Katrina and Ant

Oh New Zealand, you never fail to make me fall a little bit more in love with you with every wedding I see! Today’s is beautifully relaxed – something New Zealander’s know how to do so gorgeously. Take a trip with me through the story of Katrina and Ant.

Katrina tells their story. “We are both accountants.  We met at work and a year later at a work function, Ant opened his mouth and I realised he could talk. The rest is history…(it’s brief, most people usually switch off at the mention of ‘accountants’, so I’ve learnt to move on quickly).

Ant proposed to me in Kensington, London.  After a delicious surprise picnic from my absolute favourite food spot, the Wholefoods Market, he whisked me to a nearby hotel and got down on one knee – with a ring box.  My heart did stop for second and my immediate thoughts were quickly flicking through when he could have possibly asked Cush (my best friend) what my exact preferences were (whilst maintaining my smile of joy – v naughty!) – hopefully I didn’t look too relieved when inside was Burger Ring and a wee note saying “As if I’d choose it without you!” I was actually pretty excited about the Burger Ring, in fact, sad to say that it might’ve hit the same excitement level had it been the ring I had wanted.

Then, he cracked open some homemade (!!) coconut ice (which I’d been having massive cravings for all year), champers, choc dipped strawbs (I can’t dispute he def knows the way to my heart!), and our fave choccies – which he’d already opened cos he’d bought them a week ago and couldn’t hold out!!  Cute (though he has been told he will need to make up for those missing ones).

I was then treated to a gourmet dinner at the hotel, topped off with a few treatments at the spa.  On top of that, when we came out of the spa, the beautiful day had turned into a massive thunder and fork lightening storm which we watched out of the gargantuan windows, very cool!”

Photography today is by WE DO Photography. I love the way they capture images – they call it “capturing images with a little bit of rock and roll” and it’s true, there’s a bit of grit to them, a bit of “I’d love to get on the dance floor with them!” a bit of “or perhaps have a martini with them too” (except they seem so cool I bet they’d drink something much cooler than a martini!)

Katrina wore jewels as her something borrowed. She says “I wore pearl earrings borrowed from my new mother in law and pearl drop necklace borrowed from my new sis in law (Bride).  The bridesmaids wore necklaces created by bridesmaid Cushla from some earrings, and pearl earrings which were given to them as a gift from me”.

The rose bouquets were styled by Katrina’s bridesmaid’s mother. They were, Katrina recalls “A mixture of Sweet Avalanche and Bianca roses, lisianthus, carnations and chrysanthemums. Karen used to be a florist, and she put together our beautiful bouquets.”

Katrina wore “A gorgeous lace Watters dress.  Spied on a trip to Melbourne – it was pretty much the only dress I liked, so was really lucky it suited me!  Strapless isn’t my thing – so that narrowed the choice down by about 95%.  It wasn’t available anywhere in NZ, so unfortunately I had the chore of taking another trip over the ditch to pick it up! The alterations were done by my new sister in law’s generous mum Barb.  She painstakingly unstitched and restitched the lace by hand!  I also wore a fascinator made by Ardern Farm.  I have always loved them and wanted to wear one – and it went perfect with the theme.”

The groom and groomsmen wore suits from Frank Casey.

Katrina and Ant saw each other before the ceremony, Katriona remembers “We didn’t want to miss out on any of the fun mingling with everyone after the ceremony, so had our photos done beforehand.  Because it wasn’t going to be our first time seeing each other when I walked down the aisle, we had a special ‘first glance’ ceremony at the photo shoot.  Ant was waiting with his back turned at the bottom of the garden steps at Erskine, and I pulled up at the top of the steps, wandered down, and tapped him on the shoulder.  It was pretty emotional when he turned around.  I had just been telling the girls in the car that I would have to tell Ant to stop crying like a baby since I never cry – and I was the one who welled up first.

The couple chose Erskine College for their ceremony and reception. Katrina says “It is a historic building that was once a Catholic girls’ school from the late 1800s. The exterior could be described as a derelict ruin (which however, I loved about it) but the interior has a grand hall furnished with ornate chandeliers, polished matai (native NZ wood) floors, and high stud ceilings.  We had the ceremony in the outdoor garden courtyard, and the reception in the grand hall.”

The bridesmaids’s gowns were “Bridesmaid Cushla’s design – she spent days in London scouring the high street shops for dresses and finally found these ones to match the vintage theme.  She then completed the look using lace found in her mum’s sewing room to make belts.

My bridesmaids were my best friend Cushla (who I’ve known for 21 years) and my good friend and old flatmate Anita.  Groomsmen were Liam (who Ant has known since he visited him at age 1 month in hospital when Liam was born) and Adrian, an old school friend.”

Katrina walked down the aisle to “November Rain (instrumental version).  We are big Guns ‘n Roses fans (we’ve even fancy dressed as them before).”

For their reception at Erskine College, Katrina says “We used the garden courtyard area for our ceremony – which was beaming with sun and a romantic atmosphere complete with chirping cicadas and a man in one of the surrounding houses above who decided it was a good time to beat the dust out of his rug.  When reading our vows we both immediately got the waterworks again (I absolutely had no idea I was such a softie!) and Ant set the crowd giggling (I also heard a snort) when he offered up his hankie which I promptly refused (he is well known as an obsessive hankie user)”

It was the perfect day weather wise. “We had perfect weather – sunshine, heat and no wind – Wellington barely ever has days like this (even in summer) – but after some crazy unseasonal low fog covering the city all morning, she pulled out a winner.  As the saying goes – you can’t beat Wellington on a good day!”

Their guests’ enjoyment was paramount for Katrina and Ant. “We wanted to create an informal, ‘party’ style atmosphere so we tried to create a recipe for success.  Main ingredients – a brilliant sunny day, a large selection of canapes instead of a sit down dinner, an over stocked bar, an amazingly talented piano man, dim lighting and a huge dance floor.  They mixed perfectly!”

Katrina decorated the reception herself. She explains “The venue was a stand alone hire, so I was in charge of all the decorations.  I spent months trawling the 2nd hand shops, the back cupboards of many relative’s houses, and Trash Palace (a shop next to the dump which rescues junk from ultimate death) for vintage style glass bottles and jars.  I ended up with over 200 in the end – filled them with clusters of flower stems and candles, tied them with a pretty ribbon, and scattered them in random clusters around the various tables in the grand hall.  There were also several wee rustic ‘bird cage’ candle holders around the room.  It was so pretty!”

The reception was filled with sweet treats explains Katrina. “I also had a dessert bar, which had a selection of large glass jars filled with different lollies, fortune cookies and chocolates; several vintage tiered cake stands laden with homemade rocky road, Russian fudge and meringues; and a giant cake stand in the middle – absolutely packed with 150 different flavoured cupcakes.  On the side there were wee noodle takeaway boxes, and a sprinkling of the flower and candle jars.  By the end of the night the whole table had been demolished!” The cupcake wedding cake was made by Cheeky Mouthful Cupcakes.

The speeches were a highlight for the newlyweds. Katrina explains “The best man brought the house down during his speech when he pulled out a life sized cardboard cut-out of a character from Ant’s secret shame TV programs – Beverly Hills 90210.  Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering) stole the show…and the dance floor, and probably got snapped more times than us. ”

The first dance? “It was to Dakota by the Stereophonics – obviously a big fave of ours.”

Piano man Shaun Preston kept guests entertained all night long.

Congratulations Katrina & Ant! Thank you for sharing your wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to  WE DO Photography for today’s images!

Photos by WE DO Photography.