Singaporebrides | Real Weddings
Jolyn and Michael’s Scenic Destination Wedding at Stoneridge Estate in New Zealand
With Mother Nature as their witness, Jolyn and Michael exchanged their vows in a beautiful, scenic destination wedding in New Zealand.
Jolyn and Michael might seem like an unlikely pairing at first, but several dates later, they proved that they were a match made in heaven. They wanted their love for the outdoors to be part of their wedding, so they decided to travel all the way to New Zealand where they tied the knot in a cosy affair at Stoneridge Estate, where the captivating colours of autumn and stunning scenery provided all the backdrop and decoration they needed.
How did the two of you meet?
Jolyn: We met on Tinder – I don’t think we would have ever met outside without it. You see, Michael and I are opposites. He’s in construction while I’m in media. He’s an introvert while I am an extrovert. But we matched up on Tinder, so we had our first date at Grub. Despite our differences, we spent three hours talking to each other (and we did it completely sober!). After that day, he sent me an ever-so-polite SMS where he left an opening for a second date invitation. And the rest, they say, is history!
What drew you to each other?
Jolyn: Mike shares my love for the outdoors, climbs and travelling. Plus, he’s okay with me going on solo trips, which was a big issue with some of my exes. And he’s good at keeping things tidy whereas I’m the messy one.
Mike: Our many shared interests, climbing, hiking, gaming, the outdoors provided our initial attraction. As our relationship grew, our differences also complemented each other – Jolyn the fiery go getter and Mike the quiet achiever
What do you love most about your partner?
Jolyn: I love that he gives me the space and freedom to pursue my interests.
Mike: I love that fiery spark in her.
How did Michael propose?
Jolyn: After much nagging, he proposed on the top of Ijen, Indonesia. He was actually fumbling around the bag for a while so I had a hunch that it was coming. He also literally waited until the other hikers left the section of the volcano we were at before he popped the question.
Mike: I proposed on the crater ridge overlooking the eternal blue flame of Mordor Ijen with the sun rising behind us. Obviously, it was pretty special because Jolyn said maybe! (which is the closest to a ‘yes’ you will get from her)
You flew all the way to New Zealand for your wedding. Was there a particular reason behind that decision?
Jolyn: I fell in love with New Zealand about six years ago while I was on a working holiday there. We are both nature lovers and having a wedding in the concrete jungle of Singapore was out of the question. We also considered Italy and the UK, but New Zealand had the best of nature, and communication wise, it was also easy.
Mike: Getting married at a beautiful spot by the lake under the autumn trees? What’s not to love! It also gave us an excellent excuse to spend the next three weeks exploring the South Island.
What was your wedding planning journey like?
Jolyn: It was a love-and-hate journey over 6 months or so. I am grateful for scoring a really experienced wedding coordinator, Suzanne. She was very detail oriented and connected the vendors together seamlessly. We only had images and videos of the venue to work with as we did not make any pre-wedding visits to the actual location. Everything, including the band, makeup artist and hairstylists was coordinated over email. There were quite a few times I wondered why we didn’t just elope, especially when I had to handle the logistics of shuttle buses for the guests and seating arrangements when not all the guests had confirmed their attendance until the final weeks.
I had wanted to save some money on the baby’s breath for the hair, but didn’t realise it was going out of season so we literally called up three florists and went to three supermarkets to find them the day before.
Mike:It was exhausting and stressful but ultimately an amazing journey and so worth it. Jolyn’s eye for detail really made it special. Although it did cause some amusing moments, such as when the entire wedding party were watching, not daring to say a word, while Jolyn arranged the welcome table the night before the big day, complete with niffler, fairy lights, treasure box and gold chocolate coins, only for some unscrupulous character to plonk their empty beer bottles on it the next day!
What was your wedding theme?
Jolyn: Light pastels and khaki. The colour scheme was easy enough as I sent a brief to the florist, and did the invitations and reception table décor myself. To fit in with the antique setting of Stoneridge Estate, I got some gold votive lighting, aged some of our photos using coffee, and bought a vintage treasure chest off Carousell.
Take us back to your wedding day. What was the day like and how were you feeling?
Jolyn: I was pretty impressed with the bridal bouquet I received from the florist in the morning. During the ceremony itself, it felt a little awkward to be at the center of attention with the photographer and almost everyone taking videos and photos with their mobile phones. The day passed really quickly, the ceilidh dancing at night was really fun, and by the time the day came to a close, I was relieved that it was all over.
Mike: The day was perfect. We had the most amazing weather, especially during sunset on the mountaintop. The vows were short but so sweet. The band was great and everyone had a lot of fun dancing the celidh. I was feeling nervous but excited most of the day. I think the two minute drive to ferry the brides’ parents to the venue was the toughest of my life!
What did your family/friends have to say about your wedding day?
Jolyn: My emcee said it felt like a scene out of the popular TV series, Game of Thrones. My other friends said the setting was just like the images on Pinterest.
Mike: They all loved it and the amazing photos from our photographer really captured the moment for those who couldn’t make it.
Share with us the most memorable moment of your wedding?
Jolyn: The glorious golden sunset we had while up at Cecil Peak after a helicopter ride.
Mike: It had to be the helicopter ride and the photos on the mountaintop. We were no strangers to the mountains and it was the most perfect sunset as the sun dipped in the background. And the speech from my best man, Sam, deserves special mention. It was really touching and blessedly light on too many colourful details. Although I wholeheartedly deny I was the worst window salesman our company had ever seen!
What is one lesson you’ve learned from your wedding planning that you’d like to share with other couples?
Jolyn: For far-flung destination weddings, there will be dropouts even at the very last moment, so accept and enjoy the fact that it will be an intimate wedding and be prepared for many friends and family to say that they cannot make it.
The Venue: Stoneridge Estate, Lake Hayes, New Zealand
The Size of Wedding: 22 guests
The Cost of Wedding: Approximately $15,000
The Wedding Photographer: Jen from Alpine Image
The Wedding Gown: Jara White One
The Bride’s Shoes: Charles and Keith
The Groom’s Suit: Tailored in Hoi-Ann, Vietnam
The Groom’s Shoes: Pedro
The Hair and Makeup Artist: Yanisa from Charm Beauty (Makeup) // Claire from Beautiful Bridal Hair (Hair)
The Florist: The Flower Room
The Wedding Invitations and Stationery: DIY by the Bride
The Wedding Favours: DIY by the Bride
The Wedding Band: Catgut and Steel
The Caterer: Stoneridge Estate
The Wedding Planner: Suzanne from Stoneridge Estate
The Wedding Resource: SingaporeBrides
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