Stuff's wedding of the week
Brayden Cochrane, a builder, and Monique Dearden, a business analyst, both 25, married on October 25 last year in Invercargill. It was a real family day, with Monique's mum making the cake, and her sister on makeup duties.
Teenage sweethearts who have gone the distance, Brayden and Monique said the best part of the day was saying their vows. With a late change to the venue and concerns about rain, the happy couple were thrilled when everything went smoothly.
We'll let Monique fill you in on the rest...
How did you meet? Brayden and I met at a party in a small town outside of Riverton eight years ago. One of my bridesmaids, Janelle, convinced me at the time she couldn't go to the party alone, Brayden had tagged along with some of his friends who knew Janelle. We met and since then we've been together!
Tell us about the proposal: We had been together over six years and had always talked of getting married, so it was a matter of time. I had taken Brayden to the Riverton lookout, which had an amazing view when we first got together and carved MD+BC in the wood (classic 17 year old thing to do). Six years later he took me to the same spot, found the carved wood, which was hard as it was six years since we had been to the spot. I was taking photos then turned around and Brayden was on one knee saying the most beautiful things. I ended up laughing, and of course I said yes.
Location of wedding: The wedding was held at the Civic Theatre in Invercargill. We changed our minds on our ceremony venue five weeks before the wedding, because we were worried that having an outside wedding on Labour weekend. We thought it was jinxed and it would most definitely rain, so we had our ceremony in a long drawing room, and our reception in the Victoria rooms upstairs which is like a ballroom. As it turned out, it didn't rain at all!
Describe your wedding day: It was very relaxed and happy. It was a lot of fun! Brayden and I can both be emotional so we were surprised that there was just laughter and no tears through the vows. We used my Granddad's and Dad's trucks as vehicles, and one of our groomsmens uncle had another truck to match. My sister who was my maid of honour had come home from Brisbane, and she's a beauty therapist so did our makeup. Mum made our wedding cake which was delicious. Brayden's mum put together all our favours. It was the best day ever and we would do it all over again. We had an amazing bridal party who also made it extra special and our parents were by our sides and supportive from the moment we got engaged!
The dress: I found my dress in House of Kavina in Dunedin while shopping with my Mum. It wasn't a dress I had picked to try on myself, but it was Carmen who picked it for me. As soon as it was on I knew it was the colour for me. It's a blush coloured satin with ivory lace over the top. The peplum piece was made for me as I felt the dress needed something different. Carmen did an amazing job.
The flowers: My mum had roses and carnations on her wedding day, so it was only fitting I had the same. The boys all had roses on their buttonholes. The girls had off-white rose corsages. Caran at Windsor Florist in Invercargill was so good to deal with and just as relaxed as us. She didn't even bat an eyelid when we asked her to submerge roses in water for the reception.
Highlight of the wedding: Saying our vows and becoming husband and wife, seeing each other for the first time walking up the aisle and having all of our friends and family come from far and wide to share our day. It's hard to pick one highlight when it was all so special. There's one moment where we just looked at each other and were like WOW, we got married today! It all felt surreal.
Was there any drama? What's a wedding without drama? The boys had suit drama. Brayden's brothers zipper broke, and his suit was a slight shade different to the others, but they had it all sorted as the suit shop was on the same block as the hotel. Other then that, it was perfect!
The honeymoon: We went to LA, Vegas and Hawaii in May.
Your photographer and favourite photo? It's hard to pick just one photo! The favourite would be when we had been announced husband and wife and were walking up the aisle as it captures our happiness. Our photographer was Karen Johnson from Karen Johnson Photography.