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Shama & Saeed


Saeed and I met through mutual friends but I had spotted Saeed years before in a photograph and thought to myself; “That one is cute!” I requested his friendship on Facebook but cancelled it due to nervousness. It was five more years until we met!

We formed a close friendship as we were both into travel, adventure, and astronomy. We share the same humour, too and make each other laugh. We knew we had found our person in life when we were the best version of ourselves with the other. We both refer to it as finding home.

Saeed proposed on our favourite beach where we had seen our first shooting star. He opened the box and the ring fell straight into the sand! We were engaged for only six months as I had been planning my dream wedding for a while.

We had both fallen in love with Wanaka. We wanted to have the ceremony, photos and reception at the same venue and chose summer as it’s our favourite season.

My theme was simple modern and boho with integrated Indian themes. Toi Toi’s are special to me as they represent the New Zealand adventures and beaches Saeed and I have enjoyed together. Bridal bouquets had toi tois, white roses and dried flowers.

I am creative and passionate about digital design and so I had all the wedding signs, table numbers and menus made. I also designed magnets as our wedding favours. We had 83 guests for a sit-down meal. Our two-tiered cake was lemon flavoured with roses and toi toi.

We organized a DJ from Auckland and chose a mix of English and Indian songs; romantic music for the ceremony and upbeat, party music in the evening. I surprised Saeed and his family with a Samoan dance as his mother was born there.

My mermaid-style dress was modern and sleek with a long trail. I altered it to add long sleeves and more lace at the back and front. I knew this style would hug my curves and complement my shape. I also wore a long veil with earrings and ivory heels. I changed into a modern Indian gown for the reception.

We had one flower girl and four bridesmaids: my sister and three best friends. They wore custom-made Indian dresses that I had designed, with a satin top and skirt with a lace veil similar to an Indian sari. Saeed wore an ivory tailor-made suit.

We had an Islamic marriage ceremony before the official ceremony. The private vows the morning of our wedding were perfect and set the tone for the day. It reminded me of how much we loved each other. Walking down the aisle and seeing Saaed tear up was so special to me. My favourite memory was the gift of a helicopter photoshoot by our friends on the day! We flew to the top of Mount Iron.

We’re so glad we had a backup plan for the outdoor ceremony as it started to rain heavily. Our décor was bought into Edgewater’s conference room and it was lovely.

To spend time with friends and family who had travelled for the wedding, we stayed in Wanaka for three nights before going on a south island road trip for our honeymoon to Twizel, Lake Takapō, Mount Cook and Hamner Springs.

My advice would be to go with your gut instinct as there are so many choices to make. Also, go on dates beforehand and don’t talk about the wedding!

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