Chris and I first met through mutual friends, but it wasn't until many years later during our big OE to Europe together that we fell in love whilst visiting the islands of Greece.
A few years later during a trip to Rotorua's Red Wood Forest, Chris planned a surprise picnic down one of the trails. He'd tied beautiful yellow flowers to the trees – but adorably could barely get out the words, 'will you marry me?' because he was so nervous!
Since the age of 14 I'd always dreamed of getting married in the Italian Renaissance Garden at Hamilton Gardens, and the fact that it looked a lot like Greece (where we'd fallen in love,) made it all the more perfect. We chose May for our wedding as I love the warm colours of autumn and it happened to have one of the few Saturday's that fell on our lucky number, 27.
My gown was by Tariz Ediz which I hired from Bridal and Ball NZ. When I first saw it I didn't think it was my style at all, but as soon as I tried it on I instantly fell in love with the soft colours and how it felt. I felt like a fairy tale Grecian princess. The bodice was off-the-shoulder with an illusion nude-coloured neckline and beautiful ivory lace with delicate embroidery over beige lining, while the skirt was nine luxurious layers of tulle.
Being autumn and slightly cooler, I accessorised with a champagne-hued fur shawl and a single-tier cathedral veil with lace edging. I wore ivory lace heels from Mi Piaci and babies breath flowers in my hair.
My best friend and sister-in-law were my bridesmaids. They wore black dresses in different styles to suit their body shape. Both had plunging necklines and detailed backs. They accessorised with fur shawls, heels and glitzy earrings.
Chris wore a navy suit that he had purchased in the Philippines which feature black lapels. He wore this with a white textured shirt, tan belt and tan lace-up shoes and accessorised with a black sparkly tie and socks that read "in case you get cold feet."
His groomsmen wore navy suits from Hallensteins with white shirts and tan shoes from Debenhams (a UK department store). They also wore black ties to match the bridesmaids.
We chose to have a very child-orientated ceremony. Wearing a gold and champagne dress with a champagne fur shawl and white flower crown, our 15-month-old daughter Lily gave me away and we gifted her with a pounamu necklace in the middle of our ceremony as a symbol of our love for her. We also used silk lillies in our bouquets in honour of her as well.
We also had Chris' best man's son Daniel be our adorable ring bearer while my god daughter Isabella was our flower girl.
I'd say our theme for the day was travel or adventure themed with inspiration from Greece and a touch of magic from the world of Harry Potter.
Chris and I love to travel, so we converted an old suitcase into our card drop which we attached with snaps from all our travels together. We also used a large globe of the world as a guest-book alternative and the name of Greek Islands as our table names.
Chris and I are also both huge Harry Potter geeks and wanting to personalise our day, we added lots of Harry Potter references throughout. Our vows to each other included Harry Potter quotes, we had sparklers which said "lumos" on them in a jar which was labelled "expecto patronum", and a bunting banner over our two-tiered chocolate cake (made by a family friend,) which read "always". To end our portrait photoshoot on the night we were able to unleash our inner-child by having a sparkler 'wizard battle' with our bridal party.
For our food we had a three-course sit down a-la-carte menu. Guests had a huge selection of food to choose from for the main course and we received so many compliments about the food at Iguana Street Bar and Eatery – in particular the slow-cooked beef and the three pizza options.
As favours, guests received a warm fuzzy note, saying what we love about them which we stuck into a ferrero rocher to double as a name place card. A lot of guests commented on how thoughtful it was.
I love music and spent hours putting together our wedding day playlist.
I chose classical music from Disney films and Harry Potter films to be played in the background during dinner and then for the party portion of the night I added lots of modern dance songs with a few booty-poppers from our teen years.
It pays to choose your bridal party well! Choose reliable people you want to spend lots of time with and who will support you if disaster strikes or the stress of the weddings gets to you.
The entire day was a blur of emotions and excitement and being surrounded by all the people we love the most was the highlight!
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