Stuff's wedding of the week
Quite possibly the most vibrantly beautiful photos we've seen yet - this Indian/Western fusion wedding is a showstopper.
We'll let Kristen fill you in on all the details...
How did you meet? Eric and I met six years ago at the uni gym, where we'd both been going for years. I had noticed him years before we actually officially met, and referred to him as 'the hot guy from the gym'. He took a while to notice me, but once he did, he came and introduced himself and the pursuit was on. I relented a few months later because he was too funny and charming to resist. Once it was all on, it was ON, and we spent the anniversary of our first date at a cafe with our baby daughter.
Tell us about the proposal: We wanted to make sure we were getting married for the right reasons, not just because we had a child together, so we agreed to wait a bit before getting married. "Let's not rush things" we said, as we held our baby in our arms. Oh the irony.
However, I was not expecting to wait *quite* as long as I did. Finally, Eric pulled himself together and proposed on a helicopter ride. Beforehand, waiting on the tarmac, Eric seemed quite distracted and had a bulge in his trousers (the ring box!), then his mate Varun unexpectedly turned up ("What's Varun doing here??!!") so at that stage I clicked.
We had an amazing flight over the harbour, then just before we were going to land, the pilot - who was in on it - hovered over the landing pad but told us he couldn't land because something was in the way. I looked and it was our car with a sheet draped over the roof, saying "Will you marry me?" and Varun with a camcorder. I turned to Eric and he had the ring. Of course I said yes, so there were many hugs and kisses and squeals - well as much as you can while you're strapped into a helicopter seat, wearing a helmet with a 3-year-old on your knee who's totally oblivious to what's just happened.
Location of wedding: Silverstream Retreat, Lower Hutt for both the ceremony and the reception, with photos at Trentham Race Course and by the Hutt River.
Describe your wedding day: Getting ready went really smoothly. I only had one bridesmaid and two flower girls so we were all ready with time to spare. Eric was waiting at the ceremony, feeling really nervous, and I was being driven along the motorway to the Hutt, getting progressively more nervous.
I had organised most of the wedding - an Indian/Western fusion - but didn't really know much about Indian weddings (and Eric hadn't been a help there, since he only ever went to Indian weddings for the food.) Had I incorporated all that I was supposed to? Would we offend anyone from either side with the religious and cultural aspects which we did include? I had to just let it go (let it goooooo*) and focus. By the time I arrived at the ceremony, I was very excited.
Seeing Eric looking so handsome in his sherwani took my breath away, and he got a bit emotional when he saw me too. The ceremony was very meaningful to us as we incorporated our families, including our daughter, in the unifying candle ceremony and also had vows which respected both our cultures. Incorporating aspects of both our religions was a challenge to organise, but we were happy with how it went.
The reception was a blast! Before we made our entrance the MC Tarun did a pub-style quiz that we'd put together about our relationship, and by all accounts raucous hilarity ensued - we wish we could have been there! But it did set the scene for our entrance where we all danced in, Bollywood-style. Our first dance was also a Bollywood dance act, which we'd practised for ages with a choreographer and it went down really well. Our dance culminated in a flashmob of some of our friends and family joining us with the moves, and then led to everyone having fun on the dance floor.
The dress: I ordered a lehenga choli from India online which was a bit risky but worked out well in the end. I loved wearing something so ornate (it was 8kg of bling. Yes, I danced in that!) and I loved having the traditional bridal henna on my hands and feet, despite it taking 9 hours to put on.
The flowers: Bella Bloom florists did the bouquets and Kristin's Flower Shoppe did the decorative flowers.
Highlight of the wedding: For me, it was definitely the vows and our Bollywood dance. Not just the performance of it, but we also had so much fun practising it. For Eric, it was the speeches and the fact that my family was so totally into dressing Indian styles.
Was there any drama? Of course! This was a wedding between two people of different cultures, different religions and different levels of organisation (ahem). But the things that didn't quite go according to plan either didn't really matter in the scheme of things, or we chose not to focus on so that we could enjoy every second with each other and the company of our friends and family.
The honeymoon: We were both back at work a week after the wedding so no honeymoon yet. But we would probably have to take our daughter with us if we did go away, so we might not get one till she's 18.
Your photographer and favourite photo? The wonderful Jason and Aneta of We Do Photography. They were so enthusiastic and totally picked up on the vibe we wanted to capture - vibrant and fun and family focused.
I keep changing my mind over which is my favourite, but this week it's the one of me and Eric holding our daughter (Eric's fav too), and the ones of us doing our dance because they capture the energy. Another fave is the one of me presenting my grandmother with my bouquet.
*Sorry if that dreadful song has now ear wormed into your head.