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Allely Estate Wedding

Today we are sharing the newly wed couple Ryan & Alexandria’s wedding, after being postponed three times due to Covid like many of you who are engaged and are wedding planning may have experienced too.

“Our florist was incredible, she came up with heaps of ideas to keep the costs low. Like using our arch flowers on our head table when we were seated for dinner. It was the little things like these that made all the difference!”

Who  Ryan & Alexandria Sample

Where Allely Estate, Kumeu

Guests 73 adults, and my bridesmaid’s new born baby

Budget We didn’t want to go over 25k. At the same time of planning a wedding we were also building our first home. So budgeting, sticking to a ballpark figure, cutting costs where we could was very important to us. We actually managed to not only stick to the budget, but we were well under the 25k mark, so we were pretty thrilled with that!

How did you meet? We originally met one another through our parents who would attend the same gym. Within no time, our families became inseparable – even our dogs are great friends! After building a solid friendship, we soon realized there was potential to be more, once we decided that then there was no going back.

How did your partner propose? Before Ryan proposed, he knew that I liked a bit of tradition; meaning that it was important for him to get my father’s permission to marry me. Even though we had been going out for over 11 years, it was something that was a huge deal to me and I found pretty special. When he proposed, it was a Saturday afternoon at sunset, just sitting on the deck having a drink he got down on one knee and popped the question! Very cliche’ I know! 

What was important to you when you started planning your wedding? We wanted to make sure that it was very intimate, that we got to chat to most of our guests. Having beautiful photos to look back on and cherish the memories we made that day!

In three words describe your wedding style Romantic, Intimate, and Relaxed.

Was there anything that you did that was a little different to the ‘norm’ for your wedding? Not really! My dad spent the day with us girls getting ready. We made sure that we captured the moment, and took heaps of photos of when he saw me in my dress for the first time. So emotional, and I will cherish that moment forever!

How did you personalise your wedding day? The little details on the table settings, the wedding cake which was a donut tower with a cake on the top. Also removing of my garter- so much fun and so many laughs!

What were your save and splurge items for your wedding?

Splurge hair and makeup for myself, my maid of honor and bridesmaid. Best decission.

Save on florals. Our florist was incredible, she came up with heaps of ideas to keep the costs low. Like using our arch flowers on our head table when we were seated for dinner. It was the little things like these that made all the difference!

What was the most difficult part of planning your wedding? And the most fun? Covid, we had to reschedule it three times before finally been able to go through with it. Choosing the donuts, the florals and adding our personal touch.

What did you use to plan your wedding When we booked the venue, in the package we choose it came with a wedding planner. She was wonderful. Along with that, I did a heck of a lot of googling. I got a wedding planning book and spoke to friends who had gotten married.

Did you DIY anything, or have family and friends help? Both my mum and mother in law had the most beautiful vases/jars. My mum went out and got heaps of candles for the tables. We also had a pillar candle which was lit for those in memory who were there with us in spirit.

Did lockdowns have any effect on your plans, did you have to postpone, change any of your plans or reduce your guest list? Hugly, it got postponed three times! 

What advice would you share with others planning their Big Day? Do you research, take your time, ask the questions. Enjoy the process and the wedding day, because it goes by so quickly!

Do you have any regrets, what would you change, if anything? None whatsoever. 

Where did you go for your honeymoon? Due to covid, the borders aren’t fully open to the whole world. We have decided to wait till we can go to Bali, so hopefully soon! But we did move into our new home on the same night of the wedding, so that was like a honeymoon all within itself.



Venue Catering & Event Planning  Allely Estate, Kumeu

Makeup & Hair Jade Beauty

Bride’s Dress  Bridal and Ball

Groom’s Suit & Accessories Barkers, Farmers

Wedding Party Attire Forever New, Chaos and Harmony, Mi Piaci Shoes

Rings Walker and Hall, Pascoes

Flowers Print&Petal

Wedding Cake Whipped Cakery

Music Mix it Dj

Wedding Celebrant Valeria Antipenko

Invitations & dress alterations Debbie Williams at Imprezzions Boutique

Winter wedding at Kumeu Valley Estate

Today we feature the handsome couple Nick and Shameel, whose wedding was celebrated only 5 days after New Zealand went into level 1 after lockdown.

“We were offered to move the date if we wanted to but we stayed positive. Thankfully my stubbornness paid off because we had the best wedding and all our guests did too as it was right after a long lockdown!”

Who Nick and Shameel Kennedy-Hall
Where  Kumeu Valley Estate
Guests 100

Budget $30k – stayed relatively within the budget.

How did you meet? We met the good old fashioned way, through Tinder.

How did your partner propose? I (Shameel) proposed to Nick on his 30th birthday. I took him out all around Auckland doing lots of fun activities – a private tour of the Smith and Caughey’s building (Nick loves old buildings), a horse trek, massages, then we went to the place we had our first date and I gave him a card that he though was a voucher to buy some clothes but inside it said “Will you marry me”. Finally we had a surprise dinner with our family and close friends to celebrate our engagement before we headed off to Europe the next day for 8 weeks! A whirlwind to say the least!

