Real Weddings: Courtenay and David Power
The couple share how their search for the unexpected made their wedding day all the more special
I’m an event designer so I was looking for a blank canvas I could really transform. Te Hihi Estate in Karaka is stunning and we fell in love instantly. The property has a Hamptons feel and beautiful grounds, which were so suited to our needs. There were are so many stunning areas to choose from it took us about three site visits before deciding on our ceremony location on one of the main fairways on the golf course.
I also loved how I could stay the night before with all of my bridesmaids and spend the day getting ready. Rick and Donna (the property managers) took care of us so well, making sure we were all fed and hydrated, that all areas looked immaculate for our photos and that we all made the most of what the property had to offer. They also made us an incredible first breakfast as a married couple — we felt so spoilt.
I wanted our wedding to be timeless, elegant and unique and that was exactly what we had. I recall everyone thinking we were crazy to want an outdoor wedding with a roofless marquee in January, but it looked incredible and Te Hihi Estate made it all so easy. What made it really special and unique were the luxury touches such as the latte-coloured draping and chandeliers from La Lumiere in the marquee. It was a dream of mine to dance under the stars, our black and white dance floor surrounded by relaxing lounge areas had festoon lights strung above.
Having a sense of movement throughout the night was important so guests didn’t get tired of being in the space too long. Also having special touches like Milse desserts served in the dancing area and having The Great Catering Company serve their famous pies an hour before everyone went on the bus back to the city.
David had a rare day off work and just before dinner David said he had to “pop out to do something”. Shortly after our then two-year-old daughter Riley, walked in with a little white box. I was hoping for a macaron or something equally delicious and was disappointed to find it was empty. Then I noticed behind Riley, David was down on one knee with the ring box in his hand asking me to marry him — so much better than a macaron that’s for sure.
My engagement ring and both our wedding bands are from Naveya & Sloane.
I’m a great believer in celebrating all of life’s occasions so we had an engagement party, and hen’s and stag nights. We had a rehearsal dinner with our bridal party at Te Hihi Estate.
DRESS AND SUIT
Mum and I flew to Sydney for two days of intensive wedding-dress shopping. I have to confess I had researched my “dream dress” long before being engaged. We found “The Dress” at Vera Wang and it was surprisingly perfect. My Sergio Rossi shoes were incredible and even though they were six inches high (David is a foot taller than I am) they were so comfortable and I didn’t end up taking them off until the very end of the night.
From early on, David knew he wanted to wear a navy suit, something a little bit unique yet still on trend. He found this (together with his groomsmen’s suits) from Working Style.
My bridesmaids all wore blush-coloured dresses from Joanna August. It was important to me that they all felt beautiful and comfortable so they chose their designs that suited their body shapes. Our daughter Riley, our flower girl wore a beautiful dress from Tutu Du Monde with a little flower crown.
Naomi from Leaf and Honey was incredible in helping me find the delicate and soft textures I was looking for. We used lots of garden roses, hydrangea and dahlias.
Nice and simple with our own personal style. We accentuated the beautiful wooden tables from Arkade with custom raw-silk runners from Silk and Willow. The silk was topped with scattered arrangements of white and blush flowers and lots of tealight and pillar candles in glass hurricane lamps. I really wanted the space to look light and simple during the daytime and glow at night. Each guest received a clear box filled with a handmade chocolate (made by me), the guest names were printed on a wood tag and tied on with black grosgrain ribbon.
Bluebells Cakery created our three-tier lemon, carrot and banana cake with ivory cream cheese icing topped with cascading blush roses. We saved our top tier to enjoy on our first anniversary. We wanted something a little different for our dessert and served Milse desserts that guests could enjoy between dancing.
I discovered Lee Gray the year before when organising a client wedding and I knew we had to have him sing at our wedding. We even changed the time of our ceremony so he could sing an acoustic version of Show Me Love by Robin S which was our song, as I walked down the aisle. I wanted to have a live band for the reception and David wanted a DJ — he won! It was a great decision as the dance floor was never empty.
Don’t be afraid to be daring and different — I wanted a wedding completely outdoors and everyone thought I was mad, but the pay-off in having your day exactly as you envision it, is so worth it. People remember the strangest things, I got so many comments on the baskets of toiletries and mints I put in the bathrooms — it is the personal touches that are also