Love Over Covid
Liezl & Kent’s Perfect Postponement
Ask Liezl Duffy about her Tui Hills wedding and she’ll tell you it was an amazing stress-free occasion with everything falling into place. This, despite the heartbreak of her original wedding date being cancelled by a Covid lockdown announced the week before the big day!
Tui Hills owner, Ruth Carpenter, was on the phone that night to let Liezl know about the announcement and to reassure her that the wedding would go ahead, just a little later than expected. “It’s never an easy thing to tell someone, and I really felt for Liezl and Kent, enduring such a cruel blow so close to the date,” said Ruth. “We were determined to make sure that they enjoyed a wedding every bit as good as the one they had planned.”
And so it was. As Liezl puts it:
“Our wedding was initially meant to be on 5 March 2021, but Auckland went into lockdown so we sadly had to postpone our wedding. After the lockdown announcement, we got a call from Ruth who reassured us that they would work with us to find a new date, which was such a relief given all the stress and anxiety the lockdown caused.
“Three weeks later, our wedding went ahead with no restrictions! Tui Hills and all our suppliers were so amazing at accommodating our new date – it’s very stressful to plan a wedding during these uncertain times, but we felt so well supported, and it was as stress-free as possible.”
Liezl said it had been an easy choice picking Tui Hills as their venue:
“We took an initial tour of the venue and I completely fell in love with it – the Kowhai glade and the gorgeous white rotunda, which is set in a beautiful native bush dream-like setting.
“There was a perfect wet weather option in the pavilion, and the beautiful reception room sealed the deal for us. We didn’t look at any other wedding venues because we knew Tui Hills was the perfect place for us to get married. We went with the Classic Plus wedding package and the amazing staff did all the setup and styling on the day – a huge stress off our minds; we just had to pick a colour scheme and let them know any additional styling touches, and they took care of the rest.
“I remember walking into the reception area after getting ready in the Tui Suite and just being blown away by how beautiful it all looked. It was so stress free and they truly made our dream wedding come to life.”
Liezl had nothing but praise for the Tui Hills food, and was also glad she took the advice to get DJ4YOU to supply the music.
“We are so glad we went with the DJ that Tui Hills recommended! He did such an amazing job reading the crowd and playing a wide variety of music which is exactly what we asked for. Family and friends commented on how great the music was, and loved that the DJ took requests. Tui Hills have a great dancefloor area and it is kept cool with decent air conditioning. The sound system at the venue is great and we used this for our ceremony and cocktail hour music.”
Tui Hills was even able to accommodate a very special guest – Kent’s faithful dog Axis – who was an integral part of the couple’s love story.
“Kent and I met over 4 years ago when we both swiped right on Tinder. As our wedding celebrant said in our ceremony, I wasn’t Kent’s first love; that was his dog Axis – his number one. Our first date was a party of three which included Axis, and we went for a little bush walk at the Nihotupu Falls.
“I thought Kent was handsome and a little mysterious, but seemed really genuine and down to earth, and realised it would take some time to get to know him. Kent had been on his own, just him and Axis, for a number of years, and there would have been some apprehension from Axis at the thought of having to share his Dad’s time.
“There was a real ease during our first date, we had a natural connection, and Axis eventually warmed up to me after. Over the course of the next few months with Kent, I realised we had we were a great team, supporting and caring for one another and time together was so wonderful, but that we also gave each other space to pursue life independently. There was a harmonious synergy between us and we could both just be ourselves.”
Photographs by: Fay Carey
When the skies are threatening to open up on your big day, the way to make sure you have an amazing wedding is to make the most of the indoor spaces. West Aucklanders Vanessa Noronha and Mo Shenaan didn't let the rain ruin their day as these wonderful pictures show.