What was important to you when you started planning your wedding? We just wanted a really nice venue that fit the rustic vibe we were looking for.

In three words describe your wedding style Homely, Rustic and Earthy

Was there anything that you did that was a little different to the ‘norm’ for your wedding? Being a same sex but also a mixed race couple we had a traditional Indian Mehndi night the night before the wedding where we had our henna done, we both walked down the aisle at the ceremony together.

How did you personalise your wedding day? We had hand written place cards for all our guests and had custom dried flower lapels or hair clips for our Groom-al party (that’s what we called our bridal party).

What were your save and splurge items for your wedding?

  • Splurge – Our DJ – a bit more pricey but he was there the whole day and created the perfect
    vibe throughout the day and well into the evening!
  • Save – we had our suits custom made in Thailand on our way back from Europe which saved a
    few hundred dollars. We also didn’t have to buy any floral arrangements as our venue, the week
    before the wedding, did an open day and had a lot of leftovers which they were more than happy
    for us to use!

What was the most difficult part of planning your wedding? And the most fun? The guest list was difficult, we wanted to make sure we had everyone we wanted there but also had to make tough calls on who didn’t need to be there. The best part was deciding what food we wanted to serve and the cake tasting which was contactless due to the lockdowns!

What did you use to plan your wedding? We did everything on a google doc – we did all of it ourselves but the lovely Annette at Kumeu Valley took over the organisation in the set up and running of the night. Best thing ever!

Did you DIY anything, or have family and friends help? We designed our own menus and cut branches from my parent’s bay leaf tree and our magnolia tree to do our centre pieces for our table.

Did lockdowns have any effect on your plans, did you have to postpone, change any of your plans
or reduce your guest list?
We were so lucky in that our wedding was the first weekend at Level 1 – it was very touch and go and we were offered to move the date if we wanted to but we stayed positive. Thankfully my stubbornness paid off because we had the best wedding and all our guests did too as it was right after a long lockdown!

What advice would you share with others planning their Big Day? Invest in a person or venue that will run your wedding day and set up for you – this was the best thing for us as we were able to relax the day before knowing it was all being done for us as well as getting to enjoy the day and evening too. Let someone else be stressed on your day – just enjoy it! If possible get your photos taken before the wedding so you can spend time in the ceremony, with your friends and family and just enjoy the moment.

Do you have any regrets, what would you change, if anything? We had no regrets with our wedding – we had the best time and enjoyed every minute of it!

Where did you go for your honeymoon? We had originally planned to go to Japan but Covid stopped that in it’s tracks. Instead we did a Minimoon to the Coromandel followed by a longer honeymoon in the central north island going around different places.

Photographer Katrina Cooke Photography
Venue, Catering & Event Planning Kumeu Valley Estate
Hair Morgan Bolger at Hava and Co High Street
Rings Michael Hill
Wedding Cake Holly Steiner
DJ MixitDJ

10 of the Best and Most Beautiful Kumeu Wedding Venues

If you’ve just started wedding planning and you want to get married near Auckland, one of Kumeu’s beautiful wedding venues may be just the place. Home to some of my favourite vineyards and garden venues, Kumeu also has ample accommodation options and boasts cheaper out-of-Auckland prices which will please both you and your guests.

Grab your wedding planner book and visit some of these Kumeu wedding venues – take note about everything you love, and have a look at the Kumeu weddings we’ve featured.

1. Gracehill Vineyard Estate

One of our favourites, Gracehill Vineyard Estate  it’s in equal parts unbelievable for its stunning situ and its remarkable affordability. Panoramic lake views and lush green manicured gardens, with a price-point that leaves nothing to be desired.

2. Markovina

One of Kumeu’s premium wedding and event spaces, family owned Markovina Vineyard Estate has over 55 years of experience planning weddings and events. Situated on 10 acres of beautiful gardens & water features, the venue has been specifically designed for weddings offering an indoor-outdoor flow in a truly tranquil setting with your dining experience seated indoors under a canopy of vines. Offering five unique ceremony locations and full wet-weather options, a Mt Fuji Cherry Blossom tree (blooming in October), you’ll be spoiled for choice at Markovina.

3. Allely

Allely Estate is the a romantic garden wedding venue with stunning indoor and outdoor settings. From intimate weddings to large garden marquee weddings, Allely offers a truly flexible service.

4. Kumeu Valley

Situated in an idyllic, tranquil valley Kumeu Valley Estate has charm, style and elegance, while also providing modern facilities and impeccable service. As you enter the grounds the first thing you notice are the buildings’ unique style and incredible bell tower, embracing the charm of the classic estate. The high vaulted timber ceilings in warm Macrocarpa present an immediate WOW factor, and moving into the dance hall, the grand wood fire place makes for stunning wet weather option for your ceremony and particularly cosy for a winter wedding.

