Real Weddings

Chloe & Brandon


Brandon and I met through mutual friends back in 2015 and began dating after a short friendship. Soon after becoming official, we moved in with each other and began travelling extensively together. We both came to know all of the other’s quirks and could imagine what our future had in store. Brandon and I share the exact same goals and interests and balance each other out perfectly. We discussed marriage before achieving other milestones together – getting our first dog and buying our first house. Over Labour Weekend in 2018, we went away to Waiheke Island for my birthday, but Brandon had a second motive for the weekend! We got up really early – our norm – and went down to the beach. Brandon had the drone set up – also normal for us – supposedly to capture the sunrise. After setting it to record he then dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him with a ring custom made by Culét Jewellery. We were the only ones on Onetangi Beach and having the moment captured on video made it even more special. Brandon had then planned an entire day with private olive oil and wine tastings and a lunch with some close friends who came to surprise me.

Man O’ War is a spot that we frequent in summer and we went there for lunch the day after we got engaged. As we were leaving we noticed a new structure being built and upon enquiring found out that it was their new events pavilion. Instantly we could imagine our wedding there and booked it that same day – we never even looked at other venues. We love how remote and unique Man O’ War is. Neither we nor our guests had ever known anyone who had married there and, in fact, most of our guests had never been at all. It was a great opportunity to showcase somewhere new to our 85 guests. Originally the guest list was around 140 people, but travel restrictions limited the number of overseas friends and family who could attend. It ended up being the perfect number as we found we had a moment to speak to or thank each of our guests personally.

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We aimed for a timeless theme with most of the colour palette being neutral, with natural tones outside and a monochromatic look inside. The only direction we gave to our florist Zoë Southwood of Wildflower Waiheke was a colour palette of white and green, leaving the rest up to her. She knew that our venue was a blank canvas that really needed amazing flowers to personalise it and create something special. It was incredibly special to have my favourite flowers featured in the bouquets – white roses, orchids, and gypsophila. Wildflower Waiheke could not have done a more perfect job of bringing our vision to life.

I always knew that I wanted to wear a fitted lace wedding dress with a low back. The design was helped greatly by Anita from Vinka Design whose expertise in crafting gowns was incredible – knowing which base, lace and cut would work best. After meeting with her once I could not have imagined going anywhere else for my dress. The experience was second to none and the entire process felt so personalised. My custom gown had a V neck and train and was made from a lace with lines of beading which were positioned to accentuate my curves. It fit like a glove, but I could still move in it easily and wear it all night long. I wore it with a veil, also from Vinka Design, that was cut to sit longer than the gown.

Brandon and I stayed together on the night before the wedding so that we could get up at sunrise, as per usual, to go for a big walk with our dogs Archie and Louie. We chose not to do a first look so seeing each other from either end of the aisle was an indescribable feeling. Another memorable moment was when we were pronounced husband and wife and could actually take in our guests for the first time. Knowing that they were all there to celebrate us as a couple was so incredibly overwhelming in the best way. The day was literally everything we could have imagined. Not only did we have the most perfect wedding, but our vendors were truly incredible, and our guests made us feel so loved. Neither of us has ever smiled so much.

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