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Beautiful Havelock North Love Story

Today’s beautiful wedding features not only one gorgeous bride, but two. We are thrilled to share Sophie and Kat’s special day at the intimate venue in St George’s Restaurant, Havelock North.

“Sophie signed up to the gym and Kat caught her eye. The rest is history!”

Who Sophie and Kat Hickford

Where St George’s Restaurant

Guests 80

How did you meet? We met at the Gym, in Napier. Kat worked on reception and Sophie had just
moved to the Bay! Sophie signed up to the gym and Kat caught her eye. The rest is history!

How did your partner propose? Kat whisked my away to Waiheke Island for my 30th. She had
hired out an amazing air b n b and it was so us! We had a romantic bath in the outdoor area and
then Kat had told me to wait there while she organised some food. Kat had lugged platter food and
my fav wine all the way from Napier – she arranged it all inside for me and told me to get changed
and come in. I didn’t really suspect anything as this is the type of thing that we always do. Kat then
got my birthday card out and started reading it to me. The end of the card finished with there is
one thing I want and that is you.. Sophie will you marry me? Well I started screaming and hugging
her and then finally said yes! We then spent the afternoon drinking wine, calling our family and
friends and went out for dinner! Was such a beautiful time for us.

What was important to you when you started planning your wedding? We wanted our wedding to
be remembered for good food, drink and music! So that was high on our priority list to sort. We
also really wanted an intimate venue that kept our guests guessing! We were very happy to score
David Le as our photographer as he matched our vibe to a tee! Banter and professional all in one.

In three words describe your wedding style? fun, minimalist and cruisy!

Was there anything that you did that was a little different to the ‘norm’ for your wedding? We had
our parents come up and give us their blessing when we were about to do our vowels. This was
extremely special – they gave us a hug shook eachothers hands and were very welcoming to each

How did you personalise your wedding day? I (Sophie) did all the table florals, entrance sign and
seating plan florals! They were all dried flowers and this actually sparked a huge passion in me
and I now have a side hustle @sophiejohana_florals over on Instagram.

What were your save and splurge items for your wedding?

Splurge – photographer, hair, make up, venue, food and drink

Save – music, and we didn’t have any decorations as our venue was so stunning, used a venue that
had everything we needed so we didn’t need to hire anything in

What was the most difficult part of planning your wedding? And the most fun? We didn’t find anything difficult. Sophie is extremely organized and chipped away at all of the to do
list over the year and this helped with us not feeling stressed or overwhelmed. It is extremely
important to lock in your big vendors first and then chip away on the small stuff that you will
personally be doing. I liked to work in sections of the wedding and write to do lists for each area.
This helped me see what needed to be done. The most fun bit for us was the build up to the wedding – everything is done and we got to enjoy special times with family and friends in the lead
up to the big day! Everyone is so excited for you so it was nice not to be stressed with all of the
last minute wedding admin and actually enjoy having a drink and something to eat with the people
that you love.

What did you use to plan your wedding (hire a planner, use a wedding planner book online tools
or apps?)
I had a wedding notebook that I would use for quotes and to note down who was
booked in and what apts we had coming up. I would also use this for my to do lists! RSVPS were
also in the back of the book and would highlight off peoples names as they RSVP’d. I found that
having a book I could carry around with me at all times helped and everything was in the one

Did you DIY anything, or have family and friends help? We DIYd the table florals, entrance sign
and seating plan florals! This added a special touch to the wedding. Family and friends helped set
up for a couple hours the afternoon before the wedding – they really wanted jobs and we
appreciated them helping us.

Did lockdowns have any effect on your plans, did you have to postpone, change any of your plans
or reduce your guest list?
It didn’t really affect us a part from a couple of overseas guests not being
able to attend. We were very lucky we got in before the major changes came into play.

What advice would you share with others planning their Big Day? Lock in all of your vendors first.
Make a to do list of every area and what needs to be sorted. Delegate jobs out to people. Give
yourself lots of time to plan. Chip away over time and dont wait till the last minute to sort things
out. Don’t sweat the small stuff – most people don’t notice the finer details! Have fun – include your
partner in the decision making process. Save the seating plan till last and any printing that needs
to be done.

