Guy and I met at New Zealand Broadcasting School, but we didn’t really hang out until a few years later – at Kim Dotcom’s album release party, of all places! As our relationship grew, I found myself realising that he was the first person I wanted to talk to when I had good or bad news, and the person I could see myself marrying in the future.
Guy organised a night away at Rosebud Cottage, all the while making me feel like I had come up with the idea and organised it, to put me off the scent of a proposal! Within the first few minutes of arriving, Guy was down on one knee. I think he was too nervous and excited to wait any longer.
We looked at many venues before discovering The Boathouse in Riverhead. When we visited, we loved the grounds with its oak trees and the indoor space’s big windows. Plus, it had pina coladas on the menu – a big selling point! It gave us a ‘Hobbit’ vibe, which is right up our alley, and it’s close to home so we can go back on anniversaries and reminisce.
We booked an Autumn date, which would be a year and four months after our engagement. I pictured a romantic and wispy vibe for the style and decor, nothing too structured. We wanted the reception to feel warm, comforting, and to be filled with amber lights and candles. I sent Joanne at The Florist NZ some photos of bouquets I liked, and then let her use her creative imagination using soft florals and greenery. We enlisted A Perfect Day Wedding and Event Decor for the styling of the tables and our ceremony arch – they created an epic display with faux flowers.
Being plus size, it was a daunting experience looking for my wedding dress. I tried on a Daisy by Katie Yeung gown at Paperswan Bride in Wellington, which fit me perfectly. When I went to the flagship store in Auckland, I was blown away by the amount of options for my size. When I tried on the Casado from Hera Couture (also by the same designer, Katie) the sleeveless, fitted waist and full skirt gown featuring layers of Italian lace had mum speechless. I had never felt so beautiful; It was definitely ‘the one’. I also chose a second dress, which I wore for our first dance.
For the bridal party, olive green and navy were the feature colours. Knee-length olive green dresses in various styles for the girls, and a shirt in the same hue for my brides-man. Guy chose a navy suit from Rembrandt, white shirt, brown leather accessories, and an olive green bow tie. His groomsmen wore navy trousers, white button shirts, brown suspenders, and bow ties.
After thinking that our wedding may not go ahead due to the global pandemic, I was so relieved when the day finally came. The morning of our wedding day, I gave Guy an Emporio Armani watch engraved with the words, ‘Forever Yours 21.03.20’.
Travel restrictions due to Covid-19 meant that sadly many guests were unable to attend. I asked a good friend to stand in for two bridesmaids who couldn’t make it. She ‘walked’ them down the aisle as they were live on Skype.
After the ceremony, we had our official photographs taken. Meanwhile, Guy’s mum’s crossword for guests to fill out to help break the ice was working a treat! We opted out of physical wedding favours, instead donating to various charities on behalf of each guest, naming who we’d donated to on each of their seating cards. Guy and I adore animals and have two rescues of our own. Much to our guests’ delight, Auckland Puppy Rescue added some cuteness to the day by bringing some puppies along to play. One little girl, Ava, ended up being adopted by friends.
The 39 guests physically with us enjoyed a plated dinner of snapper on lemon risotto, mushroom gnocchi, lamb, and pea puree, before hearing speeches from the dads, a groomsman, and two bridesmaids. My friend Hannah gave her speech from her London flat via Skype. It was heartbreaking and amazing at the same time – a beautiful and emotional speech which got a well-deserved standing ovation.
We offered a cheese-stack wedding ‘cake’ made with various Whitestone cheese and chutney and honeycomb condiments, along with tarts on the dessert table. Our DJ friend played a mix of tunes, reading the room perfectly and pumping out modern tracks and old-school classics. We wanted everyone to recognise the music and be encouraged to dance. Jandals were available for the females, to give their feet a break from heels and let loose!
Our day was full of love and laughter. Yes, it was stressful in the lead-up – and sadly our honeymoon in Hawaii, New York and Disney World had to be cancelled – but we got to say ‘I do’ and celebrate with the last big party before lockdown.