Overall, Alex really enjoyed planning her wedding. She had a clear idea of what she wanted and would go to Instagram for inspiration. Creating mood boards was really helpful, not only for the planning stages, but also when working with suppliers as she could show them exactly what she wanted. Once she had her beautiful bridal dress, the perfect wedding venue and an amazing photographer confirmed, she was so happy and confident that it would be the wedding of her dreams.

However, the COVID-19 crisis threw all their plans into disarray. On Saturday 14 March, the New Zealand Prime Minister announced she was introducing a 14-day isolation period for anyone coming into the country from midnight on Sunday, four days before our wedding on Thursday, 19 March. 

Suddenly, they were forced to make some extremely difficult decisions. Should they proceed with the wedding without some of their most cherished and immediate family members that they knew could not travel to New Zealand before the deadline, or cancel the wedding? As the wedding was only five days away, it would have been nearly impossible to get any refunds from suppliers, so they decided to go ahead. They announced to their guests that the wedding was still going ahead and that they were changing their flights to Sunday. They asked if anyone else could change their arrangements as they would love them to join the couple, but understood if it wasn’t possible. With Brennan’s (Groom) sister living in Singapore and Alex’s brother being unwell and awaiting a health clearance, both their siblings could not be at the wedding. 

As soon as they arrived in New Zealand, they had to contact all of the suppliers and reorganise the wedding because the number of our guests had gone from 85 to 35. 

When planning a wedding, just be prepared for at least one thing to go wrong. In Alex’s case, they had about 20 – who could have ever envisaged COVID-19! Prepare yourself in advance for this and approach your big day with the attitude that anything that goes wrong won’t phase you. If something does go wrong (and it will), don’t sweat it. There is only so much that you can control and most of the time only you will know that it is wrong. Do what you can up leading up to your wedding and then place all your trust on the day being wonderful with all the work you, your planner and your loved ones have done to make it an amazing celebration. 

The wedding day was certainly eventful. They had gale force winds, the wedding cars were cancelled as one of the drivers may have been in contact with COVID-19 and the driver conveying the guests to the venue by bus locked them in to await a health clearance check.  However the day before, they made a promise to themselves that no matter what happened they would have a smile on their faces and not let anything affect them. 

Walking down the hill and seeing Brennan’s smiling face beaming back at her was definitely a highlight. They had overcome the obstacles and were actually getting married! Rippon Hall is such a beautiful place and it was so lovely to have their loved ones there to experience it with the couple. 

Following the ceremony, they went off in a helicopter to Coromandel Peak. When they last visited Wanaka they had climbed Roys Peak so it was lovely to go there again, but this time in style! It was so magical up there. It was wonderful that Brennan and Alex got to have that alone time together to just stop and enjoy being newlyweds. 

With a smaller wedding party than originally planned, the reception was moved into the Hall, which had such an intimate feel and was truly magnificent. Brennan’s best man and his wife surprised them with a beautiful video of all the people who couldn’t make it to the wedding. They all had a little message for them and as you can imagine there were plenty of tears from everyone. It was such a nice surprise and really made their day seeing everyone who couldn’t make it.  

Gown: Pallas Couture

Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Photographer & videographer: Image Haus

Ceremony location and reception venue: Rippon Vineyard

Reception decorations: Entertainment Solutions, Pop Creative, Radikal Neon, and Wanaka Wedding Hire

Flowers and floral decorations: The Green Room Flower Company

Event day coordinator: Tregold Weddings

Groom’s attire: Brent Wilson

Bridesmaids’ outfits: Lulus 

Bridesmaids’ shoes: Billini

Engagement & wedding rings: Bensimon

Music: Anna van Riel & Mountain Beats DJs

Celebrant: Sophia Shortcliffe

Hair: Pure Hair Studio

Makeup: Bride – Elyse Amy Makeup & Bridesmaids – Eve Makeup Artistry