Do you have any regrets, what would you change, if anything? No regrets at all – this day was
perfect for us! Nothing went wrong on the day. This day exceeded our expectations. There is no
better feeling than having every single person that loves you in one room. It was an overwhelming
emotion and a day that we will never forget.

Where did you go for your honeymoon? We wanted to go over seas but COVID came into play. We ended up going to Queenstown and Wanaka – loved it

Photographer David Le
Venue St George’s Restaurant
Makeup  Josie Brenstrum
Hair LOCO hair
Attire Etcetera Bridal and Shona Joy
Wedding Party Attire Iconic
Rings Michael Hill
Flowers Magdalen Hill
Wedding Cake Pretty little details

An Elegant Western-Sri Lankan Style Mission Estate Wedding

I am excited to see that more and more couples are saying I’do in the beautiful Hawkes Bay, and with the stunning landscapes both coastal and inland, and an abundance of gorgeous wedding perfect wineries (the Hawkes Bay is NZ’s oldest wine region!), you won’t even need an RSVP option, because if ever there was an excuse for your guests to getaway, a winery wedding in the Hawkes Bay would be it!

Today’s couple Pumudi & Neil said ‘I do’ at Mission Estate Winery, the bride wearing two dresses (both amazing!), celebrating her Western and Sri Lankan cultures. Listening to their wedding blessing song Jayamangala Gatha (performed on the day by the brides mum’s friends and Aunties that had flown in from Sri Lanka) sent shivers down my spine, it is so incredibly beautiful and well worth a listen. A big thank you to the talented Michael Schultz Photography (who has a cool new website, so go check it out!) for sharing these gorgeous images with P&L.

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Who Pumudi & Neil
Where The Mission Estate Winery, Hawke’s Bay
Guests 100

How did you meet?

We met at a work function while waiting for a glass of wine. We had both been working in the same place for over a year but our paths hadn’t crossed before. We immediately hit it off and the rest is history.

In three words describe your wedding style…

Elegant, Vintage and Western-Sri Lankan

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Did you have hens/stag nights? If so, what did you do?

The hen and stag nights were both in the UK. The boys went go-karting followed by a big night out in Brighton. The girls went for a relaxing weekend away at a luxury villa by the coast with pampering, height tea and lots of prosecco.

What were your save and splurge items for your wedding?

Our splurge items were my two dresses. I wore a bespoke saree for the ceremony and a gown for the reception. We also splurged on the band because we wanted live music.

We saved on a wedding planner as The Mission provided a co-ordinator. Our friends who are florists (With Love) did our gorgeous ceremony and reception flowers. We also had the photos on site so didn’t need to hire wedding cars.

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What music did you play for those special moments?

Down the aisle Make you feel my love by Adele
During the ceremony Jayamangala Gatha (wedding blessings song) was performed by mum’s friends and my Aunties that had flown in from Sri Lanka
Aisle exit Here comes the sun by The Beatles
First dance Thinking out loud by Ed Sheeran

Did you DIY? If so, what did you do?

Yes, my mum made traditional Sri Lankan wedding cakes that were the wedding favours. She had gotten all her friends together a few months before and it was a big group effort. Neil made the seating plan and table numbers and we printed our own wedding handouts so our guests could understand the Poruwa ceremony.

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

The most difficult part was planning the wedding from London. To make things even harder we chose a location that was at least 4 hours from where any of our family and friends lived. However, The Mission was worth it!

The most fun was the actual wedding. Our wedding weekend was amazing. We were so humbled that our familiy and friends were willing to travel from all around New Zealand and some from around the world for us.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

There was a hurricane in Fiji so our honeymoon was cancelled. But we managed to have a mini moon in the sunny Bay of Islands and we are planning a trip to Sri Lanka next year maybe with a stopover in the Maldives.

