Our Waiheke Wedding
If I was to describe myself in one sentence it would be “sorry for the delay”. I’m one of those people that if I don’t have a set deadline, it doesn’t get done. Hence this blog post. I planned to do it a couple of weeks after our wedding… 5 months ago. Oh well, better late than never. I wanted to write up a bit of a de-brief of the planning process, and shout out our AMAZING suppliers that made the day so awesome, and were all such a pleasure to deal with. For anyone planning a wedding (especially on Waiheke), I hope you find this little blog helpful.
In the lead up to our wedding, so many people said that it would be the best day of our lives, and I was a little skeptical (such a romantic over here ha!), but after all was said and done, and Art and I woke up the day after our wedding, both of us a little worse for wear (Art from celebrating hard, me from being 3 months pregnant), we looked at each other and both agreed - that really was the best freakin day of our entire lives.
Weddings are just bloody awesome! To have every person you love in the same room all celebrating how good love is.. That’s a special thing.
We had been engaged for almost 18 months by the time we got around to planning, and honestly it didn’t feel like long at all! It was nice to enjoy that special time of being engaged without the time pressure of planning a wedding. The first thing we wanted to find was the venue. This was actually the easiest bit! After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing on where we wanted to get married, we settled on Waiheke Island, as it’s where I grew up, and it’s also relatively close to a lot of our friends and family. We planned to make a day of venue hunting, but after googling “wedding venues on Waiheke Island” the first one we clicked on was the one that really caught our eye. “Honeymoon Bay” or “Oakura Bay Villa” had everything we wanted - it was a beautiful natural setting on the beach, nice and private, not too commercial or pretentious, it was just perfect. Instead of making a day of looking at venues, we made a beeline straight for Honeymoon Bay where we met Sophia from MyWaiheke who took us on a tour. We were sold instantly!
Choosing the right photographer and videographer was also really important to us, as we wanted people who would capture the day just as it was, without being too cheesy. And we found the PERFECT PEOPLE! We used Danelle Bohane (she is seriously talented and one of the loveliest people) as our photographer, and based off her recommendation we used Moon & Back for videography. They’re based in Australia, but lucky for us they were shooting a wedding in NZ around the same time so would already be here! I literally saw Nathan filming maybe twice the whole day haha, how he managed to capture every significant moment I will honestly never know! Here is our full wedding video, it’s magical, and every time I watch it I bawl my eyes out. Like right now.
From there, we just continued to lock in suppliers. We had literally no clue what we were doing, and that’s where Sophia from MyWaiheke was an actual LIFE SAVER - she helped us hire things like loos and chiller tents etc. Things that don’t really cross your mind if you’ve never planned a big event before. Our venue didn’t include anything, it’s literally just the venue, so you need to bring in everything yourself. So if you do end up booking here, it’s really helpful having a planner if you’re a disorganised event novice like myself, as it also meant that Sophia was there on the day to make sure everything was going to plan, and sort out any emergencies before I even found out about them. This meant that I was so relaxed on the day, I wasn’t nervous at all (until everyone started arriving. At that point I was peering through the curtains wetting my pants a bit).
We tried to keep as many suppliers local to Waiheke as we could, and Sophia recommended Luxe Waiheke for our catering. We met with a few other caterers too, but what really stood out when we met up with Anthony from Luxe, was the fact that it was actually HIS idea to create an amazing Paleo menu to represent us as a couple. I wasn’t sure if people would feel ripped off if they didn’t get gluten in their dinner, but as soon as we saw the draft menu, we were blown away! Ant knows his food, and he puts a lot of care in to creating menus, it’s not just a cookie cutter approach for every wedding. The food was a true highlight of the day. We went for family style sharing instead of courses, and it was fresh, DELICIOUS, and looked incredible. I was super chuffed.
The other main suppliers we used were Gypsy & Co who provided our freakin epic tipi, and a lot of our furniture. We split the furniture hire between MyWaiheke and Gypsy & Co. Matt from Gypsy & Co was a dream to deal with - him and his team turned up the day before to set everything up, and worked like a pack of beavers! Then took it down in record time the day after. The tipi was great as it was nice and cool in there, whereas some of the usual clear marquees can get pretty warm on a hot NZ summer day!
Now that I’ve started shouting out suppliers, I’m realising actually how many of them there were ha, so I’ll list them below, link their website, and add as many photos as I can for your viewing pleasure.
Flowers (or ‘phlars’ as the owner calls them) were from The Little Flower Shop. The owners of this shop are good friends of ours so it was really special to be able to work together on creating something really beautiful. I’m not that great at articulating creative ideas, so I’m lucky that they knew what they were doing and made the most stunning bouquets and arrangements within the budget I gave them. The only direction I really gave was: “Can we have some lavender in there, lots of greenery, nothing too rustic, and not too much colour”. That’s a broad brief if ever I’ve seen one, but they totally came through with the goods.
Ummm the DRESS?! Arguably the most important part. I worked with Trish Peng to design my dream dress, and she absolutely nailed it. I originally wanted long sleeves, but then as the wedding date drew closer and it got hotter, and taking in to account the fact that I am a very sweaty person, I realised that wouldn’t work, so I became Bridezilla and asked to change it only a month or so out… I know, I hate me too. But Trish was so lovely and understanding and made it in to the most stunning dress I’ve ever worn.
I was originally going to do my own makeup as I was quite ambitious and wanted to look “as natural as possible” but then I had second thoughts and decided my wedding day wasn’t the time for that. Once I’m married, I can be as natural as possible, but by golly I want to look good on the day! I got in touch with NIki Adlington who is a friend of my hair stylist and friend Becca Brown (who did our hair for the wedding too). I knew she wouldn’t make me look like a YouTube vlogger, as she likes natural products/lewks, so I knew I was in safe hands.
Our cake was made by the lovely Jo from Scrumptious Cakes and was TO DIE FOR. Again, the only brief I gave her was “chocolate cake with lavender on it”. I’m beginning to think I’m not a details kind of person. Anyway, I always thought that wedding cakes were more about looks than taste, but this one genuinely had both. It was fudgey and delicious and OMG now I want cake. We’ve got the top tier in our freezer waiting to be eaten when little Baby Green arrives in a couple of months (quite a weird tradition, but I’m here for it).
In terms of music, we had The Black Quartet who were seriously incredible. They were the perfect mix of traditional and modern as they played covers of well known songs. We walked down the aisle to one of my favourite songs of all time - Stairway to Heaven. Then we mixed it up with DJ Arii Jade for party time!
Aaaaaand coming back to the present, it all seems like it was so long ago now? We’ve had almost 5 months of married bliss (when I say bliss, I mean we’re exactly the same, but we probably go to bed a bit earlier) and we love looking back on what an epic day it was. I’m sure we will for many years to come. Oh and here’s some more photos just because.