5. Soljans

Soljans Estate Winery is just 20 minutes out of Auckland City but feels like another world. The architecturally designed winery in charming Mediterranean style reflects the Dalmatian heritage of the owners, with Hinuera stone mirroring the traditions of their homeland. They designed the winery specifically with weddings in mind, extensive use of bi-folding cedar doors in the café and function rooms provides the ultimate in indoor/outdoor flow and facilities.

6. The Hunting Lodge

An incredible 80 acre estate, The Hunting Lodge Winery and Restaurant has everything to ensure a beautiful, comfortable and smooth sailing day for up to 250 people. The outdoor courtyard is fitted with a retractable roof and impressive open fireplace, set overlooking the vines Westward to catch the sunset and toast the day’s end – the perfect backdrop for your Big Day.

7. Boathouse at The Riverhead

Plan your Big Day in true kiwi style at The Riverhead. Set amongst our centenarian oak trees, and picturesque gardens we have the quintessential New Zealand view; looking over the water to the rural landscape. The Riverhead promises to make romance bloom by bringing together our tradition of fine food and beverage in a delightful atmosphere.

8. Bridgewater Country Estate

A premier Kumeu wedding venue, Bridgewater Country Estate is nestled amoungst 16 acres of rolling lawns, mature shade trees, native bush and landscaped gardens.  With gorgeous pathways, lilly pond, tennis court, pool, dedicated bridal suite and chalet accomodation – a fantastic all-in-one wedding venue option.

9. Flaxmere House

Flaxmere House is a Kumeu wedding venue with luxury accommodation and can comfortably sleep up to 20 people. With competitive wedding packages, Flaxmere House can cover everything you need so you can keep costs down and also enjoy a stress free day

10. Settlers Country Manner

With over 100 years of history, seven acres of breath-taking view and charming vintage interiors, Settlers Country Manor provides a magnificent setting for weddings, events and dining, all year round.

If you’re still searching for the right area to get married, also consider Matakana Wedding Venues and see How to Choose your Auckland Wedding Venue.

We’ve featured two Markovina Vineyard Weddings:

Zoe & Gene

Markovina Vineyard Wedding Kumeu

Jess + James

Markovina Kumeu Wedding
Chic Autumn Markovina Vineyard Wedding | Kumeu

The Best Matakana Wedding Venues – Vineyards, Gardens, Barns and more

If you’ve just started wedding planning, consider one of Matakana’s beautiful wedding venues. Whether you’re planning a small and intimate elopement or a large wedding for your ‘big day’, Matakana has some of Hibiscus Coast’s most beautiful vineyard and garden venues for your both your ceremony and reception.

Grab your wedding planner book and visit some of these beautiful Matakana wedding venues – take note about everything you love, and have a look at the Matakana elopement and weddings we’ve featured.

1. Stables Matakana

A Matakana wedding venue with a unique country charm, Stables is a great all-seasons place. Versatile spaces for your ceremony, and a stunning dining room overlooking the beautiful rural Matakana landscape, Stables is a fabulous choice. Macrocarpa beams, modern rustic fittings and vintage furniture give the venue a timeless, charismatic charm. Run by a team of hospitality professionals with collective decades of experience, Stables Matakana can also help you plan and organise your wedding.

2. Plume Restaurant

In the rolling hills of Matakana lies Plume Restaurant. Surrounded by beautiful vines, Plume is a modern award-winning restaurant and boasts some of the areas finest wines. Plume is in a secluded spot where you will enjoy the very essence of New Zealand landscapes. The venue is in a secluded area on the stunning Matakana Wine Trail, while right off the restaurant, the expansive lawn area overlooks the surrounding countryside and enjoys all day sunshine. The perfect backdrop for your special day.

3. Tawharanui Lodge

Just 10 minutes out of Matakana Village and Omaha Beach is Tawharanui Lodge wedding venue. Situated in Christian Bay surrounded by park like grounds and only a short 2km drive to the picturesque Tawharanui Beach, it’s a fantastic all-inclusive venue with accommodation for up to 14. Dependable service is at the foundation of every great Tawharanui Lodge event, and clients can choose from the wedding planning services available or customise their own. With five double en-suite lodge rooms and two villas boasting private balconies over looking the estuary, noone will want to leave.

It’s also an affordable wedding venue, with venue hire $2000 reducing to $1000 if all accommodation is booked.

4. Ascension Wine Estate

A long-time favourite of ours, Ascension Wine Estate is an award winning estate and wedding venue. The venue has been refined to host your ceremony, photos, canapes and reception all at one incredible location. Each aspect is designed to offer privacy & luxury. With 3 outdoor and 2 indoor ceremony locations as well as a large capacity reception room of up to 220 guests, you will find the ideal area for your wedding. Read more and see photos of Ascension Wine Estate in an earlier article.

5. Matakana Estate

An exclusive venue offering intimate luxury, stunning views and a wide range of backdrops for photographs, Matakana Estate is one of the area’s newest premier wedding venues. With accommodation on offer too, the bridal party can spend the night before the wedding and then get ready in style overlooking the beautiful vineyard.

