“When Kerry told me she was having her wedding at her families Big Rock Fun Park in Taupo I knew it was going to be a special day. When I arrived at the park I didn’t know what to photograph first, the Heirloom had styled everything so pretty! But what was probably the greatest of all was how super kind Mark and Kerry were. Two of the most genuine, loving and caring people who made my second shooter and me feel so welcome throughout the day. It was one of my favorite weekends of the summer, as I am sure it was theirs!”
How did your love story begin?
Mark and I met speed dating. A good friend of mine convinced me to head along to a speed dating night at Degree bar in Auckland. I was quite dubious about going along convinced I was about to have the worst and possibly most embarrassing night of my life. Little did I realise I was about to meet my future husband. Mark was the second to last guy I “dated” for a whole 5 minutes, I think there were 10 in total, his personality and conversation matched his good looks I couldn’t tick the “yes” box quick enough and hoped he would do the same.
Luckily for me Mark did tick “yes” and a few days later I received an email asking if I would like to meet up for a drink. Although a little awkward at first it didn’t take long before the conversation was flowing and soon we were spending every waking moment together.
What was your inspiration or theme for the day?
I was born in the UK emigrating to NZ when I was 10. It was really important to me to incorporate some of my heritage into the day. We endeavoured to recreate an English fete theme and I think we pulled this off, it certainly was a relaxed atmosphere and the look was exactly how I envisaged.
Why did you say ‘YES’?
Saying “Yes” to Mark was the easiest decision I have ever made in life, not only is he an amazing and caring partner to me he is without a doubt the most loving and dedicated father to our 20 month old daughter Olive. Mark makes me feel secure and loved he embraces my quirks, I am quite the worry wart, he is really good at giving me perspective and calming those worrying tendencies!Prior to meeting Mark I was a little partial to dating “bad boys” the treat em mean keep em keen types, I didn’t think men like Mark existed.
I knew he was the “one” pretty instantly he is a true gentleman, he would always call me instead of hiding behind text messages which is easy to do, what you see is what you get there was no game playing, he was upfront and honest with me from the start of our relationship. My family and friends love him which is really important, above all Mark completes me I am very proud to be his wife!
What were your Save & Splurge items?
Our save item was the bunting we used to decorate the venue, instead of using costly material we used paper flags from sweetpea parties much much cheaper. Due to the size of the venue and nature of our theme we needed around 200 meters, the only drawback was individually threading each flag with twine, luckily I had an army of helpers and the overall effect looked stunning!
My splurge item was probably my dress from Astra Bridal in Auckland, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted but I think every bride has a similar story what you want doesn’t necessarily suit you. I never thought I would end up in a strapless gown but from the moment I tried it on I knew I had to have it, typically it was among the most expensive in the shop oops!
What music did you play for those special moments?
The girls and I walked into “here comes the sun” by the Beatles, Mark and I love the song, we wanted something upbeat happy and classic, it was quite ironic though being such a cold overcast day, I am sure the irony wasn’t lost on our guests. For the signing of the register we played “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics I love the kooky lyrics in this song and it’s a great tune to have playing whilst the guests sipped on champagne waiting for the ceremony to recommence. Mark and I walked out to “She’s a rainbow” by the Rolling Stones another classic that was handpicked by Mark, it made me feel very loved and special when it started to play.
Our first dance was to “Can’t take my eyes off of you” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the song truly represents how we feel about each other especially in that moment! It’s also a fantastic song that got everyone (even Marks dad who “doesn’t dance”) up on the dance floor.
Did you stick to your budget?
Our initial budget was $25K, we did exceed this somewhat I think the final cost was just over $30K. We wanted to ensure everyone’s needs were catered for, food was really important to us not only quality but quantity we had been to a few weddings where whilst the food was lovely there wasn’t enough of it! My dress was slightly more expensive than anticipated but shhh don’t tell Mark.
In hindsight, is there anything that you would have done differently?
I think if I had my time again I would try to relax and enjoy the build up a little more. The night before the wedding we were still prepping and adding those final touches to the venue not sipping on champagne with our feet up.
What advice would you give to future brides to be?
Enjoy the moment as many will tell you it passes too quickly, don’t sweat the small stuff, research but don’t get too caught up in the detail. I was incredibly lucky with the suppliers we choose for the big day so try to surround yourself with good people and trust that everything will come together in the end.
What do you love most about being a MRS?
I love that I now have the same surname as Mark and our daughter it feels like our little family unit is now complete.