Alexia and Jay’s love story began with tequila shots and drum solos, in a whirlwind summer of music and romance. A chance meeting in Takaka had Alexia falling head over heels for drummer Jay; the feeling was mutual and this wildly creative couple became an item.
Fast-forward 4 eventful years (including the arrival of their beautiful baby girl, Lily) and Alexia and Jay were wed; organising a family holiday elopement with a small group of friends and family to celebrate in Queenstown. It was a beautiful day amongst nature, with boho styling including a beautiful macrame wall hanging painstakingly hand-knotted by Alexia for two months leading up to the day. The stunning piece hung behind the couple as they said their vows, and will forever hang in their home as a sentimental keepsake.
Alexia’s vintage-inspired white lace gown was complemented with a wild bouquet and flower crown by Gypsy at The Vase Queenstown, as well as flower crowns for the bridal party who all wore floral dresses owned by the bride. Capturing their day was Charlotte Kiri, including stunning images against the picturesque views of Coronet Peak and amongst the wild Lupin fields of Queenstown.
How did you meet and how long have you been together?
Jay – Alexia dropped out of university and moved up to Takaka in the summer of 2012/2013, lived in an old parked up house bus and worked pouring pints at The Roots Bar. I had recently returned from a European tour with mu band at the time Sleeping Dogs and was touring NZ when we played at the bar Alexia worked at.
Alexia – The week before Jay played, there was an article about his band at the time, Sleeping Dogs, coming to play at The Roots Bar. He was described as the sexy drummer in the local Golden Bay News and so when he came to the bar and flirted with me a little, I was pretty stoked. Our first interaction was Jay buying two tequila shots for himself – because why bother with one? I was in awe of him after watching his incredible drum solo, and after work, I hung around to try and chat to him but ended up mostly admiring from afar so I stalked him down a few weeks later and added him on Facebook. Soon after that, I returned to Christchurch. On our first date, we went to Black Betty’s in Christchurch, turns out we both decided to have a few tequila shots beforehand (tequila now playing quite the role here). From
there, within just a couple of weeks, we were an item and I had moved into his place in Lyttelton, and 6 months later we were engaged. We’ve been together 5 years this year.
How would you describe each other?
Alexia – Jay is a strong man with the softest heart ever. He is the most considerate and compassionate person I have ever met and has the best/weirdest sense of humour. He is a devoted father and incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist. Jay is very intelligent and we regularly have in-depth discussions about the state of the world, he loves a good debate and gets very passionate about his beliefs which is very much like me. He is loyal and I know that
I can always rely on him for anything.
Jay – Alexia is strong willed, compassionate and devoted. Her moral compass aligns with my own and she fills in the areas in which I lack. We’re like two hands clasped together. Alexia is the answer to the question I didn’t know I was asking. She’s shown me what life can really be like when you truly live it and who I can be if I believe in myself.
There’s never been a more devoted mother or wife and I’ve never had a better friend.
Tell us a little bit about the proposal and your engagement?
Alexia – Well, technically I got two proposals out of him! After we met in 2013 it was very serious very fast, we got engaged on 21 st December 2013 in the bedroom of my childhood home (which was abandoned after the earthquakes). The back-story to that is that Jay was my cousin’s best friend at high school, and Jay came to one of my older brother’s parties which I was also at and so it’s where our paths first crossed. He ended up chatting, drinking and smoking with my Dad for hours, who is also an old muso from back in the day. It was a sentimental place for me because it was the house I grew up in, but also where our paths first crossed. It was super romantic. We then broke up in mid-2015 for a few weeks before getting back together, but not as fiancés just partners. Hence I had a second proposal, on New Brighton Pier while very very pregnant (and I totally knew it was happening). The course of true love never did run smooth…
Jay– I dropped down to one knee for the second time and for the second time she said yes. Thankfully this time it stuck!
Tell us about your wedding style. What influenced your planning for the day?
This was the third wedding we had planned – the first was going to be huge, in North Canterbury, but it was going to cost way too much so we canceled that one even though we had already paid some deposits because it wasn’t going to be very “us” and also too expensive. The next wedding we looked at Little River on the Banks Peninsula, again it was going to be costly and too much DIY. Then I got pregnant, so the wedding was moved to when Lily was about a year old. So we didn’t have to skimp on things, we cut our guest list waaaay down and went from there. I am obsessed with Wild Hearts and Together Journal, the more organic and less cookie cutter style, so with 4 years of wedding planning under my belt I just kind of knew exactly what to look for. I’m an Instagram addict and found an array of international and local wedding vendors that inspired me over the years, so it was all very much put together in our heads. We’re both a little bit hippie at heart and really wanted that to be shown through the day.
