Kate + James by Meredith Lord Photography

Kate and James real wedding Meredith lord photography

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

Kate teaches Design and Visual Communication at a local school and James is a Chartered Accountant for a Hawke’s Bay practice. We moved to Hawke’s Bay last year to be closer to Kate’s family and to enjoy a better-quality lifestyle. We love spending our time away from work unwinding through exercise. We’ve run a half marathon together, play in the same social squash team and are known to get quite competitive during a friendly game of mini-golf.

At the start of our relationship I think James used to let me win to keep me happy, but now there’s no love lost out on the course. The best thing about our relationship is that we encourage and support each other to go after our goals and love seeing each other be successful in whatever it is that we are passionate about.

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

Since we did a lot of our wedding planning during COVID-19 lockdown, it became very important to us to support the small New Zealand businesses and local vendors that we love. We are very fortunate in Hawke’s Bay to have amazing wedding vendors, so we were able to assemble a great team and let them do their best work. Our venue, Villa Maria at Gimblett Gravels was a great canvas to start from with its relaxed yet sophisticated style really capturing who we are as a couple.

Kate’s favourite detail was how the ceremony and reception was styled. Belinda’s amazing flower arrangements, our beautiful cake from Jacinda at Pretty Little Details, and outdoor/indoor styling by Miss Frou Frou tied everything together seamlessly… and who could forget the Love Light. For James, having the first look at Te Mata Estate was a highlight, it’s an amazing winery and it meant that we could spend more time with our guests later in the night.

Tell us about your main outfits…

James: For the boys, in following with supporting small New Zealand businesses they purchased their suits and accessories from Chris Wiig Menswear in Napier. We couldn’t have asked for more from Chris Wiig Menswear, they went above and beyond to provide us with everything we needed (including tracking down the last suit jacket in Australia) and were even able to alter one of the suits just days before the wedding. James chose a navy suit, with his groomsmen wearing the same. He decided to go with a navy and blush bow tie, complementing the blush bridesmaid dresses, and a fabric flower button hole. James and the groomsmen also purchased a couple of shirts each, so that they would have a fresh shirt to change into after the first look and ceremony. Fortunately, it wasn’t too hot, but the spare shirts came in handy when 2 out of 3 groomsmen spilled the entrée on their shirt at the reception. My favourite detail of my wedding outfit was my socks. My late Grandfather always wore gold top socks, and it was important to me to incorporate a little reminder of him.

Kate: Society puts so much pressure on the bride and ‘the dress’. I tried numerous dresses, but nothing felt like ‘the dress’. That was until I met Kirsty from Etcetera Bridal, and she introduced me to Daisy by Katie Yeung. Katie’s designs are so comfortable and easy to wear, simple yet elegant. I fell in love with the high neckline, the delicate lace and the open back with criss-cross straps of the Wren, but I also adored the fun-loving Sadie Sequin. So, in the end I didn’t find ‘the dress’ but ‘the dresses’, one for the ceremony and one for the reception.

My shoes were from Chaos and Harmony, another New Zealand business we wanted to support. I went with the Evermore High Heel to add a bit of sparkle to my Wren dress, and the Opulence High Heel in gold for the reception. I also opted for a denim bridal jacket with beaded applique from Chosen by Kyha to keep me warm in my lovely wedding outfit all night long. My favourite detail of my wedding outfit was my late nana’s sapphire ring. James proposed with my nana’s engagement ring, so it meant a lot to wear another ring of hers on our special day. Our rings were from The Village Goldsmith who were a dream to work with, and the bridesmaid’s jewellery was from The Mint Republic. 

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

James – The first look at Te Mata Estate, taking bets on who would cry first (it was Kate’s Dad, closely followed by James), seeing the amazing work that our vendors had done for us, we can’t thank them enough, they were all amazing. Kate – After such a crazy year (thanks COVID-19) being able to get married at all. Also, hairdresser Abby Schofield and makeup artist Candice Dear’s excitement when I was changing dresses, I think they were more excited than me and that’s the kind of vibe you want around you. After the wedding another one of our highlights was receiving our photos from Meredith Lord. She was the first vendor we booked (we booked her before ANYTHING else including the venue), and she was by far the best decision we made.

The photos captured the day so well and we can’t wait to look back at the album in the years to come and relive it all. Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together: Find someone who is your biggest fan and wants you to be the best that you can be. Don’t take each other too seriously, things will go wrong or not according to plan, laugh about it and then figure out what’s next.

Photography: @meredithlord  | Ceremony and reception location: @villamariagimblettgravels | Celebrant: Ross Holden Marriage Celebrant | Bride’s gown: @daisybrides.co.nz | Bride’s jacket: @chosenbykyha | Bride’s shoes: @chaosandharmonyshoes | Bride’s jewellery: @maisonroe | Groom’s attire: chriswiig.co.nz | Groom’s shoes: @windsorsmithmen | Rings: @thevillagegoldsmith | Wedding planner: @planiteventsnz | Makeup: @candicedearmakeup | Hair: @abbyschofieldhair | Bride’s fragrance: @chanelofficial | Groom’s fragrance: @yslbeauty | Bridesmaid’s attire: @thestockroomnz | Bridesmaid’s shoes: Shoes: @chaosandharmonyshoes | Bridesmaid’s jewellery: @themintrepublic | Groomsmen’s attire: chriswiig.co.nz | Groomsmen’s shoes: @windsorsmithmen | Stationery: The bride | Hire: @missfroufrounz | Flora: @flowerbee71 | Catering and Beverages: @ortonshawkesbay | Cake: @prettylittledetailsco