Cassandra & John

The Love Story

I was working in the USA for Disney World in 2012. When my internship was over I went to New York City for New Year’s Eve. I met John at the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. We instantly clicked and this led to a long distance relationship. In 2016 John moved to Australia and we started our life together. He proposed to me in November of 2016 by making a personalised book about our relationship. It was a collection of all of our memories and little personal quirks about me. On the last page it had “will you marry me?”. We live in Australia and John is from Los Angeles. We chose New Zealand because it is a stunning country and we wanted our whole family to experience the views and have an amazing road trip!

 The Details

The Hermitage, Mt Cook, 13 March 2013

The bridal party were my two sisters, my sister in law and my husband’s brothers girlfriend. I wanted to keep our wedding really family focused. My husband had his brother, my brother and his 3 best friends.

The Dress

I purchased my dress from Made with Love Bridal. It was the Jessie Dress. I also chose the Chani Veil from Made with Love.

The Suit

John’s suit was from Ted Baker, his shirt was from M.J Bale. We purchased John’s bow tie from Peggy and Fin online. It was a wooden bow tie and looked amazing with his suit!

Bridal Party

The girls wore a dress from Forever New. The style looked great on all of them for their body types.

The Rings

My rings were from Michael Hill and Johns was purchased online from Etsy from a company that makes wooden wedding bands called RiaRingsJewelry. My husband doesn’t like traditional jewelry and wanted something more suited to his personality. It looks great!


The venue we chose was The Hermitage in Mount Cook. It was absolutely beautiful and the weather was perfect. They ran the wedding from start to finish. Helping guests check in, to coordinating the wedding with the celebrant to finishing the night at the reception. They also gave us champagne and chocolates before the wedding and were there for anything we needed.


The food was all done through The Hermitage. We chose the menu from a list of items they provided to us. We went with entrees of arancini or salmon. Mains were between veggie lasagne, pork or steak and the desert was vanilla crème brûlée or lemon parfait.


Our flowers were done through JR’s General Store in Fairlie by Hannah. We sent through photos of what we wanted and picked them up the day of the wedding. I had 4 bridesmaid bouquets, my bouquet, my flower girl’s bouquet, pocket flowers for all the groomsmen and groom, a bridal table arrangement and little vases of pink and white roses on the tables. I knew exactly what I wanted from studying Pinterest and sent Hannah through photos. She went above and beyond with the arrangements and they were exactly what I wanted and more. Hair and Makeup

Our hair was done by a lady named Amanda. She came to Tekapo to do a trial a couple of days before the wedding and then travelled to Mount Cook to do our hair on the day. I am extremely particular about my hair and was really nervous getting it done. I was so happy with mine and my bridesmaid’s hair when she was finished. I highly recommend her to anyone getting married near that area. She is extremely flexible and knows exactly what you want. Her name is Amanda Harrop.

Our makeup was done by my sister in law Ashleigh. She is a fully qualified Beauty therapist and does makeup as a side job. She was outstanding with what she did with all of the girls and studied everyone’s colour tones to see what eye-shadows would suit them best. She does really soft makeup listened to my many requests!


Our stunning cake was done by Rebecca Jane Sugar Art. I wanted a simple cake that I could add a few flowers from our florist and a simple cake topper. Not only did our cake look beautiful, it tasted amazing. . The cake topper was purchased from Etsy from Lovelottiexoxo.


My Celebrant was Caroll Simcox. She was great in knowing how we wanted the vibe of the wedding and also made our guests laugh a bit! She put together our wedding guide and made everyone really comfortable. She travelled to Mount Cook for the wedding and was extremely easy to communicate with. She also got our paperwork done really quick!


We did all of our own music. We used Bluetooth speakers. I put together a playlist for the ceremony when guests were waiting, a dinner playlist and then a dancing playlist. Everyone loved it and everyone was up dancing! The song I walked down the aisle to was Patience by The Lumineers and our first dance song was I will Follow you by Toulouse.

Style/Décor – did you have a specific theme?

I love the theme rustic but sophisticated. I had a mixture of rustic pieces on the tables such as jam jars for vases and a wooden cake topper and I had pink and white flowers in little jars with a thank you cookie. I also had wedding favours of a shot of everyone’s favourite liquor to have our first toast! We got little tags made for the shot and you will see in the photo below how we placed them on the table. The name place cards were purchased from Etsy by Daphnerosa and the alcohol shot tags were also from Etsy by PMPrinted.

Wedding Planner/Co-ordinator

We had a lady named Sam Madigan who works at the Hermitage who coordinated the whole wedding. She was absolutely amazing and ran the whole day for us. I had no idea how weddings worked but the day of the wedding was a breeze with her. My sister also helped me so much with the organisation of the wedding! I don’t know what I would of done without either of them.


Our photographer we flew over from LA. We love his work and wanted to have someone we trusted to take our photos. We used Mike Carranza and you can see his work on Instagram . We were also really lucky that one of our groomsmen has his own business in videography and photography that took some footage of our wedding, his business is Atherton Media Group. We also set up a polaroid camera, film, photo props and glue for our guestbook so our guests can take photos and stick them into the guestbook and write a little note. It was a lot of fun and our guestbook is now filled with funny moments and loving messages from our family and friends.

Were there specific components you spent more or less on?

The most expensive part for me was the bar tab! We spent a lot on the bar. Everything else I sourced for myself (vases, candles, guest book etc.) I found a lot of what I wanted from Etsy!

Anything you would do differently?I loved my wedding, I can’t say that I regret anything about it and if I had a chance to do it again I would of just relaxed more through the days leading up to the wedding and enjoyed all of it!

Any tips or tricks you can offer brides-to-be?

I would say to choose a dress that works for your body, one that doesn’t need alterations so much and one that you feel comfortable and happy in. Don’t seek advice from other people, they’re very opinionated and will bring you down without meaning to. Remember what the day is truly about and try not to stress about the little things!

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