Mike and I met due to the combined efforts of several matchmakers at the school I worked at back in 2011. After quite a bit of persistence on Mike’s behalf, we eventually met up and the rest is history.
In November 2015, unbeknown to me, Mike had organised the students in my class to each make a sign and they were given a letter to draw on it. I was then called down to my classroom and I walked in to see all the kids in a semi-circle each holding up a sign that spelt out "will you marry me?" And then out walked Mike with a bunch of flowers and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
We all stayed the night at my parents’ house and got ready there together on the morning. I did all the bridesmaids makeup myself so was a pretty full-on morning but was worth it as it made it extra special.
We had a beautifully special moment on the morning of the wedding. When my mum was helping me into my dress I told her that Mike and I were 7 weeks pregnant. I had prepped the photographer so she managed to capture Mum's reaction beautifully.
I wanted a dress that was timeless and elegant. Lisa H Design based in Manurewa designed and made it. It was made from an ivory crepe silk with lightly beaded lace details on the bust and back. As it was a fitted skirt, it was cut on the bias which made it fit and fall in the right places I decided to not have a veil and instead went for large pearl drop earrings, dark lips and simple diamond pendant that my mum gifted to me on the morning of the wedding.
We were engaged for five months and got married in May 2016 at Hunua Falls Presbyterian Camp surrounded by 115 friends and family. The venue is actually a school camp and as teacher, I took a group there years ago. I remember back then how beautiful the forest was and I guess it never left my mind. Another big draw card was that it had the facilities for guests to stay overnight.
Our favourite moment was the walk through the trees, up the aisle. Mike could see glimpses of me through the trees as I got closer and when I rounded the corner he finally got to see me for the first time in my dress. I had the most memorable walk through these massive, beautiful trees and because it was autumn, there was these golden shafts of light filtering through. I finally could see Mike and it was so special, with him waiting for me in front of all our closest family and friends.
The wedding cake was made by Jo's mum. It was three-tiered, marbled fondant with all edible flowers. The first tier was fresh raspberry and white chocolate mud cake, the second tier was carrot cake with cream cheese icing and the top tier was vanilla mud cake with lemon curd layers.
This was served with fresh cream and yoghurt as the dessert.
Our wedding favours were M & J monogrammed plywood placemats (which all our friends now use as cheeseboards). We also made pyjama shirts for each of the guests that stayed the night- Mike’s dad screen-printed 'M & J wedding' onto each of them and by the end of the night, many of the guests had put there's on and were dancing in them.
Chloe Sundgren Floristry created our flowers. Chloe used deep reds, pinks and greens to compliment the autumn colour palette. She incorporated proteas and eucalyptus to tie in to the greenery Garlands that I made for the rafters in the reception hall.
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