The Wedding!

All pictures that follow were taken by our amazing photographer, Holly.

We awoke bright and early on the day… It was overcast, with fluffy cotton clouds hanging about the hills. Us girls were up early, to start hair and makeup at the early hour of 8am.  We were only 10 minutes late, and Henri saved the morning by running off to get coffee, tea or hot chocolate as needed.   I had a bit of a nap, what with the not sleeping much the night before, while they got started on Neke and Amy.  We took turns sitting, getting hair fussed with and getting makeup on.  Bubbles came out half way through, as did some muffins and pastries from across the road.  Delishuz.  I’ve never had bubbles that early in the day before, it was quite fun.


Hair and makeup
Hair and makeup
After makeup, before hair
After makeup, before hair
At the hairdresser
At the hairdresser
The Dress!
The Dress!


The Guys
The Guys

While we were out getting pretty, people were buzzing away at their tasks all over Alex.  Ian, Liz, Katharina were all fixing up the cars, wrapping the bouquets, and sorting out bits for the picnic.  Nessie was fixing food for the picnic, and lunches for the girls.  The Smith family was sorting out all the stuff for the afternoon tea and the mini golf.

Holly (our photographer) turned up halfway through, with a ton of enthusiasm, and took some snaps while we were getting ready.  I think we finally left there at around 11.30am…  We arrived back at Ian and Liz’s at around 12pm, and only a slight panic as we stuffed down some delishuz (turns out I can’t spell that normally anymore!) lunch that our lovely helpers had prepared, and then zoomed off to the bedroom to get dressed.
The bridesmaids all slipped into their pretty dresses, applied boots and accessories, and brushed teeth.

We only had a slight hiccup when we realised we could only put my dress on me over my head, with a bit of gentle wiggling – it was too fitting around the hips to step into it,   This wasn’t really a problem, but I had full makeup and hair done, and my veil was already well attached to my head..

The struggle that was getting into my dress
The struggle that was getting into my dress


Lacing up the dress


The Girls
The Girls

It took a bit of maneuvering , bits holding, a towel over my head, and three or four people to get it on without ruining anything already done.  But with a wiggle, I was in my dress.  The girls pent the next few minutes lacing it up, and ensuring everything fit right.

Once the dress was on, it was all about accessories.   I had a moment of panic when I realised the time, but someone noted that the boys hadn’t even left the house yet, so we were fine!  We fluttered around the living room, ensuring we had all the bits we needed, and that everything was all ready to go.

In a Maze
In a Maze
The cake!
The cake!

Dad came out to the lounge, all dressed up in his lovely grey suit, and Mum was all kitted out in a pretty, sparkly, navy dress.  It was all bustly for a bit, as everyone got themselves sorted, then started queiting down as people left to go get seated at the venue, and we realised none of the parents,or the grooms/groomsmen had their buttonholes.. we had to call Liz back, and give her complicated instructions over which one was for whom.. but she handled it great, and took off with all the buttonholes.

We waited a bit longer, then slowly made our way outside.  It was my first real time walking around in all the petticoat and boots, and I nearly tripped over the doorframe.. but it didn’t take too long to get sorted.  We had two cars that were decorated up all pretty, by Ian Nicholl, and we all piled into them.
The drive down was kinda nervy, but it wasn’t raining yet!  When we arrived, I hoped everyone had ordered things so the boys weren’t standing by the door, but it was clear apart from the photographer.  In fact, there weren’t many people around at all.

We piled out of the cars, adjusted the dress, and we were off.  My first challenge was walking in everything on the gravel, but Dad helped me with that.  My petticoat was a ridiculous thing, with metal loops, with the bottom loop extending way out the back, to hold the train out.

I was definitely nervous, but super excited, and remembering Nekes words of encouragement, I just looked for Dale, and tried not to fall down the steps, and it all went well!

Most of you will know what happened in the middle, but for those that weren’t there, it was lovely.  The sun came out halfway through the ceremony, the readings were all lovely, and I didn’t fall over in front of everyone.  I only had half a ton of lavender thrown down my top, and all the photos went well.


