Our 2011 Bride & Groom of the Year

The team at Bride & Groom were overwhelmed with the number of amazing entries we received for our Bride & Groom of the Year competition. The beautiful stories and photos made the task of choosing winners a very difficult one.

But it is with great pleasure that we introduce this year’s winners, Jordanna and Jason, who inspired us with their touching tale of love and their unique, fun-filled wedding day.

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Photos by Bayley & Moore

Jordanna shares their story…

We based our wedding around the idea of what we first felt about each other. We thought back to the first gift I gave Jason – a silver ring engraved with ‘Feels like lightning’ – lyrics from a song that described perfectly what it felt like to be around him and in love with him. This turned into the central theme of our wedding, with the ideas of light, lightning and love reflected in many of the details.

The wedding was held on Waiheke Island over Easter. We wanted it to be a weekend escape for our guests, and we also love that time of year – crisp, clear air and beautiful golden foliage.

Our ceremony was at sunset – our favourite time of day, with a beautiful soft-pink sky adding to the romantic ambience. In keeping with our light theme, we had candles in jars lining the aisle as I walked toward Jason, who had arranged for two of his music students to play an acoustic version of our favourite song. Then he surprised me by singing his vows to me.

During our photo shoot, the bridal party, who were all friends from university, let off paper lanterns and played with sparklers, which made for some cool photos as the sun set.

On the tables around the venue we had candles in different-sized jars and fairy lights wrapped around the beams. On the table were large, square glass vases with white petals floating on top of the water and bare twig-like branches tied with little bundles of gypsophila.
I painted a light bulb with lightning and a heart on canvas that the guests wrote their messages for us on. We love having it to remind us of the day.

With the last names of Hole and Cliffe, we found it funny that two natural features would end up being together – we even joked that perhaps we should become the Caves! However, we wanted to keep our names and also have a name that reflected our equal relationship – so we decided to merge our names and become the Holecliffes! We also had pictures of famous holes and cliffs as our table names, with interesting information about them printed on the back – a great conversation starter!

During the reception, we decided to show the development of our lives and relationship through a slideshow of images. It bought a few tears to the eye! Our MC stole the show as he had purchased a personalised astrological report for Jase and I that was over 100 pages long. He read excerpts from it during the night and it provided many hilarious moments.

One of our previous adventures was backpacking through Central America together, so we decided a piñata for a wedding cake would be fun. Our MC asked people to move to the dance floor for the ‘cake cutting’ and they watched us swing a bat wildly at a dangling piñata! It provided guests with a lot of laughs and covered the floor with Hersheys Kisses – something we have always given each other to show our love.

A friend helped us come up with our first dance, to Nat King Cole’s L-O-V-E, which was popular with our guests, and the dancing went on for hours.

Our wedding was a true celebration of our love and romance, and how it has developed over the five years we have been together. It was not about us as individuals, it was about who we are together, and it was about sharing with our closest friends and family how we feel about each other.

Jordanna and Jason have won a romantic getaway to Fiji, staying at the Sheraton Resort on Denarau Island; a Dyson DC29 vacuum cleaner; a MV-1 microwave and 8.5kg front-loader washing machine from Parmco; a WMF Function4 four-piece cookware set from Kirkaldie & Stains; custom framing to the value of $500 from Factory Frames; a set of 1905 German steel knives from House of Knives; and his and hers fragrances from Emporio Armani.

The other fabulous winners…

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Photos by Danelle Bohane

Our gorgeous Bride of the Year, Laura Burns, absolutely shone on her wedding day, despite a difficult journey to get there. Laura and her husband, Rich, experienced sickness and loss in the lead-up to their big day, but say they learnt the true meaning of love and the importance of family and friends along the way. Laura tells us more…

I had always dreamed of having a large outdoor, DIY wedding, however, because of our family situation, we decided the less stress the better! So, against all wedding traditions, we sacrificed a bridal party, wedding cake, favours, and first dance and opted for a relaxed Sunday afternoon high-tea buffet instead.

Friends and family pulled together and were amazing helpers, making a music playlist, rose petal confetti and doing all the last minute things that had to be done.

During our ceremony Rich and I played our own worship songs, with me singing and Rich on the guitar. Then, while we had our photos taken, our guests played croquet and giant Jenga, lounged on large couches in the garden and helped themselves to food that was laid out on a big antique table.

