A Raglan wedding filled with dreamy golden light. Beautifully captured by Oriwia Soutar. Megan + Adam said I Do on a family property looking out to the wild coastlines of Raglan, on the West Coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
Styled in warm earthy summer tones, with natural textures, and a luxe simplicity. Featuring table decor from The White Wedding Club, wild flowers from local flower grower Primm Gardens and beautiful linen napkins from Tble. Linen to add a soft texture to this rustic, coastal vibe. Megan was a dream in a contemporary piece by bridal designer Lulu Jackson Bridal. Stepping out for a moment together as the dusky sunset skies fell over the rural backdrop. A Twelve Tables clear marquee meant guests could enjoy the serene seaside landscapes and celebrate under the stars.
How did you meet and how long have you been together?
We actually matched on Tinder in March 2017 when I was living in Raglan but over in Tauranga to go on a girl’s hiking weekend. Adam and I went out for dinner the night before, and the next day I nearly got lost in the Kaimais when I wandered away from the DOC hut looking for phone reception to see if he’d messaged me after our date! Turns out he had, and after a couple of weeks he’d moved to Raglan, and now here we are!
How would you describe each other?
Adam is funny, and smart, and (crucially for a girl who hit six foot when she was 14 years old) tall! His mind works a thousand miles a minute, which means he is never boring. He’s very driven and an overachiever, and that includes when it comes to caring for others. He makes an amazing margarita.
Megan is incredibly caring and would go to the end of the earth to help someone, which I really adore about her. She tolerates my misgivings, accentuates my positive qualities, and supports me in my hair brain schemes. She has an absolute love of books, seconded only by her passion for ‘endless money pit nags’, sorry, I mean horses. She loves to travel and have adventures in the mountains, and I’m always excited for the next sojourn with her.
Tell us a little bit about the proposal and your engagement?
Adam proposed In November 2018 at home on the farm. I’d been travelling for work all week, so when I got home I was tired and a bit grumpy. He bribed me off the couch with the lure of a bottle of champagne down by the lily pond, so I threw on my gross old trackies and gumboots and grabbed the cat and the dogs. It wasn’t until we rounded the corner of the farm track that I saw that he had strung fairy lights all through the enormous willow tree that hangs over the lily pond. He dropped on one knee, and all I could say was “oh my god.” It wasn’t until he said “is that a yes?” that I actually responded properly.
We were engaged for over a year because we wanted to do it in summer, but a November proposal didn’t leave long enough for planning or for all of our overseas friends and family to arrange travel. Adam is English and then lived in America for 20 years, so almost all of his side had to be imported for the occasion!
Tell us about your wedding style. What influenced your planning for the day?
I immediately knew that I wanted to get married on my parents’ coastal farm, which made everything relatively easy because by default that meant a marquee wedding, with a rural/coastal vibe. So I suppose that the setting really dictated the style, but it was more just a continuation of the things I like in my everyday life – natural textures, simple forms, warm neutral colours, a little bit of white, and a little bit of luxury!
Not knowing anything about weddings, I got started by looking at print magazines and inspo like the One Lovely Day book to build a list of the basic things I needed to think about (marquee, cake, chairs, lighting, etc). I then used pinterest to educate myself about what I liked, and then looked to Instagram for local vendors who shared a similar aesthetic.
Why did you choose your destination?
My mum and dad brought my siblings and I up on this coastal farm block 15 minutes from Raglan, where they poured heart and soul into planting and landscaping while giving us the best free-range childhood anyone could imagine. My dad died in 2015, so getting married in the place that has so much of him embedded in it was so special for me – it felt like he was there. Doing it anywhere else would have been unthinkable. It’s also the place where Adam proposed, and of course it helps that it has a killer view!
What does marriage mean to you?
You don’t need to be married to support each other to achieve your dreams, but it is an opportunity to make a declaration that that’s what you’re doing and a commitment to seeing that through for the long haul. It’s a way to publicly declare your vote of confidence in the other person, and to celebrate the fact that you’ve found this person who you believe in and who believes in you.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
Pick three non-negotiables each (mine were a clear marquee, a great photographer, and my talented friend Cam playing me down the aisle on his cello; Adam’s were great food, his best man Kyle being from America, and good champagne). Give yourselves a free pass to prioritise your spending and energy on these.
Accept help: when friends and family offer to lend a hand, say ‘yes’. Even if it’s just having them on stand-by on the morning to help with anything unexpected that crops up. You might think you can do it all yourself, and maybe you can – but it’ll be a lot more enjoyable if you don’t have to!
Who were your stand out vendors?
Lulu Jackson, who made my wedding dress. I had a really hard time finding a dress that suited me – they were either so over the top that I didn’t feel like “me”, or they weren’t very flattering. I was already resigned to hating the way I looked when I stumbled across her on Instagram three weeks before the big day. I just loved her vibe, and in desperation I messaged her to see if she could sell me a sample dress or something. Instead, she met with me more or less straight away, got a feel for what I liked (although I was pretty hopeless at describing this), and said “trust me”. I did and just two weeks later she had made me the most gorgeous gown – I felt confident, I felt comfortable, and I felt like me. I get teary when I think about it – she is phenomenally talented and I will always be grateful to her.
We were also very lucky to have the team from our local favourite, The Shack, do our catering and drinks service. The chef Justin Thompson is so talented and also just a wonderful human being – and his staff are a reflection of him. They all felt like family, so it was great to have them there.
We were also very fortunate to get Oriwia Soutar as our photographer. We were able to just totally relax and trust her work – I knew from looking at her other work that she was phenomenal and there were never had any doubts or worries that she would do a fantastic job with us too – we are both a bit awkward about being the centre of attention, but honestly it just felt like hanging out with a friend.
Lastly our celebrant Fiona Cleary really pulled off something amazing. Neither of us are very demonstrative, so we had kept our vows incredibly short and simple. I was also a terrible bride and never got around to filling in her questionnaire or getting back to her with information about what we wanted in the ceremony (it is surprisingly awkward answering questions about yourself!). I was worried the whole thing would be over in under a minute, but instead she had prepared a beautiful, modern, and secular ceremony that was so tailored to us and so perfect for who we are individually and as a couple. She had done all kinds of research and really made the part I had ‘least’ been looking forward to, into something really moving and personal. She’s beautiful inside and out – I cannot recommend her enough!
What was your favourite moment from the day?
The favourite moment for both of us was the lull just before the speeches. The pressure was off – the ceremony had gone well, everyone was there safely, there’d been no disasters, people were eating and laughing – and it was so amazing to take a deep breath and look around at the faces of everyone we loved, all there in the one place. It was such a humbling moment to recognise that they had all come there for us, and the love in that space was just incomparable to anything else we’d experienced.
|| VENDOR CREDITS ||
Photographer: Oriwia Soutar | Flora: Primm Gardens | Bride: Lulu Jackson Bridal | Groom: Barkers + Rodd & Gunn | Venue: Ribbonwood Farm, Raglan | Clear Marquee: Twelve Tables | Decor & Furniture Hire: The White Wedding Club (ceremony chairs, tableware, casual seating) + Twelve Tables (dining chairs, bars, umbrellas) + Flat Rock Events (trestle tables) | Linen: Tble. Linen | Hair & Makeup Artist: Laura Adlam | Bridesmaids Dresses: Shein | Groomsmen: Barkers | Flower Girls: Arabella and Rose | Celebrant: Fiona Cleary | Catering: The Shack Raglan | Cake: Gabrielle Lowe | Entertainment: Cameron Stuart – Cellist + Thomas Hill – DJ