Pete & Kate - Harleys & Happy Ever Afters


How does a bride who describes herself as “a bit of a hippy earth child” and her groom as a “grounded, no-frills kind of man” have an epic, stylish and totally chilled wedding? Kate talks us through planning for and partying at her wedding to Pete, shot by Michelle Fey and Rebekah Trafford.

How did you make your wedding personal to the two of you?
”Pete and I are not really fluffy, elaborate people, so our focus was to keep it real and not get caught up in details that didn't matter. For us, the location of our photos had to have meaning. Pete and I love going up Te Mata Peak and doing the trails together, it's our exercise playground right in our backyard so it was perfect to go there for our photos. We also love Harleys and ride with a group of mates so we had to incorporate them in the day. Pete took off for a ride to the pub with the boys prior to getting hitched, classic Pete style. The guys lined up the bikes up along the aisle for me to walk through and that was such a great surprise. We also incorporated lots of the rustic products that we make, hire and sell through our business, Wine Country Craft. Full sized wine barrels were used for bar leaners, half ones filled with ice for champagne and beer and the tops made amazing platters. Large cedar slabs were used for rustic tables and our laser engraving machine was put to good use crafting welcome signs.

Your Rue de Siene dress was pretty spectacular. Was it love at first sight?

Without a doubt. I drove to Wellington with the intention of buying a dress from a different designer, but Jen at Paperswan Bride knew the look I was wanting and this was the third and final dress she pulled out for me. I tried it on and that was it, no more looking.

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Why Hawke’s Bay for your wedding?

I know this may sound biased as I am a Hawke’s Bay-born girl, but Hawke’s Bay has to be the ultimate destination for a wedding. With a mild climate all year round, amazing venue options and unique Wedding vendors it's a win- win, and it's quite central so out-of-town visitors are generally meeting in the middle.

Choosing a photographer is a big deal. What was your experience like with Michelle?

Michelle kicks arse at what she does. With Michelle's first email I knew she would nail my brief. Then following our first actual meeting I was completely excited to have Michelle as our photographer and to be honest, it was right up there in the excitement stakes, probably second place to the thought of actually getting married! 
On the big day she worked like a well-oiled machine. Keeping me and the girls to task and on time was a huge plus! Her experience here added value and helped us to chill and enjoy ourselves more as we knew she had our back. The creative session after the ceremony was such a buzz. Anyone can see by glancing at her work that she is a master of the lens. But also, Michelle is a fantastic people-person and her genuine and witty energy is contagious. Her ability to work with such a diverse range of people really impressed me. She got the important shots and
captured the feeling of the day beautifully.

Any advice to brides planning a marquee wedding at home?
Stick to your own style, don't get too caught up trying to replicate designs in magazines or Pinterest. Choose a couple of elements that are true to your own style, put your energy into doing those well. We chose to incorporate elements from our travels which were special to us. I imported 100 large silk lanterns following our trip to Hoi An, Vietnam. We lit them up with vintage string lights above the backyard, they looked amazing and really set the mood for the evening party. 

What was the best moment?
I took a breather later on in the evening and went inside and settled all the young kiddies. Afterwards when I rejoined the party, I recall walking out of the house and standing behind the band on the deck. With a full heart I watched just how genuinely happy and love-filled all of our guests were as they partied to the music under the lanterns. Dancing and embracing their loved ones, cracking up laughing and general good antics. You couldn't wipe the grin off my face. Weddings really are the ultimate event to bring people together and make amazing lifelong memories. I'll never forget that moment.

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Kate & Pete’s Dream Team:

Photographers: Michelle Fey & Rebekah Trafford // Dress: ‘Ash’ from Rue de Seine at Paperswan Bride // Flower girl dress: Monsoon // Hair: Vanessa Elers // Makeup: Candice Dear // Lashes: Trish at Lashworx // Florals: Laura Jeffares (bride’s boquet) and family (everything else) // Band: Keel (Tauranga)