Allan and I are one of those rare and lucky couples who began as really good friends. We met at our shared part time job at the Skytower, while both studying in Auckland. After six years together, during a long birthday weekend away in Byron Bay (our birthdays are four days apart), Allan proposed in front of an insanely romantic golden sunset – my kind of perfect.
We loved the idea of an outdoor wedding, choosing to hold it in autumn as it would allow us to still have sunshine while side-stepping the strong summer heat. Surrounded by lush native bush, Castells in Waitakere, Auckland made for the ideal location. Allan and I live in Melbourne, so we were looking for a venue that could do the bulk of the service, so we wouldn’t have to stress from afar. It was also just a short drive away from the picturesque West Coast beaches which for photos, made for a backdrop like no other.
Because the gardens and reception room were already very pretty, we largely stuck with flowers to decorate the rest of the venue. We chose a colour palette of navy and gold, but I asked Rosie from Rose Tinted Flowers to use blooms of a more varied palette, envisioning a natural and un-manicured look, as if they could have just been gathered from a nearby field – she did a brilliant job.
My gown was by Houghton NYC from the Bridal Atelier in Melbourne. Fitted and sleeveless, it splayed out into a full skirt of silk gazar. I was looking for something simple and classic that I could look back on and still love. I accessorised with silver Stuart Weitzman shoes and Kate Spade earrings. I’d always liked the idea of having my bridesmaids dress in white and I told my sister and high school friend Elaine that they could pick whichever style they liked – funnily enough they ended up liking the same one!
Our 80 guests dined on a buffet-style menu with the cake my mum baked being the highlight. She created a three-tiered naked gin and lemon cake with banana frosting with the help of my sister.
Walking down the aisle and seeing Allan at the end, I had to do everything I could not to cry – it hadn’t felt real until then. During our ceremony, our celebrant Rochelle Fleming also had the great idea of having all our guests write Allan and I short messages to be stored in a wine case which we will open on our first anniversary – we already can’t wait to open it and re-live the love-filled day.
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