A BOHEMIAN VINTAGE THEME and 190 family and friends gathered together, it was a true celebration of family when Geraldine couple Anna Cleverley and Alastair Bolland married in May this year.

Anna looked truly breath-taking in a gown designed and created for her by London trained fashion designer Brian Molyneux, who now lives in Geraldine.

The couple, who own The Running Duck Café in Geraldine, say they wanted a laid-back vibe where there were no formal tables, just hay bales and couches, and the shed behind the business ticked all the boxes. Florist and best mate, Rebecca Noble of Little Lady Blooms in Melbourne did an amazing job of foraging for flowers and greenery and bringing the outdoors indoors. “It looked incredible with greenery and flowers hanging from ladders and beams.”

There was much amusement as the couple exchanged personally written vows which integrated Dr Seuss sayings and quotes throughout.

Between them, they have five children, who were all very involved in the celebration. Charlie (6) walked down the aisle ahead of Anna, their three teenage daughters delivered an amazing speech and Finn (2) was also very much included. Other family members were also involved: one brother was MC, and another brother and sister-in-law signed register.

In keeping with the casual theme of the day, Temuka Spitroast provided all the meat, while Alastair (a chef) organised the salads, condiments and enormous platters on large wooden boards.  They also had their own ice cream truck which they use over the summer months at The Running Duck, serving homemade ice cream.

“We have such talented, wonderful family and friends who were involved in almost every aspect of the day. Alastair’s uncle from Devils Handbreak provided our music, our lovely Aunty Robyn and Cousin C-J made 5 different nude cakes, our celebrant was close family friend Hilary Muir of Christchurch, and our photographer was super-talented friend John Jo Ritson of Flashworks Media.   Another good friend, Felicity from Cacoon in Timaru did our hair, and yet another childhood friend Tessa Simpson from Oamaru did our makeup.”

The best aspect of the entire celebration, they say, was that it was personal, genuine and it truly represented the love they have for each other. “The focus wasn’t on the tangible aspects but bringing everyone together for a true celebration.”

The newlyweds flew out the next day, taking a road trip from Seattle to LA (the length of New Zealand) .. no kids.

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Judy McAuliffe is a writer, and publisher Essence Mid Canterbury. Her experience in media is extensive and includes approximately 15 years as Creative Director for The Radio Network, writing, and managing the writing of radio advertising, mainly in Invercargill and Greymouth. In the late 1990’s she transferred to Christchurch, moving into an Account Management role with 91ZM. In 2007 she and a business partner set up Essence Mid Canterbury, very quickly adapting her radio-writing skills to print media. Judy became sole owner of Essence Mid Canterbury in June 2014. Judy is a ‘people person’ and has found her niche writing feature stories about the community she lives in and the people who live there. She is also available for freelance writing assignments.