Let us introduce you to Lena and Raphael, a couple of cute globetrotters who have been traversing the continents together for 13 years now. Engaged in Portugal and current residents of the UK, you best believe these two opted for a destination wedding. Settling on New Zealand for their big day, Lena and Raph also chose to pay homage to their Chinese and German backgrounds. The result? A whole heap of fun! Ana Galloway Photography was there to capture it all, so scroll down, friends… 

THE VIBE “Our wish was for an outdoor wedding overlooking the ocean, and a contemporary space for the reception. Kauri Bay Boomrock is stylish and modern, was the right size for us, and you just can’t beat that view. It was really important to us to celebrate New Zealand’s natural beauty and also pay homage to our Chinese and German backgrounds. We didn’t really have a theme but we wanted to create a modern, relaxed elegance with a coastal vibe. We definitely didn’t want it to feel too traditional or fussy. The decor was quite understated, and let the venue and view shine.”

DIY As we are both designers, we designed and built the save-the-dates, a custom website invite, and the stationery. Given that we had a pretty strong vision of what we wanted (like the colour and materials palette, lighting) we decided to plan the styling ourselves instead of paying for a stylist or event planner, by putting together mood boards and then finding various suppliers and vendors. (The venue staff and florist assembled it on the day and it all came together!) A budget friendly tip – instead of sourcing more greenery through our florist, Raph went to a garden centre and just filled up the trailer. We got some palms to welcome guests into the front entrance and frame the bar, and some potted calatheas and orchids to decorate the terrace. Now the palms are planted in my parents’ yard and my grandparents have the potted plants as a memento of the day!”

FAVE DETAILS… “The rattan lamps, natural table linens, floral arrangements… all helped create that relaxed, summer holiday feeling. We were really happy with the stationery. The custom coasters were also a personal touch – Raph and I like to collect (steal!) cool beer mats from bars we visit around the world, so I decided to design one for our wedding. Raph found Thirsty’s in the UK that printed them cheap. The arch, the Toe Toe – a native grass that normally grows near the ocean and orchids. The delicious dessert! It was a nice way to include something from our different cultures. I loved surprising everyone with my red Qipao, but the earrings were the real star of my outfit.”

THE DRESS I knew I wanted something contemporary and elegant with a clean silhouette, nothing fussy or overly formal, and it had to be comfortable to move in as well. I went to six bridal stores in London and found the cape first, at Heart Aflutter Bridal, by Lena Medoyeff. Same name – meant to be. I loved the graphic silhouetted it created when layered over a dress. When I went to Charlie Brear, I just fell in love with the store, their beautiful options and the service was lovely. It wasn’t the easiest to move around in though, so I found a Ralph Lauren jumpsuit for the reception.”

WE’RE GLAD WE… “Invested in second shooter! We were able to get more images of our guests and the boys getting ready without having Ana rushing around to do it all! We’re really glad we got our ceremony translated for our German and Mandarin speaking guests. I’m so happy I found a qipao to wear to the reception.”

STANDOUT VENDORS “Our celebrant Anna of AM Wedding Girl – she is friendly, communicative and just all-round lovely. We loved the modern, non-traditional ceremony she wrote for us. Also, we absolutely loved working with Ana Galloway Photography. We chose her because she was so friendly and down-to-earth (as well as having awesome work!). She was a great communicator throughout the whole process, fun to hang out with on the day, and really went above and beyond to make sure everything ran smoothly.”

Lena and Raphael’s big day was originally published in Issue 28 of Hello May magazine. They were the cover couple, and you can see why, right? Nab yourself a copy via our online store and we’re even throwing in a free mag, so get onto that!

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Ana Galloway Photography Florist Blush Stationery Design (Bride) Printer Emerald Press Ceremony & Reception Kauri Bay Boomrock Hire Items The Pretty Prop Shop (Chairs) Beautiful Linen Hire (Napkins & Tablecloths) Lighting Hire Vintage and Style Entertainment DJ NZDJ Signage Paper Darling Celebrant AM Wedding Girl Transport Elite Bespoke Beer Mat Thirsty’s THE BRIDE Bridal Gown Charlie Brear Cape Lena Medoyeff via Heart Aflutter Bridal Boutique Jumpsuit Ralph Lauren Robes Le Rose Rings ILA & N + A via Catbird Shoes Loeffler Randall & Diavolina via Zomp (Sandals) Accessories Jennifer Behr (Earrings) Crown and Glory Accessories (Bridesmaid’s Hair Pins) Hair & Makeup Hayley Amundsen Bridesmaid dresses Bec + Bridge Bridesmaid shoes Diavolina via Zomp Bridesmaid Gifts  Le Rose (Robes) & Lovisa (Necklaces) THE GROOM Suit Norton & Townsend Shirt Hugo Boss Tie & Pocket Square Reiss Wedding Band Liberty. Shoes Grenson Groomsmen Suits Barkers Groomsmen Gifts Jo Malone London (Cologne) & Riess (Ties)