin Patch. Wand – handmade by me.
- Grooms Suits & Accessories: Groom and Groomsmen all wore their own Kilts etc with ties from Mondo Man.
- Planner/Stylist: I wish……! All on my own!
- Venue/Catering : Okurukuru Winery – AMAZING!
- Invitations: Graphic designed by Agape Invitations – the rest was all hand done by me.
Anything else you would like to add?
- Photos – Kristy Strachan Photography and Amanda Ritchie Photography
- Celebrant – Colleen Baird
- Event Hire – Dobsons
- Music – Daniel Hayles and Rachel Helms for the Ceremony and Cocktail Hour, Mary and Andrew Sylvester with some Scottish Music, Jonny and the Dreamboats for the reception and music recorded by Dave Richie Smith given out to all our guests.