Allistair had been a friend of my mother for around a year when a bunch of friends took me out and introduced me to him after I moved to Qatar in 2015. That night we hit it off instantly, talking for the entire evening and the rest was history. It felt as if we had known each other our whole lives – we enjoyed all of the same things and both of us knew very early on that we would spend our lives together. We lived in Qatar together for three years before moving over to Dubai where we have now lived for the last two and a half years.
In 2019 we were on a family holiday with Allistair’s family at their cottage in the Transkei, the wild coast on the eastern cape of South Africa. Allistair grew up going there and it is a really sentimental place for him. We got up one morning and hiked along the coastline for about an hour until we reached Waterfall Bluff. The waterfall falls directly into the Indian Ocean – so stunning. It was there that he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was such a magical moment in the most picturesque location in the middle of nowhere in Africa.
Allistair and I always planned to get married in Cape Town, South Africa. We even had the venue booked when we changed our minds one night just five months out. After deciding to get married in New Zealand instead we were luckily able to secure a new stunning venue. Both Allistair and I grew up by water and both always envisioned getting married near the sea. I knew Baylys’ Farm in Waitangi was perfect as soon as I saw it! It honestly blew my mind and I could not have been happier with the venue we chose. It showed New Zealand in all of its beautiful glory.
Allistair and I both love the heat and wanted a chilled vibe on the day with our guests sitting outside the marquee drinking bubbles and playing lawn games, so a summer wedding was a must. Our wedding was a perfect New Zealand summers day and I guess the aesthetic was classic modern with a touch of vintage. We wanted the surroundings to do the talking with very little going on besides the flowers
and the view.
It was not until I came home in October and ended up at Vinka Design that I found my wedding dress straight away. Anita was so helpful and accommodating – I could not recommend her more. I always knew I wanted a clean and classic wedding dress with sheer sleeves, a low back and a skirt that was not too big but had movement and would move in the breeze. The overskirt of soft tulle and silk chiffon was stunning and came off to reveal a sexy chic figure-hugging dress that I could dance in. Anita actually waited until I came home in February to start making the dress, leaving only three weeks before the wedding so I went in every two to three days to have it made to measure. The fabrics were so soft and comfortable, and I really could not have been happier with what Anita created and how I felt on the day.
Everyone was absolutely blown away by the location. Baylys’ Farm is just so stunning that there were plenty of comments on the view as guests arrived before they had even walked up to the ceremony spot which was just something else. The sunset photos we had taken are such a great memory for us. It was the first time during the day where it was just us two. The sky was beautiful, and we could only just hear the talking and laughing of our guests in the distance. It felt really special to have those moments alone walking hand in hand through the grass.
We originally invited only 65 guests as we wanted it to be small and intimate so that we would be able to spend as much time as we could with everyone. The four days leading up to the wedding were a nightmare as flights began to be cancelled due to Covid. Unfortunately, none of Allistair’s family could make it over from South Africa. We lost 15 international guests, including a bridesmaid and a groomsman. Obviously, we wish that we could have had all of our guests there, especially Allistair’s family, but otherwise, we are just so grateful that we still got to have our day and get married in such a beautiful location. Scenic, serene, secluded and simple yet elegant – it was like the world stood still for that day only. Amongst all of the chaos, it really was the best day of our lives.
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