The wedding ceremony and reception are all held on the grounds surrounding the lodge, and Matakana Estate work in conjunction with a marquee company that offers multiple choices dependent on the number of guests coming to share your special day with you.  

6. Sculptureum

Sculptureum is an incredibly unique, one-stop shop to creating a lifetime of lasting memories – not to mention the endless photo opportunities! Set amongst three grand sculpture-filled gardens and an award-winning vineyard, you can host your ceremony with a view atop the vineyard, overlooking Little Barrier Island or anywhere else on the versatile 25acre property, before sitting down for a delectable reception dinner from Rothko Restaurant.

7. Matakana Speakeasy Barn Door

Matakana’s DIY ‘barn’ wedding venue, the Barn Door + Speakeasy is a fabulous place for a Dry-Hire wedding. Suitable for up to 100 guests, the Speakeasy bar, outdoor pergola and surrounding garden are all included, as well as the rustic barn. From champagne and light canapés to full course seated dining with wait staff, with venue hire for $5,500 it could be just the place for your small to medium wedding.

If you’re planning to have a ‘dry-hire’ venue, of course there is more work involved, and it can be easy to blow the wedding budget, so make sure you stay organised with your little white book wedding planner and the wedding planning pack.

If you’re still searching for the right area to get married, also consider Kumeu Wedding Venues and see How to Choose your Auckland Wedding Venue.

Check out this Whangateau wedding (just up the road from Matakana) with a $100 venue!

& this beautiful same-sex elopement in Matakana!

Matakana Elopement Same Sex

A Romantic Botanical Inspired Wedding | Allely Estate

Woweeee what a wedding! If you are looking for elegant, botanical inspired romance this wedding is going to rock your world! The MEGA flower initials made by the bride deserve a standing ovation (I struggle to arrange flowers in a vase let alone create a masterpiece like that!). Gorgeous couple Jessica and Simon are simply beaming during their special day and I can just tell that hanging out with this bridal party would have been crazy fun! SUPER pretty (and I am loving the art deco inspired Trelise Cooper bridesmaids dresses!), this fab day is sure to make you swoon! Enjoy xox

Who Jessica & Simon
Where Allely Estate
Guests 90

How did you meet?

In an Auckland bar in the wee hours of the morning, we haven’t parted since.

In three words describe your wedding style… classic, botanical, romantic

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What music did you play for those special moments?

Down the aisle We had a string quartet play Cannon in D, they then played on through canapés.
Entering reception Nat King Cole L.O.V.E
First dance Angels by The XX, we danced outside under the trees with fairy lights above us, when the song finished fireworks went off for the quests to watch.

What were the save and splurge items for your wedding?

We splurged on flowers, the flower chandelier & décor, we saved on transport.

What was the most difficult part of planning your wedding? And the most fun?

Getting started, there are too many beautiful ideas out there it can be confusing as I kept switching what I wanted, when I met Annie she made everything fall into place, my time with her was amazing she makes everything great. The most fun was making my 2.5m tall J & S flower stands, everything I did myself I loved doing, anything where I can get crafty is a good time, Of course the time with my bridesmaids was also a blast.

Did you DIY?

I did the candle holders and table numbers, Simon’s mum hand made all the candles for the tables and the favors, & I made the J & S, the confetti cups and dried the petals.

Do you have any money saving tips for engaged couples?

Spend the money on key elements or one feature you really want and don’t worry about the rest, no one else will even know you were wanting all of the other things you have seen on Pinterest.

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Photographer Jessica Higueras from Jessica Photography
Flowers Annie O Botanical Stylist
Venue/Catering Allely Estate 
Stationery & Signage Laser Foil
Hair SNOW by Samantha Snow 
Makeup Leah Haeata
Cake Sweet Bites Cakes 
Celebrant Joss Bellerby
Brides Dress, Accessories & Shoes AllureWalker & HallAstra Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses Trelise Cooper
Grooms Suit & Accessories Top Shop & custom from Jaiss for Simon
Rings Naveya & Sloane
Transport Family cars
Music Band Blue Steel

An Elegant Urban (Second) Wedding

Today’s wedding is actually a second gathering to celebrate with the Groom’s parents not able to make the first. This chic photoshoot beautifully combines the couples sophistication with cool inner city backdrops (how cool are the concrete silos!) all captured by the talented Diana V Photography. Enjoy! xox

Who Obed & Brogan George
Where Auckland
Guests 30
Budget  $10,000 (wedding two)

Our love story began… by a chance encounter Sydney, Australia

I said yes… in the snow Queenstown, New Zealand on our first ever vacation together.

Our wedding style was… Classic with a hint of cultural tradition.

We chose to have a second reception in New Zealand because… Obed’s parents were unable to attend our original wedding in Sydney, Australia due to illness and we wanted to celebrate our marriage with them and everyone who couldn’t make it the first round. We had originally planned to celebrate twice but Obed’s parents’ absence firmly cemented this desire so we went ahead with the planning.

