Andy & Katie the 2016 Wedding of the Year WINNERS

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We had been engaged for five years, so this event was some time in the making. Endless hours and much love went into ensuring every detail was perfect. Our DIY list was large, but the months spent crafting all these elements made our day so much more special, and seeing everything come together was such a proud moment.

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On the day of the wedding, my bridesmaids and I enjoyed a relaxed morning of makeup, hair and bubbles. I surprised each of the girls with a gift box containing a silk robe, a candle, nail polish, a face mask, a leather journal, and a wooden hanger hand-painted with their name.
Our ceremony was on top of a hill with 180-degree views out to the ocean. My dad passed away suddenly a few years ago so walking down the aisle was a bittersweet moment for me. My two brothers escorted me from the car to the start of our aisle, before Mum walked me down and gave me away.

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My gown was a true work of art that almost didn’t happen after I could not find the right fabric. I had a vision of the dress in my head: a mermaid-style gown with a low back, and panels of fabric framed by columns of beading. After months of searching, I had the beading custom-made in India. I managed to source a mesh fabric online from a store in New York, and found a fabric printer in Auckland who could print a custom pattern onto white silk. These formed the elements for my gown but the delay in finding them meant it was down to the wire. Our best man, who flew in from Canada, ended up having to collect the dress from the dressmaker two days before the wedding and bring it up to the venue. The level of detail in the dress is absolutely insane and almost drove my dressmaker crazy, but the result was truly stunning.

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To honour my late dad, we released white balloons into the sky before Andy and I recited our own wedding vows. My aunty surprised me with a horseshoe handmade by my late nana, who had created one for each of her grandchildren before she passed away – a very special moment, and a precious keepsake.

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We made our wedding signage and the seating chart from sheets of plywood. My aunty and I arranged all the ceremony and reception table flowers using foraged foliage and flowers from the auctions and friends’ gardens. I crafted details such as our ‘Mr & Mrs’ cake topper and guestbook, crêpe paper balloon tassels, ribbons for the ceremony chairs, our K&A marquee letter lights, ribbon for the entranceway flags, and mini gold-glitter flags for our cocktail straws. I also designed and printed the grazing table labels, menus, table numbers, escort cards and seating names, and styled all of the tables. One of the groomsmen made our awesome wooden bar, cut pine planks for our table runners, and helped Andy make the poles for our festoon lights.

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We hired everything else: the tables, chairs, tablecloths, cutlery, glassware, festoon lights and more – my Excel spreadsheet was extensive! I had wanted to make our wedding cake, but with our lengthy DIY list, Andy drew the line there. Instead, one of my bridesmaids created our dream cake: three tiers of white chocolate and cardamom, yoghurt and passion fruit, and lemon cake with lime curd, finished with fresh flowers and foliage.
Our wedding style was modern, sophisticated and monochrome – clean lines and lots of white, contrasted with green foliage, blonde wood and touches of gold. Staying on site for the two days prior to our wedding, Andy and I worked with friends and family to transform the space into our dream setting.

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After the ceremony guests walked to a beautiful building nearby, The Glasshouse, set on the cliff tops, where they mingled over cocktails and played lawn games while my new husband and I stole a quiet few moments at the reception venue before our guests joined us.
Our reception was held open-air style on the large flat lawn of our venue, with guests seated at long banquet tables framed by strings of festoon lights. The space was scented with beautiful white candles, and the tables set with clear beaded charger plates and gold cutlery, decorated with pine table runners, and covered with lush foliage and white roses, hydrangeas, lisianthus, dahlias and Queen Anne’s lace.

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After dinner Andy and I snuck away with our photographers for sunset shots in the rolling hills above our venue. This was an amazing moment for us to sit back and reflect on the day. Standing on the hill with the sun setting, looking down onto everyone laughing, drinking and dancing at our venue was one of our favourite memories of the day.

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We rejoined the wedding to cut our delicious cake, and share a selection of desserts that family members had made. The night ended with some great dance moves before we made our way to our accommodation.

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They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it turns out it also takes a village to pull off a DIY wedding. Andy and I are forever grateful for the time and effort our loved ones put into helping us craft our dream day.

Photos by Frank & Peggy Photography
Hire: The Pretty Prop Shop
Others that made their wedding special:
Munns Formal Suit Hire, Tony Bianco, ASOS, Walker & Hall,
Steve Vodanovich, Nina Richards, Auckland Wedding Films,
Wendy Plooy Flower Design, Kauri Mountain Point Estate,
Bank Street Social Club, Michelle Woods, Makeup by Dixie,
George O’Connor, Lana Searle, Cheers Party Hire

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