Suzanne & Hadleigh

  • Photography by Anna Kidman

We first met through some mutual friends, I was living with them and Hadleigh and his brother came around for dinner one night.  We then met each other out one night on the dancefloor and it all really started from there  – about seven years ago now!

Suzanne & Hadleigh

It was a random Wednesday night – Hadleigh secretly got the train to London to visit Jessica McCormack Diamonds in London. Apparently, he didn’t intend to buy a ring but I think the girls saw him coming. He ended up buying ring, called my Dad for permission and proposed all in one day! He hadn’t called my Dad from his phone in the last 3 years, so he obviously knew what Hadleigh was ringing for and really made him work for it! Hadleigh set up the proposal on our balcony that overlooks Cardiff, was playing one of my favourite bands over the speaker, had set-up up a gorgeous chocolate and fruit platter and had a bottle of Champagne. He called me up to the balcony and when I turned around he was on one knee. The proposal was perfect, very ‘Hadleigh’ – so unexpected, laid-back and the ring fitted perfectly, and I absolutely loved it – he did such a good job! 

We get engaged in August 2017 and married in June 2018, which happens to be winter in New Zealand. We actually didn’t have a choice! With Hadleigh’s rugby schedule, free weekends are very rare, so we had to time it with the off-season. Once we knew winter was our only choice, we really wanted to embrace that. The best thing about a winter wedding was that everyone had something to look forward to in winter. We had so many comments about how exciting it was to have a wedding to attend in winter as they are so rare. So many of the guests went and brought beautiful furs to wear and the colour of some of the girl’s dresses were just beautiful.

Suzanne & Hadleigh

We chose to get married at Kauri Bay Boomrock, which is a beautiful lodge located just outside of Auckland on a working sheep and beef farm. The venue provided buses for the guests from Auckland CBD (which was perfect as so many of our guests were travelling for the wedding) and it allowed us to have both the ceremony and reception in one place. Kauri Bay Boomrock suited us perfectly because Hadleigh’s family is from a sheep and beef farm so being just outside Auckland we thought it really represented both of our families – something they both commented on the next day.

Suzanne & Hadleigh

Dale from The Flower Station, Mt Eden created our bouquets. I had sent her the colour of the bridesmaid dresses and just said I wanted something a bit bigger with a lot of greenery – then left it completely up to her! She managed to get the most beautiful peonies from Holland, which she said are only available three weeks in the year. They looked gorgeous!

Suzanne & Hadleigh

One of my sisters, Lauren Hoefliger and her husband Marcus made our wedding cake, which was our wedding present. It was a complete surprise, we had no idea what they were making it! They had a lemon layer and a chocolate layer and it was delicious and all went on the night! The decoration at the top of the cake my Mum found for us – which was a bride tackling the groom – fitted perfectly as Hadleigh is a professional rugby player and rugby is such a big part of our lives.

I found my dress when I went back to New Zealand from the UK in November 2017 and visited Janes Yeh's studio. The first dress I tried on in Jane’s store I really liked but I had fallen in love with a particular neckline I had seen in a photo, so Jane offered to design and make this for me based on the one I tried. I arrived in New Zealand on the Sunday before the wedding. First thing Monday morning I had my first dress fitting and Jane and her team got to work! I had to go back that afternoon for another fitting and then the dress was ready to collect Wednesday afternoon before the wedding. The timings were tight but Jane took all the stress out of it and I was completely in love with my dress.

Suzanne & Hadleigh
Suzanne & Hadleigh

My bridesmaids were my sister and two of my friends. They wore dresses by Amber Whitecliffe. Winter time not only influenced my wedding dress with the addition of long sleeves, but also the colour of the bridesmaids' dresses and the overlay of lace – I wanted a deep dark red colour as it is such a beautiful winter colour and I didn’t want them to freeze.

Suzanne & Hadleigh

Groomsmen attire was bought at Hawkes Essentials in Cardiff, UK. They wore dark blue suits with a multi-coloured tie to match the bridesmaids' dark red dresses. A couple of guests commented that they were the smartest suits they had seen, so it doesn’t get much better than that.

Suzanne & Hadleigh
Suzanne & Hadleigh

If I had one piece of advice to give brides-to-be I would say: "Let people help you and be open to their ideas! You don’t need to be in control of every little detail, at the end of the day it’s not about whether you have favours on the tables etc. My mum and sisters had so many amazing ideas and helped me organise so much of the wedding – especially helpful as we were living in the UK."

Suzanne & Hadleigh
Suzanne & Hadleigh

THE DETAILS: Bride's gown JANE YEH; Hair and Makeup DORA BAN & BEX FENESSY; Bride’s shoes: REB FOOTWEAR; Bride’s accessories VEIL from JANE YEH; Groom's attire HAWKES ESSENTIALS; Groom’s shoes HAWKES ESSENTIALS; Groomsmen’s attire HAWKES ESSENTIALS; Bridesmaids AMBER WHITECLIFFE; Bridesmaids' shoes ICONIC; Rings DIAMOND CENTRE WALES & JESSICA MCCORMACK DIAMONDS; Flowers FLOWER STATION; Venue KAURI BAY BOOMROCK; Music CLINT ROBERTS & PULSE DJ; Photography ANNA KIDMAN 


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