Inspiration — Planning & Advice
Destination Wedding Planning Advice and Location Secrets from New Zealand’s One Fine Day.
Wedding Planner and One Fine Day Founder Kath Mackenzie shares advice for planning and styling exquisite weddings in her native New Zealand and beyond.
An otherworldly collision of emotion and aesthetics – the ritual of ceremony holds a special kind of magic. The most potent spill with a romance that feels wildly spontaneous and beautifully unscripted. They’re the celebrations that seem to unfold by themselves – the dusk ceremonies that segue into midnight revelry. The experiences that stay with us long after the night are the ones that feel effortlessly planned yet deeply considered. Behind them are special kinds of artists – visionary planners who work boldly, yet invisibly, to weave that unique magic. They’re the ones you have to dig deep for within the wedding industry’s encyclopedic list of planners, in every city around the world.
In New Zealand – a landscape with some of the most enviable destination wedding locations, those dreamweavers are One Fine Day. Delving far beyond the scope of wedding planning, One Fine Day blend luxury wedding planning, event styling and creative direction. A fusion of expertise, they’re a multidisciplinary creative group that take the logistical stress out of destination wedding planning. With a team working across each field, One Fine Day focus acutely on the cohesion of aesthetics and logistics making sure every element works together in perfect unison, creating transportive experiences that linger far beyond the wedding day.
Renowned for her elegant events, love of sculptural blooms and magical locations, One Fine Day Founder Kath Mackenzie shares her destination planning advice and location secrets…
Tell us about the spark for One Fine Day NZ, where did the story begin?
One Fine Day was born from of a love of design, details and creating weddings with impeccable results. Founded by Kath MacKenzie in Queenstown, New Zealand, One Fine Day began from humble beginnings in 2010 after noticing a gap in the market for a new offering combining wedding styling & wedding planning alike.
Prior to starting One Fine Day, Kath worked in a variety of roles across the event, travel & tourism industries over the past 20 years. Her proven relationships with quality professionals and her experience in the event industry sparked the desire to combine logistics and design with a focus on being dedicated to staying one step ahead of the rest, bringing new ideas and problem-solving. She is motivated and passionate about providing individuals with unforgettable experiences which has driven One Fine Day to continually develop offerings to meet the needs of our clients.
Over the years the business has grown into a large team of professionals who love what they do. Our services have been extended NZ wide and we have also launched our destination weddings overseas planning weddings in countries like Italy & Bali. We cannot wait for the world to open up again to get back to planning one-of-a-kind destination weddings for our clients.
We love that One Fine Day NZ offers wedding planning, styling and decor hire under the one umbrella to maintain the cohesiveness of an event, and logistical ease. How has this multidisciplinary approach helped the couples you have worked with?
This has helped immensely! In addition to our wedding planning and styling services we added to our inventory over the years, usually sourcing items from overseas that were not previously available in NZ. This has meant we have been able to offer designs and furniture options that others planners and stylists haven’t. Our inventory remains exclusively available to OFD clients first and foremost. As planners we LOVE details and being across the full scope of the design and suppliers involved works to our advantage (as well as the clients). Styling & Floral aspects tend to be significant on the weddings we produce so managing both is a benefit when it comes to delivering the event.
“I still, to this day, love seeing the bonds between family and friends. Whether it’s grandparents, parents or the couples children, the best weddings are the ones that you remember because the connection between people was powerful…”
Brides are often overwhelmed with the volume of inspiration and contacts available. What should be the starting point when planning a wedding?
The best place to start is to establish where and when you would like to marry. Have the conversation about what you both want, is it a small destination wedding in Italy or a big wedding at home? Discuss your commitments and the likelihood around travel and accommodation for your guests if marrying away from home. Really understand how much (or little) involvement you’d like to have in the wedding, are you going to arrange everything yourself or engage a wedding planner? This will impact a lot on stress levels so I suggest allowing 12 months to plan to enjoy the process.
Whilst Pinterest and Instagram have their place to source inspiration, most couples find this overwhelming. You may like the look/vibe of a wedding at an industrial venue in New York, where you can access almost anything you desire, but you have chosen a small town in New Zealand where options are less available. I suggest looking through social platforms by using tags of weddings at your destination of choice i.e #queenstownwedding This is not only a good way to find inspiration, but also other suppliers in the area, such as photographers and venues.
If budget allows, engage a Wedding Planner or Stylist or both. The professionals know everything that is and isn’t available in the area of your choice saving you hours of research which generally leaves couples overwhelmed. They will also suggest reputable suppliers that you can trust allowing you peace of mind throughout the wedding planning process. Most Planners & Stylists offer set up and pack down packages too which helps ease the pressure on the wedding day itself.
What are some of your favourite NZ destination wedding locations from iconic venues to little hidden gems?
We are lucky enough to produce weddings throughout NZ which in turn, takes us to some of the most beautiful destinations on offer. I always love a private property which typically hasn’t been available to other couples, this makes it unique and inspirational to design a space that hasn’t been used over and over again. I always look for a blank canvas to work with and take in inspiration from the surrounding landscapes whether it be in the mountains, beach or vines. Some of my favourites here in NZ would have to be.
Queenstown: Eichardts Private Hotel, Amisfield Bistro
Wanaka: Horseshoe Bend
Hawkes Bay: Te Mata House, Black Barn
Waiheke Isand: Tantalus Estate, Poderi Crisci
What advice would you give for planning and allocate a wedding budget?
I like to start a consultation suggesting that couples have a think about the most important aspects of the day for them. Is it the food & wine, or the flowers & styling, or the music. If couples can break this down it’s a great way to start the allocation of budget based on “most important” to “the negotiable”.
Planning can be a daunting task, and most couples I talk to who haven’t used a Wedding Planner, really wish they had. My first suggestion, if budget allows, is to engage a Wedding Planner. There are many different offerings from full planning to on the day management. This will be your best spent money when it comes to the wedding itself and you can hand over to a professional to manage it all.
If budget doesn’t allow. Then my advice would be to invest in some professional tools and templates that will help guide you through the process. Online options are by no means as comprehensive as a professional service but they will provide you with the basic timelines, run sheets, guests lists to keep you on track.
How do you feel the style of weddings has shifted and changed over the past year, what are couples leaning towards now?
In our experience, this has changed significantly. With a pandemic closing down much of the world, many couples have opted for smaller gatherings closer to home. They are choosing high-quality suppliers and hosting a small number of family and friends which in turn opens up more unique event spaces, rather than larger venues. Because of the smaller guest list, couples have more budget to allocate to creating a beautifully styled intimate space. I’m finding that because we aren’t needing to source items for 100 + guests we are able to get really creative and source items of smaller quantities to create a unique and intimate celebration.
What is the one thing brides who plan their own wedding often say they wish they knew, in hindsight?
The one I hear a lot is, “We didn’t know how much time and research goes into looking for reputable vendors and we wish we had invested in a planner.”
The best weddings are…
The ones with memorable connection. I still, to this day, love seeing the bonds between family and friends. Whether it’s grandparents, parents or the couple’s children, the best weddings are the ones that you remember because the connection between people was powerful…
Guide us through the initial process couples can expect when working with One Fine Day?
Starting the process is easy. We offer a no-obligation consultation to get started and find out more about the couple, then guide you through our services. If both parties agree we are a good fit, then couples can choose from one of our packages. We then take you through our contract, terms and conditions and payment options. Following this, you are introduced to your OFD wedding professional who will be your main contact from the beginning right through to the completion of your wedding day.
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