A day full of romance and vineyard allure set in the heart of Waiheke, Danni & Paul celebrated in island bliss across the day and well into the night.
Vows were exchanged in the leafy green courtyard of Mudbrick Vineyard, complete with a halo of blush toned florals, ghost chairs and an abundance of close friends. A warm palette of silken creams and soft apricots started with Danni’s dress and were carried through all elements, from the luscious flora to signage, the naked cake and even the bar. Instead of a formal sit down meal, guests were fuelled by a Waiheke oyster bar and a long sumptuous grazing table, aperol spritz’s and endless rosé.
With an emphasis on celebrating, Mudbrick was the perfect location – the restaurant’s french doors were open wide and the louvre roof was rolled back to ensure the beautiful festivities flowed both indoors and out, and across the gulf.
Plush, lively celebrations captured by Hollow & Co.
How did you meet and how long have you been together?
While Paul lived in Townsville and Danni lived in Brisbane, we managed to meet through Danni’s lifelong, best friend Tara. She was a work colleague of Paul’s. One day when the girls were having fun at the Australian Open (they also happened to win a trip to Italy that day) Tara sent Paul a photo of her and some girlfriends and said “I am here with your future wife” Paul said he liked the one in the front (Danni). A couple of months later Danni and Tara were out for dinner, and Paul was in Brisbane for work and happened to be at the bar next door to the restaurant. After dinner, Tara officially introduced them. A week later Danni received a text from Paul, that read “It’s your lucky day, I am in town next week and I am taking you out to dinner”. The rest is history. We were together just shy of 3 years by the time we were married.
How would you describe each other?
Danni: Paul is resilient, thoughtful, generous, ridiculous in the best possible way with a beautiful temperament – like a labradoodle with relentless humour.
Paul: Danni is intelligent, lights up a room with her smile, super hot, holds deep relationships with friends, makes me a better person.
Tell us about the proposal and your engagement?
Christmas day, with Danni’s parents and her brother and his partner, everyone is in their PJ’s opening Christmas presents, and Danni grabs her present from Paul which was obviously a large suitcase. When she unwrapped the present, alas it was a large suitcase, but, like babushka dolls, inside was a medium suitcase then a smaller suitcase then a smaller gift, then a smaller gift, and so on and so forth. Each layer Danni contained the verse of poem that Paul had written and made her read aloud. Danni had not yet cottoned on, just thinking this was typical theatrical Paul, until the last gift was a ring size box and the poem read “I am so happy your Dad gave me his ok”. Then the eyes started getting a bit wet, and Paul then picked up their family dog Clinton and bought him over to Danni – around his collar was a pendant that said “Will you marry me Danielle?” Paul got down on one knee and pulled out quite a nice ring. Danni said yes. The engagement was just over 12 months.
Tell us about your wedding style. What influenced your planning for the day?
As we are both a bit older (Danni, 35 & Paul, 41) we had been to many weddings previously, and had a good idea about what we wanted, and what was more ‘us’. Our brief was:
No seated dinner, it was to be more of a party where everyone could have fun. We wanted to keep formalities to a minimum.
No bridal party – we both have many valued relationships and we didn’t want to choose a bridal party. We felt that the day is more about us, than who we put on stage with us anyway. It took a lot of complexity out of the planning and organisation which was nice as well. On the day, I still had some girlfriends come in and out to get their makeup done with me so I wasn’t lonely.
We extended the venue hours from 1pm to 1am to maximise the party – we didn’t want people to have to leave just when they were peaking and at their best on the dance floor. Beautiful location with good food and wine was a must.
We refused to invite anyone just because we felt “obligated,” only people we genuinely love and have fun with every moment we are with them.
A recovery day party was also a must.
Why did you choose your destination?
We’d both been to Mudbrick separately, and then together and we loved it. We wanted a destination wedding to cut down the guest list and to make an entire weekend out of it.
What was your favourite moment from the day?
It was all amazing. There were multiple times throughout the day when Paul and I would just look at each other and say “this is the best day ever!”. We were smiling from ear to ear from 1pm to 1am. Everyone was partying and having a great time, there was love
radiating from everywhere! The vows were fantastic, the speeches were funny, but a highlight might be when the band played Darryl Braithwaite’s song “Horses” and a big group of us were outside dancing and singing along and the boys were carrying Paul and I on their shoulders, and it was only 4pm. It was really only just beginning.
What does marriage mean to you?
It really just solidifies that we are a unit, and it is us against the world.
Who were your stand out vendors?
All of them were amazing. MyWaiheke made everything run smoothly and they executed my brief perfectly. Mudbrick are the pinnacle of professional and perfectionism. Tom (my photographer) and Alarna (my hair and makeup artist) had such a great energy and gelled with the attendees so well – I wanted to add them to my guestlist not my supplier list!
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
Do it how you want to do it. Don’t ask for or listen to others opinions. Invite the people you love the most, no obligatory invites. Make sure you relax and enjoy the day with your new husband/wife, if you do it will be the best day ever.
Vendor Credit List:
Photographer & Videographer: Hollow & Co | Planner/Stylist: My Waiheke | Flora: Blush | Gown: Helen Rodrigues Bridal | Rings: Canturi | Hair & Makeup: Alarna Taylor | Groom’s suit: Mitchell Ogilvie | Venue: Mudbrick Waiheke
Words by Isabelle McKay.