This time we saved on flowers! Gina (the groom’s sister & bridesmaid) and I purchased the flowers ourselves making the bouquets, boutonnieres and flower arrangements for the tables.

We splurged on… our HONEYMOON to Hawaii. It was fabulous.

Our advice to engaged couples… Enjoy the day or in our case days it goes by so fast! We decided on a videographer at the last second and it was worth every penny! Oh and don’t worry about the weather! Two weddings, two days of torrential rain!


Photographer Diana V Photography
Stylist Consultant Chanel Friend
Flowers Purchased locally in Parnell (first wedding was Tammy Ingledew for Bouquet of Dreams – absolute perfection!)
Venue Soljans Winery
Brides Dress Pronovias, Fashions by Farina
Brides Shoes Ivanka Trump
Bridesmaid Dresses Designed by the bride and created by the very talented and professional seamstress Margaret Thornhill residing in the bride’s hometown Harden, NSW Australia
Grooms suit Noose & Monkey UK via ASOS
Grooms accessories David Jones
Rings Designed by Lauren Albon, created by Matthew Ely by York Jewellers

A Chic Inner City Wedding by Jessica Photography

Today’s wedding is a cool, chic, city wedding with a seriously killer dress. I love the simplicity of it yet there are so many unique details. Beautifully photographed by Jessica Higueras of JESSICA PHOTOGRAPHY, I will leave you with some sweet ideas to steal…

Ideas to steal 1. The single stem bridal bouquet and simple bridesmaid flowers dressed with ribbons (unique idea and will save you some mulah!). 2. The black mix and match bridesmaid dresses and shoes (LOVE the boots!) 3. The brides hair and makeup (perfect for a sophisticated modern look). 4. Scout out some great buildings and alleyways in your area for photo backdrops or ask your photographer (they know all the nooks and crannys for great shots!) 5. If you have great legs like the bride Haylee, wear a dress with a split and show off your pins!

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Who Dwayne & Haylee Warby
Where The Sapphire Room, Ponsonby Central, Auckland
Guests 120

How did you meet?

Dwayne and I met over the dimly lit bar at Tabac in Auckland during a mutual friends birthday celebration. It was in fact two of our friends who decided we would be a good match and took it upon themselves to stage the introduction. I will be forever thankful that they did!

In three words describe your wedding style… Modern, Urban, Relaxed

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Did you have hens & stag nights? 

Yes! The Hens-do involved a pole dancing lesson that culminated in a performance to the group by the bride (hilarious and by far the highlight of the evening), a delicious dinner at Moo Chow Chow with “how well do you know the bride” type quizzes etc., and concluded with drinks and dancing at various bars on Ponsonby Road, with the bride equipped with a list of dares to be completed, of course!

The men spent the afternoon at the races (horse races that is) and the evening at…one guess … Showgirls! Surprise, surprise!

What were your save and splurge items for your wedding?

Splurge The whole affair was a bit of a splurge, really! But I think most wedding’s are, right? That being said, we didn’t go completely nuts but we had chosen to have the wedding at Ponsonby central with 120-ish people and in doing so accepted there would be certain cost associated with that. It was a special, significant, once in a lifetime occasion and we decided to make the most of it!

Save From the outset I had no desire to have a typical, traditional wedding dress. I had my heart set on something modern that no one would expect that was also more in keeping with the relaxed and modern vibe of our city wedding. I saw a Stella McCartney dress worn by an actress at a movie premier, fell in love and set about finding someone to replicate it. I ended up with the perfect dress that I absolutely adored and because it wasn’t your typical wedding dress it didn’t come with the hefty price tag either, which was a real bonus!

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What music did you play for those special moments?

I had enlisted a friend of mine who is a guitarist and pre-recorded an acoustic version of me singing “I Choose You” by Sarah Bareilles for my walk down the aisle, as a surprise to my hubby-to-be. I thought it was going to be a nice touch but hubby was so caught up with nerves and the excitement of the moment that he didn’t even click it was me!

What was the most difficult part of planning your wedding? And the most fun?

For me, the most difficult part was also the most fun part, which was drafting the ceremony and the wedding vows. The words we said and the promises we made were hugely important to me, so you can imagine the hours and energy spent ensuring we got it just right and did our special moment justice.

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Do you have any money saving tips for engaged couples?

Weddings are expensive. I’d firstly suggest accepting that from the outset. I’d secondly suggest being realistic and choosing a wedding “format” that is compatible with your budget expectations. You don’t necessarily need to have a huge wedding with all the bells and whistles in order for it to be a special, magical and memorable day! Get creative and do something unique that resonates with you.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

Vietnam (Hanoi and Hoi An). Amazing food, a bit of culture, amazing resort on the beach, brilliant hot weather…and my handsome new hubby! It was superb!

