Wedding DIY tips from Kiwi bridesShare your stories, photos and videos.
Electrician Mark Telfer, 27, and Graphic Designer Renee, 26, met in a Wellington karaoke bar. We're not sure which one of them was singing the smooth tunes to help the romance along the way, but it certainly did the trick.
This beautiful wedding featured crowd-pleasing speeches, a stunning summer's day and gorgeous photos.
We'll let Renee fill you in on the rest...
How did you meet? We actually went to the same high school but didn’t know each other as we were in different forms. The meeting is a little embarrassing really - it was in a very tragic Wellington Karaoke Bar. I was with my group of friends who happened to know his group of friends. We got along right away, he has a great sense of humour and I laughed the entire night. We then didn’t see each other again for a few months until a mutual friend's party, that’s when we decided a date was in order.
Tell us about the proposal: We had been together for five-and-a-half years and we both knew we wanted to get engaged. We decided to get the ring made because I wanted something unique. Once the ring was delivered to Mark, I had to wait three agonising months for him to surprise me. We were down in Motueka for a friend's wedding in Nelson, and we decided to go on a kayaking trip one day. We stopped at one of the little beaches in Kaiteriteri to have a picnic and he popped the question. It is very funny to look back at, he was so nervous when he opened the box - the ring was flung toward me and landed in the sand. The poor guy also kayaked the whole day with this massive sharp box in his back zip pocket incase we tipped overboard!
Location of wedding: Brackenridge Country Retreat, Martinborough
Describe your wedding day: One word: PERFECT! People had psyched us into thinking that something was going to go wrong, and to be prepared that there’s nothing that can be done about it, just go with the flow. That was not the case at all, everything we planned went so smoothly. We literally couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. A lot of our guests were spending two or three nights at Brackenridge to make it a lovely weekend getaway. The weather was probably too sunny (for the photos) - it was 31 degrees on the Friday prior to our wedding with no wind at all, so we were worried our guests were going to melt. However, on the day of our wedding it was a lovely 28 degrees with light sea breezes.
My family and my bridesmaids all got ready at my parents' house in Lower Hutt, so we could all have photos in my parents amazing garden. It was a very early start for us. As a stark contrast the boys got ready at Brackenridge, I believe the day started out with a BBQ cooked breakfast, backyard cricket and chilling until the photographer told them they should probably get ready!
All our guests enjoyed themselves very much. We have had the best feedback about how laid-back and easy our wedding was. Our ceremony was outside at Brackenridge, short and sweet over in 20 minutes, then everyone enjoyed canapés and drinks outside while we were off getting photos. This was followed by a lovely plated meal, cutting the cake, speeches, dessert and then dancing the evening out.
The dress: It was the first dress mum and I found on the internet, I fell in love..... then found out it was a Jane Yeh and had a $4800 price-tag! So Mark’s mum did some searching and found a lovely dressmaker just around the corner from where we lived. Valerie Morgans was able to make me a similar dress, and we changed it as we went to personalise it and suit my body. She did such an amazing job - I loved my dress!
The flowers: Colleen Baker is one of my mum’s good friends, she did all our flowers and arrangements. They all looked beautiful, she worked with our coral and off-white theme and there were many early mornings for Colleen at the flower markets collecting us sample flowers.
Highlight of the wedding: Having all our friends and family who travelled from all over the country, Australia and Hawaii. It was just such a happy occasion. The speeches were definitely memorable. Mark’s dad was a hoot, he had everyone in tears of laughter, and my dad did a small video of me growing up - a real tear jerker. My bridesmaid Hannah then outshone everyone with a beautifully written and very funny speech that everyone was talking about for weeks.
Was there any drama? Not really, I did get slightly stressed when our limo, that was to collect and transport the ladies over the hill to Brackenridge from my parents' house, was 20 minutes late. We couldn’t get hold of the limo company either, but it turned up eventually and we had left plenty of time to get there, so was only a minor scare!
The honeymoon: We knew we wanted to wait until around winter. So we saved our own money and combined it with the honeymoon fund that guests contributed to. We are leaving in August, and have over three weeks away in Hawaii (Maui and Ohau) and Las Vegas. We are counting down the days! Mark is turning 28 on the Saturday night in Vegas - let’s hope the casinos are kind to us! Sunshine, sand and cocktails here we come!
Your photographer and favourite photo? Brady Dyer was our photographer. He did an amazing job. There are way too many amazing photos for me to choose a favourite, but I really enjoy looking at the one we took in the vines - all the bridal party looking through the vines with Mark on his groomsman’s shoulders (the colours really pop!). And my brother Gareth (who is a photographer in Hawaii) did a very special one of me in the early hours of the morning freezing cold in a field, looking up to the amazing Milky Way that was above us that night.
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