Today’s venue Landsendt has to be one of my favourites in Auckland (I have never actually been there, but how amazing does it look!!!) with the tropical landscape creating a perfect backdrop for an elegant day filled with culture and family tradition. Newlyweds Ben & Maria created their dream wedding without the added extras and the result was simple and stunning!
“The biggest thing for us was turning away any ‘optional extras’ at the wedding venue and not worrying about adding unnecessary décor. Pick a venue that is natural in beauty so that is the focal point for the day.” – Maria (the bride)
A big congratulations to Ben & Maria and a very special thank you to Olga from Levien Lens Photography for sharing these perfect pics with us! xox
Who Ben & Maria Vete
Where Landsendt, Oratia, Auckland
How did you meet?
Ben and I first met when we were teenagers, however nothing really came of it at the time. We met up again 5 years later at a friend’s 21st where we hit it off and rekindled our love and friendship for one another and haven’t turned back since.
In three words describe your wedding style…
Tropical, culture and elegance.
Tell us about your hens and stag do’s…
Ben and I were very lucky to have such an amazing bridal party, who were so supportive and they planned us both wonderful hens and stag weekends.
Ben’s groomsmen organized a weekend away, they headed slightly North of Auckland to Leigh, with cars packed with mounds of food and beverages. They all went paintballing first and then retreated in a huge house in Leigh which slept about 22 boys. They ate, swam, played rugby on the beach and then partied all night with a couple of games chucked in here and there. Ben came home having no sleep at all and the most wonderful memories to speak of.
My lovely bridesmaids were very secretive and planned a lavish weekend away in Waiheke. I didn’t know what I was doing until I was driven to the port on a Friday evening. Our weekend included so much fun and laughter, pampering, beautiful views, champagne breakfast, sharing of love and tears of joy, a wine tasting tour, espresso martinis, naughty games and dancing right through the night to lots of 90s music. A weekend I will never forget and am truly grateful for.
What were your save and splurge items for your wedding?
Having such a beautiful setting, we didn’t feel the need to add too much to it, so we definitely saved on décor. With plenty of family help in various areas we saved on favors, cake and design work. We splurged on my dress, our rings and making sure that there was plenty of yummy food and drink for our guests to enjoy.
What was the most difficult part of planning your wedding? And the most fun?
The most difficult part of the wedding was toward the end, in the last week or so. I felt like I had lists coming out of my ears, and I just wanted to have them all ticked off with time to spare. The most fun part was having the lists ticked with about a day and a half to spare before the wedding, and getting into the fun spirit of it with our bridal party and then finally enjoying the best day of our lives!
What music did you play for those special moments?
It was really important to both Ben and I that we had a live singer to serenade us before during and after the ceremony. We were lucky enough to find the wonderful Pat Mose who did a medley of beautiful songs before and after the ceremony whilst also playing his guitar.
My down the aisle song was ‘Don’t Let Go’ by Spawnbreezie, as this is ‘our’ song. While signing the register we had ‘Sweet Darling’ by Fiji. As we partied back down the aisle after the formalities, Pat sung the classic ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ by Stevie Wonder. Our first dance song was a mix of songs that we requested from our DJ, these were; ‘Ben’ by Michael Jackson and ‘Maria (you were the only one)’ also by Michael Jackson, and the final song was a popular Tongan party song ‘Si’i Lolo’ where are bridal party joined us in starting the dance floor for the night.
Did you DIY? If so, what did you do?
Ben and I both are not so creative and good at the DIY thing, however we were lucky enough to have such talented family to lend their crafts and expertise in these areas. Ben’s Aunty Lua who lives in Fiji, worked months on creating the most pure and delish virgin coconut oil for our favors. We also had family in Tonga who created some beautiful lemongrass soaps to add to the favors. My brother in-law Robin worked on all our design work, including invitations, labels for favors and the seating plans. My cousin Trish was also amazing in gifting us our stunning and yummy wedding cake as a wedding present.
Do you have any money saving tips for engaged couples?
The biggest thing for us was turning away any ‘optional extras’ at the wedding venue and not worrying about adding unnecessary décor. Pick a venue that is natural in beauty so that is the focal point for the day. Also, seek help where you can; use your family and friends expertise!
Where did you go for your honeymoon?
We went to the beautiful island of Samoa and stayed at Saletoga Sands Resort on the South Coast of the main island of Upolu. It was heaven on earth, and all that we could ever want in a honeymoon.
Photographer Olga Levien from Levien Lens Photography
Planner/Stylist Taryn Liddy (Event organizer at Landsendt)
Flowers The Botanist
Venue & Catering Landsendt, Oratia, Auckland.
Hair Charlotte Zieleman
Makeup Karina Jonassen from Face Me Make Up Atistry & Hair Styling
Cake Trish Bonnici (Cousin)
Celebrant Minister Fatafehi
Brides Dress KellyLin Couture
Jewellery Grandmothers necklace and earrings.
Shoes Windsor Smith from Andrea Bianni
Bridesmaids Dresses Kilt
Grooms Suit Cambridge Clothing Company
Tradional Tongan Ta’ovala Mat 100 years old and passed through the family.
Rings Alan Woods Jewellery
Music/Singer Pat Mose
DJ Percy Afeaki