Stuff's wedding of the week

Last updated 05:00 16/05/2014
Introducing Kaylene and Tom
Photography by Anthea of Fantail Photography.

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Who would've thought a game of Battle of the Sexes and a boxing bet could bring two people together - not us that's for sure. But low and behold, Kaylene and Tom have proved us wrong.

The pair were on track to be set up on a partially blind date, but a chance meeting meant their relationship kicked off earlier than expected.

A mountain top proposal (Kiwi men really do seem to love these grand gestures) and a whirlwind of wedding planning later and the couple were committing themselves to a lifetime of romance.

We'll let Kaylene fill you in on the rest...

How did you meet? Tom and I met in Wellington in 2009, when we were both in our last year of university. Tom was living with a friend of mine, and after seeing a picture of him I convinced my friend to set us up on a 'blind date'. He agreed, not knowing that I already knew who he was and what he looked like.

We never got around to that blind date though, because I ran into him one weekend when I was visiting my friend. After a game of Battle of the Sexes, during which we wowed each other with our knowledge of unlikely topics, and a hasty bet on Tua vs. Cameron, we just clicked. We took a chance on not knowing where either of us was headed after university, but after some tough decisions and a lot of trust, here we are!

Tell us about the proposal: We had wanted to walk up Mt Maunganui for a while but hadn't found the time. Despite my enthusiasm, I complained most of the walk up and I'll admit I even threatened to turn back a few times. When we got to the top the view was so beautiful, it was such a clear afternoon and I set about taking photos in every direction.

While I was preoccupied, Tom mentioned he needed to get something out of his backpack, and when I looked up he was on one knee with the ring in his hand! It turns out he had been holding on to the ring for quite a while and had even asked my dad about a month prior.

The walk down was an absolute blur and we started calling friends and family as soon as we got to the bottom. My favourite phone call was to my best friend and maid-of-honour; I let her talk for five minutes about her new car before she realised I must've been calling for a reason. When I told her, I think she made more of a commotion than I did!

Location of wedding: We really had no idea where we would get married, but with only five months to plan the day we needed to make a decision, and fast! I'm from Taupo and most of my family still lives there, so we decided to get married on the lake side of the Taupo harbour. We had our reception at the Taupo Yacht Club and it was catered by Eat Catering.

The view from the Yacht Club is incredible, and some of our favourite photos have a spectacular silhouette of the mountains in the background. The whole day was absolutely beautiful and we were lucky enough to get the best weather that Taupo could've possibly given us, despite the forecast of heavy rain.

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Describe your wedding day: We wanted our day to be bright, fun and simple so we prioritised, did away with some traditions and included some DIY where we could. Due to time constraints we really just jumped right into planning, and our day turned out to be every bit as eclectic as we had hoped.

Everything right down to the mismatching bridesmaids, bow ties and our unique centrepieces - painted wine bottles with photos of us on them - was perfect. The night passed in a flurry of laughter and dancing, surrounded by 75 of our closest friends and family.

The dress: When I first went dress shopping it's safe to say that I had no idea what I was looking for, but I knew what I didn't want. A day of trying on dresses left me none the wiser and we left empty handed aside from a few vague ideas that had potential.

After trying on a few more I was pretty sure I knew what I wanted but as it was November many places were doubtful they could get me anything before the end of March - and that was cutting it a bit fine for my liking. Thankfully I was told of a dressmaker in Taupo who frequently makes ball and wedding dresses, and when I showed her what I wanted she said yes, let's go! The style and the fit of my dress was absolutely perfect and when I saw myself in it for the first time it was just so 'me', I could not have been happier.

The flowers: I had originally decided against having bouquets or flowers on the table- we were going to carry parasols and the tables would have our wine bottles - then I discovered Etsy and my gorgeous bouquets and I was sold.

The bouquets were one of the first things we purchased. Because I didn't know what exactly the colour scheme was going to be, but knowing my bridesmaids would be wearing different dresses, I thought matching bouquets would be a nice way to tie it all together.

About a month before the wedding my Mum suggested gerberas for the tables. She did a sample for us and we went for it. I'm so glad we did - just a couple of gerberas in each wine bottle really brightened up the tables but didn't take attention away from our bottles.

Highlight of the wedding: Tom's highlight was the 'first look' photo, as we did wedding party photos before the ceremony so we would have more time with guests later. It was such an intimate moment that we will never forget and it meant we could get really lost in the moment without any time pressure or a big audience.

My highlight would have to be the dancing! No holds barred, we danced the night away with our guests to the Macarena, Gangnam Style and just about everything else you can think of. Later in the night the groomsmen picked me up, big white dress and all, and tossed me in the air like a cheerleader (I hope my lovely dressmaker doesn't see this!). We could not have asked for a more fun day, that's for sure!

Was there any drama? There was no drama... unless there was something people didn't tell me about. The girls and I were running a little bit late to the photos. We'd been taking our time all morning and in hindsight I probably didn't give us enough time, but it didn't impact on our day.

The honeymoon: A couple of days after the wedding we boarded a plane to Phuket for a week of sunning, sight-seeing and an incredible Thai New Years (or Songkran/Water Festival) experience. It was really great to get away and relax and realise that we were actually married!

Your photographer and favourite photo?  Our photographer was Anthea of Fantail Photography in Rotorua - she has such good energy and she really fit in with the feel of our day. After seeing her website and the style of her photography I knew that I needed Anthea to photograph our wedding.

We met her for a coffee and afterwards we just knew that she was perfect for the job. It took us forever to decide on a location for wedding party photos, but when I told her about the harbourmaster's building and she took a look, that was it.

All of the photos are absolutely beautiful, of course, but our two favourites would have to be all our guests in the shape of a heart, and our final photo of the night in the sunset. You can just tell that we are so relaxed, happy and in love.

- Stuff


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