Real Weddings

Sophie & Cory

SOPHIE MASON and CORY BENNETT
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Like all modern love stories, we initially made contact through Tinder. Cory plays for the New Zealand Hockey team and my best friend Kyra was going with his teammate, and her now husband, Devon. After she met Cory, she gave him her approval to date me! Our first meeting came in Mission Bay, Auckland. Cory was too nervous to pay for my drink or ice cream, but eventually managed to pay for my hot chocolate! Following the date, we became virtually inseparable and knew something special was happening.

Cory had the proposal in the works for a long time and threw me off the scent by planning it close to my birthday. Our long weekend trip began with a clue and a blindfolded car ride to Auckland Airport. Several more clues later we were walking up the Ben Lomond Track in Queenstown! We finally made it to the top of what seemed like Mount Everest where my final clue had me look up to see Cory on one knee, ring in hand. It’s safe to say my answer was yes! The weekend didn’t end there with more Queenstown adventures planned – staying at the beautiful Millbrook Resort, a jet boat ride, the Onsen Hot Pools and, of course, Fergburger. I was one very lucky lady. The first (and last) venue we looked at was Kumeu Valley Estate. The charm of the rustic barn was exactly what we had pictured! We loved that it had a big outdoor area that we could put to use to create our perfect day. Rather than having a set theme for our wedding, we just chose things that we loved and gathered a few ideas through Pinterest. We both loved the use of olive trees and incorporating them became even more special when my mum told me about how they relate to my Croatian heritage.

I’d ultimately classify our wedding as modern rustic. We didn’t have any set ideas when going to our vendors. Our florists, Jude and Linda from Joie de Vivre, were able to turn a couple of inspiration images into exactly what we envisaged. At one of the open days at Kumeu Valley there was a beautiful rustic ladder above the head table – Jude and Linda were able to replicate this for us with heaps of greenery and a few flowers in pastel shades. After not having much luck finding ‘the dress’, my cousin put me in touch with John Zimmermann him to see if he could make me the perfect dress. When he asked me what I wanted, my answer was along the lines of fitted, lace, “those cutty in things”, no train and no veil.

The rest was pretty much up to him. From that he created a dress that was the perfect shape for my body – tight enough to show off my figure, yet loose enough to be able to party on the dancefloor in the evening. Soft lace ran over the entire gown with a split up the middle to give an elegant sexiness. John left the train on just in case I wanted to see if I liked it and he was so right – it made me feel like a bride. My mother-in-law Gill convinced me to try on a veil and wow! I’m so happy I did, it topped the dress off.

Cory opted to be a bit different with his outfit – the idea was to have fun with it and not have just another plain suit. A subtly checked blue suit from Barkers was paired with a white shirt and a bright floral tie for a summer vibe. The tie miraculously matched perfectly with the olive green of the bridesmaids’ dresses which Cory hadn’t seen. He accessorised with cufflinks and a pocket square that were his late granddad’s.

A nice summer’s day meant we could incorporate all of the things we love about our favourite time of year! Our beautiful fur babies walked down the aisle with one of our best friends and drinks followed the ceremony in the afternoon sun. Our day continued with lawn games, cocktail ice blocks, and, of course, a massive platter for everyone. Summer is, to us, about entertaining and spending time enjoying the company of family and friends. Our wedding was exactly how we would catch up with them, while also celebrating our love for each other.

Kumeu Valley offered different serving options for food, but we loved the idea of their ‘family-style’ selection. Dinner was served at the tables; big plates of eye fillet steak, chicken wrapped in bacon, baby potatoes and salad. It was just how we would have it home. It was so special to see everyone eating and talking. Dessert was put out for people to pick at as the night moved on, but we also served the cake and I surprised Cory with a donut wall as an extra special touch. I think the most memorable moment for me was walking down the aisle and looking up to see Cory standing at the end. I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. Our wedding was perfect for us; it was a representation of us and our personalities.


THE DETAILS

BRIDE’S GOWN John Zimmermann Couture. BRIDE’S SHOES The Iconic. BRIDE’S ACCESSORIES Pandora, Lovisa. RINGS Diamonds On Richmond. HAIR Gracie Ruby Hair. MAKEUP Beauty By Sophie. GROOM AND GROOMSMEN’S Attire Barkers Menswear, Hallenstein Brothers, Merchant 1948. BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES Evolution Bridemaids. VENUE AND CATERING Kumeu Valley Estate, Auckland.  CELEBRANT Matt Warman. CAKE Little Dormouse Cakes. FLOWERS Joie de Vivre Florists. MUSIC Mike Steffens. STATIONERY Smitten With Love. SIGNAGE Beardy Curls. OTHER SWIPS Frozen Cocktails.

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