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It was way back at Bible College that Jesse and Stan first met, leading to a beautiful five year long relationship and an absolutely exquisite wedding (first featured in our Real Wedding Special). Having known from the start where they wanted to tie the knot, the couple only researched New Zealand venues and, after stumbling upon the Church Of The Good Shepherd, they knew they’d found the one.

“The only deterrent for me was the effort it would take for loved ones to get there because it’s a couple hours drive from the nearest airport. But I had some close friends and family convince me that those who really wanted to be there would come no matter what – and so I made my decision and we had it in little Lake Tekapo,” explains Jesse, who goes on to share a bit of a funny story about their venue with us.

“There were so many tourists around because everyone travels to Tekapo to see this beautiful church – we wondered how we were going to navigate our way in – but we did a couple of laps in the car while my dad helped clear the way. It was actually really funny coming out of the church and having what felt like the paparazzi photographing our wedding!”

The ‘paparazzi’ weren’t the only ones there to capture Jesse and Stan’s special day. Nuh-uh. They scouted the wonderful and undeniably talented Fiona Anderson to shoot the day as well. “We felt like we knew Fiona, we were so comfortable with her. She was so warm and professional, we couldn’t recommend her highly enough. Our pictures are absolutely stunning and capture the memories perfectly,” says Jesse, adding that the twosome’s close friends Sydney based floral stylists, The Sisters, were another star vendor of the day.

“I had full confidence in them to pull off an amazing job and I was so glad they could come all the way to New Zealand because it took the pressure off having to worry about that one detail. The Sisters have a unique way of styling and creating that is different to a lot of other florists and the conventional way of doing things, but that is why they are so loved, because their work is different but beautiful. It’s fun and natural and thoughtful,” says Jesse (who looked stunning in her Kara Jade Designs ensemble), admitting she learned quite a bit from the planning process.

“Focus and put your energy into the details and moments that really matter to you, and the rest… don’t stress about. Planning your wedding is only the beginning to your marriage. Literally the first day. There’s a relationship that also needs attention.” Well said!

Thinking of a wedding one the Long White Cloud? Check out these NZ shindigs here, here and here; or check out our Directory and see our favourite NZ vendors!

Jesse and Stan’s destination wedding was originally featured in our third annual Real Wedding Special, on sale now and stocked in newsagents nationally. Search for your nearest stockist via suburb or postcode here or shop online with Mag Nation or via the HM online store here.

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CREDITS Photographer Fiona Anderson // Florist The Sisters // Ceremony venue Church Of The Good Shepherd, NZ // Reception venue Lake Tekapo Community Hall, NZ // Catering Madame Lu’s Kitchen // Brides wedding band Natalie Marie Jewellery // Grooms wedding band Cort Jewellery // Bridal Gown Designer Kara Jade Designs // Veil Nikita Jean (Sister) // Lingerie Gooseberry Intimates // Shoes Christian Louboutin // Makeup Painted Lips // Bridesmaid Dresses Reformation // Bridesmaid Gifts Go-to Skin Care and Jasmine & Will // Groom and Groomsmen Suits Ron Bennett // Shirt Brookfield // Shoes Florsheim.