Donna & Graham

  • Photography by Jordan Kwan Photography

Graham and I first met 36 years ago at Lynfield College when we were just 14 and 15. We were both involved in the school production and shared a year long romance. We broke up only to reunite for a few months when we were 16 and 17 and then go out seperate ways for 23 years. We met again through our mutual school friends when we were in our early 40s and rediscovered a close friendship and began our "third time lucky" relationship. Graham asked me to marry him 3 years ago on Mother's Day at home. My two sons were in on the proposal and Graham popped the question with a beautiful diamond solitaire ring designed by Diamonds on Richmond.

Donna & Graham

We were engaged for almost three years before we our wedding in March 2018 at Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort surrounded by 36 friends and family. It was a second marriage for both of us and we deliberated over what we really wanted to do for some time. In March 2017 we visited Samoa for the first time and stayed at the Sheraton Beach Resort. We fell in love with the island's natural beauty and the shy friendliness of the locals. Having our closest friends and family with us in a stunning location where we could all relax together was just magic. We were able to have quality time with our guests making memories we'll never forget.

Donna & Graham

I found the search for a dress quite difficult as I'm a mature second time bride and didn't want a white bridal dress. I eventually decided that a pretty "summer" dress would fit the location the best. I went to a number of bridal shops and couldn't find what I was looking for. As luck would have it I found a beautiful dress from Jane Yeh on the internet, and it was on sale! I live right around the corner from Jane Yeh, so tried the dress on under Jane's supervision and bought it on the spot. My dress was a beautiful pastel green, marble-printed silk chiffon, perfect for the tropical heat. Graham surprised me with a beautiful pair of diamond earrings from Diamonds on Richmond the night before the wedding. Graham wore a white shirt and shorts to fit the relaxed theme of the day.

Donna & Graham
Donna & Graham

 Salote Florist were very professional and easy to work with considering I was in New Zealand.  I scanned through the photos in their gallery on Facebook and liked the natural, unstructured look of some bouquets they had done previously. I wanted a white bouquet as my dress was pastel green and I thought there was already enough bright colour in the surrounding landscape. I went with a hand tied bouquet of white torch (native flower), white carnations (large and small), chrysanthemums and native greenery. I had a hair piece made for my hair of small white carnations, white chrysanthemums and native greenery to match my boquet.

Donna & Graham
Donna & Graham

Our cake was made by Caroline of Caroline’s Kitchen in Apia, Samoa. We had a 10” round triple Marble layer cake with classic vanilla buttercream frosting. Decorated with fresh flowers from Salote Florist to match flowers from my bouquet. Caroline added a touch of colour to match the pastel green of my dress using a watercolour effect on the buttercream frosting.

Donna & Graham

We asked our wedding planner to book a group called the  Polynesian Dancers to perform at our wedding reception. They put on a vibrant and interactive Polynesian show which entertained us for half an hour after our speeches. It was a fantastic way to showcase Samoa to our guests and add an extra special element embracing our island location.  Graham and I were called up to dance and the show ended with all guests getting up to dance. It was lots of fun.

Donna & Graham

Go for a destination wedding with a resort wedding planner! Once I boarded the plane to leave New Zealand I relaxed knowing that everything was planned and organised. I had the utmost confidence in our wonderful wedding planner Louise to take care of any niggles that may arise over the last few days leading up to the wedding. It was my time to relax and enjoy the special and occassion we had organised.

Donna & Graham

THE DETAILS: Bride's gown JANE YEH; Hair PEATA'S SALON; Makeup JACQUI'S BEAUTY CREATIONS; Tan EPSOM SPRAY TAN; Groom's attire MASONS, PONSONBY; Rings DIAMONDS ON RICHMOND; Flowers SALOTE FLORIST; Cake CAROLINE'S CAKES; Venue and catering SHERATON SAMOA BEACH RESORT; Photography JORDAN KWAN PHOTOGRAPHY


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