Carmelle and Christian wanted their late afternoon wedding to be a relaxed and special day with family and friends, celebrating with everyone they loved while also enjoying good food and wine. Ideally in a pretty country garden setting.

Their day – in Ruth Pretty’s Springfield garden beneath the claret ash trees and Chinese lanterns – was exactly how they dreamed it would be.

Choosing Springfield was an easy decision, says Carmelle. "Ruth Pretty had the perfect location, the right atmosphere and support.

"Also, Christian spent many university holidays driving tractors and what I might call ‘playing’ with chainsaws at the Pretty’s Te Horo property, so he knew the perfect spot under the trees for the ceremony. It was an early summer wedding and everything was green, fresh and luxuriant. 

"Christian arrived early on the  day and hung the Chinese  lanterns in the trees, and they  were simply lovely. Walking  together down the aisle as  husband and wife under the  trees, with everyone smiling, is  one of my best memories of the  day,” she says.


The wedding planning was at long distance, with Carmelle and Christian based in Perth, Australia. The couple found distance was no barrier, with the Ruth Pretty wedding planner Janine on top of all the details and arrangements. 

Carmelle described Ruth’s team  as "pulling all the working parts  together” and added that  choosing the menu was simple  too. "We chose some of New  Zealand’s finest – lamb and  snapper – and let Ruth do her  thing. The same method was  applied to the wine and there  was success all round. 

The food and service on the day was excellent, which Christian really appreciated from his days working at Ruth Pretty's.”Presenting a stylish co-ordinated look for the wedding was a pleasure for Carmelle, who has a design background. Starting with the "fresh, pretty country garden” theme, she chose soft pinks, apricots and ivory colours, with highlights of green for freshness.

Her bridesmaids were elegantly  gowned in soft apricot, and the  beautiful table flowers (by  Chrissy Lawrence of Bloom  Supply) created the soft relaxed feeling she wanted.

She says "Christian followed orders and hand-tied an unfathomable number of agee jars with lace and twine for the tables.” In a very personal touch, Chrissy included three apricot roses from Carmelle’s parent’s garden. They provided the "something old” touch, having come originally from her late grandmother’s garden.

As all brides know, finding The Dress is vital. Carmelle went to Melbourne, gathering her mother from the Wairarapa and bridesmaids from Sydney and Melbourne to share the occasion. At Brides of Armadale on High Street she found the perfect dress. "As soon as I put it on I felt like a bride, and Mum was in tears!

Photographers Lene and Victor (lenephotography of Germany) captured the day beautifully. Although based in Germany they come to New Zealand occasionally for the summer.

When asked about ‘favourite moments and highlights’ Carmelle recalled "a particularly hilarious but generous speech by Christian’s brother who was best man.” She summed the best part for the couple as "having our families and friends sharing such a special day and just being so happy for us.”