When Simon insisted that he and Karyn take an early-morning hike while holidaying in Israel, she never expected the surprise he gave her at the mountain peak. “I’m not a morning person, so about three-quarters of the way up, I told Simon to go ahead without me. He made me keep going and I was not very happy about it! When we got to the top as the sun started to rise, I was mesmerised by the view – I hardly noticed Simon had gotten down on one knee!”

Cue 18 months of planning (and a move to NZ for Aussie Karyn) and this pair said ‘I do’ at the stunning Kauri Bay Boomrock overlooking the Hauraki Gulf. Lens lady Ana Galloway was their ride-or-die on the day, not to mention their rockstar picture-snapper. “She had so many good suggestions, from the schedule to photo-friendly spots for the bridal party to get ready, to coordinating the unique mix of important people we wanted to be included in photos. I felt like I could get her opinion on anything – and on top of all that, she is absolutely lovely.” Well then, let’s check out her pics! 

 THE VENUEWe both wanted to get married by the sea and Kauri Bay Boomrock has the most breathtaking coastal view, which won us over instantly.Every time we went out there we were blown away as we walked down the platform looking out at the bay below. What also convinced us to go with KBB was the level of service we got from the staff. They are absolute pros and took so much of the stress out of the day.”

FAVE DETAILSThere were so many! Some stand-outs were the cake, by Côte Catering – believe me when I say this was the best cake I’ve ever eaten and I’m committed to getting it every year on our anniversary from now on. Not only did it taste good but I also loved the florals used on it. Our talented florist, Miss Monday Flowers, added a simple but stunning arrangement to it, using orchids, which are a special flower to Simon’s pop who passed away the year prior.”

DIYFor the ceremony, we had a chuppah, which is a traditional Jewish wedding arch that represents the couple’s first home, which Simon constructed with the help of his family. I designed our signage and menus, and undertook the mammoth task of making ceramic vases and candle holders for all the tables. I wanted to have enough for every guest to take one home at the end of the night as a wedding favour. I definitely underestimated how much time this would take, and it was an absolute labour of love, but I eventually made about 120 vases.”

THE DRESSI was absolutely in love with my dress, but it was quite a journey to find ‘the one’! After I had tried on what felt like 100 dresses, not a single one was right, but I knew Kenny & Harlow  did custom so I went to them. It took several fittings for it to come together, and I wasn’t sure if it would turn out the way I had imagined in my head, but by the time it was done it exceeded all my expectations. During one of my fittings I eyed up a sheer silk blouse that was hanging on a rack. I tried it on with my dress for fun and immediately fell in love with it. It worked with my dress so perfectly, and created a different look, which I ended up wearing for the ceremony.”

REFERENCESHello May was one of the first places I turned! And I used Instagram a lot – going through photos that our venue had posted and finding vendors that had worked there before was also really useful.”

LITTLE LOLSimon was responsible for bringing the marriage certificate on the day, but ended up forgetting it! So when it came to signing the certificate during the ceremony, we all scrambled, not sure what to do. Simon’s dad pulled out his speech, which was printed on white paper, and we all signed that pretending it was the marriage certificate for the photos. I think Simon’s dad wrote something along the lines of ‘you’re an idiot’ before signing it!”

WE’RE GLAD WE…We chose not to have a wedding party table and instead sat with our friends on long banquet tables. It was really nice to have all of our friends around us for the reception and I’m glad that our wedding party could also sit with their partners – there’s so much love in the air at a wedding you just want to be around your bests!”

STANDOUT VENDORAll our vendors were awesome, truly. But Ana Galloway was a real standout and the best decision of the whole wedding (except for Simon of course!). She is an unbelievably talented photographer with a knack for capturing all the special moments so beautifully. On the day she did an incredible job of shepherding everyone and making sure we were running to schedule. On top of all that she is absolutely lovely.”

Looking for your own NZ vendor dream team? Check out this fab bunch on our directory – they are all super talented and lovely to boot! Karyn and Simon’s wedding was first printed in Issue 34 of Hello May, which you can grab a copy of over on our online store, along with our previous issues, the latest Real Wedding Special and our Wedding Planning Guide (which is pretty spesh, if we do say so ourselves).

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Ana Galloway Cinematographer: Oak Films Florist Miss Monday Flowers Stationery Bride Printer Pinc (menus) Ceremony, Reception & Catering Kauri Bay Boomrock Cake Côte Catering Entertainment Two Many ChiefsGe Luz Rings Louis the Goldsmith THE BRIDE Gown Kenny & Harlow Veil Borrowed Robe All the While Shoes ASOS Earrings Portfolio Jewellery Necklace  Sarah & Sebastian Hair & Makeup Serenity Makeup Mobile Makeup & Hairstyling Bridesmaid dresses Blak, Bec & Bridge, Shona Joy Bridesmaid gifts Portfolio Jewellery (pearl earrings), Byron & Brown (initial clutch) THE GROOM Suit & Shirt Barkers Shoes R.M. Williams Groomsmen suits Barkers