We use the term “boho” quite often here at GWS as a description for design and detail, but every once in a while we meet a couple who truly embody that bohemian spirit. Christina + Tom certainly fit the bill! (You must read on to find out how they met.) These two were married in New Zealand at Phoenix Valley Retreat, where the woods meet the river and the valley. Guests “glamped out” for three days surrounded by beautiful florals and wilderness, partaking in the whimsy and magic that C + T so effortlessly exude!
Our relationship is and always has been centered around a childish sense of wonder and frivolity. We love being silly and we love including everyone. All we wanted was for our wedding to be an easy day filled with laughter and joy. Emotions of all the good kinds took over! Everyone was laughing so hard, crying with joy, and all our guests (even those who’d just met) left feeling like they’d joined a family. And certainly, they had.
All of the day’s vendors, suppliers, and designers were either upcoming artisans, local companies, or friends of the couple, making it that much more special. Take these ethereal photos by Ash Shcuman (and edited by Tom), for example—a lovely glimpse into the magic that unfolded there in the valley:
Just peachy! Lulu Jackson Bridal custom-designed and made Christina’s dress, as well as the bridesmaids’ dresses, by hand!
Every Adventure Has a Beginning
Here’s a super-fun way to get to know Christina + Tom…we asked them how they met!
Tom: I was visiting Byron Bay for a friend’s birthday party. I saw Christina in the most cliché way possible across the room. All stood still. Slow motion set in as I walked toward her and with a gasp for air and hopeful confidence words splurged out of my mouth…“You have big f*$@ing eyes!” Followed by nervous laughter and an apologetic shrug. With the expectation of being turned away, I turned my posture to run. But something magic happened: she was a weirdo. A weirdo, like me! She responded with a laugh and an array of terrible jokes to match my own. Later, Christina asked if I would take the day off work for a date. I rang my boss and quit my job on the spot, staying in Byron for another three weeks. Christina then took an even bigger leap and left her life in the Bay to come and travel the length of New Zealand in the back of my shanty old surf wagon.
Christina: …and I guess the adventure hasn’t stopped. We’ve been traipsing across the world, telling each other terrible jokes ever since!
The Story Continues
Christina walked down the aisle to The Rolling Stones’ Like a Rainbow and Missoma engraved a necklace for her with the title of the song – such a sweet memory of the day!
C + T wrote their own heartfelt vows, leaving everyone in happy tears. But it’s always the unexpected twists that make for the best stories!
Tom spotted a bee land on an allergic Christina’s head as she poured out her love, leaving her clueless as to his wild flapping actions until afterward—when she found out he’d been stung twice! As Christina says, “The man literally saved my life on our wedding day!”
It’s a Family Affair
Music played an incredibly important part of the day. Dear friends from Mini Simmons Band (a famous NZ group) played for three hours on end and Christina’s dad wrote a song for her in lieu of a speech.
Eat, Drink, and Dance
Look at that spread!
Seriously, they are all so cute.
Christina’s mother is a professional and made THE most amazing wedding cake!
The video below by Jonny Scott is such a fun recap of all the magic!
All our deepest congrats to the happy couple! Cheers!
photography: Ash Shcuman // venue name: Phoenix Valley Retreat, New Zealand // planning: Fern & Things // florals: Blossom & Wild // wedding dress: Lulu Jackson Bridal // hairpiece: Blossom & Wild // bride's shoes: St Agni // bridesmaid dresses: Lulu Jackson Bridal // getting ready robes: Piyama for bridesmaids // Coven & Co for bride // hair stylist: Dezarae Jessop // makeup artist: Dezarae Jessop // groom attire: Barkers Clothing // groom's shoes: Barkers clothing // groom's ring: Katie Rose // videography: Jonny Scott // paper goods: Em Dash Studio // catering: Lukes Kitchen, WIldone Wholefoods, Shinjis Golden Balls // cake: bride's mother, Maggy // furniture rentals: Lovers Eclectic Hire // specialty rentals: Bohzali // music: Mini Simmons Band // officiant: Jerry Rock Archer // rentals: Twelve Tables // photo editing: Tom Paterson // bridesmaids jewelry: Missoma