Chloe + Brandon by Hollow and Co

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship:

Chloe is 26 years old and works in the media industry (advertising sales). Brandon is 28 years old and works in property development. We both were born and raised in Auckland – and still live here now.

Travel is something we both love, particularly with Chloe being half dutch and most of her family spread across Europe. 

We have been together for over 5 years now, got engaged in October 2019 and married January 2021. We got engaged on Onetangi beach (Waiheke Island) at sunrise with Brandon capturing the moment on drone. For us we have always loved Waiheke so it was an obvious fit for the wedding itself – we love that it’s an easy commute, absolutely beautiful and it’s very own micro climate.

For us marriage was inevitable after having travelled extensively in 2017 and buying our first home in 2018. Marriage to us was just the final hurdle to set up the rest of our lives together.

We’re both incredibly driven, competitive and most would describe us as  the crazy couple that you will find up at 4am in the morning to exercise and walk our dogs on the beach (we have 2). We love it though and are constantly challenging one another. 

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details:

We were fortunate enough that the date we picked was our original date and it was not impacted by Covid. We had all Chloe’s overseas family unable to attend as a result but we’re just thankful that we could go ahead with the rest of the day as planned. It was also a spectacularly sunny day so we could not have asked for more.

Planning a wedding was something very new to us both in the sense that neither of us had even attended a wedding previously. Aside from the event coordinator at Man O War (who was brilliant), we chose not to have a planner or stylist, and instead Chloe planned everything. Fortunately nothing went wrong so we can say we’re happy with this decision, however it did also meant they we were hands on with every step of the process.

We wanted our wedding day to be timeless and classical – with a slightly modern twist. This is why we choose green and white as the colours for our florals and had our bridal party in black.

Man O’ War has always been one of our most favourite spots and we never even looked at other wedding venues. The chapel we got married in was built by the owner of Man O’ War for their own wedding and it isn’t a religious chapel which is perfect as neither of us are. The new pavilion that Man O’ War has built was only completed in November 2019 but as soon as we saw it we knew it was exactly what we were after – a blank canvas in the most picturesque setting. 

A blank canvas meant we could enlist some incredible vendors to bring our vision to life. This included Wildflower Waiheke who dressed the venue in the most perfect  florals. The outdoor reception/lounging area was dressed by Flock Events who we were so excited to work with and could not have been happier with how the final set up looked.  

We had acrylic names for everyone at their seats and also chose to handwrite a card for each guest to read as they sat down. We wanted everyone there to know just how much we appreciated having them there with us. 

Tell us about your main outfits:

Chloe’s dress was a custom dress made by Vinka Design. She already had an idea of what she wanted but couldn’t find an existing dress that did it justice. Anita from Vinka completely understood what she was after and made the entire process so easy. 

Brandon’s suit was from Crane Brothers and he loved working with the team there and their expertise is second to none. Originally his suit was going to be a linen colour, however we decided to go with black after wanting our day to be as timeless as possible. It also created an amazing contrast with Chloe’s dress and interior of the chapel.

We both loved having our designers based here in NZ as it meant we could go see them as many times as we liked which made the process feel so much more personal – also stress free in the sense that travel restrictions weren’t an issue.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day:

Due to the unique and somewhat remote location, we had a charter boat bring all our guests direct to Man O’ War Bay who were not staying on the island. So many of our guests had never been to the location before so it was amazing to hear how much they loved the spot – meant we were able to really showcase the place to people.

Brandon and his Groomsmen arrived via a helicopter (this was a surprise for the groomsmen) and Chloe and her bridesmaids were getting ready at the Man O’ War cottage. Having these logistics organised meant the entire day ran seamlessly. The charter boat & helicopter were also unique in the sense that no other wedding at Man O’ War had used these means before. 

Both our Maid of Honour & Best Man had flown in from overseas to be with us on the day, something we are eternally thankful for.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together:

Enjoy the process and whilst the day is a party for everyone else, make sure that you are planning a day that feels right to you – the day should represent you as a couple so if there is something you don’t want to do then don’t. Two pieces of advice for the day itself; firstly is that if there is something you may have forgotten to organise by the time the day rolls around, then do not let it stress you out as it’s too late and no one else is going to know. Secondly, make sure you take a moment across the afternoon just for yourselves to stop and enjoy each other. It was the best thing we could have done, a chance to reset and just speak to each other amongst the craziness of the day.

Ceremony and reception location: @manowarwine / Photography and videography: @hollowandco / Celebrant: @celebrantkerry / Entertainment: @mixitdj / Furniture hire: @flockevents / Linen hire: @tble.linen.hire / Sign frames, Lawn Games & Lanterns: @mywaiheke / Flora: @wildflowerwaiheke / Catering + Beverages: @manowarwine / Cake: Made by Bride’s Mother / Signage & Name Tages: @harlancreative / Bride’s gown: @vinkadesign / Groom’s attire: @cranebrothers / Rings: @culetjewellery / Grooms shoes: @gucci / Bride’s earrings: @vinkadesign and @culetjewellery / Makeup: @madeupbyruth / Hair: @ruthirwin_hair / Fragrance: @viktorandrolf / Bridesmaids: @leaveherwilder / Groomsmen: @barkersclothing