Toni & Anthony

With the support of talented friends and family, Toni and Anthony created a stylish rustic wedding on their family farm, complete with a beautiful outdoor reception setting and dancing in the barn. Toni shares the story of their day…

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After looking around at a few wedding venues in the Bay of Plenty, we just kept coming back to having our wedding on my family’s property in Otakiri. For me it was so special to get married on the property I grew up on, and to be at home getting ready in the rooms I grew up in. I was fortunate that Anthony also loved the property and felt that it would be a special place for us to get married.

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They say many hands make light work and for us that couldn’t be more true. We had a true army behind us who put in so much hard work and hours to help us create the wedding day we envisaged. My Mum spent countless hours making my dress, Dad worked every weekend in this garage making outdoor furniture, talented bridesmaids and friends helped with hair, makeup and our wedding cake, the bridal party helped get the property ready in the days leading up, my father-in-law took charge of the flowers and my mother-in-law, aunties, and friends helped prepare food and baked their signature desserts for what would become a dessert buffet. Our wedding was a reflection of the many talents of our friends and family and we are so grateful to everyone who contributed in any small way, and if I was to list them all we would be here all day!

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The day itself began with rain, but there were jobs to be done and a venue to be set up. The house and yard was frantic with family and friends who were all buzzing around getting everything into place inbetween the showers. It was hectic but I absolutely loved it. Around lunchtime the rain eventually ceased and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

Anthony and I went our separate ways and carried on getting ready. Spending the time with our bridal party was magic for both of us and it was nice to spend some quiet moments with them before the day really kicked off. Mum helped me into my dress and together we admired what she had created, which was truly beautiful. It was such a special moment and one I will cherish forever.

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Our ceremony took place in the back paddock, and standing among our nearest and dearest we said our vows and made our promises to each other. To me it felt like time stood still, and walking away hand in hand, as husband and wife, is a feeling you just can’t replicate.

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During the drinks hour, which we held around the barn and cattle yards on the property, we worked through family and group photos, and the bridal party headed off into the paddocks for more group shots. Our photographers did such a brilliant job of capturing the love we felt on the day.

The bridal party was welcomed into the reception by our two brilliant MCs before speeches kicked off. Each person who spoke shared stories and memories and the love we felt was immense. Tacos were served from a food truck and we all settled into eating, drinking and talking with those around us as the night carried on.

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The rest of the evening carried on with cutting of the cake, playing the shoe game, which had everyone laughing, the dessert buffet and eventually into our first dance in the barn. All in all the day passed far too quickly but it is one we will never forget. Not only for the occasion is was, but also for the love and support that we were so blessed to be surrounded by.

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