MANA LODGE in New Zealand's Hawkes Bay region provided the perfect venue for Kate & Matt to get married at being that it offered them beautiful accommodation and exclusive use of the stunning park like grounds. Surrounded by all their family and friends they held an intimate wedding in the gardens and had MEREDITH LORD there to document it all. Toni from MAGDALEN HILL created some gorgeous florals with pop of deep red as the only contrast to the otherwise soft tones of the day.

HOW DID YOU MEET? Our story is a long one, but in short, Matt and I met at work back in 2007 in Wellington, New Zealand. We basically hit it off straight away, and became good friends. I moved to Melbourne only a few months after meeting and we stayed in contact. Then about six months later Matt also moved across to Melbourne. Over the past four years our friendship deepened and we both realised we had feelings for the other, and the rest is history!

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: Matt took me away one weekend to Daylesford in Victoria, where he had rented this quaint little cottage for us to stay in. On the Saturday we had just returned to the cottage from an afternoon relaxing at the Hepburn springs, and we had a few hours before our dinner reservation. Matt poured us a glass of wine, and then said he had something for me and went off to the bedroom to fetch it. I was very inquisitive about what it was! He then returned and presented me with a white book tied with black ribbon, which I was not expecting. I opened it; my hands were shaking as I turned the pages. He had created a beautiful handmade scrapbook of memories 'the story of us' from the day we met, right up to that very day we were at the cottage. On the last page was a proposal and as I read it, bawling my eyes out, I turned to him and he was on one knee. It was the happiest moment!

TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I had been to Karen Willis Holmes a few years earlier to accompany a friend of mine on her own wedding dress hunt. So when it was my turn to find a dress, it was clear in my mind to go to their store. I found my dress on my first visit, and it was the last dress I tried on. After trying on so many beautiful dresses, I wasn't sure how I would choose! However as soon as I had the Caitlyn dress on, it fitted like a glove, and I just didn't want to take it off! I knew it was the one for me.

DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: Toni McGregor of Magdalen Hill did an outstanding job with our flowers and also assisted on the day with styling the marquee. We went with a softer palette of summer blooms with a wee punchy pop of red. Toni listened to all our ideas and helped us achieve the overall look we wanted. She was a big help as we live in Melbourne, it was great to have someone local to the Hawke's Bay to assist us with sourcing the lighting and flowers etc for the wedding.

FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: I loved my dress by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES! I never wanted to take it off!

WHAT ADVISE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Be true to your own style and what you feel confident and comfortable in, you want your wedding to reflect you as a couple in some way. The day goes by so fast so try not to get caught up worrying about all the little things! At the end of the day it's about celebrating your love and commitment to each other with the people you love, enjoy every moment!

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? Matt and I decided to do a first look before the ceremony. I am so glad we did this! In the flurry and excitement of the day, it was so lovely to have a special quiet moment just the two of us to share together and take it all in!

Photographer MEREDITH LORD / Florist MAGDALEN HILL / Music VOLUME DJ / Celebrant AMY EDWARDS / Bride's dress KAREN WILLIS HOLMES / Stationery SMITTEN ON PAPER / Catering ORTON TAILOR CUISINE / Cake MJ'S CAKES / Hair LOCO HAIR / Makeup PARLOUR BEAUTY / Ceremony & Reception MANA LODGE