As Stacy Heyman walks down the aisle on a pristine lawn beside Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range, wedding guests gasp when they see the blonde beauty dressed in a sheer, long-sleeved Trish Peng gown adorned with pearls.
But it’s Adam Middleton, Stacy’s best friend and fellow contestant on The Block NZ: Firehouse, who holds her gaze as he wipes away tears, blown away by the sight of his long-term love.
On February 5, exactly seven years to the day the pair began their romance, they’re tying the knot at Jack’s Retreat, a spacious private residence that the home-reno enthusiasts have picked for its modern architecture.
Dressed in a custom velvet Rembrandt suit with pearl cufflinks, Adam offers his bride a handkerchief to dry her own eyes – it has his grandmother’s initials embroidered in blue and was carried by his mum
on her wedding day.
“Stacy was like, ‘I don’t want to get make-up on it,'” laughs Adam, 28, chatting to Woman’s Day shortly after the ceremony, where the bride walked down the aisle with her father Rob Martyn to Kina Grannis’ rendition of Can’t Help Falling In Love.
“She looked amazing. When the bridesmaids came down, I was holding it together, but then I saw Stace and looked at one of my groomsmen whose eyes were watering up – then mine and all the boys’ eyes started!”
But as Stacy reaches the altar, an afternoon breeze creates a minor distraction by blowing her veil over her shoulders, so she asks to swap places with Adam and ends up standing in front of his four groomsmen, including their Block bestie Chris “Ribz” Gordon, whose wife and fellow 2019 winner Lisa is part of the bridal party.
“It was pretty cute because the guys ended up holding my three-metre-long veil but weren’t quite sure what to do,” Stacy later grins. “It was also special because I was able to look at my bridesmaids during the ceremony and Adam could look at his groomsmen. Now I actually think it’s the way it should be at a wedding!”
For the bride, 28 – who knew she’d nailed her wedding look when the groom welled up – any nerves about saying her vows in front of a crowd melt away as she stands opposite Adam.
“I’ll never forget thinking on the day we met, ‘Who is that guy with the incredible laugh? That’s a laugh I’d love to listen to every day for the rest of my life,'” she recalls in her vows as 49 of their nearest and dearest watch on. “I promise to show you by my actions how I love you and to tell you what I’m thinking, even though you can usually read it on my face before I’ve said a word.”
Adam follows with his vows before they exchange wedding bands by The Village Goldsmith, telling Stacy he knew there was something special about her from the first day they met.
“I’ve always said that meeting you was the best thing that came out of my year at Massey University,” he recites. “I’ve never doubted my love for you.”
Earlier in the morning, the pair opened cards and gifts from one another, which included matching Armani perfumes they’d chosen as the day’s signature wedding scent.
“It was a surge of emotion and love opening them, and knowing soon we’d be husband and wife,” says Stacy, who gave her groom an art book he’d long admired.
“Adam gave me a beautiful golden pearl necklace, which was stunning. Our whole wedding was themed around pearls. My wedding band has a pearl on it and it inspired my dress as every flower on the gown had a pearl in the centre. The veil was also covered in pearls, and so was the top of our white chocolate, raspberry and pistachio cake, plus all the bridesmaids wore pearl earrings.”
Running the ceremony is groomsman Jonty D’Arcy-Smith, who spent 10 days in MIQ after flying in from Sydney for the wedding, his Rembrandt suit measured from afar by Kiwi tailor Grant McAlister. But Stacy’s mother Karen is the legal officiant and her brother Sean is MC. Sadly, Stacy’s grandmother in the States couldn’t make it.
Of her gorgeous gown, Stacy says, “Trish Peng was great at helping me design my dream dress. I knew reasonably early on the look I wanted, but after trying on multitudes of dresses, it’s not at all what I thought I’d go for!”
She has a further two outfits for the evening, including a mini-dress with a bow on the back, accompanied by long satin gloves, for the couple’s first dance to LOVE by Michael Bublé. “I thought I’d go for the classic wedding dress style of a big skirt with a square neckline, but it turned out this style suits me better,” explains Stacy. “My last reception dress was a one-shouldered Bronx and Banco number with a big feathered train!”
After being announced as husband and wife, the couple head off for photographs under the afternoon sun, while guests mingle over canapés as wedding planners One Fine Day make sure the festivities run smoothly.
“We decided early on to have a wedding planner because being in project management and renovations, I know so many things can go wrong and I didn’t want to be stressed on the day,” tells Stacy, who owns interior design business Studio Reno.
“My friend Gabby from Papier HQ did all of our wedding invitations, stationery and signage too.”
With her keen eye for detail, Stacy always knew she wanted their wedding theme to be modern and classic while still slightly edgy. “That’s very much like our venue and our colour palette coordinates really nicely, leaning towards linen-y natural tones, white and black,” she explains.
“Rebecca, the owner of Jack’s Retreat, is an interior architect herself, and Adam and I were just starstruck at every detail. For example, there are no skirtings but a negative detail instead and Rebecca
even had the stone custom blended to the colour palette she’d envisioned.”
As well as a marquee with festoon lights and a décor wall provided by You Gather, Stacy and Adam added a lavish GH Mumm Champagne tower for a fun celebratory touch.
“We chose a sit-down dinner for the reception and it’s very much an intimate family affair – we couldn’t imagine it being any other way,” says the bride, who is now honeymooning with her new hubby at Wharekauhau Lodge in Palliser Bay, where Adam proposed on a hilltop in October 2020.
They’ll then spend a week off work together in Wellington with their Samoyed dogs Boki, four, and blind 10-month-old puppy Toddy.
“We’re just going to enjoy being married and hopefully get some travel in if the world opens up, then potentially do some more renovating and move into a bigger house,” says Stacy, envisioning their first
year together as Mr and Mrs Middleton. “But I don’t know how life could get any better because it’s already so good.”