Catharina & Jack

  • Photography by Turama Photography

Jack and I met over 7 years ago at university, the day that the University of Canterbury reopened after the earthquakes. We quickly became inseparable and have been together ever since. The day before my 23rd birthday, I had a horrible road biking accident and ended up in hospital. Jack had planned to propose to me on my birthday but due to my injuries the proposal was postponed a couple of weeks.

Catharina & Jack

We'd discussed our wedding many times before the proposal and knew exactly what we both wanted. We booked with Pacific Resort Rarotonga for the 16th June 2018 – we had fallen in love with their beach, gardens and luxurious offerings for us and our guests.

Rarotonga is a special place for my family – my parents honeymooned in Rarotonga and had not been back since then. The year of our wedding was their 30th wedding anniversary so it was very special to return as a family for our wedding. 

Catharina & Jack

The wedding flowers were made by a local florist, Kura and her sister Audrey. I asked for green and white with a little maroon to match the boy’s shirts. The only flower I was adamant I must have was green orchids – green for my favourite colour and orchids, as both sets of grandparents, and my parents, used orchids in their bouquets and it felt special to continue this tradition.

We used large green tropical leaves for the majority of the decorations at the ceremony and reception – I love leaves for the architectural impact they have, and at minimal cost. 

Catharina & Jack

Our cake was chocolate mud cake (on the bottom tier) and white chocolate mud cake (on the top tier) with a white chocolate buttercream icing. We used a cake topper I had painted of Jack and I and our two beagle puppies. Fiona Matutu Cakes made it for us – she absolutely saved the day when my original cake maker cancelled at very short notice. Jack and I both LOVE chocolate and dislike fruit in cakes so it was an easy decision – chocolate and more chocolate. 

Catharina & Jack

For my wedding dress, I wore my mum's wedding dress that she had worn 30 years ago. The dress was very sentimental as my grandmother and great aunts came to New Zealand from the Netherlands to hand-stitch this dress for my mum when she got married. It fit me perfectly and only needed a few alterations to make it a little less 80s (the puff sleeves had to go!). I asked Christine Reeves of Christine Reeves Bespoke Garments in Christchurch to help with the changes and she did the most incredible job!

Catharina & Jack
Catharina & Jack

In terms of having a destination wedding – let the experts work their magic! They know the vendors, locations and timings that work best for the location and so it is best (and easiest) to trust their advice. Saying that, keep track of what is happening with budgets, timing and logistics. Sometimes it takes a while to get a reply from someone at the destination – don’t be disheartened but do follow up if you haven’t heard back within a reasonable time frame. For our wedding, ‘island time’ was a very real thing and it was hard to understand from New Zealand but once we got the island it all fell into place and you end up on island time too.

Catharina & Jack

THE DETAILS: Bride's gown BRIDE'S MOTHER DRESS; Hair PALOMA from THE SALON RAROTONGA; Makeup DEMI'S BEAUTY BAR RAROTONGA; Bride’s accessories FAMILY JEWELLERY AND VEIL; Groom's attire CUSTOM MADE SHIRTS AND SHOES, SHORTS BY OAKLEY; Bridesmaids' dresses DESIGNER & COOPER STREET from THE ICONIC; Bride’s shoes MERCHANT 1948; Bridesmaids’ shoes MERCHANT 1948; Groomsmen's attire CUSTOM MADE SHIRTS AND SHOES, SHORTS BY OAKLEY; Flowers KINIT BUNCH; Rings CUSTOM MADE by DALGLEISH JEWELLERS; cake FIONA MATUTU CAKES; Catering PACIFIC RESORT RAROTONGA; ceremony venue PACIFIC RESORT RAROTONGA; reception venue PACIFIC RESORT RAROTONGA; Photographer JULIAN AND BRIE ZEMAN, TURAMA PHOTOGRAPHY.


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