We knew we had the right place for us as soon as we walked into the reception area and were greeted with the amazing vines covering the area and the beautiful long windows looking back out to the grounds. But the most important feature for us was the fabulous indoor ceremony area.
Getting married in August Claudia and Dennis went looking for a venue in Auckland for their wedding that ticked all the boxes. They didn’t have to go far as they fell in love with the Markovina Vineyard Estate for all sorts of reasons. This is their story of the day they shared with loved ones and had a wedding day that was just …perfect.
Why did you choose Markovina Vineyard Estate?
Markovina was our first and only venue that we visited as we fell in love with the place as soon as we drove in. The grounds were romantic but not cheesy and that made us feel instantly comfortable, we felt we could create some fantastic memories in these grounds.
Markovina was a great find, and we had so many comments throughout the day about the beauty of the venue. It was an easy pick; the venue offered a fantastic rate which included exclusive hireage, food and beverage, it was as if it everything was too good to be true, so with a handshake and a mobile banking app. our deposit was paid on the same day.
We knew we had the right place for us once we walked into the reception area and were greeted with beautiful vines covering the area and and with beautiful long windows looking back out to the grounds. But the most important feature for us was the fabulous indoor ceremony area. Getting married in August meant we were ‘planning for rain and hoping for sun’, so we knew that where ever we went, the covered or indoor area had to be as good as the outdoor. We had been to weddings where the venue had fantastic grounds for outdoor weddings, but had a horrible cold and damp hall as their only indoor back up.
Thankfully, Markovina had the smarts to capture the outdoor beauty while protecting us from the elements. We loved the covered option as much as our first choice of the barrel waterfall.
On the day, we decided to stay in the covered area, to avoid any last minute Auckland weather changes, which not only kept everyone dry and warm but also made for romantic and beautiful photos, thanks to Markovina’s dreamlike photographic grounds.
We had the wonderful Jel Photography on-hand taking our photos throughout the day. We loved the fact that we didn’t have to leave the grounds to take magazine quality photos that we will treasure for the rest of our lives.
We all loathe weddings when the bridal party go missing for hours and no one is ever sure when they’re going to get back, so it was fantastic staying close to our friends and family so that we could join in the memories being made behind us while we had our photos taken.
We also had plenty of options of areas to take the pictures so they all didn’t look the same but had different qualities at each area. We also had plenty of room for the Photo Booth Fun Company, to come in and take some awesome fun and hilarious photos that we are still laughing over.
Remembering those who we love
We wanted to make sure that on our special day we showed our respect and remembered those who are no longer with us, for without them, our love would not have been the same.
We had small touches throughout the day, but our favorite and the most remembered with our guests were the candle lanterns which were placed on reserved seats in the front row for our ceremony.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Dennis lit each candle while our guests looked on in complete silence. From the altar, we saw their faces in their pictures, and their candles continued to burn all night long. We knew that they were there with us on our big day.
A question we were often asked by our vendors was ‘What is your style?’. With the beauty of Markovina, it made decorating and other decisions easy, so whenever we were asked, we applied the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid.
When you’re surrounded by nature, and vines that cover the ceilings, you want to show off the beauty by not over decorating. We kept our flower colors simple: white, light pink and some greenery. Our cake had a few small embellishments and our tables had short and compact centerpieces. All we needed to add were a few personal touches.
Personalisation – it’s all in the detail
We wanted to stay true to who we are, so we wanted to make sure that the food, drinks, lollies and decorations were things that we ourselves would have in our homes, or serve and eat ourselves. We believe that at large events, it is the small details that make all the difference. Thankfully the effort that was put in paid off; leaving our guests in awe.
- we had photos with our loved ones around the reception area, to show that our love grew with their love and support
- we had individual cupcakes (because no one likes to share) on each place setting in our wedding colours of navy blue and white, sealed with our wedding logo
- we love sweets, so we had a candy bar filled with our personal favourite lollies, of which our bridal party decided to colour co-ordinate the table turning it into one of the most elaborate candy bar set ups we’ve seen
- our table names were photographs of old Street signs of streets of significance to us throughout our lives
- and our most talked about and also most controversial, (because who knew, people would be get so competitive about card designs), we hand wrote individual thank you cards to each guest to double as their place settings
- one of the biggest regrets other couples had was that they were unable to talk to or express their gratitude to their guests at their wedding and we didn’t want to make that mistake
- we knew how much effort it would take, writing out 100 + individual thank you notes. And it was at times, tiresome and repetitive, but the look on the faces of our guests when they read their personalised note was worth every hand cramp.
Our fantastic bridal party
Dennis and I had been together for over 9 years before we tied the knot, so although our friends knew of each other, they didn’t personally get to know each other until the wedding.
In an effort to build relationships amongst them, we had bi-monthly lunches or dinners with the bridal party to re-introduce everyone to each other. We wanted everyone to be comfortable to support each other and work together, and we’re so glad that we did.
Amongst them, they created our wedding logo, paid for hotel rooms, hand sewed garments, created video montages, photographed Street signs and organised overseas hens and stag trips and then planned local ones as well. We credit the success of our wedding day, the fact that it was on time, organised and completely drama free to our wonderful, and amazing bridal party.
The surprise bridal party dance
Check out the moves from this bridal party as they get down on the Markovina dance floor during Dennis and Claudia’s recent wedding.
It isn’t often that we’re both caught off guard and completely surprised, and the last thing we thought was that we would be completely speechless and floored on our own wedding day. With not even a hint of suspicion of any planning or scheming happening between our Bridal party, they surprised us on the day with a flash mob dance to Bruno Mar’s, Uptown Funk.
Dennis and I knew that our maid of honour and best man were not comfortable speaking in public so we weren’t at all suspicious when they asked to do their speech together at a specific time.
After a few laughs and a couple of tears from their well-executed speeches, our best man raised a toast and we noticed our bridal party all stand up and walk towards them in the middle of the dance floor. In complete surprise, Dennis and I look at each other in confusion, and then things start to fall into place. The secret whispering, the unexplained absences, the delayed text replies….
Then the song drops. Our friends are lining up into their positions. And we are witnessing our bridal party and their partners and some of our family dancing their hearts out. We were even pulled into the dance at the end surrounded by everyone we love and care for. When the song ended, Dennis and I looked at each other knowing that this is what life is about – moments like these.
Moments where we are surrounded by our family and friends. People who have planned and sacrificed their time to learn a dance they had to do in front of 100 people for the sole reason to make us smile, and give us memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
We knew that we were the luckiest people on earth at that exact moment. We not only fell in love with each other, but we fell in love with our friends.
There are many highlights from our big day, our friends and their partners and families surprising us with a choreographed dance which they did in secret, while still making sure they did all their bridal party tasks, made our day of love so much more important to us.
The A Team
Our amazing Celebrant, Honor Freeman, who gave us a personalised and different ceremony that involved our guests and made everyone feel special.
Our wonderful photographers JEL Photography who captured our day exactly how we remember it.
Our MC and DJ extraordinaire – Mike Steffens, who made the soundtrack to our day and kept us entertained.
Thank you to Justin Konakova from The Black Cat Make Up for making us look and feel like Goddesses.
Our fantastic florist, Glenys from www.weddingflowers.co.nz who, even without meeting us, knew exactly what we wanted and gave us the most beautiful arrangements on the day.
The team at Photobooth Fun who captured the funniest and most outrageous photos.
The yummy cake from Sweet Bites Cakes.
There is a lot that goes on in the background, and our day could not have gone smoothly without Mark and Rina. The force behind the venue, making sure everything happened quickly and easily.
And the staff on site – the invisible plate clearers and the busy bar staff.