Real Wedding: Natalie & Max – Photography by Anna Kidman
Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
Max and I grew up 5 minutes down the road from each other, but our paths didn’t cross until we both moved to Sydney.
We met at work and were together for less than a year before Max was offered a job Kuala Lumpur. We decided to make the move together, figuring that moving to a foreign country neither of us had been to before would either make or break our relationship, and luckily, it was the making of us! After a couple of years, Max was relocated to Warsaw, Poland, so we lived there for a year, before finally making our move home to Auckland in June 2018.
We’re both very adventurous spirits, and we really bonded over our shared love of travel and new experiences. We’ve travelled to more than 15 countries together in 4 years, with some of our most memorable trips being to Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Spain, Italy and of course, Malaysia and Poland where we lived. Malaysia in particular holds a very special place in our hearts, as it’s where Max proposed – at sunset on the beach in the Perhentian Islands.
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…
My mum and I planned the wedding while I was living in Poland and mum was in Auckland, so between us, and with our amazing vendors’ help, the planning was actually pretty seamless. At the time of our wedding, we had been living overseas for 7 years, so we really wanted the day to not only be about Max and I, but to also to be a big reunion and joyful celebration with friends and family.
We had a lot of guests coming from overseas, so it came to the venue, we really wanted a place that would showcase NZ’s beauty at its best. Kauri Bay Boomrock was the only place we ever considered – thanks to its spectacular views, rolling green hills and of course, lots of sheep!
We decided upon a classic, elegant theme, that incorporated a few quirky touches that showcased our love of travel and life abroad, such as naming our tables after places we’ve visited that are special to us. My mum and I styled the venue, choosing simple, elegant touches like gold candle ware. Rosie at Rose Tinted Flowers provided the beautiful florals – including the beautiful arch and aisle florals for the ceremony that looked amazing against the sea and sky views.
Tell us about your main outfits:
I knew early on that I wanted a showstopper of a wedding gown – it’s the one day you can go all out! I also knew I wanted a low back and dramatic train, so when I saw the Zelensia gown, I knew it was the one. It’s made from the most incredible French Chantilly lace with layers of tulle and amazing cathedral train, and it was perfect – I felt like a total bride. I absolutely loved my hair and makeup created by Fiona, it was such a glamorous look (and now I am content with the fact I’ll probably never look that good again!) I also wore my grandmother’s ring, which was the ring Max originally proposed with.
Max wanted a really special suit, with custom detailing. Warsaw is quite famous for its impeccable tailoring, so we went to a family-owned Polish atelier there. The whole outfit was custom made, right down to having his initials embroidered on the cuffs of his shirt, and in the lining of his jacket.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
As a nod to our adopted home of Warsaw, we had a traditional Polish wedding toast at the reception, with authentic Polish vodka. My dad was able to find the only importer of real Polish vodka in NZ, and it was a really memorable and fun moment toasting to health and happiness in Polish along with all our friends and family!
Music is a huge love of mine so another one of the highlights was having all our entertainment performed by friends and family. Our good friend Mikey sang during our ceremony and cocktail hour. A particularly special moment was when Max and I signed the marriage register while Mikey sang ‘Stand by Me’ by Ben E. King, which was the same song that played when my parents signed theirs.
My dad is a drummer in a band, and he’s played at all the big parties in my life, so there was no question about which band we’d have for our reception. They’re known for getting everyone up on their feet and the wedding was no exception – there was such a great vibe on the dancefloor!
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
Natalie: Commit to making life the best adventure possible for each other. Whether it’s travelling to different places or just trying a new restaurant, try to share as many new experiences together as possible. Life’s so much more fun that way.
Max: I’ll pass on the best advice my mate gave to me: If in doubt, say sorry!
Photographer: Anna Kidman | Ceremony & reception location & catering: Kauri Bay Boomrock | Celebrant: Father Stephen Berecz | Wedding singer: Mikey Brown (Friend) | Band: The Devil’s Advocates (Bride’s Dad’s band) | Flora: Rose Tinted Flowers | Cake: Bluebells Cakery | Signage: Paper Darling | Lighting: La Lumiere | Bride’s dress: Zelensia gown by Hera Couture | Groom’s attire: Custom Atelier Zablotny Warsaw, Poland | Rings: Walker & Hall (Engagement); Custom W. Kruk Warsaw, Poland (Wedding) | Bride’s shoes: Kathryn Wilson | Groom & Groomsmen’s shoes: Clarks | Bridesmaid’s dresses: Miss Crabb | Bridesmaid’s shoes: Kathryn Wilson & Miss Wilson | Groomsmen’s suits: Bytom, Poland | Earrings: Lovisa | Makeup: Fiona Clare Beauty | Hair: Fiona Clare Beauty assisted by All Made Up Weddings