Real Weddings: Rachael & Mark O’Malley At Man O’ War Chapel, Waiheke Island

The lawyer and accountant take us to the little chapel of their big day

Rachael and Mark O’Malley. Photo / Frank and Peggy

The Journey
We were married on April 10 this year. Our original wedding day was 28 March 2020, which happened to be the first weekend of the first level four lockdown. I actually had some friends return from London for our original date who ended up getting stuck in New Zealand for lockdown.

We pencilled in a second date in November 2020, but decided to postpone this again as we had a large number of family and friends coming over from Australia and were hopeful that the transtasman bubble would be open in 2021.

As it turns out, the bubble opened a few weeks after our eventual wedding day, but we decided to proceed regardless. We are hoping to host a celebration in Sydney for our Australian friends and family on our first wedding anniversary.

The Vision
Classic and timeless. We were lucky in that the venue and location are so beautiful.

Inside the chapel at Man O’ War on Waiheke Island. Photo / Frank and Peggy

The Ceremony
It was held at the chapel at Man O’ War on Waiheke Island. We have a family bach on the island and love the vibe at Man O’ War, so we always knew we wanted to get married there.

Our celebrant, Nikki Dare, is my brother’s mother-in-law, so it was special to have her marry us, particularly given my brother and sister-in-law were unable to be there due to travel restrictions.

READ: Real Weddings: Keelan Bowkett-Assaf & Elie Assaf At Cambridge Road Vineyard

The Reception
Our reception was held at the pavilion at Man O’ War. This was a fabulous venue and the food and wine were fantastic. Our band, Two Many Chiefs, was incredible and got everyone out on the dance floor.

Rachael wears a dress from Hera Couture and Mark wears a Working Style suit. Photo / Frank and Peggy

The Help
Our wedding planner was Sophia Hoadley from My Waiheke. She is organised, thorough and has great knowledge and connections in the industry. We were really appreciative of her assistance, particularly given the number of changes we had to make. Everything ran perfectly on our day, and it was as stress-free as possible.

Dress & Suit
My dress was from Hera Couture. It was beautiful with incredible detail. I had a second dress to wear later on in the evening from Karen Walker Atelier. Mark wore a Working Style suit.

"It started out as a terribly stormy day on Waiheke but the weather just cleared in time for our wedding ceremony." Photo / Frank and Peggy

The Flowers
Our florist was Wildflower, who are based locally on the Island. Zoe (Wildflower) and Sophia (My Waiheke) worked together to create an amazing set-up in the chapel and pavilion. We had gorgeous arrangements on pillars to frame the chapel windows for our ceremony. In the pavilion, we had greenery trailing from the rafters together with small arrangements.

READ: An Expert Guide To Wedding Cakes With Bluebells Cakery’s Karla Goodwin

The Photos
We used Frank and Peggy for our wedding photos. We loved the relaxed and natural look of their photos. As we had so many guests who were unable to make it, we also decided to get a videographer. We used Hollow & Co for our video — which includes some amazing shots (drone included!) and provides a great memory for the day.

The reception was held reception was held at the pavilion at Man O’ War. Photo / Frank and Peggy

The Experience
Our wedding day was perfect. We were so grateful after the months of uncertainty to be able to celebrate with our friends and family based in NZ. The only thing we would change is to have our overseas family and friends in attendance.

It started out as a terribly stormy day on Waiheke but the weather just cleared in time for our wedding ceremony. It was so special to be able to finally get married and the chapel provided the most amazing spot to do so.

Beautiful Moments
Our family in Australia who were unable to make it, as well as the missing members of our bridal party, sent through a short video to play on the night. The video was a real highlight of the night and was great to be able to involve those who couldn’t be there with us.

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