Gwen and Chanelle

Our Story

Being a same sex couple Chanelle and I were very hesitant in some areas when it came to organising our wedding. Obviously being new to this we weren’t sure on how to approach people when it came to booking appointments / viewings and whether or not we had to mention that we were a same sex couple before even introducing ourselves in case some vendors were a bit iffy about the whole two females getting married thing.

Finding that perfect place

Well I can tell you right now, not once did we come across a situation where we felt uncomfortable – if anything planning a wedding has never felt so normal. When we came across Kumeu Valley Estate the first thing we noticed was the same sex marriage blog they had on their website, seeing other stories about their experience at Kumeu Valley Estate felt so reassuring that we had to reach out and organise a time to visit which is what we did.


Photography by Katrina Cooke photography

Gwen and Chanelle

The planning process

We met with Annette and her husband one afternoon to discuss packaged deals, on site tour and what our big day would look like if we were to follow through. By the end of our visit we knew that this was the venue, it was the image we had in mind except it was in real life. Rustic with a side of elegant – what more could you want. Communicating with Annette via email was amazing, she was quick to reply to any questions I had, she always offered to meet up in person if we needed and when we did catch up with her everything was just a breeze and she just made everything seem so easy.

A few days after our first visit we put a deposit down and set a date. At this point we were still over a year away from the big day so we weren’t overly stressed about organising everything just yet. Well, before you knew it we hit covid which then put a bit of strain on our financial situation with only one of us working right through we started to have realistic conversations about taking out a loan, possibly moving the date out if we had to and whether or not the lockdown restrictions would allow us to have the numbers we wanted. Annette took the time to check in on us whilst in lockdown just to reassure us that whatever happened we would make it work which was extremely considerate.

The Wedding Day

The day itself was an absolute dream. Everything was exactly how we imagined it – I was mind blown at how it turned out especially because all we did was drop everything off and tell Annette how we wanted everything and she made it happen. Her staff were amazing, the service was top notch.
Overall it was an amazing experience – I wouldn’t change anything for the world and I could I would do it all over again without changing a thing.