Kate & Sam by Captured by Keryn

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

I work in corporate communications and Sam is a physio. We met on a blind date set up by a friend.

All I knew about Sam was that he was very tall and quite young. All he knew about me was that I loved fried chicken and rose. We were inseparable from that first date on and didn’t waste much time building a life together.

We love to travel and that is a non-negotiable part of our lives. We promised in our wedding vows to never leave our current holiday without booking the next one – we both firmly believe you should always have an adventure to look forward to. Sam and I are like chalk and cheese – and this actually makes us a pretty formidable team. We truly have learnt together that the best relationships deserve the most effort and we are both super committed to never being passive in keeping our relationship full of fun, romance and to being best friends above all else.

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 had so many amazing friends fly into Auckland from all over the world. We turned our wedding into a three-day event so that we could spend as much time with everyone as possible. The night before, we hosted drinks at the small bar where we went on our first blind date, we got married at Kauri Bay Boomrock on a Friday and the next day, help a long lunch at one of Sam’s favourite pubs, The Cav in Ponsonby. It was so much fun to relax over ciders and pizza with our friends and we didn’t end up getting home till 11pm that night!

In terms of our wedding day, we didn’t want to get caught up in the little details – what mattered most to us was our friends and family and we definitely prioritised great food, and our favourite wines – those two things are very important to us. It rained just before I arrived to walk down the aisle, so we had to move the ceremony location to an undercover area rather than the cliff top with ocean views we had originally decided on. It was a little cramped, but we loved it as it made the ceremony feel more intimate and relaxed. We toasted our marriage by sharing some special champagne and a toast with all guests during the ceremony which was a great way to kick off the party. Styling was kept simple, with beautiful blush/nude and white flowers (Colombian roses, hydrangeas and orchids as a key feature) from Wonder Florals and simple black and white stationary. We didn’t want a classic arch and the modern floral pillars that Wonder Florals made for our ceremony were so stunning. Our favourite detail was the presence of our golden Labrador Dallas as the ring bearer – she was adorable and took the responsibility very seriously. Sam and I travelled back to the city after the wedding with all of our best friends on the wedding buses – it was the perfect end to a day that was just as much about the people we loved as it was about us.

Tell us about your main outfits:

I wore Karen Willis Holmes from Paper Swan Bride in Wellington. I had it fitted at Roses and they couldn’t have done a more beautiful job. My grandmother made my mother’s wedding dress, and a heart shaped piece of it was sewn into the inside of my dress. My veil was made by Hera Couture, who hand sewed dozens of small flowers into it. I love a statement earring for any occasion so wore a beautiful Oscar de la Renta pair for my wedding day. My shoes were nude Valentino with bows and a changed into a pair of nude velvet Chaos and Harmony heels later in the evening. Sam wore a made to measure formal tuxedo.

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

We were married by a lifelong family friend and Sam’s grandfather said a Maori Karakia as part of our ceremony which was so special. Our mothers signed our wedding registry as our witnesses – it was such a nice way to have them involved. When my Dad walked me down the aisle, we laughed and chatted the whole way down which really helped to calm my nerves. Our friend Keryn from Captured by Keryn took our photos and we couldn’t adore them more – we wanted relaxed documentary style shots that would allow us to carry on with the festivities without being away from our guests for too long, or stop us from having fun with our wedding party. Instead of formal posed shots, Kerryn took the most beautiful candid photos while we stood around and drank champagne with our best friends – she absolutely nailed it and we are forever grateful to have had those moments recorded so beautifully. During dinner, Sam and I were supposed to climb to the top of a hill next to the venue for sunset photos – and at the last minute we decided to take our whole wedding party up with us. It was blowing a gale up there, we were several champagnes deep by then, were far more relaxed than we had been all day and I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. The candid photos that Keryn took up there are my absolute favourite.

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

Wedding-wise: Don’t sweat the small stuff – none of it really matters on the day. If you are not getting a videographer, have a friend record your speeches and ceremony on their phone – the whole day goes by in an absolute blur and it’s nice to watch back over the important parts once the day is over. Life-wise: respect and love the differences just as much as you love the similarities. And don’t forget to have fun.

Photography and Videography: Captured by Keryn | Ceremony and Reception location: Kauri Bay Boomrock | Celebrant: John Phillis | Bride’s gown: Karen Willis Holmes | Bride’s veil: Hera Couture | Rings: Culet | Shoes: Valentino | Earrings: Oscar De La Renta | Makeup: Sam Hart | Hair: Rouge and Scout | Fragrance: Tom Ford Soleil Blanc | Bridesmaid’s outfits: Camilla and Marc, Shen and Shona Joy | Bridesmaid’s earrings: Superette | Entertainment: DJ Pet | Flora: Wonder Florals | Catering and Beverages: Kauri Bay Boomrock and Rockburn Wines | Cake: Amy’s Secret Kitchen