A dreamy family affair, Gabbie and Isaac’s wedding was incredibly special right from the get go. I first met these two on site with their whānau in tow – for these two, this was a real family affair right the way through. At our very first meeting, Gabbie told me she was pregnant, and the baby would be coming to the wedding in just a few months. It was so special to have so many friends and family involved in their big day, right from Grandad to baby. Going from seeing the baby bump at the site viewing to having the new baby at the wedding was incredible. We really do have the best job in the world.
We so loved hosting Gabbie and Isaac – it was a beautiful wedding, and a beautiful family. Below, we chatted to Gabbie about all her favourite parts of the day.
Where did your wedding planning journey begin?
Our wedding story began with the bouquet toss at my sister’s wedding. Unbeknown to me, Isaac had liaised with my sister and her wedding guests to make sure I was the one who caught the bouquet. Not knowing what was going on and not enjoying being the centre of attention, I actually tried to opt out of even participating in the toss. Eventually I was coaxed up, though I tried to stand at the back of the group – however, every time I moved back, so did everyone else! Soon, the bouquet was thrown and was heading straight for me. Still not aware of what was going on, I quickly side swiped the flowers to someone else, who threw them right back. I caught the flowers, turned around, and there was Isaac on one knee.
It took a couple of years for us to start our planning journey – though once I saw a photo on Instagram of a tipi wedding, I was sold. I immediately started searching, found Gather & Gold, then eventually set a date for the big day.
Did you have any must-have vendors? If so who and why?
Once the wedding planning got underway and I started my search (aka, scrolling Instagram & Facebook), I knew straight away who I wanted.
Fully Pitted – Southern Smoked BBQ. The food is heaven and people raved about it!
Luisa Apanui Photography. The kindest person ever with an amazing skillset.
Gather & Gold. The tipis speak for themselves, and the wonderful communication and help with the planning were phenomenal.
The Hide, Lake Hāwea Station. This venue ticked all the boxes for us: a little bit of maunga, a little bit of water, and the most magical place.
Frankie The Nomad. A fully-equipped, mobile bar. The team was super easy to deal with, and the caravan bar brought such a great aesthetic. Plus, the cocktails the team whipped up on the night were next level delicious.
Loose & Colourful. This band is an absolute talent. I’m calling big things happeneing for these guys – they’re so incredibly talented.Siobháin the Celebrant. Our celebrant was so funny, and really helped bring together a truly seamless ceremony. She talked everything through with us during our practice run, then directed our guests on the day in all the best ways. I didn’t realise how much actually went into this part of the day, but she gave great advice and made everything relaxed and easy.
Did you have clear vision of what you wanted, or were you guided by your vendors?
I had a clear vision and knew exactly what I wanted for my big day. All our chosen vendors were so wonderful in bringing my ideas to life, and made the whole day come to fruition just as I’d hoped.
What’s one thing you’re glad you did?
We’re so glad we had our wedding all in one place, with only our nearest and dearest around. We went for a boho/festival theme, and only invited whānau and friends who had really been a big part of our lives in recent years. This made for a seamless day, with no awkward moments between guests and everything getting along so well.
Favourite moment of the day?This one took me by surprise, but it would have to be walking down the aisle with my fresh wee pēpī and pāpā. We played Miracle Love by Matt Corby, and as soon as we started walking, there were tears of joy and happiness all around. The sun was shining, everyone looked so beautiful, and the ceremony was as stunning and picturesque as I could have dreamed.
Favourite small detail about the day?
Relishing in the happiness we were surrounded by. I took a moment to feed bubs away from everyone, and just stepped back to watch all the love and enjoyment happening around us. Isaac’s father passed away a week after our wedding, so having him there meant everything. The fact that Isaac was able to spend this incredibly special day with his dad by his side was unforgettable.
Your biggest laugh out loud moment?
Watching everyone getting loose from the drinks! We started the spirits quite early on, and watching everyone loosen up and get a little tipsy was so, so fun.
Any tips or advice for newly-engaged couples planning a tipi wedding?
Practically? Think about location. Depending on where you’re having it, you may need a big bus or van to transport people if it’s further away. That’s what we did, though it took a fair bit of organizing to get people there and back. Other than that – let Gather & Gold guide you through the process. They were so incredibly helpful the whole way through!
From Gabbie & Isaac:
“Gather & Golds Tipis are amazing. They’ll wow your guests and give you the most beautiful, magical night of your life. The whole G&G team were super helpful throughout the entire process, from the very first enquiry right through to the planning and final stages. They were great at pointing you in the right direction even for other vendors and ideas, and they went above and beyond to make sure the tipis were perfectly set up for your big night. We wish we could do it all over again!”