Bride & Groom – Connor & Louise O’Riordan
Date of Wedding: 22 October 2014
Ceremony Venue: Kimi Ora spa resort: We had originally chosen Kaiteriteri beach as Louise & I love that beach, we have spent many happy days there with our dog Baz, but as the weather took a turn on the day we had a backup plan to hold the ceremony in Kimi Ora. It’s a really unique spot with spectacular views & a really nice vibe up there, the staff were wonderful & our guest really enjoyed it there.
Wedding Venue: We chose to have our wedding reception at The Shoreline in Kaiteriteri, again we chose this venue because of its location right on the waterfront of one of the nicest beaches in New Zealand, panoramic views of the beach, friendly staff & a beautiful fresh menu choice, from the moment we met with Shirley & Tim we knew we had made the right decision, they were so helpful & really went above & beyond to make the day all about us & our guests.
Celebrant: For our Celebrant we had Angi the Wedding Whisperer. She is really in tune with the couples she works with & let us have complete control of how we wanted our ceremony to go; very helpful & did a beautiful heartfelt ceremony on the day.
Photographer: Nelson Wedding Photography did our main wedding shoot & also the heli shoot at a later date. We knew of them before the competition as they have a fantastic reputation all over New Zealand; their eye to catch those special moments gives them the edge; they take powerful photos & have really unique ideas, as a result we were lucky enough to get once in a lifetime photos that we have to share with family & friends all over the world. We also had a wonderful Video put together buy the amazing Jay of Phfy creative, We got to send the Photos & video to all our family & friends that didn’t make the big day.
Theme: I’m not sure if we had a theme as such, Louise & I just wanted to have a relaxed wedding, getting to share our day with family & friends was what really mattered to us. If I was to say we had any theme, it would have to be an Irish/Kiwi one, what a mix that is.
Bride’s gown: My Dress was designed and made by Jill Alexander from Puss Puss Couture Bridal. Jill’s knowledge and professionalism made my experience stress free and enjoyable. My dress is full length with an A line silhouette. The dress has a small train that is able to be hitched up while dancing. Detailed lace and beading all around the bottom. Dark purple lace up at the back which leads down to scattered purple beads on the train. The dress has shoe string straps with lace gathered diagonally over the bodice to suit and fit my body perfectly.
Groom’s attire: I got my suit from Nelson Tailors. When I went to meet them & told them the look I was after they were really helpful, they pulled out so many suits I was in the shop a lot longer than I thought, but the end result was spot on. They had exactly what I was after, even when I told them about the style of shirt I wanted they had one in stock that was even better than what I had in mind. I went with a cool white shirt with designs on the inside of the collar & cuffs, grey trousers with matching waistcoat & of course my converse trainers – I was never really a shoe guy. Nelson Tailors provide a great service, and I have recommended them to all my friends.
Bridesmaids: The Bridesmaid dresses were purchased online with all alterations and changes done by Jill Alexander. Dark purple, full length one shoulder with a fitted bodice and a flowing skirt.
Groomsmen: My groomsmen, Mark & Dean, were also well kitted out by Nelson Tailors. They wore grey trousers, white shirts & a grey waistcoat, and all looked very dapper on the day. I originally had my brother Ivan coming over from Ireland to be my bestman, but sadly his wife had lost her sister so he had to stay with his family.
Flowers: Flowers were beautifully put together by Karen from Perfect Style. We had white roses with ferns and koru’s for the bridal party bouquets and a white rose, fern and a shamrock for Conor and the lads.
Hair & Makeup: Hair was done onsite the morning of the wedding by Shannon from Zoom hairdresser in Mapua. My hair was styled half up half down and curled. The bridesmaids had their hair pulled back in beautiful buns with a rose made from the dress positioned nicely at the back. Our makeup was done also onsite by Catherine Campbell Makeup. Our makeup was beautifully done bringing out our natural beauty which lasted till early hours of the next morning.
Cake: Our cake was designed and made by Stella from Flour Cake Studio in Tasman. This cake was something else. We went for a 4-tier cake with Chocolate berry, white chocolate passion fruit, chocolate and banana with matching cream frosting for each layer. Conor and I wanted a cake that showed our personality. Stella created little figurines of us and our Great Dane Baz to go on the cake. We had an Irish, kiwi themed cake with a beach setting.
Decor: Our ceremony and reception were beautifully decorated by Karen from Perfect Style. Karen went the extra mile to make our wedding look beautiful. We did some DIY to keep costs down, made our own runners and candle holders. But all of the hard work and linens were provided by Karen.
Stationery: We wanted to make our invitations unique and original; Genie from Wakefield print helped us do just that. We based our invites around a photo booth style with 3 inserts with all the details of our day. Very personal & looked great.
Entertainment: We did not want to have a live band, so Terrie hooked us up with a fantastic Dj, who is based in Motueka, and contacted us well in advance of the wedding & talked to us about the music we wanted & the vibe we wanted for the evening. We sent him a big list of music that we wanted to have played over the evening; he really was top class, played all the right songs at the right time, our guests loved it & he kept the party going well into the wee hours.
Transport: Oh, the car was just out of this world; we had the most amazing old Cadillac from Motueka Museum, talk about arriving in style! Louise just loved it & we had a beautiful drive in it after to the beach & on to the reception where all our guests were waiting for us at the Shoreline … really added a touch of class.
Catering: The catering for we had for after the ceremony was lovingly prepared by our friends & family; delicious platters for our guests to enjoy. The food for the reception was all prepared by Tim, Shirley & the staff at the Shoreline in Kaiteriteri. Again we had many meetings & discussions with them about what we envisioned for our menu, Irish & New Zealand elements throughout. The food was exceptional, beautifully presented, so many people commented on how great it was, there was a very little left at the end of the meal.
