On a bright Wellington spring day, Catherine and Gavin were married in the garden area by The Boatshed, before invited guests and admiring onlookers from the waterfront walk.
The wedding day fell on the night of the annual fireworks display. So, as a bonus, the guests were treated to a fantastic view from The Boatshed on the waterfront.
"We wanted our wedding to showcase Wellington’s great food, wine, beer, music, weather – and we got all five”.
Catherine’s daughters Gabriella and Estee and Gavin’s son Torben were in the bridal party. Catherine Millar and Gavin Cho joined not only their families but also their names for the day ... Millar and Cho became ‘the Chillars’.
"Scented candles on each table were a special touch. Created especially by local designer Jane Street (Harriet Jane brand) they combined our favourite spices, floral and hint of leather fragrances and carried The Chillars label. They were an absolute hit with our guests.
Catherine said "Great food was a top priority. Gavin’s large and extended family are all connoisseurs of fine dining (or as Gavin says "passionate foodies”).
"Coming from Southland, I requested Wellington’s version of Southland Cheese Rolls as one of the passarounds after the formal ceremony. Unfortunately Bluff oysters were out of season but the rest of the passarounds had the guests raving about the quality of the food.
"In consultation with Ruth, we chose a seated dinner, with a beautiful seafood entrée medley and a choice of delectable main courses. See the menu here.
"It went extremely well. Ruth’s staff was attentive, helpful, friendly, knowledgeable about the food and wine, and responded quickly to every request.
"The dessert buffet was especially good fun and allowed people to mingle easily. Our 118 guests were thrilled to see Ruth there herself, entertaining the guests while she served,” she explained.
The dessert centrepiece was Ruth’s version of Josh Emmett’s Goat Milk Cheese Cake, with apples and gingerbread and fig ice cream – a special request from Catherine, after particularly enjoying it at Rata restaurant in Queenstown recently. The selection of Ruth’s homemade ice creams was equally highly rated.
The wedding cake was another Chillar combo: Ruth’s traditional rich Christmas cake on the top tier (for Gavin) and a Chocolate and Kaffir Lime cake (for Catherine).
Catherine says "the cake was wonderful”. Gavin has always loved Ruth’s fruit cake but there was a special request from the dentist: "would you consider scaling back the sugar?”
"Ruth accepted this suggestion in her typically gracious style, with a smile. On the night, Gavin thought the cake was perfect, and I understand Ruth altered the recipe especially for him.
"I remembered a comment Ruth made during our discussions, that "the two things people talk about from a wedding are the food and what the bride wore……”.
"My sister Sarah helped me decide my dress style, and Liz Findlay from Zambesi designed and made it. The dress felt amazing to wear: the fabric was called crystals and was a neutral shade, topped off with silver heels by Isabel Marant. They complemented wedding rings from The Village Goldsmith.
"Gabriella and Estee’s dresses were from Witchery.
"Organising the wedding and working fulltime as a physiotherapy practice owner was fun, challenging and stressful, sometimes all at the same time.
"At one stage Gavin wondered if I was sneaking off to avoid helping to organise things. Actually, I was sneaking off to learn a Cantonese speech so I could surprise him at the wedding.
"The dance lessons were fun and hilarious, although Gavin might say they were stressful. However, everyone went wild at his perfect execution of the splits to finish our wedding dance More than A Woman (from John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever). This was played by the awesome band Simon Williams & The Relatives.
"We thoroughly enjoyed our wedding day, celebrating The Chillars with our friends and family. Not to mention the spontaneous audience of Wellingtonians who watched from the bridge!
"Ruth, Paul and their team were amazing. They are highly skilled professionals at this gig, and their attention to detail on every level was 5 stars. Many guests commented that our wedding was the best that they've ever been to. Thank you so much Ruth,” Catherine and Gavin concluded.