Olivia & Ben

  • Photography by Anna Kidman

Ben and I first met 10 years ago, but it wasn’t until six years later that we got together, running into each other again at a mutual friend’s party. Ben proposed to me at Ruakaka beach on Christmas Day 2016, under the Christmas tree and in front of his mum and dad.  

We first stumbled upon the Bishop Selwyn Chapel in Auckland while browsing an architectural blog – we both work in the design and build industry and share a passion for beautiful buildings and spaces. With its gold-tiled ceiling and glass walls, it made the interior space seemingly fuse with the gardens and lofty trees outside – it was the ultimate venue. For our reception space, The Cloud suited us perfectly. It could accommodate our 200 guests and was also central for those who were travelling long distances to attend.

Olivia & Ben
Olivia & Ben

We were after a tropical feel for our florals with a colour palette of soft pinks, whites and deep greens. I’ve always admired Lucy from Lu Diamond Flowers’ work. Although it was nerve-wracking, I gave her free rein to create whatever she liked. She completely pulled it off, creating gorgeous arrangements filled with roses, anthuriums and orchids. We had mini bouquets for the flower girls too, which were a lovely change from throwing petals.

Olivia & Ben
Olivia & Ben

I really struggled to find a dress, so with only a month to go I went to visit Anita at Vinka Design who had designed a gown for a close friend. I originally wanted a simple silk gown, but ended up with a dress featuring beaded lace, long sleeves and a high neck with a dramatic train in dupion silk – I’ve never felt more beautiful.

Olivia & Ben
Olivia & Ben

We had five bridesmaids and groomsmen and four flower girls. The bridesmaids wore black custom-made dresses in differing styles and the flower girls wore adorable two-pieces, all from Céline Rita. I gifted them customised purses and pashminas to match. Ben wore a black suit from Working Style and his groomsmen’s suits were from Barkers, with white button-up shirts and black ties.

Olivia & Ben

A good friend of ours made beautiful fudge to sit alongside our three-tiered red velvet cake by Niu Cakery. The cake was extra special to us, with its Tongan and Maori themes decorating the second tier.

Olivia & Ben

Take lessons to create your first dance. The whole experience was surprisingly romantic and I’d highly recommend it to any engaged couple – natural dancers or not!

Olivia & Ben
Olivia & Ben

THE DETAILS: Bride's gown VINKA DESIGN; Hair BOUTIQUE BRIDE; Makeup BOBBI BROWN; Groom's attire WORKING STYLE; Bridesmaid and flower girl dresses CELINE RITA; Groomsmen's attire BARKERS; Flowers LU DIAMOND; Rings NAVEYA AND SLOANE; cake NIU CAKERY; Catering FERNZ CATERING; ceremony venue THE BISHOP SELWYN CHAPEL; reception venue THE CLOUD; Photographer ANNA KIDMAN


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