Real Weddings: Lucy Janisch-Fitzgerald & Luke Appleby At Turanga Creek Vineyard
Lucy, Viva’s commercial integration manager, and Luke, communications specialist for ANZ New Zealand, share their special Whitford celebration
Luke and I were lucky enough to get married on February 20 this year, narrowly dodging a lockdown by three days! It was the most surreal moment for us, listening to the 4pm press conference that Wednesday afternoon with our wedding scheduled for the Saturday, and finding out Auckland was moving down to level two, and that our wedding could go ahead.
Luke had to close the sliding door because he thought the neighbours would be concerned at all the screaming.
I had Champagne waiting in the fridge, ready to drink either way the announcement went. We popped it in celebration, rather than having to drown our sorrows. We feel so blessed that we got to have our day with no changes needing to be made, when so many other people didn’t.
The most important thing to us was that our friends and family felt comfortable and that they had a good time. We both wanted a summer wedding, and loved the idea of a relaxed, rustic Italian-style big day.
We pictured a laid-back vineyard with long wooden tables for family-style dining, and good indoor/outdoor flow. We also wanted to spend the most time we could enjoying the day, instead of worrying about the details.
Our ceremony and reception were both held at Turanga Creek Vineyard in Whitford, and it was the perfect location for us — close enough to Auckland for our local friends and family to travel to, but also removed enough from the city so we felt like we were escaping for the day.
We’re not religious, so when it came to organising the celebrant, we chose to be married by Luke’s friend Matty McLean, who Luke had worked with at TVNZ. He was someone we felt comfortable with, and who we knew had plenty of confidence in front of a crowd — and a good sense of humour. Matty did an amazing job, despite the searing heat, and wrote an incredibly moving and lovely speech for the day.
Having both the wedding and reception at Turanga Creek made the day super-easy, and it allowed our guests time to enjoy the sun and bubbles in the vines and on the front lawn, instead of rushing to the next venue. They had two beautiful collies present — Pinot and Grapa — who were a huge hit with our guests and didn’t jump up on any white dresses.
My ring is a custom-designed piece from Meadowlark, which combines my love for green sapphires with diamonds.
Luke’s wedding band is from Good Gold — he wanted to support a New Zealand brand that ethically sources their gold from our rivers and coastlines. His ring was crafted with gold from the West Coast — which was important to him, because his family is from there.
I wanted to combine a vintage feel with an Italian flair, and I decided to go to Katie at Hera Couture, as she designs for all body types. Having a big bust, small waist and big hips, I wanted something I would feel confident and feminine in. Her team was absolutely amazing, and my wedding dress was actually the first and only one I have ever tried on! It was love at first sight — after Luke, of course.
I really wanted a stress-free day, so my bridesmaids and maid of honour chose their own dresses. The colourways they chose — navy, burnt orange and sunset — worked really well together.
Luke and his groomsmen all wore suits from Frank Casey. Luke wanted to go with a classic tuxedo-style suit in black, for a more traditional look, but the warm weather meant he didn’t keep the jacket on too long. The shirt was pleated at the front for a refined finish, and he opted for a black bow-tie.
The flowers were created by my talented friend Rosie, who founded Rose Tinted Flowers, and they were perfect. We wanted plain white, but lots of texture. We went with gypsophila as an ode to that vintage feel, and we called the arrangement above our arch our “Cloud of Love”.
Our photographers were Moira and her assistant Zanthe of Moira West Photography, and they captured our day wonderfully. I found her on Instagram, and initially she caught my eye because she shares my mother’s name.
After looking through her work, I knew she was the one for us. She really captures emotions — going through her photos, I felt like I was transported to those moments in time.
Some advice I was given before the day was to take some time out with Luke during the celebrations, and just sit together and take it all in. I am so glad I listened and remembered that, because the day really does just come and go.
Luke’s number one tip for groomsmen is, if you’re marrying in the warmer months, bring a second shirt for after the ceremony.
Being in lockdown the week of the wedding meant some of the planned festivities with my bridesmaids, and Luke’s groomsmen had to be jam-packed into two days before the wedding.
Trying to sort everything out in two days was a whirlwind, but looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing, because in the scheme of things we got to have our wedding, with all of our loved ones being able to attend, and we are just so grateful for that.