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Photographer Michael Schultz Photography
Planner/Stylist Erin Speakman from Mission Estate Winery helped with planning and ran the co-ordination on the day
Reception Flowers & Boutonnieres With Love Florist
Bouquets Kim at Lushka
Venue/Catering Mission Estate Winery
Hire Company Elegant Rentals
Stationery & Signage DIY
Hair Mel at Loco Hair
Makeup Cushla Bower
Cake Cindy’s Cakes
Celebrant Sadun Kithulagoda
Brides Dress Saree by Thilaka Edirisuriya. Gown by Jenny Packham
Shoes Rachel Simpson
Bridesmaids Sarees Thilaka Edirisuriya
Grooms Suit & Accessories Debenhams, London
Rings Aurus Diamonds, London
Music Stolen Records

Indian Wedding Inspiration – Te Mata Peak | Craggy Range

Ummmm… I have no idea where to start with today’s wedding. It is simply AMAZING. You will find it below in two gorgeous parts. First the Indian Sangeet Night at Mana Lodge (with photos up Te Mata peak before hand) followed by the incredible wedding at Craggy Range. Both are so beautiful, the details are out of this world, the couple is gorgeous and the venues, well the venues are insanely breathtaking. The superstar photographer behind the images is none other than the talented Heather Liddell. #legend 

Thank you so much Neha & Zoheb for sharing your unique and stunning day with us and a huge thank you to Heather Liddell, I feel very lucky to feature this wedding!

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Who Neha & Zoheb
Where Mana Lodge (Indian Night) & Craggy Range Vineyards (Wedding)
Guests 172

How did you meet?

Zoheb had moved to Fiji for work and I was living in Sydney when we met. We met when I came to visit my family in Fiji during Christmas break from Sydney. I’ve been brought up in Fiji and moved to Sydney for University, graduated and worked for 2 years there until Zoheb and I met- I moved back to Fiji for him. He came to Sydney to visit me every 2 months while we did long distance for around 1 ½ years. We’ve known each other for around 6 years now.

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In three words describe your wedding style… Simple, Elegant, Glamorous

What were your save and splurge items for your wedding?

Splurged on personalising many things such as the aisle, stationery, “throw me” petal bags, stirrers, napkins, chocolates, gift packs. & of course Flowers!!

It was too hard to save on anything. Things cost a fortune when it comes to planning your wedding!

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What did you do for your hens night?

My first trip to Waiheke. We went to Mudbrick Vineyard & Stoney Ridge. There were a bunch of us girls, everyone wore shades of pink & white flower crowns. The bridemaids wore light pink tutu with a white crop top. We did Lots of wine tasting, Made our own perfumes with natural oils, Amazing sharing Platters, and more drinking & dancing through out the night. I couldn’t have asked for a better Hens do!

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What music did you play for those special moments?

Miracle by Cold Play as our mothers entered the ceremony. | A Thousand Years by Christina Perri as the bridesmaids followed by my father and I walked down. | For our registry we had Hold Back The River by James Bay and I’m yours by Jason Mraz as we walked out. | Our first dance was Hero by Enrique Iglesias. | We had a acoustic guitarist & singer to play while all guests were having drinks & canapés. | As the bridal party entered into the reception marquee we had Klingande by Jubel played as this is Zos and I’s favourite song.

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

Planning everything from another country without a wedding planner. During the planning stage I had difficulties in finding a good wedding stylist/planner, as everyone who I had come across did more simple rustic weddings. Therefore I had my florist to style my wedding event and my cousin to style the Indian night, giving them concept images of exactly what I had wanted the events to look like. Hawkes Bay had limited wedding suppliers, therefore I had supplied things from overseas & also hired a few things from Auckland.

The most of fun part of the wedding was Styling the two events!

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Where will you go for your honeymoon?

We are looking at going to Africa or Europe in October!

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Photographer Heather Liddell
Flowers Magdalen Hill
Venue Mana Lodge & Craggy Range
 Orton (Mana Lodge)
Hire Company I Do GlamourMardi Gras Event HireMarques Over Hawkes Bay
Stationery From India
Hair & Makeup Missy Mu (Michelle) & Mary Estelle
Cake The Pretty Little Details
Celebrant Vivienne Pearse
Brides Dress Sabyasachi Couture
Accessories & Shoes Jimmy Choo & Christian Louboutin
Bridesmaids Dresses Custom made salmon pink saree with crystal head piece
Grooms Suit & Accessories RJB DesignsChristian LouboutinHublot Watch
Rings Cartier & Partridge Jewellers pink diamond wedding bands
Transport Go Buses
Music DJ Dave

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