The service: The service was really cool, Angel did a great job & really got what we wanted it to be. Louise & I wrote our own vows, we both had an idea of what was in the others vows but we didn’t hear them in full until the ceremony. We both spoke from the heart so it was very natural. We chose a few different songs that we both love for the ceremony, The bridesmaids walked down to Jason Mraz “I’m Yours” and Louise walked down the Isle to the Lumineers “Hey Ho”. During the ceremony while we signed the register & released the doves we had “Guaranteed” by Eddie Vedder … all songs that mean a lot to us, We had some readings done & acknowledgements for family & friends that could not make it, My Mum, sister brother nieces & nephews & Louise’s Bother & his family, it was great to have them part of it even if it was just a mention.
Most Memorable Moment: There are so many it really would be hard to pin point one; the whole day was just amazing, how could it not be … we got to get married, share our love with all our friends & family.
The Proposal: After living in Ireland for a couple of years we felt it was time to move to New Zealand & build a life together here; we wanted to move sooner than we did but sadly my father passed away so we stayed in Ireland a bit longer to be with my family through that very hard time. Without Louise by my side I don’t know if i would have got through it all, she is my rock & was amazing to both my family & me & I will never forget it. As Louise had not been home with her family for a few years, we decided that she would come back for Christmas as a surprise to them & I would follow her 2 months later as we had to wait to have vaccinations done to our beautiful Great Dane Baz who we have brought with us here to Sunny Nelson. Those 2 months apart was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. We promised each other that we would never be apart again so, while in Ireland getting ready to move to New Zealand, I knew I wanted to marry Louise; I saved all the money I could & bought her a beautiful engagement ring & brought it with me to New Zealand. I arrived at the end of January & flew into Christchurch as we had to Quarantine our dog for 10 days. All this time I was planning when & where & how I would propose to Louise because I wanted it to be perfect & very special; doing lots of research online looking for the perfect place to ask the girl of my dreams to spend her life with me. When I had decided on the place, I suggested to Louise that we head away for a weekend to Akaroa to celebrate her birthday which fell on February 5th. We arrived in Akaroa the day before her birthday which gave me some time to find the place I had seen on the internet where I wanted to pop the question. On February 5th 2013 at around 7pm we went for a walk along the shore in Akaroa to this stunning little pier to sit & watch the sun set. We were taking some photos of each other, laughing & joking. I took the camera from her & kissed her, I took her by both hands, got down on one knee & told her how much I loved her & asked if she would make me the happiest guy in the world & would she marry me. SHE SAID YES so I let the biggest yelp of joy out which I think the whole of Akaroa could hear. She started to cry & we then called her family & my family back in Ireland to tell them the wonderful news.
Who made the day special: There were so many people that helped us along the way, with such a short time to get it all together. We were lucky to have a wedding planned by Terri & her team, but other than that our families & our friends here in New Zealand did so much for us; people moved heaving and earth to be here & we will be forever grateful for that. Friends that flew in from all parts of the world: Kylee, Mark, Jas, & my sisters Cinty & Niamh that flew from Ireland to be with us … so many more to mention, but you all know who you are.
What else: Just that from the day I entered us into the Dream Maker competition, its been a roller coaster ride for us; from the moment I got the call from Blair Kiddy on More FM its just been so much fun; every challenge we did was better than the last; the support we got from family & friends all over the world took our breath away, people staying up late at night in Ireland to be able to tune in to the radio here in New Zealand. All the other contestants were so nice & any one of them would have been deserving winners of the Dream Maker package. On the night of the announcement in the Jellyfish cafe in Mapua, we could not believe we did it, WE WON, it was just a feeling we will never forget. From there it was all hands on deck planning the wedding of the year, the prizes that we were given really made it a dream wedding; too many people were involved to mention by name but they all know how much it all meant to us. The focus was all about the Competition but for us the focus was about getting married & starting out on our journey together. Thank you all for everything … and to my wife Louise, iIlove you more as each day passes. If I could also just give a mention to Jens Hanson our ring maker … we both had ideas of what we wanted but without them we could never have got the stunning rings we wear today; Louise’s white gold band with diamonds is just beautiful & my white gold ring has Louise’s fingerprint embedded in it which is so cool – Thanks again! Here is a list of places that people flew in from for our wedding Cork Ireland London Tasmania Sydney Perth Auckland Palmerston North Christchurch Wellington & a few more places around New Zealand. I will also add a few lines about some of the places we stayed at & other prize givers. The Waters in Kina is a such a beautiful place to stay. We were greeted with a smile & shown to our room. Louise & I really needed a few nights away from all the madness & we could not have had a better spot. Louise & her bridesmaid Kylee also stayed there the night before the wedding & enjoyed being pampered before the big event. During our honeymoon Louise & I were lucky enough to spend time in some of the most beautiful places we have ever seen. Awaroa lodge is just a stunning tranquil location in the Able Tasman, Split Apple Hideaway is like nothing we have ever seen … a once in a lifetime opportunity so stay in one of the finest properties in New Zealand. Plush is the word I would use to sum it up. Kayaking the Able Tasman, beautiful picnics & lunches prepared by Dream Maker dial a picnic. The whole experience was overseen & looked after by Terri The Dream Maker & the wonderful Dream Maker team, without them none of this would have been possible. Thank you so much to all involved. We also had mouth-watering meals in the like of Jellyfish in Mapua & hooked on Marahau.
Bride & Groom – Connor & Louise O’Riordan