Alkya and Raymond exchanged vows at the stunning Matakana Estate. The ceremony was meticulously crafted to harmonize with the natural beauty of the landscape. Set amidst the rolling countryside, a pathway adorned with wooden chairs led to the altar, that allowed the surroundings to be hero.
Capturing every moment of exquisite beauty was wedding photographer Zanda Photography.
How did you meet and how long have you been together?
We first crossed paths thanks to a mutual friend at a bar about five years ago. After that initial meeting, we hit it off and decided to grab dinner not long afterward. The rest, as they say, is history. Now, it’s been a bit more than five amazing years together.
Tell us a little bit about the proposal and your engagement?
Over Christmas in 2020, Raymond and I embarked on an unforgettable South Island trip. Little did I know that the trip held a surprise of a lifetime. Amidst the unique circumstances of the Covid era, with fewer people around, Raymond chose the scenic Lake Tekapo outside the Church of the Good Shepherd as the backdrop for his unexpected proposal. It was a moment that added an extra sprinkle of magic to an already special trip.
Tell us about your wedding style. What influenced your planning for the day?
When it came to planning our wedding, Raymond and I are both big on family. We opted for an intimate celebration, keeping it small with just close family members and our bridal party. As for the style, we aimed for a classy, natural, and minimalist theme that echoed throughout the entire day. From the groom’s suit and my dress to the table setup, floral arrangements, and even the ceremony location, we wanted everything to reflect that simple yet elegant vibe. It turned out to be exactly the kind of day we envisioned.
Why did you choose your destination?
Selecting our wedding destination was a natural choice for us, aligning with our theme of embracing nature’s beauty. Matakana Estate stood out as the ideal venue with its lush green landscaping and organic decor inside the lodge. A perfect example of this natural charm was our choice to use two beautifully shaped and trimmed trees as our wedding arch, seamlessly blending with the existing greenery.
One of our favourite elements was the simplicity and elegance of the dining table setup. Every piece of dinnerware and decoration was thoughtfully sourced from the Matakana site, creating a cohesive and naturally inspired atmosphere. It truly embodied the essence of the wedding we had envisioned.
What was your favourite detail from the day?
For me (Alyka), the standout detail of the day was the intimacy of the wedding. Being able to connect and chat with everyone present made the day feel incredibly special. It added a personal touch that I’ll always cherish.
Raymond, on the other hand, was deeply moved by a heartfelt letter and surprise gift I gave him. Seeing his reaction was priceless through the lenses of our photographer and made that moment one of his favourite details from our big day.
Did you have a stand out vendor from your Wedding?
Our standout vendor was our onsite paella chef. He was a great addition to the over ambience of the day and created entertainment for the guests. At the time of the wedding, they were just starting out their business and so this was an awesome opportunity for us to support local.
What was your favourite moment from the day?
Choosing a favourite moment from our wedding day is tough, but if I had to pinpoint one, it would be the Chinese wedding ceremony. It held significant meaning for us, connecting to our cultural roots and adding a deeply personal touch to the celebration. The symbolism, best wishes, and the blessings from our families during this ceremony made it a truly memorable and cherished moment.
Another highlight for both of us was the outfit change to a traditional dress. It not only added a vibrant touch to the day but also symbolized a beautiful blend of our heritage into the festivities. And, of course, receiving red pockets and blessings from our families added a joyous and heartfelt layer to the entire celebration. It was these moments that made the day uniquely ours.
What does marriage mean to you?
To us, marriage is like starting a new book – you’re not exactly sure what each chapter holds, but you’re excited to dive in together. It’s not just about us; it’s also about bringing our families into the mix, creating this big, messy, and hopefully wonderful extended family. It’s not all roses and rainbows, but it’s having a partner to tackle whatever comes our way. In a nutshell, it’s a commitment to face the unknown with someone you’ve chosen to put up with, quirks and all, for the long haul.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
Our advice for couples planning a wedding is to shape the day around what truly reflects both of you. Don’t be swayed by expectations or traditions that don’t resonate with your shared vision. Plan for the wedding that makes both of you happy and is in line with your collective vibe. Raymond and I, being laid-back individuals, crafted a relaxed atmosphere for our wedding that took a lot of pressure off. So, go with what feels right for you both, and don’t hesitate to break a few traditional moulds along the way.
|| VENDOR CREDITS ||
Photography by Zanda Photography | Floral by Urban Flowers | Cake by Gateau House | Venue Matakana Estate | Celebrant Anne Holman | Rings by Cartier | Catering by Paella Kitchen | Bridal Gown by Meshki | Grooms Suit by Barkers