After all the festivities were over we ran through a tunnel our guests had made with their interlocking arms. They cheered us on and waved us goodbye as we jumped into the car and left for our honeymoon!

As a bride full of dreams and aspirations I learnt not to get too caught up with unnecessary details. I didn’t have some of the things I always dreamed of, but I had my family and

I was marrying my best friend. That was enough to make me feel the happiest girl in the world.

Laura has won a stunning 18-carat white-gold-and-diamond necklace from Carats’ Hidden Heart Collection,
a FinePix Z90 camera from FujiFilm, and his and hers fragrances from Emporio Armani.

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Photos by Susanna Burton

As a tropical cyclone hammered Northland on the eve of his wedding, Phillip Wakeling remained calm and rallied the troops to make sure his beautiful bride, Sally, got the day of her dreams. We think this earns him the title of Groom of the Year! Sally fills us in…

The evening before our wedding, the marquee was in position on the banks of the Waitangi River, tables and chairs were arranged and everything was ready. Then, as we enjoyed pre-wedding drinks, the heavens opened. More than 250mm of rain poured over us, and guests began calling with news of road closures and flooding.

After a restless night, Phil woke to a torrent of muddy brown water and debris hurtling past the marquee. Even worse, a stream had overflowed, causing a flash flood through the marquee, sweeping away tables, chairs decorations and cases of wine. The ground was knee-deep in water.

Fortunately about 20 guests had arrived the evening before, so Phil quickly delegated clean-up tasks, then commandeered a 4WD to go and hire or buy every knife, fork, plate, glass, chair and table that had gone missing. He and our guests worked for six hours restoring the marquee to its former glory, as the waters subsided. Eventually they showered and put on their party clothes! Meanwhile, I was enjoying a walk along the beach, bubbles, hair and makeup, with no inkling of the chaos that had occurred overnight.

The lengths our guests went to to join us in Paihia, and the work many of them did to recreate our wrecked reception venue, was inspiring. But for me, it was my new husband that amazed me, reacting so calmly, organising the clean-up crew and rehiring our equipment. He still refuses to take the credit, saying it was thanks to me for keeping our records in order and the guests for putting in the manual labour. He doesn’t have any idea how amazing he is!

Phillip has won a full suit package from Barkers plus his and hers fragrances from Emporio Armani.
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Photos by Coralee & Alex

Enthusiastic, supportive and encouraging, Zoe and Joseph Howcroft’s 12 attendants are deserving winners of the Wedding Party of the Year title. And don’t they look stunning, too! Zoe tells us more about their day…

Throughout the planning of our wedding and on the day itself, our family and friends were the most important thing to us, hence the large bridal party! As we started our new life adventure together, we wanted to be surrounded by those we love.

Our bridesmaids and groomsmen were an enthusiastic lot, which made the day all the more interesting. Not only were they a good-looking bunch, they were also very supportive and filled us with encouragement. We laughed and cried our way through the day, and even stopped a steam train for photos!

I wore a silk dress that arrived the day before the wedding. It had a beachy theme with a twist – nobody knew until halfway through our first dance that the long skirt detached to reveal a shorter evening dress!

We struggled to keep the boys out of the surf during our reception at the Wainui Surf Club, which we decorated with china collected from op shops, teacups and roses, tissue pomanders, frames on the wall, and fairy lights. Love was in the air as we danced our way through the night.

Zoe, Joseph and their wedding party have won 12 bottles of Deutz Marlborough Prestige Cuvee 2007, as well as his and hers fragrances for the bride and groom from Emporio Armani.

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                                                               Photos by Rich Ng                                                           Photos by Megan Bowers
Our Pageboy of the Year, William Buttershaw, took his role very seriously for the wedding of his sister Rhiannon to Caleb McConnell. ‘My brother told everyone his job was to tell the bridesmaids they look beautiful and to give Caleb tissues when he cried!’ says Rhiannon. ‘William was absolutely wonderful throughout the whole day.’
Our adorable Flowergirl of the Year, Kiara Turner, was a very helpful attendant at the wedding of her parents, Jasmine and Vaughan Turner. ‘When Kiara realised it was the big day, she was ecstatic,’ says Jasmine. ‘She was extremely helpful; always checking on my flowers and shoes, and cuddling her dad.’
William and Kiara have both won a fantastic range of books from Scholastic NZ and a themed party pack from Jazabaloo. Both couples have won his and hers fragrances from Emporio Armani.

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