Kendall & Matt – by Amy Kate Photography

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

I (Kendall) am a fashion designer at The Stockroom and behind the Kendall Watt range of bridesmaids dresses, and Matt is a Digital Marketing Manager for a start up in the insurance industry.

When we are not adventuring around Auckland we like to chill at the beach with the occasional day trip to Mt Maunganui or Taupo to see family. We met in Wellington 9 years ago, while I was flatting in Wellington and studying at Massey University, and Matt was visiting from Palmerston North to meet a friend, who happened to live next door to my flat. He gate-crashed our house, and we’ve been together ever since. For Matts 30th I organised a trip to Queenstown, which was when he decided to propose at the hot pools. Once we arrived the booking was for a date two months earlier, so after a brief panic and some quick thinking on Matts behalf, he popped the question down by Lake Wakatipu later that evening.

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 didn’t have a theme in mind when we started planning the wedding. All we knew was that we didn’t want something traditional, and we were both drawn to a casual vibe, preferably with an ocean view. The wedding was at a private property in Tauranga which has 180 degree views over Matakana Island, Mount Maunganui, and Tauranga. Since we both wanted a laid-back vibe the location suited this perfectly. Using an empty paddock previously filled with stags meant we had a blank slate to work with and make the location our own.

We called upon Twelve Tables to provide a beautiful clear marquee, and the styling was completely managed by Two Foxes (the husband and wife duo, who happen to be my brother and sister-in-law). The location was raw with a bit of gorse here and there and dusty areas around the sun-scorched grass. This helped set the vibe of the wedding and ensured everyone could have a good time without panicking about the small stuff. Yes, the dance floor had a layer of dust, a few open-toed shoes led to prickles in the feet, and a baby deer jumped a fence and joined the party later in the night – but everyone was relaxed and having a good time.

Tell us about your main outfits:

My dress was a custom piece made by my mum (the other half of The Stockroom) and was inspired by a range of designers around Auckland, Melbourne, and further abroad. My veil was made from tulle with hand sewn pearls from broken strings of pearls borrowed from Grandma’s from both sides of the family. Matt’s suit was from Barkers NZ, paired with a printed pocket square cut from the same fabric as the bridesmaid’s dresses. My day-job led me to design my dream fabric print, and have custom bridesmaids dresses for all my girls.

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

We decided to have the first-look photos in the hours leading up to the ceremony (and to also help ease the nerves before the guests gathered!). This also meant we could enjoy the time with our guests and wouldn’t have to run off for photos during the day we spent so much time planning…and also miss mingling with friends and family who had come from all over New Zealand. We also both enjoyed the sunset photos just a few hundred meters from our reception a perfect time to take a moment and look back on our guests enjoying the day we had pulled together.

The first dance was something well out of both our comfort zones, so I bought us both a few dance lessons leading up to the big day. We only had a few hours of practice, and just a couple of moves up our sleeves, so we knew it wasn’t going to go 100% perfectly, but we laughed throughout it and enjoyed the moment. I was also able to use the first dance as an excuse to have a quick outfit change and jump into something a little easier to move in. We had a lot of talent in the family that we could call upon, including my cousin and her husband who are wedding cake experts, Matt’s cousin who was the celebrant, and another cousin who owned the property, friends who are professional hairdressers who helped get the girls ready, and again Jared and Jess from Two Foxes who did an exceptional job styling the entire event.

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

Don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy each others company, and go on plenty of adventures.

Photography: Amy Kate Photography   Venue: Private Property, Te Puna Marquee: Twelve Tables   Flora: On My Hand & Two Foxes   Styling: Two Foxes Styling Planner: Two Foxes Styling Hire: Two Foxes Rentals & Arkade Hire Catering + Beverages: Hereford Kitchen Cake: Top Tier Cakes Celebrant: Family, Brayden Hungerford  Entertainment: Back To Front Bride’s Dress: The Stockroom  Bride’s Veil: The Stockroom Groom’s Outfit: Barkers  Engagement Ring: Naveya and Sloane Bride’s Ring: Meadowlark    Groom’s Ring: Michael Hill Shoes: Mi Piaci & Number One Shoes  Earrings: Maison Sabben Makeup: Beauty Hub Hair: Friends, Terryn Southon & Paula Austin Bride’s Fragrance: Flower Bomb by Viktor and Rolf Bridesmaids Robes + Pj’s: The Stockroom Bridesmaids Dresses: The Stockroom Groomsmen Attire: Barkers Pocket Squares: The Stockroom