Real Weddings

Simone & Trent

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Trent and I met five years ago through a ‘super like’ on Tinder. We went bowling on our first date and continued to see each other regularly from then on. Trent and I instantly felt at ease in each other’s lives, and we have barely spent a day apart since! It has never felt hard – it is like we have known each other for a lifetime. After a romantic weekend in Queenstown in November 2018, Trent organised a helicopter ride. We landed on a private golf course with the most spectacular views where he proposed. There was a picnic set up for us, though we enjoyed the bubbles instead as, even though he had already asked the big question, Trent was far too nervous to eat!

After our initial meeting with our wedding planner Astrid from PS. I Love You Events, she recommended The Hunting Lodge Winery & Restaurant in Waimauku, Auckland to us as a potential venue. She thought it sounded like exactly what we were after and she was right! It was a blank canvas that we could truly make our own and had a casual and relaxed vibe that we loved. We originally planned for a March wedding so that the weather would still be summery but not be as hot as at the height of the season. Our plans were changed because of Covid and we ended up booking the next available date that our venue had. The November date extended our planned 18-month engagement out to two years but turned out to be a blessing as the weather on the day was perfection.

I had had a vision of my wedding dress for years – simple and classic with an overskirt for the ceremony. It had to be made to fit my figure and something I could look back on that was not just a trend of the moment. As I did not want any lace, Trish Peng and I went for a fabric patterned with rows of sequin for a modern twist. I kept the look simple with earrings and a veil. My three best friends were my bridesmaids and wore long, white simple dresses custom made by PIA Boutique. I loved the look of the white-on-white colour scheme. For Trent we chose a black tux from Tarocash for a classic look, while the groomsmen all wore black suits.

We went for a colour palette of white on white as we loved a classic, simple, and timeless vibe with a modern twist. Our simple and elegant florals were arranged by PS. Floral, with orchids featuring heavily as they are our favourite type of flower. Trent and I exchanged gifts before we began our celebrations. Trent really blew me away with an Italian leather book engraved with our names and wedding date. He wrote me a note in the front of the book explaining that it was a place for us to write to each other for every special occasion in our relationship, keeping it all in one place. He also organised for his friend Brodie to sing as I walked down the aisle which really set the mood.

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Our main request to The Hunting Lodge with regards to the catering menu was that it consisted of fun food that our guests would truly want to eat after a few wines.

We are not formal people, so we opted for a casual cocktail style wedding with ‘walk ‘n’ fork’ catering, food stations and grazing tables. We started with a table each of charcuterie and seafood, which the guests particularly loved. Our walk ‘n’ fork setup followed with fried chicken and truffle fries, bao bun sliders and more. The taco station was then set up and small eats handed around. We served our four-tier wedding cake from Magnolia Kitchen for dessert. Each layer was a different size and flavour: chocolate salted caramel, plum rosemary, carrot, and caramel macadamia. 

After the cake cutting we had our first dance straight away, starting the dancefloor at 9pm which did not stop until the wedding finished. My uncle – Murry Sweetpants – is a DJ, so our musical entertainment was an easy choice with a huge mix of fun modern songs and old school bangers. We wanted party vibes from start to finish. At 11pm we had a late-night snack of deluxe croque monsieur toast sammies – raved about by everyone.

I truly think the casual and relaxed style of the wedding made everyone feel instantly comfortable and able to relax and enjoy themselves right from the start. The general vibe of the day made for so much love and laughter. We are so glad that we listened to our guts when it came to making decisions and did not let tradition sway us. Looking back on our wedding day I think of seeing Trent’s smile and tears as I walked down the aisle to the cheers of our guests. It was a day of happiness, joy, and love.


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