Lauren and Peter smile as they describe their sunny Wairarapa wedding day, "full of colour, smiles,and love” and "feeling happy and blessed, surrounded by close friends and family”.
"We wanted an intimate, elegant and beautiful wedding, and it could not have been better. The food, the flowers, the friends and family...all perfect,” she said.
Peter added "It was stunning, the wedding was beyond anything that I could have hoped for; it was such a great day for us. Seeing Lauren for the first time was a pretty incredible moment. She looked gorgeous.”
Even the venues had special meaning. At Lauren’s old school chapel (the picturesque St Matthew's Collegiate)the altar rejoiced with colourful flowers, candles and candle holders for the ceremony, while the reception was held in her parent’s garden near Masterton. Back in 2000 Lauren and her brothers picked up thousands of rocks from a bare paddock to create what is now a beautiful front garden for the family home. The deep blue hydrangeas were out in full force.
"We decided early on we wanted Ruth Pretty to cater for us. Peter worked as a waiter for Ruth and Paul while at school, and they had catered several family occasions for my parents.
"The challenge was finding a date in the busy summer season, as Ruth Pretty's Fridays and Saturdays were all booked up. Because Thursday was pretty close to the weekend, that's what we went for which created a bit of an Italian wedding vibe of festivities that guests could enjoy.
"Having great food is very important to us, and Ruth created a wonderful personalised menu that ticked all our boxes. For fun, we had a dessert buffet so people could help themselves and chat over our favourite desserts and a choice of six ice creams.
"We live in Cambridge, and Peter was away rowing for three months, so my mother Donna and aunt Deb pitched in and were our ‘people on the ground’. They were fantastic, and what could have been a difficult time was well-organised and enjoyable,” Lauren commented.
Both Lauren and Peter had special things they wanted included. For Peter, it was a whisky bar, as well as Martinborough wines; for Lauren it was colour, colour and more colour.
She explains "I adore colour and wanted to do something that was modern and elegant which linked nicely with our garden at home. Bright fuchsia, lemon, purple and green were my key colours, and Yvette from Piccadilly Flowers brought my ideas to life to create gorgeous florals to exceed my dreams.
"Even the menswear included colour. Barker’s Menswear works with Liberty UK, and one of their new designs worked perfectly with the colour scheme for flowers and bridesmaids dresses. The blue suits with designer ties and pocket handkerchiefs could not have been better.
"My dress was created by Anna Schimmel. I fell in love with the lace and we went from there. Anna listened to my ideas, sketched a shape that would suit my figure... and the rest is history. Seeing my dad's face when I had my dress and veil on made the fact that it was my wedding day suddenly sink in! I especially loved how it sparkled at night.
"Ruth and her team were great to work with, and had everything under control through the planning stages and on the day itself, with Ruth and Paul there. The service was impeccable, as Peter was quick to observe, interested to see others doing the roles he used to.
"Ruth did say one of our requests was a first, though! Peter is an Olympic medallist rower, and the guests included close friends rowing couples Mahe and Juliette Drysdale, George and Rachel Bridgewater and James and Leah Lassche. His former rowing partner and groomsman Storm Uru flew in from the UK with his partner.
"The thing about rowers is that they consume a massive amount of energy – probably 4-5000calories a day. So Ruth provided extra food for "the rowers’ tables” to ensure they didn’t starve!”Lauren laughed.
Photo Credit: Sharisse Eberlein
Additional Photos: Lauren & Peter's Photo Blog