Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

Rhys and I met online (before Tinder) and from our very first date he had me in fits of laughter.

A few wines later, I found myself piggy backed along the Wellington waterfront by this gorgeous, incredibly funny guy, I’d met just hours before. The rest they say is history, but in our case the rest of the night was spent in a Korean Karaoke bar!?! The cornerstone of our love is travelling the world together and so naturally the big proposal took place overseas. We were travelling America, when Rhys arranged a limo to pick us up and drop us at the local helipad. We took a beautiful scenic flight over the Grand Canyon, before landing for a champagne brunch in the middle of the world heritage site. It was as we were walking amongst the rocks, taking in the breathtaking scenery that Rhys dropped to one knee and asked me to be his wife!

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…

Italy met Aotearoa on our autumn April afternoon.Together we blended culture, cuisine and old world glamour, in a stunning historical venue.

When it came to the wedding, we both knew it had to be a big whanau affair. With over 130 guests, four bridesmaids, four groomsmen, three flower girls, two page boys and two dogs of honour, there was a lot to organise. We focused on making our wedding uniquely ours. We sought to entwine both our European and New Zealand heritage with a focus on blending a mix of Italian and local Kapiti Coast produce and customs. The venue choice was simple. When Polly’s family homestead was sold to make way for a new highway, the old milk station down the road, that had bottled and delivered dairy to generations of Case family was the logical choice. The fact that the historically protected Milk Station had been lovingly restored into an Italian inspired wedding venue, made it feel like it was ‘meant to be’.

Our wedding day was cold and moody, but inside the Milk station’s fire was roaring. Guests arrived through the iron gates to be immersed in a world of Italian gardens and industrial architecture. The light dimmed but the prosecco cocktails flowed. A solo acoustic singer added to the romantic atmosphere. Guests were led through the venue and into a cozy candlelit room. Chandeliers twinkled and rose petals lead the way up the aisle, centered by a floral covered copper arch. We opted for a classic black tie theme to complement the vibrant venue, accompanied by long stemmed roses. Raspberry prosecco cocktails and limoncello spritzers added a touch of glamour along with glass vintage vases and as many candles as I could get my hands on to create a warm intimate mood.

Tell us about your main outfits:

I must have tried on over 50 dresses! I travelled to Australia and Auckland before finally finding my dream dress in my home town of Wellington. My dad wasn’t impressed “You’d think you’d one would try on the local dresses first… but not my daughter”. I had thought I wanted lace, jewels, everything to complement my more is more personality. However when it came to my bridal look, a timeless, sophisticated drama won out. I knew the Prea dress from Karen Willis Holmes was the one the minute I put it on. It was the skirt that really wowed me! Many of the dresses I’d tried looked incredible when the train was strategically spread out, only to crumple behind me as I walked. The Prea dress was different, the substance of the fabric, the bubble hem, meant the dress kept its shape and its drama, whether I was standing at the altar, walking up the aisle or dancing all night at the reception. Combined with the modern cupped bust and striking satin drill fabric – it was to die for! Complete with the cathedral length Rue de Seine veil and crystal Twig and Honey tiara, I felt like a total queen.

When it came to the Groom, custom made was the only way to go. Rhys has a muscular shape that doesn’t work that well with conventional suits – the right size shirts don’t fit his neck and the right size jacket for his shoulders is always far too big for his waist! Devonche’s affordable but fashion forward designs were a fantastic option to ensure Rhys looked his best on our big day.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

There were so many amazing moments it’s hard to choose!

1. During the ceremony, we were gifted Korowai from Rhys’ family. For me, it was an absolute honour to be adopted into the Martin whanau in that way. Receiving the beautiful feather cloaks was even more emotional because Rhys’ late Grandmother sadly passed away before she could present them to us on our wedding day.

2. The speeches were hilarious! in particular, one of my bridesmaids read out text messages from six years ago where I described my first few dates with Rhys! “ He was a total babe but kept bleating on about how hot he was… how was your weekend?” Although the text messages were ridiculous, it was a special part of our history I never knew she had.

3. To top the night off, we had a final surprise in store for our guests. We had turned the Venue’s cellar into what was fondly named the ‘War Room’. Decanters of scotch whiskey and genuine cuban cigars added a touch of old school glamour and kept the banter going well into was the most amazing night of our lives.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

There were so many amazing moments it’s hard to choose!

1. During the ceremony, we were gifted Korowai from Rhys’ family. For me, it was an absolute honour to be adopted into the Martin whanau in that way. Receiving the beautiful feather cloaks was even more emotional because Rhys’ late Grandmother sadly passed away before she could present them to us on our wedding day.

2. The speeches were hilarious! in particular, one of my bridesmaids read out text messages from six years ago where I described my first few dates with Rhys! “ He was a total babe but kept bleating on about how hot he was… how was your weekend?” Although the text messages were ridiculous, it was a special part of our history I never knew she had.

3. To top the night off, we had a final surprise in store for our guests. We had turned the Venue’s cellar into what was fondly named the ‘War Room’. Decanters of scotch whiskey and genuine cuban cigars added a touch of old school glamour and kept the banter going well into was the most amazing night of our lives.

Photography: David Le | Videography: Sink or Surface | Ceremony and Reception location: The Milk Station | Celebrant: Karen Huaki-Feaver | Bride’s outfit: Karen Willis Holmes from PaperSwan Bride | Groom’s outfit: Devoche | Rings: The Village Goldsmith | Bride’s veil: Rue de Seine | Bride’s head piece: Twigs and Honey | Makeup: Kristy Leigh Makeup | Hair: Nickey Oliver | Fragrance: Jo Malone | Bridesmaid’s outfits: Glassons | Groomsmen: Hallensteins | Flower girls and page boys: Next | Entertainment: Ceremony- David Wall Music Reception- Urban Ersha | Hire: The Vintage Party | Flora: Wild Rose | Catering and beverages: Simply Food | Cake: Grooms mother | Kakahu cloaks: Contemporary Korowai Designs | Beer on tap: Tuatara Brewing | Local limoncello: Koakoa Limoncello