A Laid Back Warkworth Wedding by Sweet Events Photography

Today’s wedding has two of my favourite things, Love & Cheese (seriously check out the AMAZING cake made from South Island cheeses!). The whole day looks so relaxed, it acutally makes me a little sad to think I missed out on the party! (cause you KNOW it was a good one!). A big thank you to Emma from Sweet Events Photography for sharing this cool cat wedding with us! Enjoy xox

Who Benson & Celeste Mak
Where Kourawhero Estate, Warkworth
Guests 105 of our fun loving family and friends
Budget $20,000 (not incl rings)

In three words describe your wedding style… Laid-back, boho, festival

How did you meet?

We met in early 2010 when we both worked doing door to door sales, there was obvious chemistry and sparks right away and the flirting went on for months even though I was unavailable at the time. It wasn’t until about a year after when Benson returned from his Australian adventure he finally got that first date. Our relationship developed as we became best friends and strengthened our partnership by encouraging and supporting each other to achieve milestones and dreams. As a team we find things always seem to fall right into place as if it was always meant to be.

What music did you play for those special moments?

Aisle: Jack Johnson – Better Together
Exit: Angus & Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane
Bouquet Toss/Party Start: Fat Freddy’s Drop – 10 Feet Tall, Due to the informality of our wedding we decided to kick start the party early and after speeches we played this song as I threw my bouquet!
First Dance: We’re not the type of couple who would slow-dance on any occasion, it was obvious to us to throw that idea out the window. Why do something on our day that we’re not comfortable with. Instead we decided to have a Group Dance to Love is What I Got by Sublime.

Did you DIY?

Absolutely! I made a bunch of dream catchers, and other decorations such as candle holders, and I sourced the flowers for the mason jars that we had everywhere. And our soon to be brother in-law made an amazing wishing well from crate boxes. I also had a lot of helpers on the day that put together the Grazing Tables and assembled the cake.

What were the save and splurge items for your wedding?

Splurge: My dress, I was never going to spend over $1,000 on my dress but once I found the “one” it was hard to think how anything else would make me feel that way. Benson’s mum contributed towards it and I am so grateful for all her generosity.

Save: We did lots of DIY but the one that takes the cake would definitely be our “Grazing Tables”. I love cheese more than anything and so purchased wheels of cheese from Whitestone to create our cake and shopped at Gilmours to create a giant Antipasto Grazing Table. One of my closest childhood friends then created an assortment of sweet treats for a “Sweets Grazing Table” which included cupcakes, brownies, cookies, cakes and another friend supplied us with a tone of lollies. We also have another friend that could get a fantastic wine and champagne discount so we saved a couple thousand there.

“The most precious moment was when our celebrant Doug switched the microphone off and got us to whisper in each others ears exactly what we were feeling at the time – this was just for us and we’ll never forget it.

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

The most difficult was finding the right venue. Due to our budget and the informal style we wanted it was near impossible to find a venue that would allow us to BYO and allow us to do part of the catering ourselves and choose another caterer to do our buffet (most places only offer fixed packages). My Dad and I stumbled across Kourawhero Estate when we were looking at other venues in the area and to our surprise it was in our price range. It was a miracle! The venue had not been around for too long so were flexible in allowing us to BYO and organise the catering.

The most fun was spending hours on Pinterest finding inspiration and ideas. The most fun has to be the actual day itself. It was so perfect in every single way.

Do you have any money saving tips for engaged couples?

Research! I spent so much time finding the exact photographer, celebrant, caterer that I not only loved but fit within our budget. SO many hours but so worth it in the end. We also had so much help from family and friends who saved us lots from the stationary to alcohol to food so don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Thank you to our parents Chris, Lisa, Iona, Jeremy, Jacquie, and Dhyan and to family and friends that went above and beyond Pamela, Kelly B, Kelly S, Lincoln, Sophie and Alex; and of course our entire bridal party and all our guests for making it such a special day we are so lucky to have you all in our life!”


Photographer Emma Keirle from Sweet Events
Flowers Bouquets & head piece from Fairy Flower Shop
Venue Kourawhero Estate
Catering Buffet & ‘getting ready’ sandwiches by Yolanda Brock. Antipasto by Gilmours. And my good friend Sophie Ruffles for the sweets.
Stationery & Signage Grooms God Mother & Bride
Makeup Bride/Sister of bride/MOB by Shona Stevenson. Bridesmaids by Tahlia Nicole Makeup
Cake Whitestone Cheese
Celebrant Doug Scott
Brides Dress, Accessories & Shoes Dress by Johanna Hehir & shoes by Rachel Simpson
Groomsman Barkers, Eurostyle & Hallensteins
Rings Bride: Michael Hill, Groom: Royal Jewelry Studio in Kingsland
Music DJ4YOU
Photobooth Photobooth & Moustaches