Jonny + Rachel by Frank and Peggy and Brijana Cato

Jonny works in property development and investment and I’m head of brand communications at L’Oréal, so our careers are a big part of our lives. We live in Ponsonby but spend a lot of time travelling and our spare time on our boat, fishing in the Bay of Islands. 

We have the All Blacks to thank for our meeting. We met five years ago, celebrating their Rugby World Cup win with mutual friends at a pub in the Viaduct. In hindsight, we’ve realised that there were many times when we were at the same events with mutual friends. When we did meet, the stars were aligned. We knew we were meant for each other. By then, we were ready for a long-term relationship, which is one of the key reasons our relationship started and continued so perfectly.

Not only have we found so much to love about the other person, we also share the same morals, goals and passions. Family comes first for both of us, and we enjoy being social but also like time to ourselves. Our proposal happened at home, eating toasted sandwiches in front of the fire, on a rainy day in November. It was the eve of my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary, which was a good omen. I was completely blindsided, which made it incredibly romantic.

We wanted to do things differently on our special day. We sought a wedding venue that was unique and unknown, yet close to Auckland so it was easy for friends and family to attend. We chose to get married in October, so our setting was all about creating a moody spring wedding. The McCallum Residence is right on the beach, but centred around a heritage homestead. The wintry palette, ambient lighting, moody florals and grand marquee created an outdoor festival vibe, and Black Pineapple made our favourite drinks – with a gin cocktail trolley in the afternoon and espresso martinis to kick off the dancing.

The dress code was simple but formal. Jonny chose a midnight blue velvet tuxedo and his groomsmen were in tailored black tuxedos. I opted for a classic dress I knew my husband would love, with a pop of something different showing through in my veil to complement such a simple dress.

The weather was not on our side in the morning, but approximately five minutes before Rachel walked down the aisle, the rain cleared and did not return for the rest of the day. The entire bridal party was able to stay at the homestead, which meant that after the wedding, we could kick back and celebrate over a glass of bubbles with our nearest and dearest.

photographer Frank and Peggy and Brijana Cato / videographer Grey Area Productions / venue The McCallum Residence, Clevedon / groom’s suit Daldelszen / bride’s dress Chosen by One Day / flora Shaye at On My Hand / celebrant Mel Stuart / bride’s shoes Gucci / groom’s shoes Brando / veil Twigs & Honey / makeup Serenity / hair Amelia Mowat / fragrance Armani Prive Pivoine Suzhou / bridesmaid attire Ruby / ring/s Naveya & Sloane / styling Claire at One Lovely Day / hire Flock Events / marquee The Flagship Events Company / catering Blank Canvas Catering / beverages Black Pineapple / cake Amy’s Secret Kitchen / lighting La Lumiere / tableware Royal Laboratorie