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In support of boosting the morale of all the people of Chch comes the Canterbury wedding of Vanessa and Neo. This couple are so sweet and cute together! It is a real feel good wedding. Vanessa told me they like to do everything together – including taking out the garbage (when one person would suffice) to going and getting milk from the local corner shop and (of course) shoe shopping.  Vanessa shares the specialness of their relationship….

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www.lumo.co.nz

“Everything is so much fun when we’re together and it felt like our lives begun when we met each other.  There is constant laughter in our house because we both find each other so funny and adorable and everyday we tell each other how much we appreciate our love and how lucky we are to have found each other. We’re both very quirky characters.  In our spare time we love, dressing up and taking pictures (we love each others style), dancing round our house to music, playing video games, Neo loves drawing and I love fashion.  We each have different strengths and weaknesses so we bring out the best in each other. eg.  I’m a bit of a stresser but Neo’s laid back and calms me down, I can tend to look at the negative in a situation but Neo will see the good in everything”.

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www.lumo.co.nz

 How we met:

We met at a bar on a Thursday night, I was out with a girlfriend and she knew Neo (he taught her sisters dance class). I was interested in learning dancing so Neo and I got talking and he showed us some dance moves! At the end of the night we exchanged numbers so we could arrange some dance lessons.  After a few lessons Neo asked “if he could fancy me” (how old fashioned and cute is that!) and my reply was “as long as you’re nice to me” and from then we proceeded to talking about what our one day in future babies names would be haha. 3 months later we were living together, 5 years later we’re married.

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 Our Engagement:

Very real and from the heart…no cheese involved.  We were in Nelson visiting Neo’s family and Neo asked me if I wanted to go roller blading….I said yes and his little brother asked if he could come to. Neo said no, which at the time I thought was a bit mean, until I found the reason he said no…  Neo took me to a track that he used to skate at when he was younger and sat me down and proceeded to tell me a story about how he used to sit in this exact spot and imagine what his future wife would be like, and what I mean to him and other such romantic things and then he asked if I would be his wife and put a ring on my finger.  I burst into happy tears and couldn’t even answer but of course my answer was yes!

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www.lumo.co.nz

www.lumo.co.nz

www.lumo.co.nz

www.lumo.co.nz

www.lumo.co.nz

 Our Church: Holy Trinity Church – Lyttleton Christchurch NZ.

 We chose the Church because my Mum kept bugging us to go and check out this beautiful church in Lyttelton and we kept putting it off because we wanted to get married in Central Christchurch we finally went to check it out and it was a beautiful sunny spring day and it was love at first sight, we knew we had to get married here. Lyttelton is an awesome place for photos too.  (Please see the current state of the church now after the Chch Earthquake at the end of this post).

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www.lumo.co.nz

www.lumo.co.nz

www.lumo.co.nz

Our Reception: She Chocolate Cafe in Governers Bay

With the reception venue we looked at a billion places before we found She Chocolate and again when we saw it, we fell in love.  It has a beautiful view, beautiful atmosphere and I grew up in Cass Bay so the Harbor that She Chocolate overlooks has a lot of special meaning to me.

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Our reception venue didn’t need a lot of decorating as it has lots of big windows and the view by itself is breath taking. We wanted to keep the whole theme very natural and in tune with the natural beauty around us. We wanted it very romantic feeling with a funky twist….our colours unofficially ended up being black and white with red accessories. The colours were not planned but it turned out awesomely!

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Neo chose the black magic (very dark, velvety red) roses I had in my bouquet and we had these on the tables with stones that we collected ourselves scattered around with candles in amongst the stones.

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The Dress:

Funky, Unique and Beautiful!

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When I started out, all I knew was it had to have a sweet heart neckline and it couldn’t be boring! I looked at hundreds and hundreds of dresses before settling on one. I chose bits and pieces from different dresses and then had all my ideas put together into one dress. I wanted my dress to be quite different and not too traditional. I ended up going for a tad traditional and further funked it up by sticking black bows on it.

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 The Bling:

I love big jewellery so I wanted big chunky jewellery… the jewellery actually ended up being smaller than I originally intended but it was perfect. I wore a double strand pearl necklace with black beads and diamantes throughout it. My earrings were long with black and white stones. My bracelet was borrowed from my mother in law. I wanted to wear a huge black sparkly ring but my sister talked me out of it. I had so many comments on my jewellery

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 The Shoes:

Neo’s Mum actually made  them. I wanted to wear flat shoes and it was extremely difficult to find beautiful flat shoes so I found some reasonably plain ones and Neo’s Mum made these beautiful big roses out of pale pink ribbon and stuck diamantes all over them. I still wear them often and get so many comments every time I wear them!

Wedding Party:

 I chose to just have my sister as my bridesmaid. She wore a cute black babydoll style dress with black jewellery. She carried white roses so it tied in with my whole black and white look. Neo had his closest friend as the best man and his little brother as the pageboy.

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The Flowers:

I wanted my bouquet very simple with just one type of flower. When we went to look at flowers Neo fell in love with a rose called Black Magic – it’s a beautiful dark, deep red the petals look velvety and it’s just beautiful. I had these roses as my bouquet with just a few leaves at the base. The bridesmaid had all white roses with a few leaves at the base.