Why did you choose your destination?
We had a family holiday booked already, and 4 months before (with no other wedding plans set in motion as we were focusing on being parents) I said “why don’t we just get married while we’re there?” At this point we were twice engaged, with a 1 year old baby, so we just wanted to be married already. It was initially going to be an elopement, but we wanted a few friends and family there so we booked a restaurant that could accommodate a bigger group and went from there!
What was your favourite detail from the day?
Alexia – The macramé hanging that I DIY’d for 2 months before the big day. There is 1km of rope in that thing and over 100 hours but I am so happy with how it turned out. It will forever hang in our home, so it’s a nice keepsake. I have made a few more since- it’s so therapeutic tying knots!
Jay – The best detail for me was the macrame hanging that alexia painstakingly handmade leading up to the wedding. Knowing she had worked so hard on it reminded me of how dedicated she is to us, and how hard she will work on cultivating our love and lives together in the future.
What was your favourite moment from the day?
Alexia – Just after we got married (after the formal family photos) when Jay and I had about 10 minutes to take some photos. We never had a first dance organised, but in a spur of the moment in the dark barn of Thurlby, with rain on the tin roof and the light shining through the old shutters Jay sang me ‘Blackbird’ acapella. We had our own private first dance and it was just such a sincere, genuine moment.
Jay – My favourite moment was the first look. Coming around the corner and seeing my soon-to- be wife twirling around with blossoms dancing alongside her was something so magical it didn’t seem real. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. It was a fairy tale. Something straight out of a story or movie. I’m pretty sure it took me a good five minutes to stop
What does marriage mean to you?
Alexia – Marriage means always having your best friend by your side. Someone who has seen the best and the worst of you, and still chooses you. It’s choosing to love that person for the rest of your life; through the excitement of holidays and new babies and life achievements, and still loving them when they are at their worst, tired from a long week at work, hangry and stressed out. It’s knowing that even though life so gets busy and full, there is always time and room for the other.
Jay – Marriage means a partnership. It means taking someone’s strengths and weaknesses, fears and dreams and amalgamating them with your own. Though you are still separate people, together you create something new that you take with you throughout your life. You become one another’s shield and sword. You become one another’s shoulder to lean on, and whip to motivate.
Who were your stand out vendors?
Hands down, our photographer had a huge impact on our day. Where do I start- Charlotte is amazing at what she does but on the day was more than just a photographer. Prior to the day she helped me actually plan the whole thing and how it would go, on the day she made sure everyone was doing what they were meant to – she was part wedding planner for me! The photos are beyond what I could ever have hoped for. She is so fun and feels like a good friend just hanging out with you on your day, we ran through a stream to avoid being seen by Jay before the first look and sang Lion King on the way to photos – Bruno even put petrol in the bridesmaids car as I had left it empty!
Gypsy at The Vase is amazing, she did my bouquet and all the crowns and she knew what would look great even though I wasn’t that clear on what I wanted! I have had so many compliments about my bouquet. She is truly talented.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
To the Bride… Don’t plan to do ANY setting up yourself on the day. I didn’t delegate very well and thought I would have time to do it all myself but everything ran late and I was so stressed on the day. Also, make sure you get to eat. Other than that, just enjoy the process, don’t feel like you have to have a certain type of wedding just figure out what is most
important to you and fit everything else around that. Also – get a videographer and photographer, the best you can afford. They are the only things from the wedding that will last forever (apart from the marriage, of course!)
Do you have a favourite quote or piece of your vows you would like to share?
A piece of Alexia’s vows:
“Ever since you walked into my life you have been my best friend, my greatest challenge, my greatest joy, playmate, confidant and biggest support. You are my ally in parenthood and partner in crime, but more than that, you are my soul mate, and I wasn’t even sure I believed in soul mates before I met you. But you made me believe in this kind of love, and we have it – the one I always dreamed of. The kind that makes you a better person, and teaches you more about oneself than you could ever know. The kind that brings out the best and the worst of each other, and encourages us to fix all our broken little pieces knowing you always have a shoulder to lean on.”
Jay – “And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you, and I’d choose you” – The Chaos of Stars
Event Planner / Stylist: The Bride @mylifebylexi
Cake: The Bride made it the night before!
Ceremony Venue: Thurlby Domain
Prop or Furniture Hire: Ceremony chairs from Party Plus
Rug from Alexia’s Aunty
Stationery: Online invitation website Minted
The Maid of Honour Meghan did the menus and name cards
Bridesmaids: Bride’s own dresses
Aisle Song: How Long Will I Love You- Ellie Goulding
Eco Confetti: Eventfull