My Destination Wedding

Written by Maleah Alexander
The Small Things Co

Destination Weddings are an incredible modern way to celebrate your special day in a relaxed environment. Some of the top destinations are Europe, Fiji, New Zealand, South Africa, Bali, Thailand & Tasmania. All equally stunning locations, and often a more cost effective option then hosting a wedding at home. Destination Weddings are often on a much smaller scale, meaning your guest numbers are much smaller, which in turn allows couples to have more budget for styling or that perfect dress!

My husband Daniel and I had our own destination wedding in New Zealand on Saturday the 27th of January 2018. It was the most magical experience. People are shocked when I tell them that we picked the venue, and by venue I mean a friends farm in the middle of nowhere. Gore, in the Southland region of the South Island to be exact. I never dreamed of having a destination wedding, but after he showed me pictures of the landscape I was like ‘Why not?!’. 

I was not a wedding stylist when we got married, however I did work in the wedding industry, helping brides pick the perfect gown for their special day. They could range anywhere from $3000 – $15,000, and it was during this time I realised how much pressure brides in particular put on themselves leading up to their big day. I noticed a consistency of worry and comparison amongst my brides, so when I got engaged and we started to plan our wedding we didn’t fall into the pressure what everyone else was doing but only what felt right for us. 

Working in the in fashion side of weddings, the dresses seemed to all look the same to me! That’s when I found my dress in the Op Shop by mistake whilst dropping off some old clothes with a girlfriend. And we didn’t stop there, half of Daniel’s Suit was from ASOS, the other was from a warehouse sale we found whilst driving to brunch. We didn’t take anything too seriously but focused on the beginnings of what would be our forever relationship.

We flew over to New Zealand just one week before the big day and got to work! We plucked greenery & pampas grass from the side of the road, and sourced treasures from our friends farm, such as; the old bath we filled with drinks, a trestle table normally used for sheep’s wool & pre-cut wood slices both used for our share feast, blue barrels covered in grain bags as bar tables and the farmers 70’s cushions and blankets made it cosy. 

In terms of styling, we really didn’t have much budget to put towards the look.  Looking back now I wish we had sourced a local stylist to handle all of the logistics to reduce the stress that we experienced in the lead up. Having a stylist that knew the area and other suppliers such as a florist or hire company would have really reduced the stress that my friends and family took on for us. However, it did allow us to spend quality time together and bonds were definitely formed between our friends! True story-  our best friends actually met at our wedding and are now married with their first child). 

My fondest memory of our day was definitely marrying my best friend, but also having all of our closest friends and family in the one spot, we we’re all on holiday so it really was incredible!

If you’re getting married and don’t want the usual pressures of a big wedding, I would definitely recommend a Destination Wedding. Stay true to yourself, your wedding day should be a celebration of your relationship. Don’t forget that!