Lifestyle, Personal Finance, Wedding

Creating Our Dream Wedding | Chapter 2

Hi friends,

Welcome to Chapter Two of my wedding series!

May was an expensive and eventful month, one full of wedding accomplishments. Some of these include:

  • paying off our honeymoon
  • booking our florals, lighting, decor, and photography
  • ordering my wedding dress

…And attending two amazing wedding shows!

1. We paid off our honeymoon

Our first exciting accomplishment: we paid off our honeymoon – more specifically, the tour that we will be embarking on as our honeymoon! YAS.

When it came to our honeymoon destination, there was no place we dreamed of going other than Japan. We are both inspired and fascinated by Japanese culture and can’t wait to be seeing Japan for the first time! We are heading on Topdeck’s Japan Highlights tour in March 2020, a 12 day tour that will take us across Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Takayama, and Hiroshima, with optionals including Tokyo Disneyland and Robot Restaurant.

But that’s not all.. We saved $1240 while doing so!

How, you ask?

Every year, tour companies like Contiki and Topdeck do a promotion where they put tours on sale – 10-15% off depending on destination. This includes locking in your booking with a $200 deposit and making full payment by a certain date. Our particular tour, at its particular time (beginning of cherry blossom season), is priced at $6199 each. That’s $12,398 altogether, or $11,158.20 with our 10% discount.

For Christmas 2018, I gave my fiancé a special present – our tour booking! I’d secretly paid for both our deposits, and from then on, we just had to save up our fair share and pay off the rest by the end of April to keep the 10% discount. (Fyi: this is before we combined our money together into joint spending & savings accounts – we had them but mostly managed our money independently.)

Four months of diligent saving paid off. I’m so proud that we stayed committed to our goal and paid off the remaining $10,758.20 on time!

2. We booked our florals, lighting, decor, and photography

Two weeks into May, we’d already booked our lighting, decor, and photography. I had fallen in love with the work of La Lumiere long ago, as well as the giant, illuminated creations of Light Letters. We also met up for a coffee chat with our photographer whose artistic vision is just what we are looking for. So all of these were easy decisions – we knew what we wanted and it didn’t take us long to book them in. We feel very lucky that our wedding date in April 2020 seems to be a good date for all our dream vendors!

Our florals took a little longer, but I’m overjoyed with the florist I’ve chosen: Ruby Rose Flowers. One Saturday afternoon, I went to visit their little Parnell boutique to get a quote for wedding flowers. I decided to treat myself to a bouquet just because, and was thrilled with what they came up with. For our wedding, I’m imagining more pastel pinks, rose pinks and dark burgundy red with touches of fresh white, without any bright colours – so a little different to the bouquet they made for me – but the aesthetic is just what I’m looking for.

The best thing is that their quote is similar to others I’ve gotten, but it provides fantastic value, including more than any other florist! We will have everything from bridal & bridesmaids bouquets and groom & groomsmen buttonholes to guests’ table flowers and a floral garland for the head table.

What’s more, they offer the unique service of a flower bar! Our guests will be able to each take a glass vase, fill it and style it with their own floral creations, and take it home – what a neat idea! I love that our guests will have something fresh, natural and beautiful to bring home with them as a memory of our wedding celebration.

3. Two amazing wedding shows

Early May, I attended the Bride & Groom Wedding Show with my friend Jess, a soon bride-to-be! It was.. Intense. The show was a day of looking at all sorts of vendors, from cakes to wedding dresses to neon light signs. Moreover, it involved a lot of signing up for giveaways, competitions, email lists, and being given cards & brochures.

The Wild Hearts Wedding Fair was considerably more fun and enjoyable, simply because it was more about immersing yourself in the experience rather than being sold to. The venue was dark, moody, and atmospheric. I’d taken advantage of a 25% discount to get my fiancé and I VIP tickets, so we got the chance to sit down in the Wild Hearts & Together VIP lounge, drink a glass of rosé, enjoy some canapés, and relax, instead of being there only to wander the stalls and talk to vendors.

We did that, too – and found some gems! My fiancé got talking to two suit vendors – Barkers & Devonché – and we both loved Good Gold, who make rings and wedding bands created from ethical gold from the rivers and coastlines of New Zealand.

Our VIP tickets also included reserved seats for the runway show – our highlight of the evening! The dresses, suits, and modelling talent were stunning.

Here are some snaps from the day.

Wild Hearts (16)

Wild Hearts (33)

Wild Hearts (76)

Wild Hearts spoilt us with ridiculously generous goodie bags – overfilled with cards and pamphlets, but also with an incredible selection of gifts and minis. Some of the contents:

  • Jo Malone cologne & body cream
  • Bobbi Brown mascara, lipstick, face cream & eye cream
  • Ecoya white musk & warm vanilla candles
  • Eau Thermale Avene lotion, emulsion & micellar water
  • Together Journal + Wild Hearts Journal
  • Eleven Australia hair masks
  • Tribeca Skin Tonics ‘Glow’ face oil
  • Seedlip Grove 42 distilled non-alcoholic botanical spirit
  • Rosé & sparkling rosé

They are all things I’d normally love and use, so I’d say the VIP tickets were absolutely worth it!

Wild Hearts (78)

4. I ordered my wedding dress!

I’ve found The One! You know you’ve found ‘The One’ when you come across a wedding dress and text your partner, “Look at it. Look at it! LOOK AT IT.”


Craziness aside, I found one bridal boutique in all of New Zealand that stocks the breathtakingly beautiful wedding dress I have fallen head over heels for. The bridal boutique is in Tauranga, which I have never been to before. It was the perfect excuse for us to plan a weekend roadtrip down there later this year, when I pick up my wedding dress and get to see it in all its glory in person for the first time. I am very excited. An added bonus is that I’m supporting a New Zealand (and Australian) business, instead of buying my dress from a USA online wedding store like originally planned.

Do you want to see it? Here is a not-so-sneak-peak! Voila – the dress I have chosen and absolutely love. Romantic, sensual, and elegant. The only difference is that I’ve chosen white & ivory instead of white & mocha, as pictured. It is, truly, my dream wedding dress.

A financial overview of this month

Deposits paid

$234.60 – La Lumiere, who will be doing our lighting and hanging glowing fairy lights on the rooftop

$322.50 – Light Letters, whose illuminated creations will light up our wedding and make a luminous backdrop

$932.50 – Madison Rose Bridal, exclusive NZ stockist of the beautiful Madi Lane Bridal

$516 – Ruby Rose Flowers, who will be doing our wedding florals and bringing our guests a stunning flower bar

Event tickets

$18 – Bride & Groom Wedding Show

$125.76 – Wild Hearts Wedding Fair x 2 ($62.88 each) with 25% discount

Honeymoon tour 

$10,758.20 – Japan Highlights

I wasn’t kidding when I said it was an expensive month!

However, now that I’ve gotten so many things out of the way, I feel more relaxed about the rest. With 10 months to go, left on the wedding planning list is:

  • Music
  • Makeup
  • Videography
  • Wedding bands
  • Suits for groom & groomsmen
  • Dresses for bridesmaids
  • Bridesmaids proposals (the fiancé thinks it’s silly, but I want to be cute)
  • A veil
  • Shoes
  • A reception dress
  • Invitations & stationery
  • Learning a dance together.. Maybe?!

Looking forward to sharing more with you in Chapter Three!




2 thoughts on “Creating Our Dream Wedding | Chapter 2

  1. Pingback: Creating Our Dream Wedding | Chapter 3 | Mindful with Money

  2. Pingback: Creating Our Dream Wedding | Chapter 4 | Mindful with Money

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