Destination Weddings

Destination Wedding – The wedding of Sophie and Richard

New Zealand

How did you choose your suppliers?

I actually took the step to get a wedding co-ordinator out in NZ. I chose one that specialises in people getting married in NZ from the UK (http://www.theweddingcompany.co.nz/). She was absolutely amazing! We chose where to get married first, the place I’d seen was on her website as an example but it ended up being too expensive. So she made some other suggestions and we went for one of them. We got married on Waiheke Island near Auckland on the North Island whereas she was based on the South Island so she had to find new contacts for us. We literally would get emailed with ‘Do you want photographer A, B or C’ and ‘Would you like florist A, B or C’ and sent examples along with it. I loved it, I still had some choice but it was being done for us.

Did you have any family or connections in New Zealand?

We had no connections or family in New Zealand!

How long before the wedding did you arrive in New Zealand?

We were originally going to arrive in NZ, get married then travel around for 3 weeks afterwards as our honeymoon. Instead we actually swapped it around a bit because my parents wanted to come but couldn’t come until nearer Christmas. So we arrived on 2nd December, travelled for 2 1/2 weeks, got married on the 21st December then went to the Cook Islands for another 6 days as a honeymoon within a honeymoon. Bliss!

Why did you choose New Zealand?

We’d always said we wanted to go to New Zealand on honeymoon. I’ve always liked to go for something different, and the wedding was going to be no exception. My mum always said ‘make sure your wedding day is or you, not for anyone else’… I really took that to heart. I couldn’t actually find anywhere in the UK that I liked the look of, I didn’t want the traditional church or hotel function room! My husband suddenly said well why don’t we get married in NZ? I loved the idea of it being so different and personal, and not to mention the fantastic backdrops you get out there – the photos are amazing! He actually insisted on it in the end, even though his family weren’t particularly happy about us going so far away! We had a reception back in the UK for friends and family where I got to wear my dress again and it was so much less stressful and more relaxed as we’d already got married! We showed a slideshow of images from the wedding day which everyone really enjoyed looking at.

How many family members travelled with you?

We travelled out on our own and then my parents joined us a few days before the wedding. We were originally just going to go on our own! I’m so pleased my parents were there, it really made the day.

Did you choose a hairstyle and make up before you got there?

I had an idea as to what I wanted for my hair – I had a hair stylist and make up artist arranged for me. I went to a trial the day before the wedding, I let the make up artist do what she liked as I’ve always liked dramatic smoky eyes! It looked amazing. They came to the venue on the wedding day and did it all again for me, I think the hair turned out even better on the day itself! My hair was pinned up, and my coordinator had suggested putting small white Singapore orchids in my hair which was a brilliant touch and looked fab!

How did you transport your dress or did you buy it abroad?

I carried my dress all the way to NZ! The looks I got at Manchester airport were amazing!!! I took it in a large suit bag, on Singapore Airlines (who were great and hung it up for me once we got on the plane) – I then left it in Auckland with our registrar who kindly agreed to look after it while we travelled around. It survived ok! Bearing in mind I took a full dress with me rather than a light floaty number I was impressed with how it looked!