Ang and Matt’s wedding was a truly international affair. She’s a New Zealander, he’s South African, they live in Hong Kong and most of the guests travelled to New Zealand for the wedding.
The elegant Greenmantle Estate on the Kapiti Coast had the stunning scenery and native Nikau Palm forest they wanted to create a beautiful and memorable experience.
"Mothers are always right," joked Ang, "so when she said Greenmantle was the place we were looking for, we took her word for it.
"We wanted a relaxed elegant intimate affair. Having the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception all at one beautiful spot was ideal.”
living overseas since 2002, Ang turned to Google to help find the perfect caterer. "Impressed by her website and weddings showcased, we talked with Ruth on Skype and were quickly comfortable with her understanding of our needs, and professionalism. We knew the quality of food and service would be excellent.
It was only later my mother and local friends told us how well known she is, highly regarded for catering big events."
"Initially wanting to offer our mostly international guests great New Zealand produce with touches of South Africa and Hong Kong, we ultimately decided on simplicity. To avoid over-complicating plates and palates, we offered guests a choice of beef fillet or snapper, accompanied by beautiful fresh flavours.”
Matt drew on his creative side to create this clever 'save the date' advice, bringing together a kiwi and an ostrich. The theme was carried through stationery, including the menu which Ang designed, and Matt’s DIY signs for the reception chair backs.
"I had fun with wedding ideas and inspirations, including one online (fittingly) called Style Me Pretty. We chose a blush pink colour scheme, with accents of gold and green to freshen things up,” Ang added.
"I’m very proud of my most creative contribution: using sketches of guests as place settings instead of place names. Guests used the seating planner to find their table, and then had to identify themselves from a sketch!
"I sent photos of all 63 guests to a sketch artist who did a great job. It was an ideal icebreaker, with lots of laughter, and everyone took their sketch home as a wedding favour. I have never seen this done before, so loved that it was unique to our wedding, and that the guests loved it too.
"My bridesmaid Nicola is a lifelong friend. Our parents were such good friends our mothers agreed the first daughter born would be Angela and the other Nicola! She suited the cocktail style blush pink dress beautifully.
"Finding the dress in Hong Kong wasn’t an enjoyable process. Being built differently to the majority of the population, the bridal store sample dresses didn’t fit me.
"On a visit to New York I tried on lots of fabulous dresses at the famous Kleinfields, but it was too early in the process for me to make any serious decisions. Eventually I did find sample dress I liked in Hong Kong, and took a punt it would look lovely in my size."I was very fortunate there was no stress surrounding the catering, despite the distance. At Greenmantle, Jeannette and Ralph were very helpful.
"Ruth Pretty and her team are seasoned professionals; they are experienced, attentive to detail and passionate about delivering high quality service and food.They always seemed one step ahead, highlighting things for us to decide or consider that hadn’t even crossed our minds. They helpfully printed personalised menus in our theme for guests with special dietary needs.
From Greenmantle’s host perspective, it was a relaxing professional delight to see Ruth’s organisation providing assured delivery, patience and precision balanced with nice personal care from beginning to end…and a warm interested smile continuing into the long night.
"Ruth Pretty Catering deservedly inspires confidence beyond just the delivery on the night but also through the way the team: bolted down the bridal requirements; prepared calmly and cheerfully; and then discreetly dismantle and exit.”
"On the day the service and food was excellent. We were delighted, and our guests were impressed.
"We read a description of Greenmantle that applied perfectly to our wedding: it was an oasis of peace and pleasure,” summarised Ang and Matt.
Photo credit: Catherine Cattanach Photography