Laura & Ray

  • Photography by Peachylini

Ray and I met at a mutual friend's house on the beach in Mt Maunganui about 15 years ago. We were both Aucklanders that had recently moved to the Mount, so became fast friends and eventually that friendship led to romance.

One weekend Ray hired a bach in Raglan which looked over Whale Bay. I thought something was a bit suspect as it’s a little unusual for him to sweep me away for a romantic weekend and after a few too many glasses of wine in the spa one night he popped the question, he actually went down on one knee in the spa which was pretty hilarious!

Laura & Ray
Laura & Ray

We attended a friend's wedding in Fiji many years ago and we loved the fact the wedding was also a holiday with everyone. Fiji has always been a favourite holiday spot of ours and the wedding industry there has really boomed over recent years so we felt we could have the holiday in Fiji and a destination wedding without having to compromise on having the wedding we really wanted.

Laura & Ray

We got married at Sofitel Resort and Spa Denarau Island Fiji. We had our wedding over the New Zealand winter which is the best season to travel to Fiji as the weather is perfect and it’s a great time to escape the winter at home.

Laura & Ray

For us it was a great excuse to make our wedding not just one day but a whole two-week holiday with all of our friends and family, this was a really important factor to us and we decided we wanted a destination wedding pretty early on as we wanted to draw the whole experience out as much as possible and make the most of it.

Laura & Ray

I used Grace Creations for all of our styling, they helped me to select all of the furniture, florals, signage, archway, lighting and everything in between. I wanted to keep the colour palette simple so went for lots of natural greenery with white flowers. This tied in beautifully with the relaxed alfresco vibe we wanted to create, nothing was too overdone or structured but everything looked effortlessly elegant.

Laura & Ray

I ended up ordering a beautiful dress from Felicity’s Bridal by an Australian designer called Made With Love. After ordering my dress I went on to lose a lot of weight so I ended up having to order another dress a few sizes smaller. The ladies at Felicity’s were amazing and kept my original dress as a sample so I only had to purchase the one dress in the end.

Laura & Ray

I had two of my best girlfriends that I’ve known for 20 years as my bridesmaids. I wanted the girls to feel comfortable and beautiful and they both have great style so I gave them free rein and just asked that they wear something floaty, flowy and in a natural colour palette. We had planned a full day to try on dresses and they ended up falling in love with the first ones they tried on.

Laura & Ray

The bridesmaid dresses were from BlakChaos from the bridesmaids range. Both the girls chose a deep emerald green colour in a wrap around style, they were made from silk so they fell beautifully and were nice and cool for the hot Fiji weather. The girls had the same fabric and colour but slightly different styles and then chose their own shoes and accessories so they weren’t too matchy and that was in keeping with the organic natural style of the wedding.

Laura & Ray

Ray and his best man wore simple black dress shorts, white linen blend shirts, brown leather belt and brown leather sandals. Ray also wore a beautiful greenstone that is a family heirloom handed down to him by his Nana and greenery round his neck which really tied in nicely with the bridesmaid dresses and the floral arrangements.

Laura & Ray

We opted for a local Fijian style buffet menu, this included meat cooked lovo style, fresh seafood, unique salads and beautiful Fijian style deserts. I’m usually not a big fan of buffets but we felt like this was the right dinner style for the atmosphere we wanted to create. I was sure the food would be good but we were blown away and although I didn’t eat much on the night all of our guests raved about it so this was a really nice surprise that the food totally exceeded our expectations.

Laura & Ray

My girlfriends and I love to dance and I always think the best weddings end up with everyone on the dancefloor so we had Grace Creations create a huge timber dancefloor in the middle of the lawn area where our reception was held, fairy lights hung from above and we had a lit up LOVE sign at one end so it created a really magical dance floor atmosphere.

Laura & Ray

If I had a piece of advice it would be: Enjoy the whole process, this is probably the biggest and most important event you will ever plan so you should be excited and happy about it. I can be a bit of a perfectionist but I went into it with the mindset that not everything would be perfect and not everything would go to plan, I really wanted to enjoy it and savour every moment and wanted to have a really relaxed and happy attitude at the same time. I think this really carried through on the day as everyone felt really chilled out and brimming with happiness. 

Laura & Ray

THE DETAILS: Bride's gown MADE WITH LOVE from FELICITY'S BRIDAL; Bride's shoes MADE WITH LOVE from FELICITY'S BRIDAL; Bridesmaids' dresses DESIGNER & BLAK CHAOS; Groom and groomsmen's attire BEGGS; Hair & Makeup TOTOKA HAIR AND MAKEUP FIJI; Rings MICHAEL HILL & WALKER & HALL; Flowers GRACE CREATIONS; Photography by ROSE from PEACHYLINI; Catering and Venue SOFITEL RESORT AND SPA; Videography LUISA COOK 


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