Nichollas, my brother, playing me in
Nichollas, my brother, leading the way
Dad :)
Walking down the isle


Alana, our Celebrant, being awesome.
Alana, our Celebrant, being awesome.
Group shot
Group shot


The Sharp parents - Martin, Becca, Dale, Pam
The Sharp parents – Martin, Becca, Dale, Pam
The Smith Family - Ian, Becca, Dale, Sally
The Smith Family – Ian, Becca, Dale, Sally
The siblings - Nichollas, Tommy, Becca, Dale, Craig
The siblings – Nichollas, Tommy, Becca, Dale, Craig
The Uncles.  Colin, Keith, Becca, Pam, Peter, Ian
The Uncles. Colin, Keith, Becca, Pam, Peter, Ian


After the main family photos, everyone else tottered off to afternoon tea at Ian and Sally’s, or over the road to mini golf.
The bridal party walked down to the orchard, where we took some nice photos in between the trees, then I made everyone climb a  tree so we could have photos in it…Coz climbing trees is such fun 😀


Smoochies in the trees
Smoochies in the trees
Up the tree
Up the tree
Woo Boots
Woo Boots


After the trees, we hopped into the cars again, and zoomed our way out to Butchers Dam, which was our main photo site.  I wanted our photos taken there, as it had all the things I love, mountains and snow (even though we couldn’t see it on the day), water, rocks, a few trees, and lots of wilderness.  We stayed out there for quite a while, with Holly being all happy and excited, and getting more so as the afternoon went on, the light got amazing, and the lake calmed into reflective stillness.  We had a little picnic with delishuz food and bubbles, that was made by our lovely assistants, then wandered around the place, while Holly got excited about all the photos.


Bridal Party - Josh, Henrietta, Dale, Becca, Monique, Garth, Amy
Bridal Party – Josh, Henrietta, Dale, Becca, Monique, Garth, Amy
Becca and Henrietta - maid of honour
Becca and Henrietta – maid of honour



A lake!


We made our way back about 5pm, and arrived at Orchard Garden.  I had a quick petticoat change, and tied the back of my dress up into a more manageable amount of material.  We were announced in as Mr and Mrs Smith, and proceeded straight to the cutting of the cake, as cake is delishuz!

Mr and Mrs Smith
Cut the cake

We took our seats, and Josh commenced the evening with a bit of a chat, then it was straight onto dinner.
The speeches were all lovely, and made me cry a bit.
We had a first dance, the chicken dance, a photo booth, mulled wine, many bubbles, and a think a wonderful evening was had by all.

We stayed at a beautiful room at Oliver’s, and awoke at a leisurely hour and had a home cooked breakfast, before heading back to spend the day with family.

Pre Wedding, South Island

The week leading up to leaving was kind of ridiculous.  I got sick the Wednesday before we left, with the flu, and that continued for about a week, and I only started feeling better a couple of days before the wedding.  I kept working right up to the Friday, and we packed the car Friday night, to catch the Ferry first thing on Saturday morning.

We had to ensure we had everything we needed, and ensure we were in time to catch the ferry.  Craig was amazing here, and single handedly packed the car… There was literally enough room for us to sit, and not much else.

The ferry crossing was lovely and smooth, and we found some long couches to sit on, where we both stretched out and slept pretty much the whole trip

The first part of our trip was quite nice, through Blenheim, then down to Kaikoura, with a stop at the waterfall of the seal babies!  They were super cute, leaping and jumping and fighting.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any good photos, as it is quite dark near the waterfall.

On the Ferry
This little guy came to investigate me
This little guy came to investigate me
Bitey and Fightey
Bitey and Fightey
Upside down seal face
Upside down seal face


Vege potato top pie, delishuz


Lunch in Kaikoura was delishuz, pies and apple things, with my first ever vege Potato Top Pie.

We kept right on driving to Tekapo that night, with a  brief stop for a wallaby.  We stayed the night in a nice little backpackers, then woke the Sunday to a lovely crisp day.  We drove around to the little church, taking photos, and then had a conversation with Holly T (our photographer).

Lake Tekapo

After pictures at the lake, we continued on to take pictures of Mt Cook, but there was a lot of low cloud.  We drove up the road to Mt Cook, and we moved out of the cloud, into brilliant sun and snowy mountains.  I had never been up there (that I remember), so it was great to look around.  I never realised you could get so close to Mt Cook.  We had a brief walk around the village.  The view was exceptionally pretty.  We drove up the road to the valley with the Tasman Glacier, where we walked up to the lookout.  It was very exciting, with rocks everywhere, the glacier in the distance, and icebergs floating on the lake.

Mt Cook
Tasman Glacier Valley
Tasman Glacier lake
Tasman Glacier
Tasman Glacier Valley

A quick stop at the salmon farm, to pick up some fresh salmon, then we kept right on driving to Alexandra.  We bought a couple of whole salmon, and the asian tourists who were there were very excited about this, and kept asking how much they weighed, and what we were going to cook.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pics of the salmon, so here are some ducks instead!  They are NZ Scaup, little black ducks, and they swam around at the salmon farm, making cute little noises.




Arrived in Alexandra finally, after a bit of driving.

