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Wedding Planning Book

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

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