MATILDA + KANDARP by Patina Photography

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

Our story is set in three cities and two countries. Kandarp was born in Melbourne and grew up in New Zealand with Indian parents. Matilda was born in China and grew up in New Zealand with Kiwi adoptive parents.

Over the span of our relationship, Matilda first lived in China and then Wellington, until finally moving up to Auckland to be with Kandarp. We love making life a constant adventure in the multi-cultural city we now live in. We first met through our best friend’s (who have a remarkably similar story!). We were both on their bridal party, and then started going out. We are still each other’s best friends to date and have nearly passed the 20 year friendship mark. Kandarp is a consultant, leading the data analytics sector in his boutique firm, and working towards positive outcomes. Matilda is a case worker and journeys with people as they make their way out of debt and poverty. We both want to effect positive change and have a heart for the marginalised and vulnerable. 

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…

Our wedding location was Pencarrow Lodge in Wellington. The coastline was phenomenal and easily one of the most beautiful locations we have set eyes on in Aotearoa. Three words that shaped the style of our wedding were elegant, cultural and personal. We chose neutral colours throughout our wedding to create a timeless look, evident in the acrylic signage, arch and flower arrangements, outfits and ceremony layout. We were especially stoked with how the ceremony layouts turned out. For the Chinese tea ceremony, the inside space and décor already worked well and we did not have to do a whole lot more. For the civil ceremony, Wellington is known for its wind, so it was a risk planning to have this ceremony not only outside, but also on a precipice. Thankfully the weather was miraculously calm that day and we could go ahead with our dream setting. Matilda’s parents, along with the help of a family friend, did an amazing job at creating our ideal look. Matilda’s dad constructed the arch, while her mum and family friend did the floral arrangements. The wooden benches were also carefully selected and arranged to achieve the aesthetic we were going for. Can we also point out that the groomsmen suits were on point?! Kandarp put a heck of a lot of thought and effort into deciding on these and it definitely paid off. 

Tell us about your main outfits:

Wanting to honour our identities and heritage, we included the different threads of Kiwi, Chinese and Indian culture. There were several outfit changes and we had three ceremonies (Chinese tea, civil and Bollywood). Matilda firstly wore a modern version of the Chinese “qi pao” – a bright red dress with intricate lace detail. We ini6ally saw this online and then one of our friends who was over in China managed to find the exact one and bring it back to Aotearoa. Matilda then changed into her civil ceremony dress from Jessica Bridal. Matilda felt like a queen as soon as she tried this dress on and it went well with the elegant and personal theme. Kandarp also chose a classic and elegant suit, choosing the black colour to create a noir look. And finally… the fun and colourful Indian outfits! Kandarp’s golden pants were definitely a popular talking point both during and after the wedding. Our outfits matched well and were great for dancing all night in. 

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

Tea ceremony – being able to honour each other’s parents in public and introducing many of our guests to a unique and personalised wedding Civil ceremony – both parent’s walking Matilda down the aisle, writing and memorising our own vows, dancing back up the aisle together!!!

Reception – food was on point. Honestly cannot stop thinking about the food. We played the shoe game and had a lot of laughter doing so. The speeches were also very meaningful and moving – pretty sure not one eye was left dry after the speeches. Bollywood dancing – Yes! Kandarp did indeed teach everyone Bollywood dancing and our guests continue to talk about it to this day. If we could only chose one highlight, it would definitely be this one. One of our guests even said Bollywood dancing should be made compulsory at every wedding and it was the most fun they have had in ages. 

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

Do it! Our wedding truly was the greatest party we have ever thrown and the best day of our lives. There is nothing better than having all your favourite people around you as you make a commitment to love one another forever. Wedding planning 6ps: buy a great wedding planner (yes we would recommend TJ’s one even if you just got the checklist included), when you are wedding planning make it into a date/ adventure (we did a lot of admin stuff at our cute local café and made an adventure out of going to vineyard venues), enlist help from others especially nearing the big day, make it personal and remember it is a day about you and your love We are absolutely loving married life and still feel on cloud nine! Marriage is a beautiful covenant, and we are stronger together. We have already achieved some pre)y big life goals since being married and love doing life together. 

Photography: Patina Photo + Video | Ceremony and Reception location: Pencarrow Lodge | Celebrant: The Upper Room | Bride’s gown: Jessica Bridal and both Indian outfits from Roop Darshan | Dress alterations: Zeebo Creations | Groom’s suit: Rembrandt Suits and waistcoat from Tailor Made Suits | Rings: Guthries | Bride’s shoes: Mi Piaci and ASOS | Groom’s shoes: Florsheim | Bride’s earrings: Walker & Hall | Diamond Necklace: Michael Hill | Indian accessories: Roop Darshan| Makeup: Makeup by Vicki| Hair: The Powder Room | Bride’s fragrance: Marc Jacobs | Groom’s fragrance: Calvin Klein | Bridesmaid’s attire: Evolution Clothing | Groomsmen’s attire: Hallensteins | Hire: Arch and Carlton Party Hire | Wedding Car Hire: Mevo | Flora: Woodstock Florist | Catering and Beverages: Pencarrow Lodge