I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Sarah and Vinnnie have an incredibly special love story that began before they were even born–the mothers of the bride and groom went to the same high school in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Naturally, with a love story that somehow started before they were both even born, the locale was a historic place to pick for the two to share their nuptials. We are absolutely enamored with their gorgeous, classic wedding shot by Benjamin and Elise.


What made the wedding special and unique?

The wedding was held at Black Barn Vineyard in Havelock North, Hawkes Bay. It was the perfect summer’s evening; warm and calm, with the most serene golden light. Most of our guests had traveled from other cities in New Zealand, and in some cases, overseas to celebrate the day with us.

Our families both come from Hawkes Bay – our mothers went to the same high school. Hawkes Bay is where our story began – it represents family and a unique history. I got ready in historic Rush Cottage with just my sisters and parents, surrounded by photos of my grandparents on their wedding days, and Vinnie’s family too. We feel so blessed to come from such a strong family and a lot of this comes back to Hawkes Bay. It meant the world to us to have the people we love most in all the world gathered in our special place.


Tell us about your dress and where/how you found it.

My dress was from Rue de Seine. It was the first bridal boutique I went to and only the third dress I tried on. My mother picked it out. I fell in love with the dress the moment I put it on. I loved the romance of the lace and the soft bohemian kaftan style. I added a classical touch with a Jenny Packham crystal comb in my hair.


What were some touches added to make it personal?

My aunty Elsie is an Opera singer in Wellington and she did us the honour of singing as I walked down the aisle and again as we signed the register. She sung the Italian song ‘O Sole Mio’, a nod to Vinnie’s Italian heritage and his remarkable Nona.

I also carried with me a blue ribbon that my Grandma had found for me that morning, and a very delicate handkerchief that my Nana had given my aunty Ainslie on her wedding day. My mother and grandmother were adamant I carry something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. I had not planned on following this tradition but it all came together on the morning of the wedding and I somehow ended up with all the pieces I needed.


What was the most memorable part of the day?

We had photos taken just after the ceremony, before we went in for the reception. It was early evening and we were standing in the vines in beautiful soft light. It was such a peaceful quiet moment and we were able to breathe deeply and really take in the day.


Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Vinnie proposed on Christmas Eve. We had just finished watching The Grinch Who Stole Christmas – a tradition in our house – when he began to recite a poem he had written in the style of Dr Seuss. He proposed at the end of the poem on bended knee and we celebrated with champagne as Christmas Eve became Christmas Day.


Sarah and Vinnie’s Wedding from Side Project on Vimeo.

Vendors: Photography: Benjamin and Elise // Videographer: Ben Journee – Side Project // Cake: Sweet Bites Cakes // Florist: Debbie Nott // Stationery: Wendy Maree Collection // Ceremony Venue: Black Barn Vineyard // Reception Venue: Black Barn Bistro // Dress Designer: Rue de Seine // Shoes: Diane Von Furstenberg // Jewelry: Headpiece by Jenny Packham, Earrings: Kenneth Jay Lane // Hair: Zoe Dudding // Bridesmaids Dresses: Frantisek Riha // Grooms Attire: Suit and shoes by Working Style and bow tie by Marcs // Celebrant: Nicola Nicholson