Authenticity is a popular subject when it comes to weddings. You already know you don’t have to look far before you someone gives you the advice to have the wedding be a true reflection of your personal tastes, and to make sure it is emotionally genuine. I have also talked about finding financial authenticity, and cultural authenticity in a wedding.
What I haven’t spoken about is the part that makes a lot of us fall in love with the romance of a wedding in the first place – the aesthetic touches. It’s true some of us don’t give a shit about this, but on the other hand, some of us have been looking at wedding magazines as a source of visual delight since forever, and reading wedding blogs for…years…without actually being engaged…(cough cough…So?).
The inspiration blogs often give a destination as an aesthetic theme for a wedding. It often seems like the purpose of emulating these styles is to pretend for a while that that’s where you really live, and that’s what your life is really like. At the same time, it’s a rejection of how things actually are, which I think is why we are wont to use them as fantasy escapes.
The same thing can be found all the time in things like architecture, interior design, and garden styles. Elliot Stables in Auckland is awesome because of the “European-style” cobblestones, and places in Northland are always in a rush to call their gardens tropical. Take it from someone living in Singapore: there is nothing tropical about anything in New Zealand. Meanwhile French farmhouse style kitchens have been all the rage, everywhere.
So what would a kiwi aesthetic look like? When people on other continents are fantasising about New Zealand, what do they see? Maybe the trusty Style Me Pretty can help us out. This wedding took place took place at Mangawhai Heads. Says the bride:
“Finding the venue was our first challenge. I had trouble letting go of my dream to get married on a Caribbean beach. But Robin (kudos to him) found the perfect location, which encompasses so many things we love: outdoors, tropical, sea and holiday feel.”
“Being a seaside resort, we really felt transported into a tropical environment and looking at our photos from Branco Prata, we really have the impression to be in the Caribbean or somewhere exotic. So that was it: we found our perfect venue.”
Mangawhai Heads is on the eastern coast of the North Island, north of Auckland. Just a few hours away is the Tutukaka Coast, voted by National Geographic Traveller as the second best coastline in the world (tied with the Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales) So why on earth is it being valued only for its resemblance to a tropical island? It’s better than a tropical island.
All the times and places that form the basis of various aesthetic visions did exist at some point, and they existed because that’s the way life actually was. A French farmhouse back in the day wasn’t trying to style itself “French Farmhouse”, it was simply a house, on a farm, decorated in the way that was available to the owners at the time.
To have a stylistically authentic wedding, it’s not necessary to try to emulate anything else. How about we stop trying to be something we’re not, and instead let others look at what we have going on here, and perhaps let them get a little jealous of the kind of life we live? As far as decoration goes, all you have to do is use the flowers (or rocks, or shells, etc, if that’s more your thing) that can be found in your local area at the time the wedding place. Like the way this kick-ass bride did it. Easy. Let’s take back our weddings!