Erangi and Bennie Hendricks, both finance managers, reflect on their November 2022 wedding at Kauri Bay Boomrock, with a celebration that nodded to both Erangi’s Sri Lankan background and Bennie’s South African roots.
Erangi: I wanted it to feel romantic, traditional and classic. I love all the traditional elements of a wedding and didn’t want to compromise on that.
We had two ceremonies, to pay homage to my Sri Lankan background and Bennie’s South African background. One thing that was so special to us is that the celebrant who wed us was the same celebrant who wed Bennie’s parents 30 years ago — Bennie’s uncle! The two ceremonies and the reception were at Kauri Bay Boomrock.
[We chose the location for] the view! We were after a venue that captured the beauty of New Zealand’s countryside. We looked at only a few venues because Kauri Bay Boomrock was the clear winner. You can’t beat the KBB view on a clear day. Which, by some miracle, it was on our wedding day, after having some of the gloomiest stormy weather leading up to it.
Our reception was also at KBB. They were so accommodating and were willing to incorporate a Sri Lankan dish into their menu for us. Sadly, I was high on excitement and had no appetite on the day to taste any of it. We also loved having the beautiful view of the Hauraki Gulf as the backdrop for our bridal table.
I wore a vegan silk Vivienne Westwood dress. It was one of her classic designs from decades ago. I went to six bridal boutiques and tried on around 35 dresses. None of them felt right and panic was starting to set in. But as soon as I tried on the Vivienne Westwood dress, I knew that was it immediately. The craftsmanship and the draping of the dress are divine. We were living in London at the time, so I was lucky enough to get the whole Vivienne Westwood experience.
I also wore a light pink saree from Ridhi Mehra, in the style of a Sri Lankan “osari”. It was nerve-wracking ordering a saree online but they provided incredible support and sent me photo updates of the whole process of the saree being stitched, to put me at ease. I got it made bigger on purpose and my lovely mum did alterations once it arrived.
Bennie wanted a classic black suit. He got his suit from Hugo Boss, something he’s always wanted to do, as his favourite everyday cologne is Hugo Boss.
My bridesmaids were my something blue for the day. I chose the fabric and they had their dresses made in a style they wanted. So I wanted the flowers, by Ruth Fiona Floral, to be a mix of white and yellow with a bit of pink, to complement the blue dresses and blue accents I had scattered around the venue. Ruth also created a baby’s breath cloud for me that we still have hanging in our home.
Keryn Sweeney took our photos. She does such an incredible job at capturing candid moments. I recently found an envelope addressed by Keryn at my parents’ house and realised that she had also done our family photos 12 years ago! It was meant to be.
We were so touched by all the speeches from our family and friends. They were all beautifully written, heartfelt and so emotional. We were told by a lot of our guests that they’d never cried so much at a wedding before. Apart from that, the most special part of the day was that what we both knew from very early into our relationship, became reality.
Bennie and I are big fans of Survivor. So he had little clues and hints hidden around the venue for me to find. One of them was taped under my seat at the bridal table! I had so much fun looking for them with my bridesmaids. The treasure hunt carried on into our honeymoon too. I loved it because it’s such a Bennie thing to do.
I would absolutely stop being indecisive! There are so many choices to make for a wedding which I found so overwhelming. But by not making a decision a lot of things ended up getting done last minute (even though we had a two-year-long engagement) and it was so stressful. We didn’t even get our party favours delivered on time in the end. To give you an idea of how last minute our wedding was, the night before the wedding, I only got five hours of sleep, my bridesmaids about four and Bennie only two.
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