Wellington, New Zealand… As the hometown of half of our Well Travelled Team and a frequently visited spot of the others, this capital city was an obvious choice for one of our first destination guide features. Gorgeous, artsy and adventurous - what could practically be our backyard is in actuality an amazing choice for brides all over the world planning a destination wedding. Because we are so accustomed to our favourite Wellington spots already, we had to work hard to see the city with fresh eyes and select the delightful places and vendors our brides might work with to plan their wedding. But in the end, Wellington never failed to disappoint us and we spent our three days hopping from one location to the next - popping open a few bottles of champagne to celebrate along the way.
For our Wellington shoot we had the delight of working with some of New Zealand’s very best wedding vendors - and members of our own A to B List! Sarah Burton worked as our head photographer alongside behind-the-scenes photographer Melissa Mills. We loved Sarah’s integration of fashion and wedding photography so much that we invited her to join us in Europe the following year. A to B List florist and stylist Yvette Edwards never left our side and fulfilled our every planning and styling need with the utmost care. The rest of our team was comprised of fabulous Wellington locals. Highlights included Natalie Dent providing the city’s best hair and makeup services and Elizabeth Marshall proving to be one of the greatest cooks, cake creators and hosts we’ve yet to meet!
We started off most of our mornings in Wellington with a gourmet cup of coffee - the city is known for holding the world’s best and largest variety of coffee and coffee houses (in fact, we even made a list of our favourites!). We also stopped in a number of fabulous and funky eateries and took our time enjoying the sights and flavours of the city! A little shopping was also in order, and we enjoyed combing through some of New Zealand’s best boutique and vintage shops. For our shoot, we worked with local jewelry designer Tory & Ko (the jeweler who also created our editor Kelsey’s engagement ring), I Love Paris (home of some of Wellington’s cutest shoes), Scotties (for designer vintage) and Ziggurat (for heavenly antique finds). Our brides of course were dressed in custom Kelsey Genna gowns that reflected the whimsy and beauty of the Wellington landscape.
The love story we created for our brides Kate and Astrid was luxe, feminine and a tad eclectic. Wellington is such a bustling, creative city and the aesthetic of our photoshoot worked to capture the vibrancy and passion of New Zealand culture. We firmly believed that any Wellington destination wedding would have to reflect the lovable eccentricities that make the city special to us.
We shot our ceremony at Boomrock because there really is no place in New Zealand like it on a good day (a phrase you’ll hear a lot in windy Wellington). The venue was so remote we had to hitch a helicopter ride to get there - talk about well travelled style! We managed to add even more beauty and colour to Boomrock by borrowing art from local talent Jade Townsend to brighten the walls. It was the perfect touch.
We continued our stylish journey to Wharekauhau to shoot the highlights of our honeymoon story. This lodge proved to be more divine and exclusive than we even anticipated - it was the base for Kate and William when they visited New Zealand, after all! Wharekauhau quickly became a favourite #welltravelled spot. We spent a day picking fresh produce from their gardens, lounging poolside and enjoying cocktail hour in the lounge.
By the end of our week in Wellington, we’d made even more memories in this special place. We celebrated with glasses of champagne and the perfect end to what we’ve come to know as the first year of Well Travelled Bride.