Tameka and I met at the FIFA Woman’s World Cup in Canada, 2015. I was representing New Zealand and Tameka, Australia. We played professional football in different countries; I was in Sweden and Tameka in Australia, but we spoke every day for three months until I finally came to Australia. We are each other’s best friends and we feel like our own little team.
We had matching rings made in 2017 with the intention that we both could propose whenever we wanted. In the end, we planned to propose within 12 hours of each other! It was on a family camping holiday at Elliot Bay. Tameka proposed after sunset when solar lights ignited a love heart next to us and I popped the question at sunrise on the beach the next morning.
We looked at venues around Mangawhai and fell in love with the Cow Shed to host our reception and for the ceremony, we chose a family friend’s garden as the views over the ocean and beyond were exceptional. We chose a summer wedding but it rained right up to the start of the ceremony! It was perfect; not too hot and the lighting was ideal.
We went for a rustic, beach style. We tried to keep everything as natural as possible, using coffee sacks and hay bales as seats for example. My Dad crafted us a driftwood arch, decorated with flowers by a family friend. We wanted lots of greenery and simplicity so we chose white roses and our maids of honour carried pink roses with gypsophila. We wanted to feel like we had a little slice of heaven on earth.
Our white, flowing dresses were beachy and relaxed. Mine was sleeveless with an open back and Tameka had cap sleeves with lots of detail on the back. I wore a flower crown and Tameka had some flowers in her hair and she wore her mother’s ring. I wore my grandmother’s diamond flower ring.
We had a buffet with roast pork, lamb and chicken with lots of salads. We also had entre platters for our 80 guests while we were getting our photos taken. Dessert was our delicious wedding cake; a three-tiered chocolate mud cake with salted caramel drizzle and a white chocolate glaze.
We loved our photoshoot. It felt amazing to walk barefoot along the beach with the wind blowing in our hair. We also captured photos at my great grandparent’s cottage, where my parents married.
We had one maid of honour and one best man each. They wore navy and white speckled suspenders with white shirts. The bridesmaids wore free-flowing navy wrap dresses with pearl earrings that matched ours. Our Dads wore bowties.
As a same-sex couple, we felt free to choose rituals that suited us. We had breakfast with our bridesmaids and best men and got ready at the same venue (at opposite ends of the house); it was easier for hair and makeup! We travelled to the ceremony in a Chevy Chevelle and a Chevy Nova.
The most memorable moment of the day for us was walking to the ceremony from opposite sides of the hilltop and coming together under the arch. We did this instead of walking down the aisle. We haven’t been on our honeymoon yet as we’ve both been busy competing. We also added to our family with our beautiful nine-month-old daughter Harley Rose Yallop.
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