Six years after “we fumbled our way between friends and more-than-friends,” these two tied the knot while “soaking up the sunshine” in Hawke’s Bay, on the North Island of New Zealand on a 30-degree day. What a setting! The stunning Kristen wore one of our go-to wedding gown designers, Alexandra Grecco and the nuptials were shot by the talented Tim Williams Photography, so scroll down for all the pics and deets from the couple…

LITTLE LOL “For some reason, we decided to combine a few big life changes into the three months prior to the wedding. We finished our jobs in London, moved out of our flat, moved countries from England back to New Zealand, flew our dog from London to Auckland to join us, started new jobs, got married and bought a house. So it was quite a hectic time!”

THE VENUE “We didn’t see any venues before we locked Black Barn Vineyards in! Because we were planning everything from London we had to rely on Google and Skype pretty heavily. We had dreamed of a Tuscan wedding, but after a bit of a reality check we decided that the Hawke’s Bay in NZ was just as beautiful and could deliver on the rustic vineyard vibe, while making it a lot easier for most of our friends and family to get there. We really wanted to put out our own spin on things, so the idea of being able to use different parts of the vineyard for different aspects of the day was really appealing, and we really fell in love with the intimate, romantic feel of the underground cellar for the ceremony.”

FAVE DETAILSThe floral work by Magdalen Hill was incredible. It was one of the things that I knew would play a huge role in our wedding and in bringing the space to life, but it is also something that you are one of the last people to see come to life – which is quite nerve-wracking! It was even better than I had expected – it made the space feel like a magical secret garden. Miss Frou Frou also did a beautiful job of creating a really romantic and ethereal vibe in the underground cellar for our ceremony. We had hundreds of candles and lanterns at all different heights and locations. Word of warning, though – 400 candles in an enclosed space with over 100 people does create quite a warm environment for a ceremony! Andy and I [also] wanted interactivity with our guests during the reception – to have something that they could use to create some noise during speeches and to help create atmosphere on the dance floor. We decided on tambourines and had one at each seat with the person’s name attached on a tag – this acted as a place setting, and also as a wedding keep sake. Our groomsmen and bridesmaids did amazing speeches with games and voting and music, so the tambourines got a lot of use during these. We have loved seeing them find their way into the toy boxes at the homes of lots of our friends and families.”

THE DRESS “It was quite a journey, and probably the most difficult part of the whole wedding for me! I felt like I had some element of control over most other aspects of the wedding, but how I looked in a dress for some reason felt very scary. There was originally a sheer panel between the top and skirt of the Alexandra Grecco dress [I chose], so it was a fairly modern style. I was a little nervous about this from the start, but I loved everything else about the dress so went with it. But I kept picturing myself walking down the aisle in the cellar and I just didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of flashing flesh. So after about three fittings, I finally asked my seamstress if we could fill in the gap. We did manage to, but it was not a simple fix and had to be done fairly quickly. My recommendation to future brides is to trust your gut from the start – make sure you are staying true to your own style and will feel really comfortable, because it will show on the day. It is possible to make almost anything work with your designer or seamstress if you decide to do it from the beginning, but it becomes a lot harder when you have to make significant changes to an already finished dress!”

WE’RE GLAD WE “Made the day our own, and didn’t really follow a cookie cutter guide to weddings. It was a lot more work but meant we didn’t really have to compromise on things that meant a lot to us. We both had a few things that we felt quite strongly about (for me it was the candles, floral backdrop and the tambourines, Andy was very keen on making sure that the alcohol and food was good and in plentiful supply!), so we made sure we found ways to make them work with our budget and suppliers.

STANDOUT VENDORS “Toni at Magdalen Hill florists was so lovely to deal with, from start to finish. She totally understood my vision, worked to our budget, and went above and beyond in every possible way. She was so reassuring and worked seamlessly with all the other vendors, I trusted her and her team completely to deliver what we wanted. Crafted and Co. catering also did a brilliant job on food – we had family-style sharing platters served on each table, and the fact that they managed to produce really beautiful food (that received rave reviews from guests) on such a big scale, all from a food truck that they drove from Palmerston North was absolutely amazing. They also did a beautiful grazing platter, and some ‘fill your own donuts’ for the dessert table, as well as our wedding cake, all of which we had amazing comments from our guests about.”

If you have fallen in love with the bride’s phenom gown, head here for more about the designer, contact details and more. And if you want to see and read about photographer, Tim Wiliams, as well as check out two other real weddings, you can do so on Directory here. But first…


CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Tim Williams Photography Cinematographer Mayer Broadcast and Media Production Stylist Miss Frou Frou Florist Magdalen Hill Stationery & Signage HeyLooker Ceremony & Reception Black Barn Vineyards Catering, Cake & Donuts Crafted and Co. Wedding Favours Ali Express (Tambourines) Hire Items Lucy Chase (Tables & Chairs) Add Some Fun (Lawn Games) Rent for Events (Drinks Trolley & Dispenser) Calligraphy Chalkboards Panoply Studio Marquee, Rugs & Beanbags The Flagship Events Co. Photo Booth Hotshots Photo Booths Sound & Lighting Hire Sight & Sound Services Entertainment Shaun Preston Celebrant Zac Bingham (Friend) Wedding Bands Wedding Ring Workshop Transport Nimon Portable Toilets Royal Flush THE BRIDE Bridal Gown Alexandra Grecco Bridal Boutique Blackburn Bridal Couture London Veil Fran Rios Engagement Ring & Earrings Miramor Getting Ready Robes The Party Postman via Etsy Hair Rachel Haworth Styling Makeup Steph Viatos Makeup Bridesmaid Dresses Celine Rita Bridesmaid Gifts Christies Jewellers via Etsy (Personalised Bracelet) THE GROOM Suit Edit London Tie Working Style Shoes Barker Watch Longines Groomsmen Suits Charles Tyrhitt