Iqbal and Rengee’s Semi-Secret Wedding in Wanaka, New Zealand

Iqbal and Rengee’s closest friends and family were sworn to secrecy when they were invited to the couple’s wedding at That Wanaka Tree House in Wanaka, New Zealand. No one else even knew that they were engaged! Rengee fell in love with Lake Wanaka during the many years she spent living in New Zealand, and it seemed only fitting that she marry the love of her life there, in a touching ceremony captured by Vinoth Raj Pillai.

How did you meet?
“We met in primary school when we were 7 years old. We stayed friends for a long time and only started dating in our 20’s. We both went to SK Bukit Bandaraya at Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar, which is why our wedding hashtag was #ItBeganAtBangkung.”

How did you decorate your venues? Did you undertake any DIY projects?
“Pretty much the entire wedding was DIY, with the help of our closest friends. My dress and Iqbal’s suit were designed by our friends Kay and S Bahar, respectively. The décor was planned by one of my best friends and executed by our friends and family. The boys rolled up their sleeves and set up the event, including the wedding arch, tables, chairs, festoon lights, and basically everything.” ~ Rengee

What sort of wedding favors did you opt for, and why?
“We both wrote each and everyone of our guests personal ‘love letters’ which were placed on their seats at the dining table.  We felt that it was the most meaningful way to say thank you for being a part of our lives and our special day.”

Tell us all about your wedding.
“I guess the fact that it was a semi-elopement was pretty special. No one except our guests knew that we were even engaged, and they were all sworn to secrecy. We felt this played a big part in making the whole planning process so stress-free, intimate and meaningful.

We only announced our nuptials almost a week after it was all done (much to everyone’s surprise!) through Whatsapp and social media.

For us, the location mattered very much. Lake Wanaka was a place I have adored since childhood, in the years I spent in New Zealand. Iqbal fell in love with it the moment he laid eyes on the pictures. I mean, look at it.

We also both love travelling. Having our closest friends and family with us in New Zealand meant that we could then travel with them. To us, the road trip and adventure that followed was just as much a part of the wedding as the ceremony was.

Everything in between was pretty understated. Like us, I guess!” ~ Rengee

Any tips or wedding advice for other brides and grooms-to-be?
“It’s really easy to get swept up in the planning process and wanting the best because ‘you only get married once’. My advice is: have a realistic budget, and stick to it. Remember, this is just the beginning of a very long, joyful, but surely trying journey ahead. Don’t start it in debt.

Put what you both want ahead of what anyone else wants – remember, it’s your wedding! Plan your wedding around the things that make you happy – the things that you will look back on and smile, not what you think will impress your guests.”



Vendor Information
Venue: That Wanaka Tree House
Photography: Vinoth Raj Pillai (VRP)
Wedding Dress: Kay Chow
Groom’s Suit: S Bahar
Wedding Bands: De Beers
Hair and Makeup: Road To Beauty
Flowers: planned by Tish
Coordinator: Inspiring Weddings
Catering: Tiritiri Kitchen
Entertainment: Richardson Jazz
Helicopter: Aspiring Helicopters