On the tables we had long skinny vases with a single ‘black magic’ rose, we had river stones that Neo and I collected together and stuck little silver hearts on scattered at the base of the vases and lots of tea light candles scattered throughout the stones

The Decoration:

Neo and I handmade little canvases as wedding favours so these also helped decorate the tables. The canvases had a NZ Map which was filled with a Batik design to represent Neo’s Indonesian culture. For couples we gave one canvas with the South Island and one canvas with the North Island and for singles they had both the South and North Island on one canvas. They also doubled up as name cards.We had CANDLES lots of candles behind the head table was a round table COVERED with candles which set a beautiful glow and a very romantic feel!

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 Our invitations were cute, quirky and very “us”. We had an artist– Aaron Tomlinson (www.atom1746.com) design little cartoon characters of Neo and I with our dogs and we had very informal wording. We wanted it to be how we would usually write to people and not all this traditional wording that people bust out just for their wedding. We wanted it very “real”. We were so happy with how the invites turned out. They were just awesome!

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The menu and seating plan, Neo and I handmade and they were black and white. My cousin and her partner surprised Neo and I by playing the guitar and singing for us after dinner. It was so special! And something that I will always remember.

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 Proceedings:

We had a close friend as the MC, he’s a fabulous speaker and great at making people feel comfortable and getting them to have a bit of a laugh. We wanted people to have a bit of direction when they arrived at the reception not just hang around wondering what was happening next so that’s when Doug our MC stepped in.  We had about 45 guests at the reception and around 60 at the ceremony

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We had music playing when guests arrived at the reception and drinks handed out as soon as they arrived. There is a beautiful deck, cute garden and stunning view at She Cafe so people could take a look around and take pictures etc. We were terrible and didn’t really set a budget. I would say it ended up between $10,000 to $12,000

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As part of Neo’s culture, gold is given to the bride. Before the speeches Neo’s Mum and her best friend presented me with a beautiful gold bracelet from Indonesia and a gold chain with a sapphire and diamond pendant…lucky me, I like his culture!

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Music:

Neo and I actually put all the music together ourselves and had it playing through an ipod. It turned out to be a relatively stressful task putting the music together so if I could have it over again we’d get a DJ. We played lots of RnB which we both love and a bit of oldies classics thrown in there for the parents and their friends.

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Memorable Moment:

My goodness…really just one! Well standing at the alter holding Neo’s hands and just looking into each others eyes and listening to the words our celebrant was saying was very memorable for me, it felt like we were the only 2 people in the world at that moment. Also Neo had set up a surprise for me and organised for us to release doves after the ceremony, this surprise was waiting when we walked out of the church it was very sweet.

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 At the end of the night we all walked down the pier in Governers Bay and each person let off a red love heart shaped flying lantern. We had all the guests sign there well wishes on one lantern which Neo and I let off. It was the perfect finish to a perfect day. Neo and I bought 100 lanterns so each year on Jan 23 we plan to go to that same spot and let one off

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 Breakdancing:

Neo and his long time friend started off the dancing by busting out some break dancing moves. The youngins and the oldies all gathered around loved it and it really got the party kicked off.

 Symbolism:

We wanted our wedding day to focus on the marriage itself and the celebration of the beginning of our lives together, I think a lot of people get so caught up in everything they can forget the reason they are having a wedding. Our celebrant Neil Struthers was amazing and talked a lot about the meaning of marriage and sharing our lives and the symbolism of the wedding rings etc. It was a very intimate and special ceremony and really reflected our relationship perfectly.

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Advice:

Relax, relax, relax – take the time to take it all in, it goes so fast! All the details that you think matter in the lead up to the wedding really don’t matter at all on the day.

Wedding Photographer:

 The first thing we said when we started planning was the photos were the most important thing. We both wanted amazing pictures and this is the first thing we booked. We wanted photos that were cool and arty and not to traditional, we wanted something we could hang on our wall as art. We looked at so many photographers but chose to go with THE BEST, Lisa at Lumo Photography, and she is AMAZING! I can’t praise her enough she is truly a master of her art. Every photo she took was PERFECT and exactly what we wanted.

Thank you Vanessa and Neo for sharing your Chch wedding with us to lighten our days with your feel good vibes. May you have a long and blessed life together and many more trips to taking out the rubbish together!

Many Thanks: Lisa Gane www.lumo.co.nz

 THE HOLY TRINITY CHURCH where Vanessa and Neo married before the recent Christchurch Earthquake:

BEFORE…..

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AFTER……. 

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Vanessa and Neo’s Pastor Neil Struthers with wife in the wreckage. The church is now beyond repair…. :-( as is the fate of many of the churches in Christchurch following the recent quake. Thankfully many couples got to enjoy being married there for the time it was there!

5 Responses so far.

  1. Samantha says:

    Oh no, that poor church. What a great couple though – very sweet. I loved their story and that dove shot is awesome.

  2. Yes so sad about the total carnage. Yes they are a wonderful couple! And I agree on the dove shot – it’s one of my favourites! I also love the balloons.

  3. Vanessa says:

    Awww…so sad seeing the church. I knew it was bad but I didn’t know it was beyond repair :0(

    Your blog is awesome Fleur…I’m going to share it with my family right now

  4. Hi Vanessa, yes so so sad :-(
    I am glad you got to marry there beforehand though – with your beautiful wedding photos!
    Thanks for the compliment too, I am glad you like it :-)

  5. Julie says:

    You post really cool stuff. Not just cool pictures but relate it the world we live in. I like it!