Gavin and Tiana
Gavin and I knew of each other in high school, and although our paths rarely crossed during our teenage years, mutual friends brought us together in 2008 at a pub quiz. It’s quite a fitting place for us to have met – we’re both trivia and puzzle nerds. After Gavin proposed to me in Queenstown, New Zealand in 2010, the wedding planning process became an exciting, giddy whirlwind and I loved every minute.
I knew straight away I wanted to have Fables Rug Gallery in Parnell, Auckland as our reception venue – it’s a beautiful rustic old building strewn with Persian rugs and antique furniture. Our first priority, from the day we began planning was finding fantastic wedding photographers. James and Eleanor of Jel Photography in Auckland were the perfect find, and we hit it off with them straight away. Almost everything else fell into place via the wonders of word-of-mouth and social media – our florist was the fabulously talented Dee from Vidabela, who happened to be good friends with our photographers. Our amazing videographers Steph and Robin from BubbleRock Studios were discovered via Twitter, and my makeup and hair was done by Kerry from The Boutique Bride, a friend of Steph’s.
In my bouquet of peonies, roses and craspedia, I wove a set of rosary beads. I gifted my bridesmaids stunning kimono robes from Plum Pretty Sugar, which made for some gorgeous “getting ready” photos.
I found the bridesmaid dresses right off the rack – I never had any particular colour scheme or style in mind, but the turquoise blue chiffon dresses from Staxs were perfect. As my bridesmaids all lived out of Auckland, I bought all three right then and there and simply hoped for the best! I am naturally a creative person, and was determined to do some DIY projects for our wedding. I created our invitations from plain white crocheted handkerchiefs and a Print Gocco home screenprinting kit. Vintage unused postcards were screenprinted and served as our RSVP cards, and I lined grey envelopes with paper doilies.
My talented designer friend helped us come up with a fantastic design for our invitations, which gave flavour to the rest of our day – a bit vintage, a bit eclectic, but without any real theme. In fact, in every single decision Gavin and I made, we just chose what we loved, not because it fit a theme or matched a colour scheme.
My wedding dress was designed and made by Vinka Design. They created my dream dress – an ivory silk chiffon and French lace dress with beaded accents.
Because Gavin and I are the same height, I opted to wear sparkly gold ballet flats from Rubi Shoes, a decision which was to be a blessing hours later when I was able to dance the night away without any aching feet!
Gavin and his groomsmen wore charcoal grey suits from Exclusive Suit Hire, and Gavin wore a white Ted Baker shirt, accessorised with a black tie and our vintage handkerchief invitation as his pocket square.
Our wedding ceremony was held in St Benedict’s Catholic Church in Newton, Auckland. Our talented organist was able to make organ arrangements of popular classics; I walked down the aisle to the press conference theme from ‘Love Actually’, and at the end of the ceremony we walked back up to “You’re my best friend” by Queen.
After the ceremony, while we were waiting for the drizzle to clear, we had photos inside Smith bar, one of our favourite Auckland haunts.
One thing which was really important to my Croatian parents was the food. Good food (and plenty of it) was our brief – so together with Urban Gourmet, we developed an antipasto buffet instead of a typical entree, where people were able to fill up on cured meat, cheeses and antipasto, in addition to calamari and lamb cooked on the barbeque. We followed this with a plated main course. Everyone had plenty to eat!
Other DIY elements in our wedding included the lovingly handmade “breskvice” as our wedding favours – traditional Croatian cookies which look like little peaches. I also made the backdrop for our photobooth, with help from Gavin and my bridesmaids. I even decorated my own wedding cake (after many many cake decorating lessons and trial runs!).
I also found blank puzzle pieces from Beautiful Events which served as our guest book. It’s a nod to our love of puzzles, and I’m planning on piecing them all back together and framing it for our home.
Our first dance was to a cover of The Beatles’ “I want to hold your hand” by T.V. Carpio.
One thing I’m so pleased we also did was have videographers. It was never really budgeted for at first, but the more I looked at BubbleRock’s work, the more I was convinced I had to have them as part of our day. And they didn’t disappoint – the trailer is so special to us, and really captures the spirit of the day.
Ms Gingham says: I love the idea of the puzzle piece guest book! Beautiful wedding in such a lovely location. Thanks to Tiana and Gavin for sharing it with us today!
Tiana describes herself as: “A dab hand at the ukulele and a default setting of ”outside voice”. A former journalist who still has a knack for telling a good story. Believes as many as six impossible things before breakfast. A sometime contributor to magazine blog www.nzgirl.co.nz and a prolific tweeter.”
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