An Elegant Spring Vintage Wedding
Oh my, do I have a treat for you this Monday morning! I hope you have nothing important to do today because this seriously stunning wedding with a dash of deco captured by Lavara Photography is going to have you thinking of nothing else all day!
With a love of Downton Abbey and the 1920s Eva & Cam set out to plan a celebration with style. 3 years in the making, this lavish but relaxed Spring wedding perfectly reflects Eva and Cam’s tastes, and their appreciation for a good party, so have your pinning finger ready ladies because I just know you are going to love this elegant affair. From the bride’s beautiful bespoke wedding dress and cascading bouquet, to the ceremony with a view; from the bride’s & bridesmaids‘ fabulous finger waved updos & glamorous makeup, and the romantic first look; to the hand painted wedding cake; everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) about these nuptials are sure to have you swooning!
Eva was determined to achieve her dream look for the big day “I knew I wanted finger waves, and my infatuation with Downton Abbey quickly gave rise to what I wanted for my hair, which was somewhat problematic because it’s not terribly common these days. One of my close friends Alex, has her own business Belle Beauty who were booked to do my hair and makeup, however it was difficult to achieve strong finger waves with hot tools – as in the old days they used to gel their hair down and sleep on it! By chance I was at Stephen Marr getting my last color done before the big day and we came up with a game plan to have the lovely Emma (who gets a bit more practice finger curls for movie and tv sets) set the curls the night before and I would sleep on a mass of clips – if it didn’t work out in the morning, we could start again and I would settle for the hot tool option. Thankfully it worked fantastically! The Belle Beauty girls did a fantastic job on the girls hair and all our makeup and after a 5am start we were ready for a day of photo shoots by 9am!” Well I would say all that effort and the 5:00am wakeup call was worth it, don’t Eva and her ladies look incredible?
With a firm idea of the look she wanted to create for her big day (and a long list of what she didn’t and didn’t want) Eva knew finding the perfect dress off the rack was always going to be tricky! “I would have loved a vintage dress but struggled to find anything that fit, was long enough and that suited the look I was after! I didn’t want a white dress, I wanted something cream, champagne or strong ivory and fairly different in style. I knew I wanted sleeves, with a distinctly vintage glamour charm to it and I wanted to support the local industry here in New Zealand. After a good few weeks of trawling gorgeous bridal stores and a few ‘maybes’ I booked a consult with Anna Schimmel thinking it would be a learning experience if nothing else. I liked Anna immediately, she’s honest and caring (if a little blunt in her German way!) and her ability is second to none. 15 minutes in we had looked at the features I liked of the dresses I’d already tried, I had fallen in love with the most exquisite lace and I had the biggest smile on my face. I didn’t stop smiling throughout each fitting and found this to be one of the most enjoyable parts of my wedding planning. I absolutely loved my dress and cannot rate Anna highly enough!”
And for her dapper groom? “My only stipulation there was a formal Tux, which didn’t leave the boys a great deal of choice! The staff at Farrys were fantastic and sorted Cam out with a lovely suit and we got the boys ones from Hallensteins. They all looked very sharp!” Indeed they did Eva!…..
The couple chose to have a first look before the ceremony “We did our first look photos in the Penny’s (neighbours of Cams parents in Warkworth) stunning garden. I of course was running fabulously late but isn’t that the prerogative of any bride?”
After the first look photos the bridal party headed off on a little road trip to a special location for some portraits and a spot of high tea – such a great idea and I’m sure much needed after being up since 5:00am! “Me being me, I knew the day would fly by and I wanted to cram as much into it as I possibly could! Cam had been best man at a wedding where they did formal photos before the ceremony, which helped my cause in planning the same for us. My mum recommended we check out the Boutique Barn in Puhoi for ideas and after one visit we were enchanted. At the boutique barn we had a lovely high tea picnic (cooked and baked by my lovely friend Sarah and others) and spent two hours enjoying the location and messing about with our photos. We did do a quick coffee stop on the way home but I am so glad we took the time before the ceremony to spend this time with the bridal party and get all the major photos out of the way. The rest of the day was so busy and this is the time I remember spending with my groom and our bridal party the most vividly. It also meant after the ceremony we could relax, enjoy our guests and join in the celebrations!”
“I really struggled with choosing bridesmaids so in the end settled for my two oldest close friends and set an hour aside before the ceremony to have a drink and a photoshoot with the rest. I bought Becky and Chelsea’s dresses from the Sera Lilly sale and had them altered slightly to put sleeves on them. They turned out really well and I gave the rest of the girls a swatch of fabric so they could wear something a similar colour for our photoshoot. It was a bit of an ask but the photos look amazing and I highly recommend doing something like that to any bride. The photoshoot with the girls turned out fantastically and I am so happy we did it.”
Oh and if you’re swooning, as I am, over Eva’s gorgeous earrings read on “My darling mother poured her heart and soul into designing my earrings after we couldn’t find any in the colours I had chosen – blue or green. She used the garnets from my god-mothers mothers’ old brooch, which were over a hundred years old, turquoise and sea pearls. They were absolutely perfect and I will treasure them till my last days.”
