As I’ve just started up this blog I thought you may like to know a little more about me and my wedding!

I got married to my wonderful husband Richard on 21st December 2007. Partly why it has inspired me to write this post (Happy 3rd Wedding Anniversary!)

We actually got married abroad in New Zealand. Many people ask why there?! Well I’ve always been one to do something different and wanted something extra special. We were on a budget and I seriously couldn’t find a venue that I wanted to get married in across the whole of the UK! We also had elderly grandparents at opposite ends of the country so wanted to find somewhere that was easily accessible and everyone could stay at or nearby (we did manage this in the end – see later!)

Rich was the one that suggested we get married in NZ. We had already planned to go there on our honeymoon, it’s one of those places we’ve always wanted to go to. I jumped at the chance and quickly got researching (something I spent a lot of time doing when we were planning our wedding!). We found an amazing wedding coordinator called Minetta who specialises in couples from the UK getting married in New Zealand. We really couldn’t have done it without her (and she was far more reasonable than even considering a coordinator in the UK!).

Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island

We firstly had to choose a venue, in NZ you can get married anywhere, the top of Mount Cook included! Minetta had suggested several options and we suddenly found Waiheke Island, which is near Auckland on the North Island. You have a lovely 40 min ferry ride in such striking blue water to get there, it’s lovely! We found a venue, Delamore Lodge, that just seemed to have everything we were looking for. (Extra note, funnily enough I’ve just looked back at the Delamore Lodge website, they’ve recently updated it and we’re actually on one of the scrolling images at the top!) The backdrop of the sea was amazing, we knew this was the place we wanted to get married.

Delamore Lodge on Waiheke Island

From there Minetta was very busy organising everything for us, she did all of the details, she used to email me and ask me if I wanted florist a, b or c and I could decide, it was an amazing experience!

Organised flowers for everyone

We also moved around our plans so my parents could join us nearer Christmas to be at the wedding. My mum wasn’t going to let me go all that way without her and I’m so glad they were there in the end, it made the day so much more special! We decided to travel around NZ first for 2 ½ weeks and then get married on 21/12 (no reference to the film!) We also managed to schedule a honeymoon within a honeymoon and went to the Cook Islands for 5 days after the wedding.

We had the whole venue to ourselves, something we didn’t pay extra for but just happened to be fortunate that they stayed open for us before Christmas to let us get married there. We chose to walk down the stairs inside the venue (didn’t realise how hard that would be with the dress!) and walk outside and have our ceremony out there.

Walking down the stairs to meet the groom, I was very pleased to get to the bottom!
The ceremony at Delamore Lodge

We also went around the island to the beach and other locations to have extra photos before returning to Delamore Lodge for our wedding breakfast and cocktails!

Trying to keep my dress dry!
Got to have the flip flops!

The whole experience absolutely flew by and I now can’t believe we were even there, the photos all look so surreal and I can’t believe that was us! It was the best experience of my life and I’m so glad we escaped from the norm and went all that way.

Handy bench near the beach!
The happy groom

We also got to celebrate with friends and family when we returned, approx a month later we had a reception at the Manchester Art Gallery. Part of what sold the gallery to me was that they had two massive projection screens, so we made a DVD of all of our New Zealand pictures so everyone could see what they all looked like at the reception. When they first went up everyone went quiet because they were watching it all so intently! I also wore my dress again, great to have two outings in it. I should mention here that I carted my dress around, on the plane to NZ (Singapore Airlines were fantastic and hung it up for me although I kept checking it was still there!), I actually posted it back home after the wedding so I didn’t have to carry it. I did get slightly worried as it took ages to get home, in fact it was left in a neighbours shed by the lovely Royal Mail and she found it literally days before our reception. Thank goodness! A quick clean and it was as good as new to wear again.

The best thing about having the reception separately was that we were so much less stressed and worried on the day, we could just enjoy ourselves. The venue was city centre so plenty of hotels nearby for guests to stay in, transport links and the reception didn’t start until 6pm on the Saturday so giving people plenty of time to travel and settle in ok.

I would definitely recommend everything that we did, but the experience should be everything about you and what you like, remember your wedding is for you and not for anyone else! If you want any more details on what we did or suppliers we used, just get in touch. All photographs are copyright Phillipa Karn Photography.

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading all about my wedding, I’d love to hear about yours  & I’ll post it up on the blog too!

My favourite picture!