Stuff's wedding of the week
Chaz van Blerk and Stephen Reid were set up on a blind date by a friend, and although Chaz was sceptical, she says taking the plunge and going for that first drink was the best decision she ever made.
A trip away to Queenstown turned into a romantic proposal and soon enough the pair were tying the knot in an intimate ceremony in Mt Eden.
If Chaz's beautiful dress looks familiar, it's because some of you may have seen it on the big screen - but that's all you're getting out of us at this point.
We'll let Chaz fill you in on that wonderful tale and the rest of the wedding details...
How did you meet? Steve and I met on a blind date. One of my sister's friends asked me if I was dating anyone and I responded with 'no, no way, go away.' I wanted to be single for at least another year, but after a little convincing I decided to go. We met for a midweek drink at Tyler St Garage and I knew I wanted to arrive first so I could sit with my back to the door - that way he would have to come up to me first. And there he was, a slightly nervous but still cheekily confident stranger, who turned out to be my incredible future husband. The drinks went so well that Steve took charge and turned it in to dinner at Hanoi Cafe. I remember every detail of everything he was wearing. We spent hours chatting over good food and wine; there wasn't a second of silence. After that night, I was hoping I wouldn't have to wait days to hear from him again. Luckily, Steve was quick to follow up with a morning text, the next date was planned within a matter of minutes and the rest is history. Going on that date was the best decision I ever made. Steve turned out to be the guy I have been waiting for my whole life. I knew he was the one within a few short months. The amazing thing is, since that first date we have actually never stopped dating, Steve makes sure to plan at least one date a week. I still get dressed up, he buys flowers and he even knocks on the door as if he were picking me up, after all this time.
Tell us about the proposal: Steve woke me up on a Saturday morning with a present on my chest, I opened it up and it was a Kathmandu Puffer Jacket. I thought it was odd, until he followed with a 'pack your bags, we're going to Queenstown'. What felt like a few hours later we were checking in to an incredible Hilton suite right on the water with a private spa and everything. Steve planned a day of activities, and after the last one (the shot over jet) he drove us right up Coronet Peak where he got down on one knee. It was the most prominent moment of my life. I cried for at least two solid weeks afterwards, hourly. I just remember thinking 'everything is going to be ok now, because I have Stephen Reid'.
Location of wedding: Mantels, Mt Eden.
Describe your wedding day: The day started off with me getting ready with my girls at Mollies Boutique where Steve had made sure we arrived to a suite full of champagne and roses. Strangely, I was completely relaxed until my father came in to the room to see me for the first time. In that moment I felt like I wouldn't be able to keep it together - the nerves, the tears... remembering my vows, but he squeezed my hand and I knew he would get me there in one piece no matter what. We wanted everyone to be able to feel the love in all corners of the room so we decided we wanted it to be a small and intimate wedding with about 50 people. After arriving at Mantels, the girls and I lined up to walk down the cobblestone aisle as the music started. I saw Steve through one of the windows before he saw me, my prince. Anyway, I got down the aisle without falling on my face. We wrote our own vows and there wasn't a dry eye in the venue. My nephew is an amazing hip hop dancer, so he decided to dance the rings down the aisle, and then in true little gentleman style, went back to fetch his sister who was a little nervous to come down alone. One of the most precious moments was passing the rings to our family members to be blessed before placing them on each other's fingers. After the I do's it was party time. Every single person brought such good energy to the occasion, the room was filled with everyone we love and those who love us; and that's the most important thing really. The speeches were a mix of raw emotion and solid humour - the love in the air was tangible.
The dress: Ah, the dress, my dress. Two words people: Vera Wang. I always knew what dress I would get married in. You know the Vogue wedding scene in the Sex and the City movie? Well, that Vera Wang in the first shoot - that was my dress. Perfection.
The flowers: The flowers were mostly our own creation, created by a combination of my amazing mother in law, my own mum and believe it or not, my bridesmaid's fiancé.
Highlight of the wedding: Well, seeing each other for the first time of course! But also, our vows were incredible. Another moment that sticks out for me was watching Steve mingle before starters were served - I was overcome with pride.
Was there any drama? There was a very short drama before leaving Mollies Boutique. The cars that were taking us to Mantels had parked at the back and we left from out the front, so we were all in a panic as we thought something went wrong with the booking. My bridesmaid Jen quickly fixed the problem and we were whisked away in no time.
Looking back I think there might have been one or two issues, but luckily Steve and I were kept away from it by loved ones who were determined to make this the greatest day of our lives.
The honeymoon: 'Another cocktail please!' We very quickly flew off to Bali paradise where we stayed in a private villa at the W Resort and Spa. We spent eight days lounging, getting daily spa treatments and shopping.
Your photographer and favourite photo? Our photographer was Laura Evans and she was incredible. Even our guests commented on how awesome she was. Laura has a way of fading in to the background while capturing candid moments that portray every tear, smile or wrinkle of emotion. She is wonderfully talented - our photos say it all.
My favourite photo would have to be the one with me laughing while Steve kisses my shoulder, it depicts everything we are about: love, laughter and family.