A love story that started with a ‘swipe right’ and a ‘match’ began its new wild adventure as Bianca & Shane said ‘I do’ at the Lake Hayes Pavilion, Queenstown. Who knew a love that would colour their world in sunsets forever, was hiding behind the simple swipe.
Lake Hayes quietly boasting lush, serenity. It’s crystal blue waters twinkling silently, framed by sun kissed mountain scapes. The scene was set for two untamed souls and the “Op Shop Chic” wedding they had dreamed of.
With petals falling around to the ground around them, hand in hand, Bianca & Shane’s story has only just begun.
“Marriage for us is having someone by your side on every adventure.”
Wild and intimate moments captured by Ana Galloway, echoing the love evident in Bianca & Shane.
How did you meet and how long have you been together?
In classic modern fashion, we met on Tinder while both living in Nelson 6 years ago. I had just arrived home after living in Whistler. Shane had also moved to Nelson from Whistler but a year earlier. Shane initially asked me to first meet him at the Nelson Young Professionals Ball, however, I was unemployed, living at my mum’s house and feeling anything but professional so politely declined. A week later he invited me on a climbing and camping trip to Takaka, with our now famous third wheel (and groomsman) Marcus. Shane had packed the most delicious chilly bin full of snacks and craft beer and I think that really won me over. Since then he has said that the way to my heart is through my stomach and I think he is right. Needless to say the climbing trip was a success and the adventures haven’t stopped since.
How would you describe each other?
Bianca: Shane is an ambitious dreamer and a glass-half-full kind of guy. I love his positivity and drive and his belief that we can both do anything we set our minds to. His sense of adventure is infectious and he is equally as stubborn as I am.
Shane: Bianca is fun, fierce and often hangry. (she is going to hate that this is all I have written)
Tell us a little bit about the proposal and your engagement?
We were on a snowboarding holiday in Japan at a resort called Rusutsu. The snow was amazing, and we had found a magical tree run where all of the spindly trees were coated in snow and the sun was making everything sparkle. Halfway down Shane asked me to stop for a photo. Next thing, he has taken his snowboard off and is fumbling around. I am asking him ‘what the hell are you doing?’ Then he gets down on one knee, which looks quite hard work in deep powder and I, in absolute shock and surprise am speechless and fall onto the snow. I finally find my words and say yes!
Shane had chosen the ring all on his own and it was beautiful. I love that the whole thing was a complete surprise and that I had no idea he was even thinking of proposing.
Tell us about your wedding style. What influenced your planning for the day?
I guess in three words it be Op Shop Chic. It was important to us that we didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money on unnecessary items. The key things for us were delicious food, enough bubbles to last the night, craft beer, a big band and an amazing photographer. I love getting crafty and coming up with ways of doing things that are thrifty, so right from the start I was really excited about doing the styling and decorations myself.
I had so much fun pressing the flowers for my cake, drying an endless number of hydrangeas that I had scavenged, collecting the dried petals that fell off our bougainvillea for confetti, op-shopping bottles to use for vases and attempting my first ever large flower arrangement suspended from the ceiling. Most of what we used for styling was collected from gardens or the roadside, second-hand or items that we have used again since, so we are really happy with how it all turned out.
Why did you choose your destination?
Queenstown was a natural choice for us, we spend a lot of time mountain biking and snowboarding there, we both love the mountains and the views in Queenstown are second to none. We spent some time looking for a spot that reflected who we are without blowing the budget and after some lengthy research we decided that community halls were the best bang for your buck as far as venues go! When we saw Lake Hayes Pavilion we knew it would be perfect.
What was your favourite moment from the day?
Bianca: There we so many!! But I think the most perfect moment for me was once we had been announced as Mr and Mrs Clark and were holding hands about to walk back down the aisle together, the music came on, all of our friends and family were smiling back at us and there were petals flying everywhere, it was just perfect I couldn’t help but grin.
Shane: I wasn’t looking forward to having to do a speech at all. I was feeling extremely nervous about it. But both Bianca and I did our speeches not long after the ceremony with everyone gathered around us outside, surrounded by the fantastic views. It was actually really fun and was probably one of my favourite moments of the day.
What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage for us is having someone by your side on every adventure. It’s knowing you have someone that puts up with your stubbornness, allows you to be the real you (the good and the bad) and puts your needs next to theirs rather than above or below them.
Who were your standout vendors?
Our first standout vendor was Double Thyme Catering, Rach and Paula were amazing from the start. They were so easy to deal with and provided all sorts of helpful tips. Most importantly the food was delicious! The second standout was our incredible photographer, Ana Galloway. The photos speak for themselves, but Ana was so fantastic to work with. We were quite nervous about all that time in front of the camera, but Ana made us feel very relaxed and offered the perfect amount of guidance and direction.
Everybody that we worked with was so great though! Especially that our wedding was the Friday before the first lockdown in March. Our vendors were so professional and cautious with the risks of Covid19 and we really appreciated that they were keen to go ahead.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
Our advice for other couples is to work out the key things that are really important to you both and concentrate on them. It is incredibly easy for you to blow your budget on unnecessary costs and get carried away trying to replicate the perfect Pintrest wedding. Doing your research and shopping around can also really help to keep costs down. It is also YOUR wedding day so create a day that signifies you as a couple, there are no rules, anything goes!
Do you have a favourite quote or piece of your vows you would like to share?
It is not a quote, but to change things up at our ceremony we decided that we would flip a coin then and there to see whether I would take Shane’s surname or if I would keep my maiden name. It was so fun and a good laugh to see the surprise on our guests faces. It was heads… which means that Shane and I now both have the same last name.
|| VENDORS ||
Photographer: Ana Galloway | Venue: Lake Hayes Pavillion | Bridal Skirt: Daisy Brides | Bridal Top: Custom-made | Bridesmaids: Blak Bridesmaids | Hair: Pure Hair Studio | Makeup: Beauty & Bridal Queenstown | Groom’s Suit: Custom-made | Celebrant: Carissa Hannah | Cake: Cherry Blossom Cakes | Catering: Double Thyme Catering
If you want to see more of Ana Galloway’s beautiful photography, see her over on our exclusive Wild Hearts Vendor Collection here. Dream a little more with another Real Wedding by Ana – Sarah + Jeremy’s Taupo Wedding featuring Hayes Bridal & cakes made using The Caker cake mixes, check it out here.