Oh isn’t that bouquet just glorious? A vintage inspired shape but so modern in its colours, I love it! “Its fair to say I was a little nervous about my flowers as I wanted something quite different and it was hard to describe what I was going for with only a few vague photos on pinterest and old black and white photos from the 30’s and 40’s! My prescriptions were bright contrasting colors, roses, peonies (a long list of flowers I don’t like!) and the shape was crucial. I loved the large overbearing bouquets of last century that trailed almost to the ground, but I also couldn’t make my mind up and liked the sweet ones that lay to one side which I ended up getting the girls. Maureen Roke in Sandspit did a fantastic job. I was absolutely blown away by my bouquet and the girls ones were gorgeous too. I was probably too overwhelmed and busy on the day to appreciate just how perfect they were but I certainly do now!”
Whilst Eva and Cam were off having their portraits taken, it looks like the bridal party were having some fun before it was their turn…..
“I didn’t want a veil, and am not a fan of tulle, but my mother and mother-in-law ganged up on me here so I managed to find a lovely veil from A La Robe which was crushed silk which she even tea died for me! I was in huge trouble when I was so flustered before the ceremony and forgot to put my veil on! I had to wear it for the reception entrance and dinner to make up for it!” Oh and just wait until you see it – no wonder Eva was in trouble for forgetting it! 🙂
Despite meticulous planning, the lead up to the wedding wasn’t all smooth sailing As a teen I attended a wedding at Scott Homestead which is set on a gorgeous beach and garden just along from my parents house in Scotts Landing. I couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else and so booked the venue as early as I could for the ceremony. I quickly had to re-asses this dream the week of the wedding however, when the prevailing wind was heading straight into the homestead and it would have been miserable down there! My parents lovely friends and neighbors offered to have the ceremony next door which was on the other side of the peninsula and thus sheltered, so at 3pm the day before the wedding we threw all plans to the wind and relocated! It ended up being perfect. The setting was gorgeous, the gardens in full bloom, guests still enjoyed croquet and polo on the lawn, the sun came out from behind the clouds, rain stayed away, and all I needed to do was walk down to the bottom of my parents garden and walk up through the neighbors! And my Aunty Dee even raided her garden for the flowers lining the aisle at the ceremony which was very special!” And what a beautiful spot it was too – you’d certainly never guess from the photos that it wasn’t the couples first choice!
The reception decor was a DIY labour of love and a real family affair “We had a fairly long engagement of around 3 years and in that time the whole family got on board with collecting bone china for the dinner tables. We collected dinner plates, cake plates, tea cups and saucers, vases, silverware, lace tableclothes and quickly learned the best value places to collect from! 3 years later and we barely had to hire a thing! Between our massive hoard and family heirlooms we managed to create a mismatched antique setting that looked stunning upstairs. I also had a few candle making sessions with my girlfriends and made soy candles for the tables and decorations in old tea cups and cute containers. The flowers at the reception were a mixed effort between my friends and family and our friend Ngarie at Forget Me Not Florist in Warkworth. They turned out fantastically!”
How pretty was the cake? “Trudy from Sugar Cake, who is absolutely lovely, and I came up with the idea of creating a hand painted cake with vintage patterns. The top was coconut, raspberry and white chocolate and the base was salted caramel chocolate.” Oh how yummy does that sound?
Pearls of Wedding Wisdom from the Bride…..
“Start early! Don’t worry about getting tired, you and your partner are on such an adrenaline high all day, so you might as well cram as much in as possible.
Also, do an engagement shoot beforehand if possible. I am convinced our photos turned out better because we knew what to expect and didn’t feel quite so awkward at the start of our big day. I cant say the same for our engagement shoot – particularly Cam felt very awkward for a good half hour or so, before we got the hang of it!!”
I couldn’t agree with Eva more on that one, I so wish Mr E and I had booked an engagement shoot beforehand!
Tell us a little about your photographer…..
“Lavara’s photography popped up on my news feed on Facebook and I instantly loved her style. I sent her a message and we met about a week later. She’s fantastic, has great ideas, gives gentle guidance and makes sure you get the most from your pictures.”
Wow, what a day! And of course, where else would an Art Deco loving bride want to go for her honeymoon, but the Art Deco capital of the world “We had never been to Hawkes Bay and given the theme of our wedding it seemed fitting to escape there for a week!” Such a stylish destination, I would recommend it to anyone (of course, I might be slightly biased)
Wishing the gorgeous couple Eva & Cam a lifetime of happiness. A big thankyou to them and photographer Lavara O’Hanlon for allowing me to share this fabulous vintage Spring wedding with you. If, like me, you can’t get enough of it, then you can see more here on Lavara‘s blog. You can also follow Lavara on Facebook.
Oh….. I think I need another look!
Photography ~ Lavara O’Hanlon
Wedding Dress ~ Anna Schimmel
Veil ~ A La Robe
Brides Hair ~ Stephen Marr
Bridesmaids Dresses ~ Sera Lilly
Bridesmaids Hair ~ Belle Beauty
Makeup ~ Belle Beauty
Bouquets ~ Maureen Roke Floral Designer
Groom’s Suit ~ Farrys
Groomsmen’s Suits ~ Hallensteins
Ceremony Venue ~ Private Property
Portraits Venue ~ Boutique Barn
Wedding Cake ~ Sugar Cake
Reception Venue ~ Matakana Country Park
Reception Flowers ~ Forget Me Not Florist in Warkworth
Filmographer ~ Bubblerock
Entertainment ~ Andy Richards & Band