Mark and I met in 2010 at a mutual friend’s party. We caught each other’s eyes from across the room and ended up talking all night. We were friends for about two years before we started dating. There was always a spark there but once we started a relationship it felt so right. We spent nine months travelling around the USA and Europe and there wasn’t a day without laughs and fun – it really solidified our future together.
On our six-year anniversary, Mark planned a getaway to Waiheke Island. After a four-hour delay waiting for fog to clear so we could board the ferry from Auckland, we missed our lunch reservation but were able to have a drink and a bite to eat at Man O’ War winery. We then went for a walk along the beach, where Mark got down on one knee and proposed – in a full Scottish accent! It was hilarious and so ‘us.’ I jumped the gun and said “yes” before he actually got to the point where he asked me to marry him!
I love organising events so I was very excited about planning our wedding. We love the summer season and decided to get married on a Thursday at Kauri Bay Boomrock, just 10 months after the proposal. When it came to wedding style, we kept everything simple and elegant. My friend designed our stationery and signage, which really set the tone for the event, and for a colour palette I selected soft pastel hues. Lydia Reusser created the floral elements of our day and created the most beautiful bouquets. She also used vintage vases featuring single stem flowers on the tables, which I loved. I had seen a few one-shoulder dress designs and was pretty set on this style.
I’m not a girly-girl so lace or embroidery was never an option. I had known about the talent of Trish Peng for some time, so I went to her with my ideas. She brought my dream dress to life and made it so much more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Mark found a dinner suit he loved at Working Style and my three bridesmaids selected their dresses from the Bec and Bridge range at David Jones. They all were made in the colour ‘oyster’ but they were able to try on varying styles to wear what they felt most comfortable in.
As the morning of our special day dawned, Mark went clay bird shooting with the boys before getting ready with his groomsmen and his family. And for us girls, preparation took up most of the day, but it was a really fun and exciting time. Mark’s dad owns a Land Rover business, so we were lucky enough to use some of his cars for our transportation to the venue. As we arrived, I realised I’d left my veil behind, so I wasn’t able to wear it during the ceremony, but my brother fetched it for us soon after so we could capture it in photographs.
Walking down the aisle with my mum was such a memorable moment. Seeing all of the beautiful faces of our family and friends – and then seeing Mark’s face. Mark says that making eye contact with me in those moments was something he’ll treasure forever. He loved my dress and after the suspense of the planning and fittings, it was so nice to reveal it to everyone. Having one of our best friends Christine as our celebrant was so special. Saying our vows and making the commitment to each other was the most important part of the day, so it was very cool having someone we knew so well right there with us to help calm any nerves, to make the ceremony so personal, and to announce us as husband and wife. Our six-year-old niece and flower girl did a beautiful speech during the ceremony, which was a definite highlight too.
After the “I do’s” we were able to catch our breath and create some photo memories with Jonny Scott. (It’s so important to try to find as much time for each other throughout the day as you do for others). I recall being on the hill that overlooks Kauri Bay and running through cow poo, trying to keep up with Mark’s long strides in my heels, holding onto my dress, battling the wind all while trying to look nice for the photos. It was so much fun and we love the pictures.
We returned to our reception space and enjoyed a sit-down dinner with our 75 guests, feasting on lamb croquets and pork belly for entrees and fish or steak as mains. The delicious food was followed with our wedding cake, made by Mark’s mum – a gluten-free raspberry, almond and coconut layer cake.
Lauren & Mark Wedding
Speeches were made by my brother, my bridesmaids, Mark’s dad and the best man – with Mark concluding the speeches. Everyone’s words were so beautiful, funny, and so well written. I’m glad we have them recorded as it was one of the best parts of the day and we’ll treasure those feelings forever.
The band, Pat For President, got everyone into party mode. We’re suckers for old-school singalongs and a wedding is the ideal time to bring these out. Mark has a bit of a tradition where he gets up to entertain at every wedding he goes to, planned or unplanned, so I was a bit nervous about what he’d come up with for our wedding. He ended up playing ‘Wonderwall’ on the drums – it was amazing!
Getting married a couple of days before lockdown meant that some guests couldn’t attend and our Queenstown mini-moon and Mexico honeymoon was cancelled. But there’s time for a holiday later; we’re just grateful to have been able to celebrate and be married in front of so many of our loved ones.
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