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.
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!