Introducing Aleisha and Liam
How did you first get together? We met through a mutual friend in 2010 and hit if off right away. Liam tried to convince me to hang out by bragging about his table tennis skills. We became close friends and then, after turning him down a couple of times, I finally decided to give a relationship with Liam a go - but not before he met my parents.
He was thrown into a full family affair to celebrate my Mum's 50th and met just about everyone who had been a part of my life. He was interrogated until the sun went down but passed with flying colours.
He requested my father's permission to take me on a date (knowing how important my family is to me) and my Dad gave him a "proceed with caution". Liam took that as a yes and in April 2011 the relationship started. We always knew from the beginning we would get married. We just fit with each other.
Tell us about the proposal: In December 2011, Liam woke me up with breakfast in bed and announced that I was to ask no questions today and then drove me out to a factory on the outskirts of town. He had arranged for me to spend half an hour driving a forklift around, something that I had put on my bucket list and mentioned as a passing comment.
He then took me shopping and out for lunch. This was followed by a long drive out in the country where we ended up on a farm and did a three hour horse trek with a gorgeous backdrop of rolling hills, streams and farmland. On our way home we stopped at the cemetery where my grandparents are buried and Liam had a picnic ready, this ensured they got to be a part of my special day despite them not being here.
After a wonderful day we arrived home to a house filled with over 1000 balloons, a candlelit table complete with dessert, wine and chocolate. Liam sat me down, got down on one knee and asked for my hand in marriage. It was one of the most incredible days I have ever experienced and had so many small sweet details worked into it.
Location of wedding: We got married at the Ashhurst Domain. I grew up in Ashhurst and Liam and I purchased our first house together there. We still live there in fact, with our four cats.
Describe your wedding day: The day was so fun and very low key. We spent the night before apart from each other and didn't meet again until the ceremony. I stayed at a hotel with my bridesmaids. We went and did hair and makeup, and then took a few photos before the ceremony. We were so ahead of schedule that I snuck away for a little bit to do some shopping (still with my hair in rollers!). It was a very relaxed day. The guys set up for the ceremony and then got ready at home.
I was so excited the whole morning and when the car pulled up everything looked perfect. Liam was waiting for me at the end of the aisle and looked gorgeous. We were both so excited to see each other that there wasn't room for any other emotion (from us anyway - the crowd had a lot of tears). Our ceremony was awesome, short and sweet and was over in 15 minutes. There were jokes, cat stories and advice shared by our pastor.
We cut our cake after the ceremony, had a delicious afternoon tea with all 180 guests and then went off to do photos with our incredibly talented photographer - Toni Larsen. The photos were definitely so much easier then we could have ever imagined. It was so relaxed that there were a number of times we forgot she was there.
The dress: It was given to me by my great grandmother. It was her wedding dress over 70 years ago. Shona Rubery Designs altered it for me and did a wonderful job.
The flowers: They were purchased off etsy, handmade by a crafter in New York.
Highlight of the wedding: There were so many. It was very special to wear my mother's wedding gloves, grandmother's wedding pearls and great grandmother's wedding dress. Hearing that we were officially husband and wife was exciting and seeing all our friends and family come from all over the country and overseas to celebrate with us really made us feel so blessed.
Was there any drama? The worst thing that happened would have been a couple of gazebos we purchased collapsed, but in saying that we got them in case it rained and the day was perfect, so it really wasn't a drama.
The honeymoon: We spent a week in the South Island, and were based in Queenstown but did a bit of travelling to Greymouth, Christchurch and Wanaka. It was beautiful. We hired a rental car and spent many days just driving around. Everyone we came across saw Liam's ring (he is very stoked with it) and heard all about our new marriage. We were pretty excited to be newlyweds.
Your photographer and favourite photo? We used Toni Larsen as our photographer and she was amazing. Most of the photos she took were of us mucking around or having a 'moment' in which she just captured things naturally and perfectly. One of the favourites would be when I was walking down the aisle; she caught the excitement on Liam's face perfectly.