A Beautifully Elegant Bracu Wedding by Jessica Sim

Today’s wedding is elegant yet beautifully relaxed and everything about the day looks soooooo fresh and fabulous. I am especially in love with the ceremony venue, a great indoor/outdoor option for changeable weather (always a good idea!), and the greenery on the floor around the couple and celebrant is such a gorgeous touch. Oh and of course I cannot stop staring at bride Renee’s Rue De Seine dress (said like a true stalker haha), it’s AH-MAZING. Congratulations to the gorgeous couple and a big thank you to the insanely clever Jessica Sim for sharing this incredible wedding with us! xox

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Who Renee & Manuel
Where Bracu, Auckland
Guests 85

In three words describe your wedding style… Classic, romantic and relaxed.

How did you meet?

It sounds like a romantic comedy set up, where boy sees girl on the opposite side of the club and then after a few drinks gets enough courage to approach, tell a really terrible joke that she laughs at and ends up with her number written in a napkin… In our case I saved Renee’s number on my phone and when I woke up on Saturday I felt that the phone number she gave me had to be fake. So at risk of looking too keen I texted an invitation, to my astonishment she answered back with a half cancellation: meaning she couldn’t come to the event but she would like to see me afterwards. The rest was just an incredible night full with laughter and a bit of PDA.

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What music did you play for those special moments?

Manuel and I are both music lovers so picking music for the wedding was important to us, but also pretty easy as we both know what we want/like. We chose a string quartet for the ceremony as we wanted live music and a string quartet is so romantic, however we chose two songs a little less traditional. Crown of Love by Arcade Fire for the processional and Tunnels also by Arcade Fire for the processional. For our ceremony we had the most amazing Latino Band, Matecito. Manuel being from the Salsa capital of Colombia, loves to dance and everyone got up on the dance floor for the conga line, having a live band is totally worth it. The music took me right back to our trip to Colombia where Manuel proposed.

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What were your save and splurge items for your wedding?

We splurged on the flowers. Our flower wall that was not cheap but it definitely defined our overall theme and gave the wedding a very memorable touch. To be honest we splurged on a lot of things, including my wedding shoes… no better reason to splurge on some Valentino shoes than your own wedding day right!? As for saving, we had a modest cake that was still delicious and cut into perfect bite sized pieces to share around with dessert.

Did you DIY? If so, what did you do?

Manuel is a Graphic Designer so all of our stationery was done by us. From late night printing, to cutting until our fingers hurt, from diligently writing on each invitation to still addressing thank you cards, not to mention the typographic posters that we gave as favours to our guests.

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What was the most difficult part of planning your wedding? And the most fun?

Guest confirmation and seating can get difficult, we found ourselves shuffling our seating plan constantly based on our changing numbers. Manuel’s family and most of his friends live in Colombia so it’s not a small request to fly over to the bottom of the globe just for a day’s event, infact a number of our guests came from overseas including a majority of our bridal party but not everyone could make it due to the distance and cost. Arranging people in a room can really be a nightmare. Especially when you count into consideration whether or not they speak English or Spanish. The best part of planning the wedding would be receiving RSVP’s from friends and family and messages with their flight details, we felt so lucky to have everyone with us on the day.

Do you have any money saving tips for engaged couples?

Do a wedding budget and be realistic, add an extra $5k for unexpected expenses. There are always things that will be more than you expect, better to over budget. SPREADSHEETS! And make small sacrifices to get what you want for your big day, it’s totally worth it.

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Photographer Jessica Sim
Flowers Leaf & Honey
Venue/Catering Bracu Restaurant
Stationery & Signage Manuel Payan (Groom)
Hair Kathryn Tasker
Makeup ­Kimberly Hill
Cake Bluebells Cakery
Celebrant Janice Kingston
Brides Dress Violet Gown & Veil from Rue De Seine
Shoes ­Valentino
Earrings ­Meadowlark
Bridesmaids Dresses Zimmerman, Miss Crabb, Nordstrom, TK Store & Morrsion
Grooms Suit Bespoke Suit & Shirt by Payne Tailors
Grooms Accessories Shoes, Suspenders & Bowtie ­from ASOS, Socks from­ French83 and Cufflinks from Meadowlark
Rings Walker & Hall
Transport First Class Classics for the wedding cars and Pavlovich Coachlines for the guest bus.
Ceremony Music String Quartet ­Starlight Strings
Reception Band ­Matecito