Gerardo & Rod's Chilean Fiesta Wedding
Gerardo and Rodrigo first met 15 years ago in Chile but it wasn't until a few years later they became friends. "Rod used to go to the same school as my cousins. It wasn’t until early 2009 when we realized our jobs were very close that we started to develop a friendship as we used to take the same subway home after work." Gerardo explains.
They had two proposals! The first was on their 5th anniversary in Chile and the second proposal was while they were in NZ on their 8th anniversary.
When looking for a venue, Gerardo and Rod had one idea in mind. "The perfect venue for us was one where we could party lots! We wanted to party until five in the morning like they do Chile." They found the gorgeous rustic venue Kumeu Valley Estate in Auckland. "The day we went to see the venue we loved it and we knew it was our place." They chose to have their ceremony in the Merlot Room; a rustic indoor setting complete with wine barrels and a fireplace.
The newlyweds recall getting ready for their wedding day. "The night before the wedding we rented a house in Muriwai so we stayed there." They ditched the "first look" photoshoot and chose to get ready together before heading to the beach for photos. "We spent all day together, so we had the best experience doing everything together as we always do."
When they arrived at the estate everyone was inside waiting for them. "I went first, my mom, dad and sister walked me to the altar," Gerardo recalls. "After me, Rod walked inside with his mom and dad. The ceremony was a bit long and funny because everything that the celebrant was saying a friend of ours was translating in Spanish. By the end, lots of people were very emotional and crying a bit. We had tissues in the seats which were very useful."
They kept everything very simple and used flowers as a symbol for their wedding. "When we created our wedding logo for our website and invitations we used flowers. A sort of a mix of roses and other flowers." Gerardo and Rod used these flowers throughout their wedding; Gerardo's mum even decorated the Chilean wedding cake she made with them.
For dinner, Gerardo and Rod opted for the buffet and made sure to have vegan and vegetarian options. Everything about their day was designed for friends and family to enjoy themselves, so they made sure everyone was thought of. "The most important thing for us was being able to share this day with our close family and friends. We are from Chile so we felt lucky to have people who made the effort to travel from overseas to see us and join us."
What advice would you give to couples that are currently planning their wedding? "Enjoy everything. Weddings are very special because there is love everywhere you see. Getting to see and live this amazing day with your favourite person and alongside your favourite people in the world is priceless."