Brides to be blog: Wining, dining and finishing touches

When the Marriage Amendment Act passed in August, Amanda Betts, former co-owner of model and talent agency Red 11, and partner Richenda dived head-first into planning the day of their dreams. This week, she talks menus, attire and finishing touches.

  • Story by Words Amanda Betts

When the Marriage Amendment Act passed in August, Amanda Betts, former co-owner of model and talent agency Red 11, and partner Richenda dived head-first into planning the day of their dreams. This week, she talks menus, attire and finishing touches.

We’re foodies and winos in the true sense of the word, as are most of our friends. Food represents so much more than the consuming of it. It’s the breaking of bread together, the conversation, the sharing of food and wine alongside the sharing of knowledge and experience. And when your guest list includes the likes of Ripe’s Pip Wylie and The Grove/Baduzzi’s Michael and Annette Dearth, food becomes a crucial part of your special occasion.

The Collective is the catering company who look after The Wharf and Orakei Bay – they have been incredible. Every time we start to get speed wobbles, Martin and Nicky assure is all is ok. Martin arranges for us to meet The Collective’s chef, Mike Meissner. The man is so passionate about food – it’s impossible not to leave almost quivering with excitement at the prospect of our big day’s six-course degustation feast. Martin’s spot in our good books is further cemented when we’re deciding on options for a late night snack – that midnight second hunger-on that inevitably occurs after too much wine and dancing barefoot. Richenda and I mention how we visited a winery once where they provided us with food and wine as a thank you for helping pick some grapes. They had a huge wheel of cheese simmering away under a raclette – the cheese is all gooey and you scoop it up with your crusty bread. It’s essentially a very sophisticated version of a toasted cheese sandwich, and a perfect midnight snack. Martin agrees, so much so that he goes out and buys a raclette! How good is that? How good is he? So all you brides that decide on a raclette at The Collective in the future, you can thank me later

Next on the list is the wine. I mean, we’re entertaining a bunch of Irish people and we’re staunch wine lovers ourselves. We are in our forties, after all. We decide to have some fun with a few friends and do a bit of blind testing – this ensures we choose wines we love because of their taste, not their label. Richenda is a big sauvignon blanc gal while I love my pinot noir. With this in mind, we decided on a gorgeous little drop called ‘Squealing Pig’ – they do a stunning sav from Malborough (from the Awatere Valley if anyone knows where that is), and a big juicy pinot noir from Central Otago. Yum yum. We also added their Central Otago pinot gris to the line up for a trio of deliciousness. I seriously recommend you try these wines if you get the chance – I for one was going ‘wee wee wee’ all the way home…

In the meantime, the final pieces of the big day jigsaw are all coming together – we've been through the finals of the vows and the photobooth is booked. Morgan of Zoe & Morgan has scoured the globe and sourced the perfect emerald stone for my ring. It, along with Richenda’s Michael John Jewellery ring, is almost done. The fabric for my Tanya Carlson dress has been dyed (a huge relief to Tanya) and the dress is ready to be made. Once again, a cool little serendipitous moment strikes again: my MC and close friend Danielle wore the same sample dress to an awards ceremony years beforehand, making it even more special. I’ve found my wedding shoes too – my beautiful Kathryn Wilson Teresa tortoiseshell heels. They were featured in the canvas – I must have good taste then! Zora Boyd Bell of Wunderkamer is doing a gold necklace for me too, so jewels are sorted. Richenda’s beautiful Shen suit is also about to be made, with all the initial fittings now complete. Mary Allen of Shen is so thorough – she’s searched high and low for the perfect summer fabric to keep Richenda cool, and has also found the coolest lining that to give the suit an extra special edge.

Over dinner with a few friends, Richard of Mor (who is excitedly going through the table settings and wedding styling with me – he is taking care of it all! I love him almost as much as I love Richeda) says ‘Amanda! You must have a costume change! Do a midnight costume change!’ I’m thinking about it. Will keep you posted.


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