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Malaghans Road
Arrowtown 9348
New Zealand

(0064) 21 542 983

Tailored, personal and memorable marriage ceremonies in Central Otago and Wellington. My commitment is to work with you to ensure that you have the wedding ceremony that reflects who you are and what is important to you on your special day.

I love to work with couples to create a personal experience.  I love spending whatever time is needed to get the details right for you:  whether it be helping you write the perfect ceremony, putting an antique cloth and a posy of flowers on the table to sign the register or giving you advice on locations and other people to assist you.

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Blog

Summer or winter wedding .... which is best?

Catherine Fyfe

 mid-summer roses in Queenstown - Stoneridge Estate

mid-summer roses in Queenstown - Stoneridge Estate

When you are thinking of a destination wedding, the question is always "what time of year is best"?  The answer is, quite simply, "it depends"!  Depends on what?  

Well:

1.  Do you have a particular vision in mind?  Is it a backdrop of gorgeous green trees, snowcapped mountains, a helicopter ride into the snow, a long balmy evening for your reception, a picnic under the fruit trees, loads of spring flowers in the photos?  

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2. Do you want your guests to be able to combine the trip to this amazing destination with certain activities?  e.g. Skiing or boating on the lake?  Hiking the great NZ walks?

3.  Do you want an outdoor wedding?  It can always rain in the summer but you can pretty much guarantee that it will be chilly in the winter!  So, if you want a really fine, strapless dress with no jacket for the ceremony and drinks and canapés outside on the lawn, do you really want that in the winter?  

 And don't forget appropriate shoes for up on the mountain.  Photo of K & L by Andy Brown

And don't forget appropriate shoes for up on the mountain.  Photo of K & L by Andy Brown

4.  What is available and when?  Certain dates in the summer, in particular, get booked really quickly.  So, think about alternatives to a Saturday if you are really keen on a time of year that is really popular.  If lots of your guests are coming to a holiday at the same time, then maybe a weekday wouldn't be a problem.  Often weekdays can be a cheaper option.

5.  Here is an interesting one:  flowers!  If you have your heart absolutely set on a huge bouquet of peony roses or a little posy of Lily of the Valley, be aware that they have a very limited time in bloom and thus, availability!

 Using a sprig of Lily of the Valley from my garden

Using a sprig of Lily of the Valley from my garden

6.  Getting a date that will work for guests.  Yes, seriously, our winter wedding was on the only Saturday without an All Blacks test!  

 Right up in the snow - Kristie and Jerry by Sunshine Weddings.

Right up in the snow - Kristie and Jerry by Sunshine Weddings.

7.  Thinking of overseas guests, think about a time that isn't peak airfare for them.  That may influence the number of guests that are able to come.  

8.  What other things are on at the time you are considering?  Will accommodation for other guests be a problem?  Does it, for example, clash with the Winter Festival?

 Autumn snow in Wanaka at Glendu Station.  Using autumn foliage.

Autumn snow in Wanaka at Glendu Station.  Using autumn foliage.

So, hope this helps you think about a few the "what time of year" question.

Contact me to have a chat about your ceremony!

Catherine

 

Wedding vows ..... informal or formal; long or short; write your own; repeat after me?

Catherine Fyfe

 Vows - your personal commitment to each other.  Karla and Lee captured in Wanaka by Andy Brown.

Vows - your personal commitment to each other.  Karla and Lee captured in Wanaka by Andy Brown.

The vows are a key moment in any wedding ceremony.  They are your personal commitment to each other.  There are many options to consider but, whatever you select, make sure they are "right for you both", not what someone else thinks you need to have!  The only thing to consider is that you must use your full name, if you haven't used it elsewhere in the ceremony, and include that you are here to marry each other.  I love the Vows part of every ceremony.  No matter the style or length, they are always the key moment in the ceremony.  I love seeing the connection between couples as they make their vows and the emotion that comes with these commitments to each other.  Here are some things to think about:

1.  Formal or Informal?  I think the answer to that usually lies in the overall style of your wedding ceremony.  A really formal wedding with really informal vows might not work quite as well as informal vows in a more relaxed ceremony.  So think about the look and feel that you want.  

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2. Formal might include those words we all know from the movies:  "I Emma take you Matthew to be my husband.  To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, so long as we both shall live".  There are, however, lots of variations for this wording.  Vows always used to include the word "obey" but thankfully no more!  Not that it stops the occasional groom asking me to slip it in .....!   Today it is more about "care, support, respect, trust, help, value" etc.

3. Informal vows are typically more personalised.  They might include references to things that are very "you" and might include some humorous references.  For example, you might promise to put the dishes in the dishwasher, pick up clothes off the floor, always be there to catch the spiders or not read after midnight! 

4. Long or short:  "I take you as my wife/husband" through to 2.5 pages of vows!  It is entirely over to you.

5. Emotional or not?  Hmmm, that's a bit more tricky.  Weddings are almost always emotional.  I always have an emergency  supply of tissues for that reason. Think about what you will be capable of saying.  If there is something that would be too emotional to say out loud or too personal, consider exchanging those with each other in writing, maybe in an exchange of cards on the morning of your wedding.

6.  To "Repeat after me" or read out?  Consider the length of the vows you want to make but consider also that, when reading, you are looking down at a card rather than looking directly at each other although I do have some tricks to get around that as maintaining that personal connection at this really important moment is key.  Think of the practicalities of font size and print colour ..... you don't want to be having trouble reading the words in the sun or because you don't want to wear your glasses!

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7.  Think of the guests and are the vows appropriate to the audience!  A good test is, if you have your Grandparents attending, will they appropriate for them to hear!

