Naz + Tate By Zanda Photography

Intimate, classic, and timeless was the key vision for the wedding day, I wanted a day that we could look back on in decades to come and admire the elegance and beauty in the simplicity.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
Naz: A perfect day for us is a combination of good food, outdoor adventure, exercise and being around our family and friends. We’ve lived half our relationship chasing picturesque sceneries and hunting down the most delicious eats while living and working out of Shanghai and the other half in corporate roles based in Auckland. The desire to travel is still alive, but for the current time, our focus is on reconnecting with our families and starting a little one of our own.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
Naz: We met through work. I joined the same graduate programme the year after Tate and the programme has a rigorous recruitment process, so by the time you are in you are surrounded by people of similar age with similar hobbies, traits and goals and naturally, you have weekend events away and magic can happen, for us it was running around lake Taupo in a relay race and at the time I was living in Auckland while he was down in Timaru. I was running the relay leg after Tate, which also happened to be straight uphill, and I remember thinking I need to keep running so he sees how much of an “athlete” I am as he drives past in the car that had just dropped me off, and sure enough that was his opening line that evening given the van only passed me afer I reached the top of the hill. My first impression of Tate still remains true to this day, a kind soul with the biggest brain and the muscular physique best described by my friends “as my dream hubby’s bod”.

Tate: From my view I had already scoped out who had clicked attending to the event several weeks earlier, and used Naz’s birthday as a cheesy way of reminding her that even though I lived in Timaru I was very much interested in getting to know her beyond just friends, knowing I already like the bubbly energy she brings into a situation.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
Naz: From about 1 month into dating Tate told me that he was going to marry me! For me, it was very unusual for a guy to be so certain about what he wanted and actually tell me that, but he has shown up consistently every day since the beginning, making me feel like I am the best thing to happen to him. He made life and love feel effortless, he laughs at my lame jokes and makes me laugh and he has always put in the effort to do the little things like fold the washing in the way I like, not because he wants to but because he knows it makes me happy.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
Naz: About 18 months in, an awesome work opportunity came up to move to Shanghai. It was a huge leap of faith to move to a country like China, especially as I had never even visited the city we were about to move to, so we got legally married at the Auckland Registry office before he proposed to me. Being headstrong though, I was adamant that we were just signing a set of papers to not take away from the magic of Tate proposing and have a proper proposal so besides our parents and two witnesses (my sister who was my maid of Honour, and Tate’s good friend, who ended up being our celebrant) no one else knew! And it took another 7 months for Tate to orchestrate the perfect proposal, and he took a knee while we were holidaying in the Philippines on my 25th Birthday, he was incredibly nervous which I thought was sweet given that he was guaranteed a yes answer.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
Naz: Intimate, classic, and timeless was the key vision for the wedding day, I wanted a day that we could look back on in decades to come and admire the elegance and beauty in the simplicity. We ended up with an accidental black and white theme given our 2-year delay on the day due to Covid, on the final wedding day one of my bridesmaids was 7 months pregnant and the other had just given birth, I wanted all of them to feel as comfortable and beautiful as I did, so the brief for the bridesmaid’s dresses changed from champagne silky to black and stretchy which ended up complementing the white theme across my florals, black carpet isle and the general theme at Oar and Paddle perfectly.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
Naz: Our photographer! When the big day comes and goes, the photos are the essence of the day for decades to come, Zanda was an absolute dream capturing our intimate wedding perfectly, her photos will be a part of our lives forever, so happy to have had her capture them.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
Naz: The reality of trying to have a wedding in the middle of the world pandemic while living in China meant we ended up re-arranging the big day 3 times which came with a host of stresses and our wedding day was very much a celebration of love given that we were already legally married having signed the wedding papers 3.5 years earlier, so during the last delayed date we decided to share with all of our family and friends that we were in fact legally married…so we thought. Turns out that Tate had accidentally forgotten to tell his best man who had finally found out on the morning of the wedding, to which he reacted “So this whole wedding is a sham!” so in humour and how it ended up playing out we often refer to our wedding day as a ‘Sham’.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
Naz: My mother taught me how to sew from a very young age, I remember my first sewing machine came at the ripe age of 3 equipped with a plastic sewing needle which I used to make my Barbies clothes. My love for sewing continued my whole life, taking fashion and design all throughout high school before going to University to pursue a career in Biotechnology. With my love for sewing not forgotten, when it came to my wedding dress I knew exactly what I wanted. I sketched it out and found a talented seamstress in Shanghai that could bring my sketch to life. I picked every intimate detail, from the Italian hand-made lace that was cut out and placed to perfection through to the length of the long romantic veil with lace trimmings. The same seamstress made my husband’s suit, but this time I didn’t sketch the design I just showed her a picture of Daniel Craig at the Skyfall premier, yes, Tate’s suit was inspired by 007.

CEREMONY & RECEPTION LOCATION: The Oar & Paddle@the_oar_and_paddle / PHOTOGRAPHER: Zanda Photography, @zanda_photography / VIDEOGRAPHER: Jono Sergean / CELEBRANT: George Abbott / STYLING, PLANNING & SATIONERY: Bride FLORA: Flour + Bloom, @flourand_bloom / CATERING & BEVERAGES: Loco Mexicano Food Truck / CAKE: Poppy and Hugh, @poppyandhugh_ / BRIDE’S GOWN: Designed by Bride / GROOM’S SUIT: Italian fabric Vitale Barberis Canonico designed by Bride RINGS: Naveya & Sloane @naveyaandsloanejewellery / BRIDE’S SHOES: Chaos & Harmony Shoes, @chaosandharmonyshoes / GROOM’S SHOES: Florsheim, @florsheimshoes / JEWELLERY: Persian Gold From Bride’s mother / MAKEUP: Bride HAIR: Hannah Stechman, @hannstech_hair / FRAGRANCE Lancome La Vie Est Belle L’Eau de Parfum @lancomeofficial and Ralph Lauren Polo Earth @ralphlauren / GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: CONNOR, @connor_clothing / BRIDESMAIDS ATTIRE: Chancery the Label, @chancerythelabel