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

I think the creators of dating apps were inspired by relationships that eventuated like ours. We met through Gregory’s younger sister Victoria. Victoria and I can’t remember how we met but we caught up in LA when Victoria was living there and I was there on a layover for work (I’m a flight attendant for Air New Zealand). Of course we discussed our relationship status and Victoria suggested I meet up with her brother Gregory when I returned home. When you know and respect someone you get a good idea of what his or her family will be like. All Victoria told me was his name, his age, that he is taller than me and that he worked for Trade Me. I was curious so I attempted to stalk him on Facebook. Unfortunately Gregory’s profile didn’t show anything publicly so I added him for more information. The duty I was working returned home via Rarotonga and by the time I got there Gregory had messaged me. Later that week we went on our first date. I had been dying to try Peter Gordon’s tapas restaurant Belotta so I took it as a sign when this was the first place Gregory suggested. We enjoyed a boozy, long, late dinner and we’ve been together ever since. Gregory and I love food. Gregory is a great cook and I love planning and inviting guests over so we make a good team.

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…

We envisioned a simple, elegant, intimate, Wedding. Ideally, we wanted to get married at home but we live in an apartment so hired a house in Remuera overlooking the Orakei basin. For the reception, our first choice was to use one of the Hip Group venues but the places we liked were unavailable so they suggested Ortolana in Britomart. Ortolana hadn’t held any weddings previously, could only seat roughly 60 people and couldn’t hold a wedding on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday but we love Hip Group’s ethos and Ortolana proved just perfect for a city wedding. We decided on a Sunday evening just shy of the anniversary of our first meeting. In Italy, Sunday is considered the best day to wed. This tied in nicely with our Italian cuisine and non-traditional style. Ortolana was wonderful. The whole process with them was seamless and the reception was lovely. 

Tell us about your main outfits:

Gregory bought his shoes on ASOS to compensate (in terms of cost) for the beautiful Crane Brothers shirt and suit he had custom made in Italy, but they ended up working perfectly. We hadn’t decided on a specific colour theme for the day but Gregory told me a few weeks before the wedding that he had chosen himself a light blue tie. He looked so handsome.

The bridesmaids wore lace Shona Joy dresses in different styles. These were one of my first purchases and I was really happy with them.  I loved dressing my sisters up when we were little so I had fun with the chance to do this again although y sisters hated the shoes I bought for them so the bridesmaids ended up choosing their own shoes and hair styles. When it came to my dress, I couldn’t decide what I wanted… I had a dress made by Sarah Horton but a couple of months before we wedding I decided it was too simple and Sarah used 20 meters of tulle to make a beautiful over-skirt with a pearl belt. On the day, I didn’t feel that the skirt was working when worn over the top of the dress so Victoria’s boyfriend (also the MC) Marty made a wild dash to Miss Crabb on his was to the ceremony to collect a simple slip. I wore the slip with the over-skirt for the ceremony and Gregory says this was his favorite look. The Knufferman dress that I wore to the reception I purchased the weekend before the wedding! My shoes were pre-ordered from Chaos and Harmony, they arrived the week leading up to the wedding.

Our flower girls chose their own dresses and shoes but each wore a flower crown from Blush. They looked so adorable and took their roles so seriously! They ushered guests, delivered cake and champagne and threw flower petals that my mother had dried.

We all wore Monarc jewellery. “We began designing my engagement ring while in London in 2017 with Monarc Concierge designer and founder Ella Drake. Ella was excellent to work with and guided us through the process. She ended up making our wedding bands as well, Gregory’s band has ‘Amore mio’ (My love) engraved on the inside. On our wedding day the bridesmaids, flower girls, all the women in our nuclear families and myself wore special Monarc pieces. I especially loved my pearl earrings”.

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

A dear friend who owns a café made two enormous wedding cakes and bought them all the way up from Mount Maunganui. They had layers of vanilla sponge, berry compote, a rich vanilla bean cream, Chambord and loads of fresh berries and flowers. They were such a hit and nobody could believe they were vegan. We served our cake with champagne right after the ceremony.

Another friend who is a potter made delightful little pots as our party favors; my sister filled them as candles.

Inline with the simplicity and intimacy of our small wedding, we had a friend apply to be a marriage celebrant.  A couple of weeks before the wedding she still hadn’t received the license and we were forced to look at other options. Gregory looked up the nearest celebrant to us and he wound up next door! Our next-door neighbor in our apartment block stayed home from his usual weekend at the beach and conducted the legal part of our wedding in our apartment on the morning of our wedding. Gregory’s Stepmother, sister and my parents were our witnesses. I had been saying I wanted an at-home wedding, funny how things turn out! Our friends and family were still able to witness our vows and other formalities at the ceremony that afternoon.

Ortolana’s menu was spectacular. Chiara’s cocktails were divine and we had a vegan option with each course. The staff were attentive and professional but friendly. The food was outstanding, the colours and the presentation and the flavours were more than we could have hoped for. The atmosphere was ideal. 

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

You will never please everyone, so simply do your best and focus on yourselves as much as possible, as it is your day. Stress in the lead up seems to be normal, so better that it is then and not on the day.

Photography: Rambo Estrada– Bride’s Dress: Sarah Horton bespoke dress, vale and over skirt. Miss Crab Kate Moss Slip. Knuefermann Berlin dress- Groom’s Outfit: Crane Brothers suit, shirt and tie. ASOS shoes- Rings: Monarc– Shoes: Chaos and Harmony– Make-Up and Hair: Fiona Claire– Fragrance: Gucci Bloom and Chanel Blue- Bridesmaid: Shona Joy– Groomsmen: Own suits- Celebrant: Grant Kenyon and Grace Saathof- Flora: Blush and sisters help- Food/Beverages/Catering: Ortolana– Cake: Claire Beard from George Cafe for main wedding cake. The Caker for mini cakes.

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