Dropped a whole pile of stuff at Ian and Sally’s, then I popped round to Ian and Liz’s to visit them and Mother.

Monday was planning day. It was also Mother’s birthday. I hijacked a clipboard and paper, and started my lists.  We pottered around the house, ate many pineapple lumps.  Mentioned we wanted to make asnowflake tree to Uncle Ian, and he disappeared out the back garden.  We didnt pay any atention to this, as we were making a list.  Ian returned about 15 minutes later, saw in one hand, pine tree in the other, then he proceeded to strip a few branches off and spray it silver iwht a spray can that just happened to be in the garage, and voila!  A snowflake tree.


Making snowflake tree


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Ian and Pam, Off for a bike ride



Dale, Liz, Ian, Martin (Dad), Laina, Pam (mum)



We went to the Post Office Cafe for lunch, as a birthday lunch for Mother, and when we arrived back at the house, I snuck around and put cream on the Pav I had secretly bought.  We ‘hid’ the pav at the bottom of the fridge, and later had a wee domestic incident over Mum putting milk in the fridge – we tried to stop her from doing it, but we didn’t quite manage; luckily she didn’t even see the pav, so all was well.  We put candles on it, sang happy birthday, and then tried to eat it all.

Tuesday was a visit to New World to discuss our flower needs.  We sorted out a whole pile to be ordered, arriving Friday morning!

We collected pinecones, and had an assembly line of Dale’s family who wrapped the lavender into bouquets with purple, red and white, and made up the wedding favours.

Wedding Favours


Wedding favours, snowflake magnet, chocolate hearts, and some lavender
Wedding favours, snowflake magnet, chocolate hearts, and some lavender
Lavender bouquets


Over the course of the week, we made three batches of mulled wine, which required cheap cask wine, lots of spices and some fruit, and cooking it for 2-3 hours until it was a concentrate, where we stored it bottles for the big day.

Boiling down the mulled wine concentrate

Wednesday was cake making day.  Dale’s mum, Sally, had already perfected and made an amazing fruitcake, full of central Otago apricots and cherries, and that was sitting waiting.   She had also secured us the right sized cake tins, in graduating sizes, for the different layers.  We made a chocolate cake  and a lemon cake, the middle and top tiers.  I had practised the cakes at home, perfecting the recipes – including trying them out on my flatmates and workmates, who thought that was just terrible.

Thursday was cake decorating day.  We rolled out massive sheets of icing, and the bottom layer took three people to lay the icing on without dropping or ripping it.  We iced all three layers separately, then used plastic holders to keep the layers from sinking onto each other.

Smith base of operations, sunny and relaxed




The laying of the icing layers.


Icing the cakes
Icing the cakes
Layers, ready to be stacked
Layers neatly stacked



We finished by decorating with purple snowflakes and ribbon.  I remember Amy helping make a lot of the snowflakes. The cake was topped by the adorable cake toppers that Monique had helped us make.


Discussions about cake assembling


Somebody got a bit carried away with the spraying of pinecones, and happily made half of them silver for me.

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Polishing silverware


Dinner at the Smith Household


Friday started off bright and early, with me scoffing down breakfast, then zooming off to New World with Mumto pick up my flowers.  They seemed like such a small amount of flowers for what we wanted to make, but it was definitely the right number, and the colours were lovely.  Mum and I spent the morning making up the bouquets.

They turned out amazing, exactly what I wanted, and at about a quarter of the price.   Maybe a sixth of the price.  For the cost of my and half a bridesmaid bouquet from a florist, we made: my bouquet, three bridesmaid bouquets, the groom and groomsmen buttonholes (3 altogether), and 4 parental buttonholes.   Go us!   Mine had maroon velvety roses, white roses, lavender roses, purple iris, purple anenome, and white ranunculus, with a little bit of babys breath.
We left them all in sugar water, to be wrapped in ribbon the next day.

Finished bouquets, ready and waiting



At 1pm, all of the girls of the bridal party headed down to Solo Hair Design, where we discussed our hair and makeup for the next day.  After that we headed back to Dale’s parents, packed up all the decorations, and headed down to the venue.
We had a brief rehearsal (eee), and I ordered people around to set up the decorations.   The place was starting to look amazing, and I left detailed lists of the things to set up in the morning.
Friday night was a mass of helpers, putting together menus and programs and all the bits and pieces like that.

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People helping stick things together
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Saturday – Ian and Liz decorated the cars amazingly, Vanessa made sure we had breakfast and lunch, and snacks for the picnic, and Ian and Katharina spent a couple of hours in the morning wrapping the bouquets securely in ribbon.

I loved my bouquet, best flowers ever!

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