Mikayla and Cruise’s wedding was an amazing mix. The bride and groom chose to celebrate at a family home in the country with homemade cake and cultural dances performed by their families. They worked out all the details, making the celebration impeccably stylish, chic, and ultra-fashionable. We talked to the bride and found out all the details of organizing her inspiringly wholesome celebration.
Tell us a little about yourselves.
Cruise and I met in high school. We shared a couple of the same classes and one afternoon, Cruise chased me down in the staff parking lot after school and asked me out. We couldn’t be more different, which we joke is our secret weapon. But as the old saying goes, opposites attract!
What do you do for a living and for fun?
I work as an interior designer & stylist, and Cruise is an engineer and an entrepreneur. We love a good dinner out and share a love for good food, and good coffee, of course! We were lucky enough to have a short stint living overseas and seeing the world, which has been a highlight in our nearly 14 years together. We are very much 'do-it-yourself' kind of people and love a good project around the house. I am forever getting Cruise to build me something. We both appreciate good design and architecture.
What was the concept behind your wedding and how did you find your inspiration?
The concept for our wedding started with Cruise’s Niuean & Cook Island heritage, which was a big part of our day. We wanted to embrace the culture and go bold with our color and floral choices. I convinced Cruise to ditch the marquee (with no plan B for rain!) and create an alfresco dining experience for our guests, and luckily for me, the weather pulled through. We wanted to create a fun outdoor space, something fresh and a little different from the norm. The addition of fruit on the tables fit the theme perfectly. I spent months making the checkered tiled boxes and plinths to add some more color, and Cruise (with some help) made our freestanding colored walls, which made for great photo backdrops. We tried to steer away from the typical wedding traditions and focus more on making it a fun, relaxing day for our guests. Starting with a mojito (or three) at the entrance.
Where was your wedding? Why did you choose this venue?
We got married at Cruise’s family property in Taupaki, Auckland. We had always loved the idea of getting married there. Not only is it beautiful, but we wanted to look back on wedding photos in years to come and have the venue mean something to us. It definitely had a sense of home for our guests and was totally perfect for that more relaxed, casual vibe we were hoping for.
How many guests did you have?
Our final number of guests was 130 - a little less than our original number of 220! The pandemic meant a lot of our friends and family from overseas couldn’t make it and at the time of our wedding, there were a limited number of restrictions in place for larger gatherings. But we just made the cut, and after having to postpone once already, 130 felt like the perfect number.
Tell us about your outfits.
I initially had visions of wearing blue but decided a pop of bright white amongst all the colors would be perfect. Particularly next to the girls in their bold colors. Mine started with a simple silhouette. I wanted something structured and reasonably casual, so decided pretty early on to go with a shorter length. The gloves and train puffs were a late addition, and not something I ever thought I would go for! But I liked the drama it added. Later in the night, I wore the dress on its own as a second, more relaxed outfit. Cruise wore a classic black suit with his usual cool and edgy spin on it. We went from shop to shop trying to find a white shirt with covered buttons for a minimal look and decided against no tie or bow tie to keep it slick. We both wore traditional garlands throughout the day, which were made by Cruise’s mum.
How did you spend the morning before the wedding?
I had a beautiful relaxing morning on the day of the wedding. Unusually calm, in fact. I stayed with my family and bridesmaids the night before and we spent the morning sitting around drinking champagne and Aperol Spritz! Cruise was putting out fires, literally! A fire barrel which had been used at the house the night before nearly caught one shed on fire but luckily was spotted in time! Poor Cruise and his groomsmen were left with all the last minute jobs - setting up the sound system, finding a catering gazebo to replace the one that had been swept away by the wind the day before, doing a last-minute dash for ice and water which in all our planning had been missed – and all just in time to greet our guests as they arrived! The joys of having a wedding at a home venue.
What was your wedding cake like? And where did you order it?
My mum is an amazing baker, so we were lucky enough to have her make the cake for us. It was perfectly simple, two tiers, lemon syrup cake on the bottom and banana and dark chocolate on the top - Cruise’s favorite. The cake was then covered in a white chocolate whipped ganache. I found a cake on my Pinterest travels in the early stages of planning with an abstract-looking wire sculpture attached to it and did my best to replicate it. Cake but make it art!
What was your first dance song?
Our first dance looked a little different. As part of the Niuean and Cook Island tradition, Cruise’s family performed cultural dances and songs for us and our guests throughout the evening. We had a Cook Island dance group perform with drums and dancers which involved both Cruise and I, and a few of our friends brave enough to get up and dance!
What flowers did you choose for the bride’s bouquet and why?
The bridal bouquets were a complete surprise. The brief for our florals was bold, fun, sculptural, and a little whacky, and Sue, our amazing florist, did just that. I liked the idea of using a dominant flower for each bouquet, which we also carried through to the floral arrangements. With all the craziness, I still wanted it to feel coherent. We matched the colors to the girl’s outfits, and I followed suit with all white. The gerberas were a hot favorite.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
We were very lucky to work with an amazing group of vendors. From the florals to the food to the napkins, everyone had a part in making our crazy vision come to life. Ash from Sapphire Studios did such a beautiful job of capturing every detail. I could stare at our wedding photos all day. Brooke Tyson, my wonderful dressmaker, was incredibly patient with me and went above and beyond the call of duty – even driving all-around Auckland the week of the wedding trying to find me gloves! And Sue from Floral Stylist brought the heat with her incredible floral creations, fruit and all.