To visit the historic Ilam Homestead, now a wedding and functions centre, is to take air from a more elegant era. Gorgeous palatial details plus an old-English-style botanical backdrop set the homestead apart.
Built in 1856 as the residence for the landowner of the entire suburb of Ilam, the homestead subsequently became part of the University of Canterbury. It was a residence for university officials and later on, an exclusive staff club. Its true potential is now realised following the launch of Ilam Homestead Functions Centre in April 2017.
This is one of those glorious houses where, if the skies opened on your big day, it wouldn’t matter in the least. Carved antiques, expansively-proportioned windows and ornate fireplaces provide the artistic background, not to mention gracious outdoor porch-verandas and lush gardens.
Following the 2010 and 2011 quakes, the homestead was extensively remediated. Thankfully, refurbishment has trodden lightly on the past. It’s now a beautiful venue for weddings; a choice which means photography doesn’t need to happen elsewhere.
Homestead General Manager Jamie Costelloe is well used to hosting both larger weddings and more intimate cocktail-style gatherings here. Canterbury’s best catering partners are employed, meaning there’s plenty of choice in inspired and creative food to suit any occasion. The whole house can be hired, or part thereof, and differently sized rooms allow for plenty of big-day options.
Designing has always been what floats Clare’s boat. Training initially as an architect, the Manager of Via Sollertia knew that jewellery design was actually where her heart lay. It still does.
Which is kind of great for someone who collaborates with couples over rings; the symbols of their enduring love.
Clare custom-designs for both locals and clients across the globe, from Via Sollertia’s New Regent Street boutique. Increasingly she’s asked for peachy, pinky, champagne-coloured diamonds in oval, marquise and pear-shaped engagement rings.
The stones and metallics at Clare’s atelier are spectacular. She lights up when talking about cuts of diamond and how a jewel will sit on a hand; matters of size, proportion and reflective qualities… all brilliant designer elements of every bespoke gift.
Important events like weddings should be joyful and fun. Because of that very fact, there’s potential for stress to creep in as the unwelcome guest. It can all be great! It truly is possible to jettison much of the possible emotional strain, right at the outset.
How? By having a group meeting with parents and helpers over coffee or something stronger, to honestly assess expectations.
Brides and grooms have normally talked about the sort of day they’re wanting. And fair enough, especially when they are substantially lightening their wallets to plan celebrations unfolding the way they envision them.
Other people’s subconscious expectations can make events fraught. And if anyone close to the bridal couple has silly or unrealistic ideas, it’s better to know, and deal with these early.
So initial talk about the type of ceremony, the number of guests, the tone and level of formality, the speeches, and the amount of cash to splash is all good. Usually the payments involved are divvied up, and this is one bit to discuss very early, because deposits are involved in securing bookings. Why not also talk about impending planning tasks, and who is willing to do which?
The bridal attendants for the day may or may not be flush with resources. It’s an inspired approach when the bridal couple errs on the side of generosity, rather than assuming attendants will be able to afford their own ensembles.
At Via Sollertia on New Regent Street, Clare and the team are adding sophisticated sparkle – and colour – to their clients’ lives.
Ever-evolving styles are ushering in a new era of striking coloured stones and Via Sollertia is at the forefront, with an exceptional and exquisite selection. “We’re noticing a strong trend of people choosing something with colour versus the traditional white diamond,” Clare explains.
“Sapphires and diamonds are the most common stones used in engagement rings, but I’m not sure everyone would know that sapphires are available in not just blue.”
They also come in green, yellow, orange and pink. Even rarer sapphire colours include the padparadscha sapphire – a deep peachy pink. “Diamonds don’t just come in white either; they come in champagne, chocolate, yellow, pink and even grey/silver!”
Tourmaline is also winning affections as an affordable stone that comes in a range of colours. “They come in varying shades of green, pink/red and blue. The designs you can create around a coloured stone are fun and interesting and you can hand-select a particular stone yourself. We have a large range in store as well as fab suppliers who can send us particular stones for clients to view.”
They’re young, vivacious and vocal virtuosos. Meet Amelia Ryman, Kimberley Wood, Matthew Harris and Harry Meehan, the faces of Oriana. This premier ensemble is rocking retrospective songs like nobody else – think sixteenth/seventeenth century retrospective!
The name Oriana is a nod to Queen Elizabeth I. “Oriana was a kind of nickname for her; it was slipped into many poems and compositions at the time,” explains Dublin born Harry. “And we do that, too,” adds Amelia, brainchild and founder of Oriana, “At the end of each performance, we sing ‘Long Live Fair Oriana!’”
Their debut concert was Christmas 2017 at Avebury House, while 2018 has seen Oriana sing the Easter Vigil at St Michael and All Angels, and a lunchtime concert at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral on 18 April. Coming up are 2pm concerts at Knox Church, 10 June, and The Piano, 19 August.
Kimberley says that Oriana’s choral pieces and madrigals are filling a gap in the market; Harry nods in agreement. “Auckland and Wellington have these groups but Christchurch, post-quakes, had nothing; now we can provide that high standard, quality music.”
Amelia says the friendship they have outside of performing is important. “Our connection with each other makes for a good connection with our audiences.”
Oriana also does private functions. “Corporate events, engagements, weddings, birthdays, whatever’s wanted, we’ll do it,” Matthew says. “And we happily do modern, and can go unscripted,” he adds, with a not quite cherubic smile.
For more information email email@example.com or find Oriana on Facebook.
Women of style pay attention to every detail and there are two significant details that will be part of each look you sport, every day of your married life.
Reflecting the harmonious union that you and your loved one seal at the altar, your engagement ring and your wedding ring should complement one another, each enhancing the other’s beauty, rather than competing for attention or detracting noisily.
