On a dazzling sunny summer day, Dena and Stefan vowed to spend the rest of their lives together in front of their loved ones at The Hunting Lodge Winery. Photos of the day showcase the happy couple with smiles as bright as the sun and celebrating this joyous occasion.
Dena shined in Josie by Rebecca Ingram, a classic off the shoulder fit and flare that exudes old Hollywood glamour. This dress is the perfect balance of striking and timeless, and the covered buttons trailing down the train are a vintage detail that completes the look of this magnificent gown. She paired her gown with a silver hair piece and pearl earrings, adding an extra touch of shimmer and glam. The addition of our Pearl Denim jacket is a fun touch to a classic look.
Enjoy scrolling through their special day x
What was it that made this particular wedding dress catch your eye and fall in love?
I was fairly confident I wanted a fit and flare dress and
love the vintage / old Hollywood glamour style in general. So Josie
by Rebecca Ingram had been in my sights for some time and I was very keen
to try it on. I knew I wouldn't try on a dress and be "this is the one"
that I would have to try on a few, rule out some and narrow it down to my favs.
I eventually circled back to Josie though and it was clear that her beautiful
silhouette and classic clean look was the perfect one for me. I loved the train
and felt it hugged my curves in all the right places and I could picture myself
wearing it on my wedding day.
Tell us about your search for the dress and the experience at Astra Bridal.
Going shopping for a wedding dress 4 months after you've had
a baby is not most brides' ideal scenario and it's safe to say I was a little
nervous and apprehensive about whether I would find something that looked
beautiful and I felt comfortable in. However, I quickly discovered the
selection of dresses at Astra Bridal are very size inclusive and there is a
massive selection which caters to every shape, size and style. From the
moment my bride tribe and I walked into Astra Bridal for my Luxe stylist
appointment, my stylist made us feel welcome and totally at ease. Which is an
achievement given I was a new mum wedding dress shopping with a baby in tow! My stylist had excellent knowledge of the inventory that Astra Bridal carried and
was able to quickly pull out a number of stunning gowns for me to try on. Some
of these fit my brief or idea of what I wanted and some challenged me to try
something a little different. In fact one of the dresses she suggested which I
initially said "no way" to was my runner up! I never felt like
I was receiving a sales pitch - my stylist and the staff at Astra Bridal genuinely
care about helping each bride find their perfect dress.
Tell us your story, how you both met, and the proposal.
We both moved to London for work/travel and met in 2016
while working at the same company. We had a "will they won't they"
relationship and like any good rom-com there was a major hurdle. I was booked
to leave the UK for good at the end of 2017 and return home to New
Zealand. Finally coming to our senses we went on our first date to a super cute
french restaurant a month before I was due to fly out. We hit it off and knew
this was something special, spending as much time as possible together and
committing to a long distance relationship. After a few months Stefan visited
and could see a life here so we made plans for him to move to NZ. Since then
we've never looked back, building a life together and starting a family. Stefan
proposed on Christmas Day 2020, he hid the engagement ring in the Christmas
tree and told me there was one more gift, I found the ring box and when I
turned around he was down on one knee. The answer was of course yes!! It was
important to us to be able to share our wedding day with all our family and
friends from NZ and around the world, which is why we locked in a date for 2023
when we hoped international travel would be easier.
What was your favourite part of the day?
It's absolutely impossible to pick a favourite moment!
The whole day was magical and just a wonderful, joyous celebration with
all our family and friends. I guess nothing can beat the first moment we saw
each other during the ceremony and we were both in tears. However, the part of
the day that surprised me the most was the speeches. Each one of our
family members who spoke completely knocked it out of the park - the speeches
were the perfect mix of heartwarming, tear jerking and hilarious. I was really
blown away at how much effort and thought they had put into what they wanted to
say. It was really special and a bit unexpected.
Tell us about your wedding day as a whole.
The whole day was so wonderful and exactly what we wanted it
to be. It was the second best day of my life (to my little boy being born!) and
we enjoyed every second of it. After a very rainy January and February we
had been a bit anxious about the weather, but Auckland turned on a beautiful
blue sky day with a gentle breeze. I was so relaxed getting ready at home
surrounded by my mum and bridesmaids, a little nervous excitement crept in on
the drive to The Hunting Lodge, but once I got out of the car and heard the
Steel Pan music drifting across the vineyard I couldn't wait to get started.
Following our ceremony we enjoyed photos on-site with our family and bridal
party and then returned for dinner and speeches. A quick break for some sunset
shots then we danced and partied till the last song.
Finally, what is your biggest piece of advice for brides to be?
All the planning beforehand is worth it and it meant once
the big day arrived I could relax and let it all go. In saying that, there will
be things that don't go to plan - don't stress there is nothing you can do
about it now. Try to be as present as you can in each moment and soak it all in
- the day will go by very fast! Amongst all the celebrations with family and
friends make sure you take some quiet moments for you and your new husband or