Introducing Tracey and Michael

Last updated 05:00 07/09/2012

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High school sweethearts Tracey Jones and Michael Sutherland, both 28, married in the tiny central Hawke's Bay town of Otane.

How did you meet? "We are high school sweet hearts," says Tracey. "Michael eventually built up the courage and asked me to our sixth form school ball.  I said yes and we have been together ever since."

Tell us about the proposal: "Michael and I headed away on our six month overseas adventure in July 2010. Towards the end of the trip we were passed through Zambia to see the Victoria Falls. After an expensive toll call home to New Zealand, permission was given and Michael proposed over the falls the following day. Having been together for 10 years the proposal still took me by surprise and we were both left standing in the huge waterfall spray while we took it all in."

Location of wedding: "Our wedding was held in the small township of Otane in central Hawke's Bay, where I grew up," says Tracey. "The ceremony was held at the Otane Community Church which my grandfather had a huge influence on saving the church from being moved to another location. The reception was held at the Otane town hall, walking distance from the church."

Describe your wedding day: "Our wedding was held the weekend of the 'weather bomb' which hit the North Island in early March, so the weather was far from perfect but it didn't stop us having a good time. We both really enjoyed the day and so did our family and friends."

The dress: "My dress was made by a high school friend of mine 'Nikki Thomsen - Thomsen designs'. It was a strapless, chiffon overlay dress, simple but elegant. We use my mother's lace hair piece from her wedding day as a feature on the front of the dress."

The flowers: "All of our flowers were done by a close family friend, she did an amazing job and they fitted into our country rustic wedding theme. My bouquet had some extra detail with pearls hanging from the front and the first piece of jewellery bought for me by Michael, a locket which contained photos of my two late grandmothers, was tied around the flowers."

Highlight of the wedding: "To us it was all about having our family and friends around us to celebrate. We had all aunties, uncles and cousins from both sides of the family attend which made it so special."

Was there any drama? "The weather! It is one thing you cannot control unfortunately. It didn't matter as it was the people that made the day."

The honeymoon: "Yes, we delayed our honeymoon until July and went to Aitutaki," says Tracey. "It is an absolutely stunning place, heaven on earth!"

Your photographer and favourite photo? "Our photographer was Paula Shannon, she was very professional and took some amazing shots despite the weather and not being able to get outside for long.Our favourite is the one of us in the church in front of the stain glass window."

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