It's hard to put into words how amazing our wedding day was. All I remember was smiling the entire day, I was just SO happy to be marrying my best friend!
The wedding planning process was also pretty amazing. We kept expecting it to get dramatically stressful, like what everyone says it will be. But that time never came. I honestly believe it was because of how amazing all our wedding vendors were. They were so helpful and easy to work with. It sounds cliche (and kind of weird) but we made all our wedding decisions based on the vibes we got from the person or company we were looking at. And I tell you, it worked! The vendors we chose were perfect.
Another reason I found the planning process so amazing, was because I had a dream fiancé, like seriously. He actually found it fun to be involved in all the planning and luckily for me was really good at all the little DIY things.
Ben and his groomsmen are all musicians, so they had a little jam session in the morning which made for pretty cool photos!
The Wedding Dress, Bridesmaid Dresses, Hair, Makeup & Flowers
Finding a great makeup artist can be a challenge. In the past, I had never liked my makeup when it had been done by a professional so I was a little worried. However, Kaitlin Chapman did our make up and I LOVED it. She is talented, professional, and easy to work with. Kaitlin has a way of enhancing all your natural features and making you look your best, without looking to over done. I would definitely recommend her to anyone!
Our hair was done by a very close and life long family friend who has been a hairdresser for over 20 years! It was so nice to have someone so close to you a big part of the day. Thank you Des!
For as long as I could remember I had wanted lilac roses for my wedding bouquet so it would tie in with a lilac colour theme. Linda, from Flower Talk Red Beach, gave me exactly what I wanted. She was so friendly, helpful, and understood exactly what I wanted. Once again, great vibes!
Bridesmaid dresses are SO hard to find! I spent hours looking through online stores, emailing wedding shops in Auckland, and looking through bridal shops. Nothing really stood out (except maybe the excessive price tags). A lot of online options came with extra customs fees and it just wasn't worth the risk. I was getting nowhere when some suggested looking at Trade Me Stores... something I had never thought of. I managed to find a lady specialised in custom made dresses. I was pretty nervous about what the quality would be like, but they turned out amazingly! I would definitely recommend (see here).
Now for my wedding dress! Being a typical girl, I had already chosen the dress that I wanted, all I had to do was find it! Some searching, a little frustration and a slightly unhelpful shop assistant later I found Alma J Bridal Boutique. The owner, Alma, was the sweetest (such good vibes!!). I told her the style I was after and she gave me a few styles to try on. After making a few rather difficult requests (removing lace straps, shortening the train, and resizing the bodice) she assured me my dream dress was only a few months away. And it turned out to be exactly that. My dream dress.
Gracehill Vineyard Estate - I would recommend this venue to anyone a thousand times over. We chose Gracehill for their beautiful location and their genuinely caring staff. Their professionalism, availablity and genuine excitement for us made them stand out among the other venues. After checking out Gracehill, nothing else quite measured up. Now, most importantly, the food. Delicious. Ben still call's it "one of the best meals" he has ever had. Everyone knows that Ben and I aren't exactly 'fancy gourmet food' people and a lot of wedding venues put us off with their extremely overpriced fancy menus. I told my friends years ago that all I really wanted at my wedding was a burger and fries and I am not kidding, Gracehill made mini angus beef burgers and little buckets of fries as some of the canapés! And lets not forget the mini hot filled donuts for dessert too! I guess dreams really do come true.
We chose Jonathan Suckling Photography for his insane talent, vibrant personality, and all round great vibes! And when I say vibrant personality, I mean seriously hilarious! Not only did he make us laugh throughout all our photos, he also dropped some seriously good dance moves at the reception, gave us printed polaroids of our wedding photos before dinner and had sent us 14 digital copies by 1am the next morning. He went above and beyond, adding so much to the day. See here for a video of his amazing 'Suckling Special' acrobatic photography!
Jonny surprising us with polaroids!
Our first dance was taught by one of my best friends Olivia. She is extremely talented and was so great to work with!
A Little Bit of Advice...
1) Make sure you enjoy every part of the planning process and don't stress out about the small things. As much as you want the day to be perfect, when you actually get there you will not be disappointed if a centrepiece is a little off-centered or the chairs aren't perfectly spaced. In fact, you won't even notice, you will be SO happy that you are marrying the love of your life!
2) A brilliant photographer is worth every cent, you will have these photos for life! And as I mentioned before, a photographer's personality is just as important as their skills with a camera. The vibe they bring to your day is invaluable. We also chose to have a videographer last minute and we are SO glad we did. Tish Tash Tash did an amazing job capturing the day.
3) Get someone to do your hair and makeup. Even if you have the skills to do it yourself, it makes the morning so much more relaxed and it's always nice to feel pampered on your big day! You deserve it.
4) Lastly, find the time to step back and take it all in. So many people told us that the day would go fast. And it did. Seriously though, the day went SO FAST!!