Hannah (née Jackson) and Donald Hanson base themselves between Auckland and Queenstown to work on their New Zealand knitwear and merino brand Kapeka.
On a quintessential summer Queenstown day, the couple wed on a private plain of Queenstown Hill, with views of the Remarkables mountain range above and Lake Wakatipu below.
“Toetoes and tussocks were hugging the hills, we had family and friends standing until the music began and one by one the bridesmaids walked down… followed by a very excited, shaky bride,” tells Hannah.
A friend of ours told us a cancellation had come up on a date we were looking at the New Zealand High Country venue – so we nabbed it! You have to be in quick. The location was perfect– it showcased some of the best views in Queenstown and was private enough that it felt like we were the only ones for miles. We invited 140 of our most magic friends and family, mostly from Auckland, overseas and Queenstown.
There were so many emotions, so much nervous energy. Excited anticipation built as guests started to arrive, the sun was high with a dry, hot breeze coming through. Our celebrant was Bishop Bruce – once the Bishop of Auckland, he played a major role in Donald’s life growing up and now a role in our relationship. Both he and his wife Pat have been a wonderful offering of mentorship, advice and encouragement.
My dress was easy and I loved that it was completely me – I wore the dress rather than it wore me. I had a hard time finding a dress, from looking in New York to flicking through magazines interminably, I couldn’t find something that excited me. A bit enervated, I started right back at the beginning. I have always loved Paris Georgia – I feel so effortlessly good in their pieces – which is ultimately what I wanted in a dress. I approached them asking if they would create a bespoke dress. We worked together to create something so effortlessly sleek and chic. I love its simplicity, the straps, the low back and how it curves around my hips – such a dream outcome.
The girls wore dresses from Shona Joy – they helped pick something they would feel great in and would wear again. Groomsmen wore matching navy suits, and mandarin coloured ties from Working Style, their buttonholes pairing nicely alongside the girl’s toetoes bouquets.
We chose a matching set of Love rings, with an inscription on the inside, paired with my engagement ring, which is a ring with stones passed from Donald’s grandmother. I was wearing royal blue sapphire and diamond earrings, handed down from my granny to my mother. Donald’s brothers had arranged several bespoke Kea cufflinks created by the brilliant Patrick Mavros team. My headband was a surprise from Donald’s mother Joan, who saw it pinned on my Pinterest board. It’s handmade by Mignonne.
Erin from Acorn Photography was our photographer – we have worked closely with them prior, mainly for our campaigns for Kapeka. We have come to really respect and enjoy her and her team – they work hard and are always enjoyable to be around. She provides great direction and feedback too – which always helps! It was a no brainer to use them.
We all went down to our venue for dinner and a party! Free pouring Aperols, short and sweet speeches and a lot of dancing. Sourcing things in Queenstown can be difficult when you don’t want to blow your budget – or make it look cliché. The Touch of Spice team helped us get in touch with Heather Vincent, who helped coordinate our wedding so it went smoothly as well as fitting out the reception with easy, comfortable décor. There were sheepskins, warming lighting and some personal touches – a collaged photo board and a Dick Frizzell print that normally lives in our home.
Our gorgeous, talented friend Kelly King made our cake. Based on Waiheke, she made it there in her commercial kitchen and flew down with it, assembling it the morning of. It was a saucy, moist lemon cake with the most delicious cream cheese icing. Everything we love. She made us three separate cakes all of different heights and decorated them with café au lait dahlias. So spoilt.
Our wedding showcased local greenery – toetoes were sprawling everywhere – as were flax heads and other foliage in touches of burnt yellows and rust colourways. The flowers for the wedding were mostly café au lait dahlias – so simply stunning in an array of colour that reminds me of ripe summer fruit and warm evening air. Our florist Sarah, from The Flower Room, really listened and delivered the most perfectly effortless florals for the day. Joan rounded up a team to create our greenery that went down the middle of the tables, such an amazing effort!
We had our friend DJ Dan Sing on the decks all evening long. He curated a playlist which showcases our first dance song, ‘Wagon Wheel’ as well as some crowd favourites from The Cure, Fleetwood Mac and Prince!
The feeling of the day finally coming! After all this planning here we were. Walking down the aisle after all the anticipation of the day and seeing everyone there, all of our favourite people in one place and then at the end of the aisle, my gorgeous soon to be husband standing there with a gorgeous grin on his face. Magic.
The speeches! They were brilliantly delivered and so many laughs, gasps and tears were shed during them.