Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

Matt and I are quite similar with heaps of shared interests, particularly design. We both have architectural degrees and work for the same architecture firm in Wellington. I am baffled that we didn’t cross paths with each other at University, because we were in the same year group. We now work for the same architecture practice in Wellington. This is how we met… a workplace romance! 

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

(Natasha) I spied Matt on our company intranet as a new starter in the practice. He was working from Auckland at the time and began travelling to the Wellington (where I was based) for a project he was involved in. There was an instant vibe between us, or an awkwardness for sure! It was all very comedic the first interactions we had. Matt persistently stood at a standing workstation, that looked toward my workstation – we would glance over the computer screens at each other. While this was all very exciting, I remember some mornings lowering my chair to hide – as my hair had been so battered by the Wellington wind. After a few morning teatime chats at work, we started exchanging messages on skype… which escalated into a date. A first date that transpired into an epic walk along the Wellington Skyline on a treacherous mid-July Wellington day; the weather was that ordinary we did not see a single person on our three-hour long walk. Clearly, Matt was sold midway through our walk along the Skyline. He asked me if I would like to go on a summer roadie around the South Island with him. At the time I remember thinking, wow this is forward. Let’s just cut the long storey short – we went on the roadie and the rest is history!

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with? 

(Matt) Clearly for me, halfway through our walk along the Skyline when I asked Tash if she wanted to go to the South Island with me during the summer break. I was drawn to her laugh, her smile, her personality, and those blue, blue eyes. We just clicked!

(Natasha) Pretty early on in our relationship, I had ‘that feeling’ – when you know, you know. I tend to over think things – it was refreshing to have zero worries about Matt. He became part of my family in no time, everything was right.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

(Matt) Yes, there was! We were holidaying in Queenstown for Natasha’s 30th birthday. A couple of days prior to her birthday we went for a drive out to Glenorchy. I hadn’t decided exactly where I was going to propose but knew it would be somewhere amongst the mountainous backdrop. I thought about Glenorchy at the end of the pier; we showed to find tourists everywhere… scratch that, onto the next location. We drove a little further to a place called Kinloch at the entry to Dart River. We found a beautiful spot on the edge of the river to sit and have a picnic we packed. On a crisp winters day under clear skies and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, this was the perfect location. I got down on one knee and she said to me with a surprised look on her face “are you doing this now?!”, she said yes! 

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
(Natasha) There was no question on the venue – we knew it had to be at Poppies in Martinborough. Refined elegance was the mood we wanted.  Poppies is so beautiful; I was reluctant to add anything at all, so I kept the decoration very minimal. Matt and I potted white orchids in glass hurricanes which looked stunning sitting amongst the elegant tall bottles of Poppies wine and the platters of vibrant food. 

We chose to go with a black-tie theme. After a year of covid, house renovation clothes and working from home we thought our wedding was the best opportunity to really dress up! A standout at the wedding was my 3 year old nephew Jacob, who dressed black tie and drove his little black Mercedes up the isle as the page boy. This little moment broke the ice, and it was so special hearing all of our guests laughing as I stood waiting at the end of the isle.  

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

(Natasha) My mum and I went out to look at dresses in February 2020, just before Covid became a real threat in New Zealand. It seemed way too early, with just over a year until the date of the wedding but I wasn’t sure I would find what I wanted in Wellington – so it was the best approach. Candy Capco and her team at Paperswan Bride put on such a lovely time; and they had the most beautiful dresses. I wanted a dress that was classic with a wee edge – if that makes sense. I’m so pleased that I had organised my dress a year out from the wedding – it allowed the time for it to be made and any last-minute alterations before the day. I settled on ‘Bodie’ by Lovers Society – I love the mermaid silhouette, plunging neckline and frothing tulle train – which I knew would tie into the setting for the wedding ceremony. The tulle train emulated the white netting over the vines, commonly seen during the month of March. I bought my fluffy, Chaos and Harmony shoes the same week as the dress. I’m not sure that anyone could see them on the day, but I knew they were there. To top it all off, for the bouquet, I went for white cut roses with extra-long stems – so elegant and timeless!

Matt had never worn a tuxedo before. With a black velvet bow tie as a subtle point of difference from the groomsmen – he looked like James Bond personified. 

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

(Natasha) Not on the wedding day thankfully! The day before the wedding, I fainted on the way to my manicure appointment. I was so, completely embarrassed. A combination of no breakfast and some pre-wedding nerves was a recipe for disaster. This resulted in a big delay, as we needed to travel to Poppies for our set-up and rehearsal, which in the big scheme of things doesn’t sound that bad but it was actually very stressful at the time. My family, friends and Matt were all so patient and kind and sorted out a lot of the last-minute things that needed doing. I was reassured that ‘this kind of [fainting] thing happens all the time with brides.’ Albeit I am yet to meet a bride that fainted in the mix of all the wedding flurry! How ridiculous!

Two nights before the wedding, it occurred to us that we hadn’t practiced our first dance, so we YouTubed a slow dance tutorial. We turned up the volume to Our Song by Elton John and practiced for about an hour in our kitchen with our wedding shoes on. I think we nailed it on the night, I even ‘dipped’ Tash to the ground and back up without dropping her.  It was like having Elton in the room… Shaun was total perfection. 

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

(Matt) When we met with Shane Hammond (owner of Poppies) he asked us what we were planning on for entertainment, which at the time we were still unsure. Tash said, no DJ’s… it had to be live music. Shane recommended that if we were to splash out on anything, Shaun Preston was the guy! He knows how to work the room like no other person. We took his advice, and it was the best decision. Shaun was incredible. He set up his baby grand and played all night. He had everyone up on the dance floor – even my mum and dad! It was like this amazing, private concert – which we are still fizzing about. 

Ceremony + Reception location : Poppies Martinborough | Photographer : Benjamin and Elise | Celebrant : Mary Amour | Entertainment : Shaun Preston | Flora : Scent Floral Boutique | Catering: Nick Arnold Catering (of Café Medici) | Beverages: Poppies Martinborough | Cake: Em and Skye | Brides Attire: Lovers Society ‘Bodie Gown’ from Paperswan Bride | Ring/s: Michael Hill | Shoes:Chaos and Harmony | Earrings: Amelie George | Bracelet & Daisy Ring: Swarovski  | Makeup: Kelly Michelle Makeup  | Hair: Doll House Doo | Fragrance:J’adore by Dior | Grooms Attire: Barkers ‘Princeton Texture Suit | Bridesmaid Attire: Forever New | Groomsmen Attire: Barkers ‘Princeton Texture Suit’