"We wanted a relaxing, fun day, with plenty of good food for our friends and family. Being able to customise our menu with Ruth Pretty, so that it suited our style, heritage and personality really made a huge difference.
"The day was everything we wanted it to be,” Teresa summarised.
For the open-air ceremony, Teresa wore a beautiful white gown, in the Western tradition. Later, she changed into a colourful cheongsam, in the Chinese tradition.
The couple served tea to both the bride and groom’s parents as part of the traditional Chinese wedding tea ceremony to show respect and a symbol of the parents welcoming each into the family.
Teresa explained "We chose The Bungalow at Oakura, on the Taranaki Coast, as our venue because of the wonderful views, the facilities and on-site accommodation. Finding the right caterer was the next important step: willing to out-cater and (our priority) to provide good, generous food.
"After visiting Ruth in Te Horo to talk about our needs and ideas, we felt confident about choosing her. Menu planning was on the fun side! Ruth and her team made it easy, with good communication and ideas.
"For example, we wanted to include some Asian flavours and Asian inspired dishes. We agreed the
Gau Baos would be a great way to get guests interacting with each other at the tables as an entree.
"The idea is for guests to take a steamed bun and add whatever fillings took their fancy: we offered Pulled Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder, Crispy Roast Duck or Spicy Aubergine, plus a range of accompaniments from sliced cucumber, crushed roasted peanuts to Ruth’s Tomato Chilli Jam. It all worked beautifully”.
This followed by a main course of rack of lamb or crispy skin snapper fillets and finished with a dessert of white chocolate and ginger crème brûlée. See the menu here.
In a truly personal touch, Teresa made her own wedding cake. "I've trained as a chef and worked as a pastry chef. So it seemed odd having someone else do it for me.
"Making the cake wasn’t too stressful: but it was yet another task to do so close towards the actual day! I don't know if it was the wisest thing to do, but I'm still glad I did it!” she smiled.
Friends helped with the wedding in several ways. They liked photographer Inge Flinte’s style, and the fact she and Teresa were at university together, so she and Mark would be comfortable in front of her camera, was a nice bonus.
Craft beer enthusiasts Astrid (bridesmaid) and her husband Tom brewed an American Pale Ale, and Chris (groomsman) brewed a NZ Bohemian Pilsner. "We thought this was a great way to involve our mates with our wedding. We knew they would deliver a great product and they definitely didn't disappoint. We received many great comments on the beers,”
In choosing the dress for the wedding ceremony, Teresa knew she was in the right place after finding Grace Loves Lace online.
"I immediately fell in love with their whole look and bohemian style approach to a wedding dress. This was me. I loved the dress style that looked effortless/relaxed, yet elegant at the same time.
"I wore the cheongsam (Chinese style dress) for the reception. This was another way to bring in a part of my Chinese background into the wedding.
"It also suited our colour theme: white, jade green, and hints of gold. Overall, we wanted the style to be natural, fresh, relaxed, and elegant,” she said.
Teresa and Mark agreed "The whole day was great really, although it went by super fast!
"From the moment we saw the morning sun shining over the coast (after some shockingly bad weather for several days), we could have done with a ‘pause’ button to just have a moment to take in everything going on around us at times,” Teresa concluded.
Photos: Inge Flinte www.cocorophotography.co.nz