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Jessica + Juanjo // Nelson Wedding captured by Sophie Milson Photography

“Wild like the wind in the tall pine trees, I got roots and I got wings” – Miranda Lambert

Beneath the strength and wisdom of the evergreens at Toad Hall, Jessica and Juanjo wed atop a carpet of pine needles. Shaded by mossy greens and silver chain trunks, two families were tied together at a location that has been at the heart of Jessica’s family for many years. A toetoe lined aisle, embroidered rugs, natural wooden signage and canvas bunting brought a light touch of bohemian charm to the day, with elements from GK Events adding to the beautiful and wily surrounds.

Seaside at Kina Beach, the bevelled caramel cliffs were witness to a secluded reveal with their bridal party; neutral tones warmed by shades of candied vanilla and pebbled sand. Pops of toasted bronze and sage adorned the hands of Jessica and her maids, complimenting their forest green dresses.

Living in Spain, a splice of fiesta was only appropriate at the reception – sangria, olive branches and a night of outdoor dancing under a web of lights. A seamless cohesion of two cultures and families.

Tenderly captured by Sophie Milson.

How did you meet and how long have you been together?

We met in London whilst working at a bartending school. We have been together just over 5 years

How would you describe each other?

Juanjo- Charismatic, funny, caring, loving a great listener, passionate. Jess- caring, sociable, passionate, intelligent, organised/bossy (hahaha)

Tell us a little bit about the proposal and your engagement?

Juanjo proposed to me on Valentine’s Day in Granada Spain in a huge castle called Alhambra in 2018

What was your favourite moment from the day?

The first look, it was so personal and heartfelt and as we did it at Kina beach the views were spectacular as well.

What does marriage mean to you?

Bringing together two people who want to share everything in life and a wedding give the opportunity to create a special day to celebrate with friends and family you don’t necessarily get to see often.

Tell us about your wedding style. What influenced your planning for the day?

I used a lot of bohemian touches. I always wanted a partially outdoor wedding and I wanted to work in with the trees and all the special touches that could bring both our cultures together (Spain and New Zealand) So I put things like olive branches and sangria on the tables and we threw rice as we walked out after the ceremony to give a touch of Spain in the NZ setting.

Do you have a favourite quote or piece of your vows you would like to share?

Juanjo said to me in Spanish that he ‘will protect me from even the biggest dinosaur’, because as a little girl I used to have nightmares about dinosaurs. It was a sweet personal touch that only we could understand.

Why did you choose your destination?

Toad Hall is my parent’s restaurant. They have owned it for over 15 years and as a grew up here I thought it would be great to bring all my nearest and dearest to the place that I remember so fondly from my childhood. And as Juanjo and I now live in Spain coming back and getting to spend the day there was a dream come true.

Who were your stand out vendors?

Sophie Milson Photography and Toad Hall (the food and cakes were amazing)

Advice for other couples planning a wedding?

Don’t stress take your time and try not to lose sight of why you are getting married in the first place. Also, it’s so important to have your own touches to personalise your wedding because it just makes it that bit more special.


Photographer: Sophie Milson Photography | Flora: Valley Bloom Floral Design | Prop & Furniture Hire: GK events | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Toad Hall Motueka | Bridal Gown: Grace Loves Lace | Bridal Shoes: Nasty Gal | Bridesmaid Dresses: Zara | Rings: Joyeria M Malagon | Hair Stylist: Sophie Smith | Makeup Artist: Poppy MacPhedran | Groom’s Suit: E l Taller de Regin a| Groom’s Shoes: ASOS | Groomsmen Suits: Ralph LaurenTrendhimHallensteins, Docmarten | Signage: Quaystone Signs | Celebrant: Maureen Clinton Baker | Catering: Toad Hall Motueka | Cake: Toad Hall Motueka | Entertainment: Craig Allott | Arch: Homemade by Dad | Favors: Homemade

Want to see more work by Sophie Milson Photography, check out her profile on our exclusive Wild Hearts Vendor Collection here.

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