Brad and I met on an online dating website- ‘Find someone’ 8 years ago- Dec 2008. I had recently arrived in NZ and a friend set up my account to ‘meet some kiwi boys’ and go on a few dates. The first thing that caught my eye was Brads dark features and his height- 6ft6! As I am 6ft tall I struggle to find guys that are taller than me. I sent him a smiley face, he replied with a lovely down to earth message. We talked/text/emailed/fb msgd/skyped for a few weeks then we went on a first date to Maretai beach, we had fish and chips and a swim and a long chat. Best date ever!
Brad proposed on my 30th birthday! We had arranged a trip to Tauranga for the weekend to stay with some good friends, on the way Brad said we had some time to kill and he needed a break from driving. We went to Maclarens park and we went for a walk to find the waterfall. I knew something was wrong as he was very quiet and acting strange. We arrived at the waterfall, with no one around and he pulled out a little blue box, got down on one knee in a puddle of water and proposed!
I saw my dress on Pinterest, fell in love with it, found out who the designer was and by fluke it was New Zealand designer John Zimmerman. I looked in the mirror and felt incredible. I knew it was the one. My dress had 3 layers- the top was a beautiful lace with a subtle art nouveau feel to it.There was also a plain off-white sheer silk underdress and then a dark blush pink silk underdress under that which showed through to the lace subtly. It had pearls all over the top of the straps and my favourite part was the v-neck at the front with the tiny light catching beads in panels down the ‘V’ and the back. My whole dress was covered in hints of tiny pearlescent beads and sequins which glittered in the light and worked with the flower motifs on the dress.
We were married in February 2016 at Ataahua Garden Venue in Pyes Pa, Tauranga surrounded by 73 friends and family. Tauranga is our second home and we have a lot of happy memories as a couple there. We chose a summer wedding as my family came from the UK and I wanted it to be a beautiful holiday for them.
We had an amazing kombi van (lovedubs) it could seat 7 passengers so was perfect for my bridesmaids, page boy and my mum and then it came back to the hotel to pick myself and my dad up to take us to the venue. An incredible car and host! Driving up to the venue with Maroon 5’s ‘sugar’ blarring out was so much fun and calmed my nerves!
Shaye Woolford from On my hand was our incredible florst! I saw one of her amazing bouquets on pinterest and just adored it and wanted something similar recreated. However it was a winter bouquet and had my favourite Protea flower in it which was not accessible to get in NZ in summer time! Shaye managed to surprise me and get some imported and dried them for my bouquets which was so amazing! I definitely wanted a soft blush colour in the flowers as I wanted this colour for my bridesmaid dresses (to go with the silk under-skirt on my dress) but everything else, in regards to what flowers and colours I pretty much gave Shaye free range!
We did a first reveal on the beach before the ceremony with our bridal party and parents. We really wanted photos on the beach to capture another part of Tauranga we adore so Brad stood at the top of a sand dune in Papamoa and I walked up to him. It was an insanely hot day and the Bridesmaids and I were not wearing shoes so our feet got quite burnt! But it was amazing and I’m so glad we did it because the photos we got so many people said it looks like we are in Fiji!
We had 5 cakes! Our supplier was Nona’s Cakes. The main cake was banana and salted caramel, another cake was Chocolate peanut butter mud cake with peanut ganache, another was spiced carrot and beetroot cake and another was sticky ginger and date cake with caramel drizzle and the final one was lemon, blueberry and poppyseed cake! We decided on 5 cakes because we didn’t have desert (to save money) and this way guests got to sample a piece of all of the cakes if they wanted to. The cakes also served with fresh cream and berry coulis and 3 of them were gluten, refined sugar and dairy free to accommodate guests. The tiers all varied but the main cake had skimmed nude icing and was 3 tiers. Everyone loved this idea and we did have some leftovers for the next day but not huge amounts.
Let the experts take care of you and your day! The suppliers you choose for your special day have done A LOT of weddings and so gained A LOT of experience and practice. If you give them your ideas/concepts/mood boards and show them details if you have them (your ‘style’/dress/bridal party attire/venue etc) they will be able to give you HEAPS of ideas and come up with things you would never have even thought of- outside the box. Have faith and trust in them to create amazing things for your day- relax and leave them to it
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