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Photographer Jessica Higueras of Jessica Photography
Venue The Sapphire Room, Ponsonby
Catering & Event Planning Little Wolf
Makeup Rachelle Fisher Makeup Artist
Hair Terry Whaitiri Hair & Makeup
Brides Dress Nicola Graham of Nicola Dawson Design
Grooms Suit & Accessories Barkers
Rings Louis the Goldsmith

Minimalist Cultural Fusion Wedding | Wintergardens, Auckland Domain

This bright, beautiful and unconventional wedding captured by Santana Maria Photography will inspire all couples wanting a minimalist and alternative wedding celebrating different cultures or styles! Enjoy!

“We had an evening ceremony, as we had to wait for the Wintergardens to close to the public. We had around 70 guests there for a standing ceremony. I walked the aisle by myself, and I chose to walk in toward the guests rather than from behind, which was quite emotional. It was a long walk from one end of the courtyard to the other, and seeing all the faces of our friends and family staring toward me made the moment feel very real. That image is one that will stick in my memory the most from the day. The gardens and courtyard are so stunning that no decorations were needed. We literally just put a sign outside so people knew they were in the right place, and a trestle table for drinks, and that was it. We wrote our own vows in to little notebooks, and heard them for the first time that day. Mine were so much longer than Rupaks! When we signed the registry we had Stevie Wonder ‘signed, sealed, delivered’ playing, it was fun having a little boogie while waiting for our mothers to sign the registry.” – Kathryn (the bride!)

Who Kathryn + Rupak
Where Wintergardens, Auckland Domain
Guests 70

Our love story began…

I’m a secondary school fashion design and technology teacher, and Rupak is a data analyst. We met at an ANZAC day party of a mutual friend. I had seen a photo of Rupak online so I knew he existed, but didn’t realise he would be there at this party. Toward the end of the night Rupak was ‘tearing up the dance floor’ – (his words not mine) and I was standing around not knowing anyone after my one and only friend at this party had left. So I joined Rupak on the dance floor. We went our separate ways that night without each other’s numbers or anything, but Rupak found me on Facebook a few days later and arranged our first date – me measuring him for a custom made suit… That is a whole other story…

I said yes…

Rupak proposed to me on my birthday. It was not romantic at all but it was the perfect proposal for us. Rupak gave me my birthday present early in the morning, it was a Meadowlark box. I got excited thinking it was a proposal as the ring I wanted for an engagement ring was a Meadowlark one. Sadly it was not. But then we took the dog for a walk on the beach, and Rupak sat me down and said he had a second gift. “It comes with a condition though – you have to marry me”, to which I said “okay … “, because the usual “yes” didn’t quite work seeing has he hadn’t actually asked. I took the box off him and put the ring on my finger myself, we had a quick kiss, a car honked at us, and the dog started getting restless from sitting for so long. So we walked home and that was that.

Our wedding style inspiration was…

We aren’t really into the whole theme thing, but I think all the elements came together pretty nicely regardless. We wanted to create a really subtle fusion of Indian and Kiwi culture through our food, music, colour scheme, stationery etc. I also have a preference to lean toward a more minimal aesthetic so that was of course going to drive some of the decisions too.

We saved by…

Having a fashion degree finally paid off here, as I made my own dress. I knew early on that I wouldn’t like anything in the stores as I wanted something super minimalist. I made it at work so that Rupak didn’t see it until the big reveal. I loved the gold exposed zip at the back and the little lower back cut-out as that gave it just enough of a point of difference without being over the top. I also changed in to a beautiful blue and gold Saree later in the evening after our first dance. The accessories I wore were very special to me. My grandparents are all passed away and it was important to me to feel that my Grandmother and Grandad from my Mother’s side both had a presence in the day somehow. I wore my grandmother’s pearl ring, and my grandfather’s gold watch. I loved being able to look down at my hands and see a symbol of my grandparents and new husband all in one place. I also received a special necklace during the ceremony – a Mangalsutra. It’s a Hindu custom similar to the ring; the wife wears it to symbolise she is married. This was bought over from England for me by my in-laws.

Rupak also put my fashion degree (and our first date) to good use by wearing one of his custom made suits I had measured him for. It was all in the details with his outfit, with his pocket square, shoe laces, socks, tie, and even the stitching on his white shirt, all being the same shade of burgundy as my nails and lips. His tie clip was also rose gold to match my engagement ring and hair clips. He had joked a few months before the wedding about how he’d be wearing his sports watch. Thankfully I was able to talk him in to upgrading to a really nice Daniel Wellington watch, so he wore that on the day instead.

For our wedding rings, we both got a simple band from Pascoes when they had 40% off. Neither of us were even sure if we wanted a wedding band, so we went for something cheaper so that we could splurge in other areas.

There were other smaller elements of the day we did ourselves too, such as all the paper goods, my makeup, our vow books. The list goes on. But the one thing that stands out the most, was our place settings / favours. For each of our guests we picked out a photo of one or both of us with them, and stuck this in to a polaroid style cardboard frame which I had made using the laser cutter at work. On the back of this frame was a personalised message to them about why they are so special to us, or a fond memory we have with them. We actually made these twice. The first time I hand wrote every message, and we used coloured card to match our colour scheme. After making all 60 I decided I hated them, so we started again with white card, and laser etched the messages. It was cool watching our guest’s reactions when they sat down and read their message, or reminisced on when the photo was taken.

