Anna and Graham | Mc Kell Park Wedding

"I always had a vision of a wedding that I never saw in bridal magazines....one that felt pastoral and rustic and communal and poetic rather than commodified or driven by trends that (in my view) is the hard thing about the ceremony and the reception...the cliches are built in, but you always want to do it your way.

As a couple we love trees, music, double decker buses, our kids, old movies, New Zealand wine, our friends and the spontaneous moment. Happily we managed to imbue our day with all of these elements and brilliant sunshine during a week of rain. We chose Lucio's because it's an established favourite of my families and the world in which we both work (visual art and publishing). The brilliant and intuitive Saskia Havekes of Grandiflora has been a friend for twenty years, she understood my obsession with pagan asymmetry so well. Rosemary has long been linked to wedding rituals from the Roman times to the 19th century so we stung it from the beams and lay it informally on the floors and tables. Not a single bouquet on any of the ables was the same. To generate a sense of the guests being treasured,  I hand painted all the place settings with watercolour drawings in olive green ink. Deep green and white became the theme without being planned. I love Eduard Manet, so the look of the wedding portrait reflects 19th century post impressionist painting and this happened simply because we cut out the bright blue sky and concentrated instead on foliage and the monochrome tones of our wedding attire. I was drawn to Sheridan's documentary style and her work made the day unfold a bit like a French film, paying attention to very intimate domestic details and then expanding into the social intensity and revelry of the feast.

When you plan a wedding its very much nuts and bolts and number crunching and bums on seats. But ideally on the day all the planning melts into a sensual and emotional experience and it doesn't matter if you forget to put a hand drawn chalkboard sign on the gate (we did) or to pop striped straws into the italian drink bottles (oops forgot those too!)  We rented a 1965 double decker bus to ferry us to the reception. This became a riot on wheels and a welcome break from the formalities of the ceremony. I was very touched by the kind things people did, from the chef at Lucio's arranging rose petals around our organic raw chocolate heart shaped cake or the poet Robert Adamson reading the poems he wrote for his own wife twenty years ago. A good friend and a great jazz pianist, Barney Mc All played his own version of a Beatles song for the processional. So yes, there were cliches, but they were OUR cliches....rendered with love and style by very talented friends, family and vendors.

- Anna Johnson 

Photography: Sheridan Nilsson | Wedding Dress: Karen Willis Holmes |  Grooms Suit : Dries Van Noten | Bridesmaid Dress: Alannah Hill | Flower Girls Dresses: Tutu du Monde , Jacadi, Paris | Make-up: Linda Jefferyes, The Artist Group  | Hair:Pete Lennon  | Ceremony Venue : McKell Park Darling Point | Reception: Lucios | Celebrant: Ian Dickenson  | Flowers: Grandiflora | Hand Painted Menus: Anna Johnson | Shoes: Panache Bridal Shoes | Rings : Bunda