Mike and I met at The Cloud in Auckland during the Rugby World Cup in 2011. We had both gone to watch a game with our friends, and afterwards there was a band playing. We locked eyes across the dance floor and that was it. We were pretty much inseparable from then on.
When it came time for the proposal Mike stopped the car outside the hall next to my parents' house. He asked me to wait while he went inside and got changed into a dress shirt and pants – very dapper! He took my hand and took me inside. He had decorated the room with fairy lights and candles and it was so beautiful! He got down on one knee and told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He had timed it so that we could celebrate with my parents and brother that night, then celebrate with his mum and my family when we went to Queenstown the next day.
We were engaged for 18 months and married in September 2017 at Kumeu Valley Estate surrounded by 106 friends and family, more than half of which traveled from outside of Auckland to be with us. We really wanted a beautiful, quiet venue with lots of greenery in the background. We wanted somewhere that was really accessible for our guests but also somewhere that felt really special where we could just relax and feel at home. Kumeu Valley was perfect for us.
I went for a reasonably classic bridal look. I knew from the start I wanted a simple material, so then it was just finding a style that looked fab. I was a bit anxious about trying on dresses with my curves, but when I put this one on I felt like a million dollars and was instantly sold. I wasn't too keen on strapless so the lace bolero was perfect. The dress was a modified mermaid with a corset bodice, lace up back and sweetheart neck line. I wanted to incorporate part of my Mum's dress into mine somehow so I unpicked some of the lace from her dress and she hand stitched it around the bottom of the bolero. I wore my great great great grandmother's veil that both my mother and grandmother also wore at their weddings. It was so awesome to have such a special and historic touch to my dress for our big day.
Michael and his groomsmen wore black suits with waistcoats. They had navy ties and pocket squares with silver tie clips and black leather lace up dress shoes. It was a classic look. I just wanted Mike to feel like a million dollars in what he wore and that was what he chose.
All of our floral arrangements were created by Bev Kruse at Country Blooms in Riverhead. We were pretty relaxed so didn't give Bev many instructions except for the fact we wanted white flowers with lots of greenery. Flowers were our main decoration and we had a lot of them. Bev did the most incredible job, everyone commented on how beautiful they were.
We had a two-tiered chocolate mud cake with white icing. It was created by our family friend Helen Cato who owns 'Who's your caterer?' She is so talented and the cake was to die for, lots of sneaky chaps had seconds! We served it with Kapiti Black Dorris Plum and Creme Fraiche icecream.
The boys took a taxi to the venue and I didn't want anything fancy so I opted for something more special and close to my heart and arrived to the venue in my family's truck which used to belong to my Dad and now belongs to my brother. The Bridesmaids were stoked to be driven by a close family friend in his classic red and white cadillac.
If I could give future brides one piece of advice it would be to have someone dedicated to keeping track of the time on the day. We ran way behind and unfortunately no one really took charge of hurrying things along, which meant we only had a short time on the dance floor. Your day goes by so fast and you don't want to waste even a second of it feeling stressed or overthinking things.
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