8.  Will they last the test of time?  They might be humorous or appropriate for today but will they stand the test of time looking back at them?  Will you remember the reference to certain things?  If you aren't sure, err of the side of taking that piece out.

9. What do they have to include?  Somewhere in the ceremony you need to use your full name.  So, if you haven't used it say in the Statement of Intent, it needs to be used here and also include a clear reference that you are here to marry each other.  Other than that, it is a personal choice.

10. How long have we had vows in wedding ceremonies?  In most English-speaking countries, vows derive from those practices introduced in mediaeval times in the churches.

So, hope this has given you a few things to think about in terms of your vows.  Make them special and make them to each other.

Catherine

 

 

Sometimes it's just the little things ....

Catherine Fyfe

Yes, weddings are about the big things in life: a public commitment, legal recognition of marriage and the start of a new life together.  Then there are the big things to do with the day that need organising:  the ceremony, where to have it, what to serve to eat and drink, live music or recorded music, who can we invite given the numbers we're looking to achieve, the flowers, who is in the bridal party and what will they wear and, yes, what will the dress be?

 Sometimes it is cold for the guests waiting outside!

Sometimes it is cold for the guests waiting outside!

 Sometimes really hot

Sometimes really hot

But, amid all these big decisions, sometimes it is just the little things that will make a day really special in the memory of everyone there.  They don't need to be expensive:  a pile of cheap sunhats or rugs for the guests if the ceremony is outside; maybe a couple of tubes of sun-block because you can be sure most of the guests won't have remembered to put it on; some drawing things and games for the children to entertain them whilst the adults are having drinks and during the reception; a handwritten note to the guests to welcome them in their rooms if you are having a destination wedding or they have travelled to join you; maybe even a note from you on the seats to welcome them at the start of the ceremony; table names themed to places special to you both; a quiz on you both for a little light entertainment - and competition; perhaps a special piece of family jewellery that you wear to remember someone by; the handkerchief your mother or grandmother carried on their wedding day; a candle lit at the ceremony to remember loved ones no longer present; a grandparent reading something that was read at their own wedding; wearing the family veil; having your favourite childhood flowers in your bouquet, having a collection of family wedding photos around the cake ...... the list is endless.

 Remembering those no longer here 

Remembering those no longer here 

 Family wedding photos around a stunning cake made with much love by a mother ...

Family wedding photos around a stunning cake made with much love by a mother ...

 

For me, if was about wearing my Grandmother's pearls and my wonderful florist, who knew me well, had tucked, as a surprise for me, a little bunch of violets into the top of my bouquet.  My favourite perfume and flowers ..... just where only I could see and smell them.  It was a wonderful surprise and I was stunned she'd remembered a casual conversation from so many years ago.

 Violets .... a favourite to pop into the top of a bouquet.  

Violets .... a favourite to pop into the top of a bouquet.  

For a special girl in my life, for whom I'm "fairy god-mother", I had the amazing experience of being invited to go dress shopping with her and her mother, my "big sister".  Even better, it was in New York and we went to some amazing stores and designers.  At the last appointment on the  second day, having not yet found "the one", we were wondering if the dress would be here: and it was. Two in a row that were so different from the original concept but stunning.  Which to chose?  Either was stunning.  So I said to Vanessa that, whichever she selected finally, I'd make sure she had the other one there too - not as a dress, but as a bag!  So, I set to and interpreted the gorgeous "runner-up" design into a little bag for the bride to have to carry a special family handkerchief, a little makeup and lipstick.  I sewed into it a piece of heirloom lace (something old) and, on the inside, for something blue, I embroidered a fan design.  It proved to be fun, useful and a special "little thing".  

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Made for our girl with love ... a mini replica in bag form of another loved design.

 Something old .... the lace.  Something new .... the bag itself.  Something borrow ... the gorgeous handkerchief that went into it.  Something borrowed ... the blue fan design.  

Something old .... the lace.  Something new .... the bag itself.  Something borrow ... the gorgeous handkerchief that went into it.  Something borrowed ... the blue fan design.  

An antique lace veil ..... something very special

Catherine Fyfe

 Elisabeth's veil

Elisabeth's veil

For those who know me, you will agree I'm a bit obsessed with fabric .... of any kind!  And so it is that I've recently become fascinated with lace.  So much so, that I'm actually learning to make it!  A very intricate and fascinating journey and more on that on another day.

Recently, I called into visit a friend and she showed me a wedding photo of her mother-in-law, recently shifted to New Zealand from London, knowing that I would love to see it.  Yes, I loved the photo but I was particularly fixated on the veil.  This veil!  We're used to seeing this stunning type of veil on a royal bride.  But, for many of us, we'll actually find that some of our family had treasures like this, passed down through the generations.

 Elisabeth and Michael

Elisabeth and Michael

It turned out that my friend now has the veil as well as the photo and she has kindly lent it to me to take to my lacemaking group to check, with the experts, on the type of lace.  There is agreement that it is Irish in the Carrickmacross style, first introduced to Ireland in about 1820.  In this lace, fine muslin is laid over "net", the design outlined and filling stitches also used to create the gorgeous style.  

We have family photos of my own grandmother, the youngest of a large family.  Unfortunately we don't have her stunning veil:  it may have been on loan or belonged to one of her many elder sisters.  I'd have loved to have had it and worn it.

 Rita and Ernest, Christchurch

Rita and Ernest, Christchurch

 

So, now my friend is going to talk to Elisabeth about the history of her family veil.  We think such a stunning piece of family heritage deserves a recorded history.  My experts have also told me how to clean it (very carefully and using very specific techniques!) and store it.  It deserves to be kept as a treasure.  Thank you Ellie and Elisabeth for entrusting it to me for a wee while.  Can't wait to hear the rest of the story of this treasure.