We splurged on…

We did pretty well at sticking to our budget. Originally we wanted to challenge ourselves to do a wedding for $10,000, but then once we had explored all our options of venues etc we had to increase that. But we are really happy with what we were able to put together for our budget of $17,000.

Photography by Santana with Lauren from the Lauren and Delwyn project as the second shooter. We knew Santana was the photographer for us after our initial meeting – she was relaxed and she got our humour. We felt really at ease with both these lovely ladies and they made the hours pass by quickly with lots of laughs.

Our reception venue was TriBeCa restaurant, just a 10 minute stroll from the Wintergardens. We couldn’t have asked for better service and food. We had canapes outside in the courtyard as the sun was setting, and the biggest glasses of wine we’ve ever seen! There were anti pasti platters, as well as platters of a favourite Indian snack, Dahi Puri. Guests moved inside for a plated service dinner. The tables were set with glass jars I had spent months collecting and peeling labels off, and these jars were filled with fern foliage and carnations in deep red, orange, and purple shades. Tea light candles set the mood (and a couple of small fires during dinner!), as did fairy light curtains along one of the walls. Every table also had its own polaroid camera for guests to use, and these were such a hit! Guests had pre-ordered their mains, one of which was a kiwi-indian fusion meal; NZ lamb, with a yoghurt and cumin sauce, it was a popular choice for our overseas guests who have obviously heard great things about NZ lamb. We also served a duck dish, and a curry as the vegetarian option. Dessert was our highlight, we had alternate drop, and we both fought over the chocolate pave with espresso foam and brandy snap bits! The meals were plated so beautifully and the food was cooked perfectly. We were definitely happy we chose a well-established restaurant as our reception venue.

Our advice to engaged couples…

Decide early what your priorities and non-negotiables are, as well as the things you don’t mind skimping on. It will help with keeping to the budget later on. For example we didn’t care so much about rings and flowers and table settings, for us we wanted to spend our money on the things that would give our guests the best time possible – good food, good wine, good music.


Photographer Santana Maria Photography
FlowersLibby Brickell Flowers
Venues The Wintergardens + Tribeca, Auckland
Catering Triebca Restaurant, Auckland
Stationery + Signage
Hair Ashlee Bierens from McInnes & Co
 Kerry Sorensen – Tyrer
Brides Dress
 DIY Kathryn Patel
Grooms Suit + Accessories DIY Kathryn Patel, watch Daniel Wellington

Rings Pascoes

Music DJ : Mark Glide from Audioclub

Chic Autumn Markovina Vineyard Wedding | Kumeu

Today’s gorgeous couple planned their chic Auckland vineyard wedding from the U.K, and while this proved challenging, the brides advice is spot on!…

“If it all seems too much take a moment and remind yourself that ultimately it is about you and the love of your life celebrating your commitment to each other with all your family and friends and nothing could be more beautiful or special than that.”

Beautifully captured by Justin Aitken, and featuring always incredible florals by P+L Superstar Rose Tinted Flowers, this love story is filled with sweet inspiration for a simple yet stunning Autumn wedding! Enjoy xox

Who Jess + James Penman
Where Markovina Vineyard Estate, Kumeu, Auckland
Number of Guests 97

Our love story began…

James and I originally met through mutual friends when I was in high school. James messaged me a few years later and asked me out. We drank wine together and then spent hours talking and laughing down by the beach. We have been adventuring, learning and growing together ever since.

I said yes…

James proposed in Paris beneath the Eiffel tower on Christmas Eve, 2015. We had spent a few days before in Germany exploring the beautiful Christmas markets. James hid the ring box in one of his spare shoes the whole time so I wouldn’t find it! While we were walking under the Eiffel tower he asked if we could sit down but I was too busy trying to get a good selfie and said no! I finally gave in and when we sat down he got down on one knee and proposed. I of course said yes and after a few tears we went for a beautiful cruise down the River Seine and drank Champagne in the city of love.

Our wedding style inspiration was…

We wanted our wedding to be really aesthetically simple with an organic vibe. Being an autumn wedding I knew there would be so many beautiful colours from the trees and that crisp, clear feeling of a beautiful autumn’s day.  I would say that we didn’t really have a specific style but we did incorporate a few rustic and modern chic elements. Our venue had endless amounts of natural beauty with stunning greenery and beautiful white drapes in both the ceremony and reception areas so we matched our colour pallet to this using white, green, and gold for the florals, decorations, cake etc.

We saved by…

We wanted to incorporate as much input and help from our friends and family as possible not only to save money but also to make it a really special and unique day. One of my maid of honour’s (I had 2) designed our invites and all the stationary for the wedding. My mum and I created all the wedding favours and she made James a pocket square to match his bowtie by buying the same tie again, deconstructing it and remaking it into a square.