Canterbury Jewellers specialises in creating wedding rings to suit your engagement ring. Second generation Jeweller Jason Baylis says, “However unique your engagement ring, we focus on making your rings look fantastic together, and we try to ensure your wedding ring will look great on its own as well”.
The company’s sketch artist brings your ideas to life on the page, so you know they are going to get it right and your bespoke wedding ring can be ready in as little as a week.
When it comes to New Zealand wedding destinations, the romantic mountain views and landscaped gardens of the Heritage Hanmer Springs provide an amazing ceremonial backdrop.
A landmark venue just 90 minutes from Christchurch, it’s a world away from the ordinary, in a stunning alpine retreat that will captivate you and your guests.
The venue can arrange everything, from tailormade menus, to beverage and staffing needs. There is a fabulous ballroom, complete with open fireplace, or enjoy a stylish and unforgettable lawn wedding in the picturesque gazebo set amongst beautiful gardens.
A range of accommodation is available, including three-bedroom villas located around a charming lake. Guests can enjoy all Hanmer Springs has to offer, including the world famous thermal pools, a short walk across the main street.
If you are looking for elegance, a spectacular location and personalised service, choose Heritage Hanmer Springs.
Email HanmerConf@heritagehotels.co.nz, phone 03-315 0065 or visit www.heritagehotels.co.nz/hotels/heritage-hanmer-springs.
Wedding vows: they’ve commanded a lot of attention over the years. They’ve made us laugh, they’ve made us cry and sometimes, for those of us who have had to scribe these wedding days words, they’ve really intimidated us.
There’s debate over who actually said it, but we’ll take a gamble on the fact it was Churchill: “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one”.
It’s an enduring conundrum: how to say something compelling, quickly.
If you’re getting tongue tied ahead of tying the knot, here are our top tips for those ever-elusive wedding vow ideas:
Set the tone: Just as you’d want to coordinate the style of your invites with your decorations; your gown with your shoes; your hair with your makeup, you need to agree a tone for your vows with your significant other. Before embarking on your literary journeys, get your heads together to determine the mood you want to create. If one of you writes a romantic declaration while the other resorts to gimmicks or cliches, it could dampen the matrimonial mood.
Get to the point: It’s hard to imagine that on the most important day of your life, people’s attention may wander away from you – you are the centre of attention, after all! Be that as it may, keeping your vows clear and concise, and no more than a couple of minutes in length, will make for an endearing and engaging exchange.
Plagiarism encouraged: This may seem like we are going against all our journalistic ethics, and it is, but if you’re really struggling to wax lyrical about your loved one, then by all means, let Google be your inspiration. Sometimes a blank canvas can be really overwhelming and all it takes is a few reference points to help you on your way.
Consult your officiant: This is often an afterthought, but it’s actually important, particularly if you are marrying in a church or observe a religion and there are some mandatory inclusions.
Practice makes perfect: While most don’t commit their vows to memory – and fair enough too, there’s enough to remember on the day as it is – repetition is your best friend when it comes to your vows. Say them out loud as many times as you can in the lead up to the big day so you can get acquainted and comfortable in the language without tripping over your words or letting nerves undermine your delivery.
Encompassing incredible technology, Magic Mirror is a stand out from other photo booth offerings, with this voice activated mirror and touch screen making quite the experience.
The VIP set up is personalised with either red or black carpet and your choice of glamourous sequinned backdrop. An attendant is on hand, so you don’t have to worry about changing settings or loading printer paper throughout the night. A personalised logo and a range of styles to suit your theme mean your event is commemorated properly, including personalised touch screens with dates and bride/groom names.
Magic Mirror offers extras like unlimited printing, amazing personalised guest books (from Auckland store ‘Down Memory Lane’). There are also 200+ animations and a comprehensive table of props. Aside from the elegance Magic Mirror brings, it’s easy to overlook the benefit so obvious you almost miss it: being a mirror you can fix your hair and makeup before the photo!
While we’ve never needed an excuse to keep the style party going long after the curtain has fallen on our big day, the honeymoon presents such a significant opportunity to introduce some chic newbies to our wardrobes that we couldn’t let the opportunity go by without making a fashionable fuss.
If your wedding falls in 2018, and you’re planning on jetting off somewhere where the sun never sets, then we’ve got you covered from top to toe with our honeymoon must haves.
Resortwear: Ok, the name is potentially misleading; you don’t actually have to be at a resort to wear it. It could be a beach in the Bahamas or a promenade in Portugal. The aim of this style game is to provide you with sophisticated but practical options for your romantic getaway. Brands like Seafolly, Zimmerman and Marc Jacobs have the style goods.
The ‘It’ bag: Whether it’s an oversized tote or a tiny clutch, having a bag for your personal items is mandatory. There’s not a one-size-fits all accessory for everyone but we play favourites with totes thanks to their versatility. Scale their use up or down at will; whether you just want to pack your daytime essentials, or throw in your entire wardrobe for your honeymoon so you can travel light, then this is your answer.
Make a splash: A chic bathing suit fits into the fundamentals category when you’re flocking to summer fun on your honeymoon. We’ve selected a tongue-in-cheek option, but opt for whatever you feel most comfortable in – it’s absolutely key.
The night and day dress: Having a go-to dress that can transition with ease from day to night means you’re covered when you’re having one of those ‘I’ve got nothing to wear’ moments. We love the styles that are chic enough to escort you to a dinner, but casual enough you can throw it over your ‘kini when you head down to the beach.
Glowing skin: Your honeymoon is the adventure of a lifetime, but it’s also the perfect time to give your skin some R&R time, so be sure to have makeup free days and get back to basics with some great cleansing.