After choosing the St Georges Restaurant, Kat and Sophie needed minimal styling to pull together their modern New Zealand wedding day.
Tell us about the proposal.
Sophie was turning thirty, and Kat surprised her with a weekend getaway to Waiheke Island to celebrate. Sophie had no idea where she was going and was shocked as Kat had never done anything like this before. The accommodation was fabulous, equipped with an outdoor fire, an outdoor bath and fantastic décor. Kat set up a platter, acoustic music lit the fire, and read Sophie a poem which at the end asked her to marry Kat. Sophie was shocked and was instantly crying with happiness. Kat had also set up a GoPro, so the whole thing was filmed.
What was the inspiration behind the wedding?
We thought the venue was stunning and wanted that to shine. The vibe of our wedding was exactly what we wanted! We had outdoor games, cozy couches, amazing food, and banger after banger from our DJ. The dancefloor did not stop for three hours, and our friends had plenty to eat and drink. We wanted a stress-free wedding, and that is exactly what we got!
Was there any DIY projects that helped bring it to life?
Yes, Sophie spent the year collecting various florals, which she dried and made arrangements for our tables and a statement piece for our welcome signs and seating plan. In addition, Kat and Sophie went to multiple Op Shops to find brass vases and borrowed vases of Sophie’s mum Robyn.
Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.
A few months after our engagement, Sophie booked both of us into Ecetra Bridal, who had a roadshow in Hawkes Bay. Sophie knew exactly what she wanted, and Kat had no idea! Sophie went in first and tried on the style she had in mind, which did not suit her. Eventually, she tried on a dress ultimately left field, and there were instant tears as Sophie fell in love with the dress. Kat tried on a few dresses and eventually found the one.
Talk to us about the big day!
Kat and her bridesmaids started getting ready at 7 am, and then Kat did a dress reveal to her bridesmaids (Alena and Gemma), her mum Kim and sisters Jaimee and Anna. There were tears and hugs, and then they sat around having a Champagne and some nibbles. This one-on-one time with the family was valuable as we didn’t get this opportunity again. Sophie and her bridal party started getting ready at 10 am. Before this, she met her friends for a coffee. Sophie did her dress reveal to her Mum and Dad (Robyn and Grant), bridesmaid Kate and bride’s man, and twin brother Josh. They then spent time together having a drink and some food.
Sophie and Kat then headed separately to the Napier Tobacco Building, a stunning Art Deco Building and one of Kat’s favorites. David led Kat to the front of the building, and then Kat stood with her eyes closed as Sophie was led across the road blind by Josh. Sophie and Kat stood in front of the building holding hands for a minute, then, on the count of three, opened their eyes to see each other for the first time. We were both so nervous and excited to see each other, and it was the first time we saw each others dress.
Then we had a Champagne with our bridal party and went around the Art Deco Buildings in Napier, getting bridal party photos. We are so stoked we got these before the ceremony as we didn’t have to leave the venue and our guests. We then picked up our guests and headed to the venue. Sophie and her father Grant went down the aisle first, and Kat and her father Colin came down second. There was not a dry eye in sight! Our ceremony was lead by Sam Bennett, Sophie’s uncle, and fantastic celebrant. We asked our mums to be our witnesses, and Kats sisters Jaimee and Anna had our rings. We loved that both of our immediate families were part of our special day.
After our personalized vows, we headed down the aisle to ‘500 miles by The Proclaimers’ into the courtyard where our drinks were waiting! The next hour was spend hugging and talking to our guests and enjoying some of the amazing Tapas St Georges had prepared. When it was time to head upstairs, Sophie surprised Kat with her second dress. However, the dress was similar to her first dress but had more room for Sophie to move as she wanted to rock the dance floor.
The speeches were perfect and emotional, and we enjoyed hearing some of our favorite people speak about us. We had sharing plates for dinner, and the pork was to die for! While the guests were eating, Kat and Soph headed up to Te Mata Peak with David. Where he made us run on the side of the hill in our dresses and heels and still be graceful. Thankfully David is a professional and managed to capture some amazing pictures.
Next, we cut the cake and played the shoe game where our guests learned a little more about us. Our first dance was ‘Amazed by Lone Star’ we didn’t have a fancy routine but did scream most of the chorus along with our guests.
After this, it was all on as the DJ kicked off. Both brides removed their shoes and didn’t stop dancing for three hours. Our personal favorite was when ‘Celine Dion – It’s all coming back to me now’ came on. And all the guests made a circle around us and belted out the song. The big day was perfect, and we would not have changed a thing. The staff at St Georges made sure we always had a drink and really looked after us!
How did you incorparate family into your wedding day?
Yes, all of our immediate family had a part to play on our special day. We both value family and were honored they agreed to be part of it. Kim and Robyn (mums of the brides) were our witnesses, Jaimee and Anna (Kats sisters) presented the rings, Josh, who is Sophie’s twin brother, was her bridesman, and Colin and Grant (fathers of the Brides) walked them down the aisle.
What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage to us means a lifelong commitment to each other. Sophie will put up with Kat slurping her coffee each morning, and Kat will endure Sophie’s annoyance at night when she is trying to wind down. We have experienced travel, grief and buying a house together, so we believe we have the foundations for a successful marriage. We are the perfect mix of crazy and calm, organized and relaxed, and lucky we found each other.
Photography by David Le
Cake Pretty Little Details
Catering & Venue St Georges Restaurant
Celebrant Sam Bennett – Full Circle
Engagement & Wedding Rings Michael Hill Jeweler
Entertainment Eager Entertainment
Florist Magdalen Hill Florals
Hair Loco Hair
Makeup Josie Brenstrum
Planner & Stylist Sophie Johana Florals
Prop or Furniture Hire Flock Events
Suit Designer Barkers Clothing
Wedding Party Outfits The Iconic