My step mum created the welcome board, an old friend created the stunning greenery wreath that hung behind us during our ceremony and my bridesmaids and I made petal confetti by plucking and bagging 100’s of rose heads the night before. One of my bridesmaids Bex did the girls makeup and we drove to the wedding in her Dad’s gorgeous blush pink Chevrolet. We also had an old friend of James’ as our celebrant and our videographer was a family friend.

We splurged on…

Our biggest cost apart from our Venue would have been our Photographer Justin but he was absolutely amazing and worth every cent. My dress was also slightly more than I had budgeted for. I actually had my heart set on a different dress by Grace Loves Lace but while I was at their concierge event in London my bridesmaid who I was with asked if I would try on the dress that the girl next to me had on and once I did we both knew it was the one.

Our advice to engaged couples…

Enjoy every moment of being engaged as it fly’s by so quickly and is such a special and exciting time in your lives. Also try not to stress! This is a hard one and something I struggled to do while organising our Wedding from England but it is so important and allows you to enjoy the whole process. Everything always comes together on the day and all those little details you spent months stressing about are all forgotten. If it all seems too much take a moment and remind yourself that ultimately it is about you and the love of your life celebrating your commitment to each other with all your family and friends and nothing could be more beautiful or special than that.


Photographer Justin Aitken 
Videographer Courtney Rodgers
Flowers Rose Tinted Flowers
Bridal party getting ready venue Lichfields Cottage
 venue + catering Markovina Vineyard Estate
Stationery Maid of honour
Welcome sign Step Mum
Hair Boutique Bride
Brides makeup Kate Solley Makeup Artist
Cake Amy’s Secret Kitchen
Celebrant Shane Coote
Brides dress Grace Loves Lace
Bridesmaid dresses Esther Boutique
Bridesmaid robes Le Rose
Grooms suit Barkers 
Groomsmen Suit Source
Rings Bride by Robins & Moore (UK), Grooms is Great Grandfathers ring
Transport Bridesmaid’s Dad’s Chevrolet
Music Beat Works

Industrial Chic Hopetoun Alpha Auckland Wedding

Today’s inner city wedding captured by Wonder Ferris is a beautiful blend of industrial chic with a sweet touch of vintage! Including two very cool and creative Auckland wedding venues By George and Hopetoun Alpha, this wedding might just convince you to trade in your rustic barn wedding for a fun colourful party in the heart of the city! Enjoy xox

Who Charlotte + Mike Church
Where By George, an industrial space in Kingsland (ceremony) + Hopetoun Alpha, where I had dreamed having my wedding since I first went inside years ago (reception)
Number of Guests 160

Budget We set out with the ambition of spending not a cent over 20K. I would say we’d have to add at least 10K to that.

Our love story began… about 5 years ago. I don’t think either of us particularly saw it coming, but friends of friends and all that, we ended up together. Our friendship and love has grown over sport, travel, food and our faith.

I said yes… at one of our favourite spots at Piha. Mike had planned the whole thing with fish and chips on the beach (except the takeaway shop was shut and we ended up with pizza). He’d bought the bubbles along and everything.

Our wedding style was… a bit of everything. We like the industrial feel, hence the warehouse space, but we love greenery, and flowers were always going to be a big part of the day. Food trucks and a caravan bar were how we included our love of food and drink.

We saved on…

Booze was always going to be a big expense given our guest list and we didn’t want to scrimp. We queued up for hours at the Wine Society Warehouse sale, where we took a punt. Luckily it worked out.

The boy (and some friends) also helped out with some of the decorations including a beautiful copper archway and a ply backdrop behind the bridal table at the reception. Both amazing backdrops and I loved his handiwork.

The thought of sending out 160 invites and collating the replies was a bit daunting, Paperless Post was our friend.

We splurged on…

Flowers, although we got a decent hand up with those too given a close friend is also an awesome florist. She made us a beautiful decorated archway, gorgeous table decorations and the most stunning bouquets I could have asked for.

Our guest list wasn’t small as we both have large families and wanted to share our day with all our friends.

The Honeymoon. Mike and I spent 3 and a half months in Asia straight after the wedding. The best decision ever.

Our advice to engaged couples is… stress less and keep things simple. Wedding planning can be overwhelming so make sure you’re also planning a wicked honeymoon too!


 Wonder Ferris “Actually awesome. Adam and Kirsty not only got us out of a pickle after our original photographer cancelled a month out, but we know that it was meant to be because they were truly awesome.”
Flowers Chloe Melles
Venues By George and Hopetoun Alpha
Bar Alfie the Caravan Bar
Afternoon Tea Euro Snacks Food Truck
Hire Company
Stationery + Signage Paperless Post and a bit of DIY designing
 + Makeup Ali’s Makeup Station

Brides Dress Kelly Lin Couture
Brides Accessories + Shoes
 Miss KG from ASOS
Ceremony Music The Worship Project
Bridesmaid Dresses
 Esther Boutique
Grooms Suit + Accessories Barkers
Rings Partridge Jewellers

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