Celebrations: Auckland: Beachside Bliss

A backdrop of clear skies and sea views made this beach-loving couple’s clifftop celebration one to remember. Sandy Warner and James Wilson married at Castaways Resort, Auckland, on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

    A backdrop of clear skies and sea views made this beach-loving couple’s clifftop celebration one to remember. Sandy Warner and James Wilson married at Castaways Resort, Auckland, on Saturday, April 13, 2013.


    Our love story
    James is a pilot and I’m a flight attendant which meant we first crossed paths on a trip to Australia. He proposed last August while we were holidaying in Vietnam. After a meal out and a stroll alongside the riverbank, he took me by surprise and got down on one knee. It was completely unexpected, so for a few moments I struggled to string together a proper response.

    Our wedding style
    We both love the beach, so our clifftop ceremony at Castaways set against sweeping ocean views was the perfect way to say ‘I do’. Our black and white colour scheme gave the day a contemporary look, while orange accents, such as petals sprinkled along the grassy aisle and copper calla lily centrepieces, introduced vibrant pops of colour.

    Dream dress
    My Astra Bridal gown featured a sweetheart neckline, pleated bodice and textured lace skirt. A black velvet band linked the look with the dramatic tone of my bridesmaids’ dresses, and I wore my hair in a low side bun incase the clifftop got windy. I accessorised with Swarovski crystal drop earrings. a twinkling diamanté bracelet and a diamanté head piece from Astra Bridal.

    A sumptuous feast
    We moved inside for our three-course, sit-down meal, with Castaways’ floor-to-ceiling windows exposing a backdrop of breathtaking sea views. Following entrées such as chicken and mango pastries, guests indulged in mains of herb-encrusted lamb and pan-seared snapper. Accompanying Castaways’ dessert platters, Stawberry Sky made both chocolate and lemon cupcakes which were arranged in a tower. A small chocolate cake, decorated with white icing and monochromatic sugar flowers, topped the creation.

    Happy snaps
    Castaways provided a photobooth which kept guests entertained throughout the evening. The machine produced double print outs, so one copy of each photo went into an album that doubled as a guest book.

    Gorgeous girls
    The Blossom Room gathered copper calla lilies and hypercium into vibrant bridesmaid bouquets – the orange stood out against the girls’ one-shouldered black chiffon dresses and tied in with the stripes on the groom and groomsmen’s ties.

    For our guests
    Paper Magic printed each of our 92 guests’ names onto pearl-sheened paper which we wrapped around chocolate bars – the individualised favours doubled as nametags and included a thank-you note on the back. We paired them with a small bag of jet plane lollies to reflect mine and James’ first meeting.

    My advice for brides to be
    The day goes by extremely quickly, so arranging a dinner with guests the night before the wedding is a great way to make sure you get to spend quality time with each of your loved ones.

    The Details
    Bride’s gown and veil Astra Bridal 
    Bride’s hair Amelia Rush, La Boutique 
    Bride’s makeup Christina Dellar, Freckles and Blush 
    Bride’s shoes Mischief 
    Groom’s suit Crane Brothers 
    Groom’s shoes Life for Men  
    Groomsmen’s attire Exclusive Suit Hire  
    Groom’s and groomsmen’s ties 3 Wise Men 
    Bridemaid dresses Modes 
    Bridesmaid shoes Overland 
    Flower girl dresses Astra Bridal w
    Bride and Groom’s Rings Michael Hill and Partridge Jewellers 
    Flowers The Blossom Room 
    Cake Strawberry Sky 
    Catering Castaways Resort 
    Stationery Paper Magic
    Celebrant Laressa Howard 
    DJ Ian Wilson 
    Photography Amanda Wignell Photography 


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