The closest people around, vibrant performances, nature all around and endless sincere love — Paige and Ori's wedding was an unforgettable event that left many precious memories and beautiful photos. Immersed in the ambience of a true secret fairytale garden, the event epitomises elegance, authenticity and all the best things a wedding can be. Amazing décor and outfits of the bride, groom and guests successfully combined both brightness and juiciness of colours and fruits, and sophistication and eternal classics. Read below for more details about couple's wonderful wedding.
Tell us a little about yourselves. How did you meet? What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies?
We met in our first year of university, finding ourselves in the same university accommodation — but no love-at-first-sight clichés around here. We had our fair share of playful banter in those early days. But it wasn't until matchmaking by friends and a well-timed swipe right, that we finally made it official, a good five years after first meeting. Fast forward, and we have called Sydney home for the past five years after relocating from New Zealand together! Ori is a Land Surveyor handling projects all across Sydney, while I spend my days in Global Wholesale & Ecommerce management for an Australian fashion brand. We are quintessentially Sydneysiders when it comes to our hobbies! Good food, coffee, beach days & travelling always make it to the top of our list.
Can you share your engagement story?
Christmas morning became the setting for our engagement. Even though we had collaboratively designed my ring, he still managed to catch me off guard with the proposal. That year, confined to Sydney due to closed borders, we had organised a classic Aussie Christmas lunch with our friends. Little did our friends (or I) know our backyard was to become the location of a very memorable Christmas/Engagement party.
Where was your wedding? Why did you choose this venue?
Queenstown quickly became a no-brainer for us, partly due to its stunning landscapes. But also as my parents have a holiday house nearby, making it a bit of a home away from home for us. Queenstown also fit the bill logistically, as it was easy for both our NZ & international guests to get to. Love-at-first-sight did eventually happen, but it was with our venue, the Winehouse! We felt like we hit the jackpot with the best of both worlds — the garden’s had a European feel that perfectly complimented the famous Central Otago mountains. They have a great reputation for catering and local wines (can vouch) so it was a done deal!
What was the concept behind your wedding and how did you find your inspiration?
Our venue already had a lot of naturally stunning elements, we didn’t feel the need to go overboard. It was really important to us that our wedding had a timeless feel, any trendiness that we ended up incorporating, we felt fit the aesthetic of the venue. When we briefed our florist, we settled on a green and white palette with a touch of colour. Some inspo pics were sent & then from there Amy, our florist from Little Botanica, took the lead. Last-minute additions became the stars of the show—like the pears with pearls that Amy confirmed just days before the wedding. Unexpected, but we're so glad she suggested them! Amy worked her magic & it all came together perfectly.
How long did it take to plan your wedding? Did you encounter any challenges during the planning process?
It took us a year to put the day together, but we got the key players on board quickly. All fell into place smoothly, despite the added challenge of navigating COVID. I would say 90% of our wedding was planned from Australia. Queenstown itself had its quirks in the planning process. Some design elements I had in mind were a bit elusive (or expensive) thanks to the South Island's limitations. Our florist, Amy, also gave us the news that getting roses in Queenstown during Valentine's week was a bit of a nightmare. That shifted our floral game plan to something more creative and, honestly, more fun. Orchids were always a must for me, but even with orders placed months ahead, the flower supply from the North Island around Valentines Day kept us on our toes. Oysters and raspberries are also out of season in February (anyone who knows me, knows I’m obsessed!) So the timing wasn’t in our favour there either! However, we did have mussels featured on the menu - a crowd favourite. And to decorate the cake, we opted for strawberries instead of the raspberries we had initially envisioned.
How many guests did you have? And what was the seating arrangement at the wedding like?
We ended up with a total of 115 guests, nearly all made the journey to Queenstown to celebrate with us. Sadly a few couldn’t make it due to cancelled flights and a national emergency (a cyclone, not covid). For the seating arrangement, we went for the classic setup with a designated head table.
Tell us about your outfits. How many different styles have you tried?
My initial ideas about what I envisioned my gown being were quite different from the end result. Simple, slinky & (off-the-rack) dresses that I had been trying were out the window when I found Brooke Tyson. She inspired me to embrace a more unique look. Brooke captured my vision and style, nailing it all while I was stuck in another country. I didn't try on the gown for the first time until a month before our wedding, with only a few touch ups needed to complete it! Absolutely amazing! I wore my mum’s pearl necklace and earrings, which she wore on her wedding day. It was the perfect way to complete my look — something elegant & something borrowed wrapped in one. Brooke added pearls to the removable sleeve of my dress to match. I kept all elements of hair, makeup, and accessories minimal to allow the dress to be the hero. Later in the night, I changed into the simple & slinky option which took me through the early morning hours. My hairstylist, Sarah, makeup artist (and friend/guest), Louise, ensured I could let my hair down — both in the literal and metaphorical sense! Finding Ori’s tuxedo was a stroke of luck; it fit like a glove from the get-go so was an easy tick off the list. He added a suede bow tie to add a bit of textural fun.
My bridesmaids had free rein in choosing their own outfits, with one condition — it had to be ivory! A slightly controversial decision, but I struggled choosing a colour knowing that would heavily influence the aesthetic. I love the current look of varied coloured dresses, but I couldn't look past its trendiness, wanting to keep on the more classic side. In the end, their outfits fit their individual styles yet thankfully were still cohesive!
What was your first dance song? Did you choreograph or improvise?
We went with Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer' for our first dance. We had the best date night at his concert a few years back, a super nostalgic choice for us both. To be honest, neither of us were super pumped about the whole first dance tradition, so we had put it off. But turns out, our procrastination game was strong, and it ended up being a fun win. We ended up with amazing memories with a few close friends and family, coming up with a little backyard choreography just days before the wedding. Our dance moves were somewhat questionable, especially after a few drinks, but so glad we put the effort in at the last minute.
What was the most memorable moment from your wedding day?
As cliché as it sounds, the most memorable moment from our wedding day was when I walked down the aisle. For us both, it was just the realisation that we were about to finally get married to each other. All the hard work and nerves had finally come down to actually getting married and I think we were just both so happy to see each other. All of the speeches were also very memorable from the heart warming to the hilarious parts and it felt great to have people who are very important to us get up and say some words on our wedding day, even if it meant they had to limit their drinks until their speech was done.
Did you have any special performances or entertainment?
Orion's friends performed a Haka (a traditional Māori ceremonial performance). It was extremely special and meant a lot to us both. And if that wasn't enough, a surprise entrance of our family pooch after the ceremony pulled everyone's heartstrings. Sporting a bow tie and a fresh groom, he was very handsome. Could almost say he stole the show!
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
We were super fortunate to work with the most incredible vendors! Flying in from Auckland, Haute Weddings captured our day. We had struggled to find a videographer to fit our vibe, but once we found Haute for photography it was the easiest decision we made to have them capture both!! Cam and Julia are unbelievably talented, our day wouldn't have been the same without them. Our beautiful friends Louise and Beka also played significant roles in making our day extra special. Both being professionals in each area, Louise ensured we all looked fabulous, doing the makeup for the bridal party and my mum, absolute legend. While, Beka went above and beyond handwriting & designing all our menus and signage. It was so special to have two of our best friends play such a massive part in the creation of our big day.
What helped you cope with the anxiety before the wedding?
Lots of communication with everyone involved, trusting the process and our vendors — they are professionals! We kept the morning casual but fun, there was dancing, singing, and definitely a few bottles of champagne popped. Ultimately, it was about letting go of the "what ifs" and just savouring the day!
Bride & Groom: @paiigekana , @orikana