A Win­ter’s Tale

For HOLLY KAPITZ and LEIGH SMITH, the back­drop of snow-capped moun­tains made a ma­jes­tic set­ting for a clas­sic black-tie af­fair.

New Zealand Weddings - - REAL WEDDINGS - Pho­tog­ra­phy HOLLY WAL­LACE

Queen­stown’s ma­jes­tic snow­capped moun­tains set the scene for this clas­sic black-tie af­fair.

Leigh and I met through mu­tual friends seven years ago, where we then hit it off straight away on our first date. Five years later we went to my favourite win­ery, Mon­talto on the Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula, and af­ter a walk along their sculp­ture trail, Leigh got down on bended knee. We then sat down to a de­li­cious lunch in the vine­yard’s restau­rant, be­fore be­ing joined by two good friends to cel­e­brate over cham­pagne and dessert.

We’re both avid skiers, so hold­ing our des­ti­na­tion wed­ding in Queen­stown dur­ing win­ter made sense for us. I wanted ev­ery­thing to feel cosy and el­e­gant, like an in­ti­mate din­ner party with our 60 guests. Friends had sug­gested Jack’s Point Club­house, and as soon as we saw it we knew it was the one. The muted shades of the in­te­rior gave it a very el­e­gant and mod­ern feel, yet it still seemed warm and cosy with its tim­ber walls, ex­posed beams and fea­ture fire­places. We were lucky with the tim­ing of our big day, as Jack’s Point has since stopped of­fer­ing wed­dings.

We’d planned to hold the cer­e­mony on the pon­toon with the lake as our back­drop, but had to make a last-minute change when it be­gan to rain just be­fore I was set to walk down the aisle. Luck­ily we had an al­ter­na­tive plan – to hold it un­der the ter­race.

We went for a fairly neu­tral colour pal­ette, with abun­dant crisp white flow­ers sur­rounded by lush, dark fo­liage. Beige linens ran along long dark tim­ber ta­bles, the cut­lery and flower stands of­fer­ing glim­mer­ing hints of cop­per and gold.

I adore el­e­gant white or­chids, so our florist An­drea Craw­ford used these as a fea­ture flower for the tall flo­ral ta­ble dis­plays, along with cas­cad­ing dark green leaves and vines. This theme was car­ried across to our bri­dal ta­ble and to the arch­way that stood be­hind us dur­ing our cer­e­mony. I also wanted a lot of candlelight to cre­ate an in­ti­mate at­mos­phere, so we scat­tered can­dles through­out the venue.

Our guests en­joyed a shared-style menu. Char­cu­terie and flat breads were served as an en­trée, fol­lowed by slow roasted lamb shoul­der and baked salmon as our main course. Leigh and I asked the venue to pro­vide wine sug­ges­tions to com­ple­ment the food, and we de­cided to go with­out a cake, in­stead opt­ing for roam­ing desserts. No one minded!

My gown was cus­tom-made at One Day Bri­dal in Mel­bourne in

a struc­tured style us­ing crepe de chine. It had a mer­maid skirt with crino­line braid along the hem, a key­hole back and a soft cowl neck­line, while del­i­cate French beaded lace adorned the sides of the dress. I ac­ces­sorised with a fur shawl (faux, of course) and Valentino rock stud heels. I’d been eye­ing the shoes for years, so my wed­ding was a per­fect ex­cuse to splurge on them. My four brides­maids wore off-the-shoul­der black ponte dresses and Leigh’s mother made them lux­u­ri­ous faux fur wraps, which pro­vided a con­trast­ing tex­ture to their dresses.

Our black tie dress code made it easy to find smart black suits from God­win Charli for Leigh and his grooms­men. Leigh had a slightly dif­fer­ent lapel and shoes to set his look apart, and they all wore rose gold cuff links to tie into our colour pal­ette.

For our first dance Leigh and I chose to dance sep­a­rately and then to­gether to an un­usual house mu­sic song. It was com­pletely un- chore­ographed – we feel we do our best danc­ing when it’s not re­hearsed, and the free-for-all ap­proach made it so much fun!

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