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Communications advisor Amanda Jones, 24, and architectural draughtstman, Michael Vaisigano, 27, were married on February 8 2013 at the Old Church Restaurant in Napier. Their beautiful day was all about sharing magical moments with family...
How did you meet? We meet back in 2007 through mutual friends when Michael first moved from Napier to Wellington to study. It was completely un-romantic and in a bar at around 2am - whatever I did I left a lasting impression because he got hold of my number and got in touch the very next day!
Tell us about the proposal: It was Boxing Day 2011, and it was Michael's family's turn to have us up in Napier for Christmas. It was a typical stinking-hot Hawke's Bay day. Michael took me to the botanical gardens where he had a picnic all prepared. After hours of talking and laughing - with Michael doing a few weird deep breaths and rubbing his sweaty palms together - he finally started packing up to leave, and just as I stood up he quickly popped down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Luckily we were tucked away in a secluded area because there were lots of tears. I immediately rang my parents to tell them the fantastic news.
Location of wedding: The stunning Old Church Restaurant in Napier, we decided on Napier because we knew the weather would be good and I liked the idea of getting out of my home town to celebrate.
Describe your wedding day: We both value our families a lot and love spending time with them, and it was so great doing so the night before the wedding, and while we were getting ready the next day. I stayed at the Old Church Villa the night before, with both sets of grandparents, my parents and brother. My bridesmaids and I all got ready there the next day, too. The Villa was nothing less than spectacular.
The morning was relaxed and laid-back as makeup artists and hairdressers came and went, meaning we didn't have to leave the house once.
It was a hot day - we had just over 100 close friends and family members with us, and they really made the day what it was. It was a fantastic feeling to have everyone you care about all in the same place at once celebrating your love.
Our ceremony included reading our own vows and exchanging letters, which we will open one day in the future at a time of our choosing. Once the formalities were over we had drinks and canapés in the courtyard with a string quartet playing faintly in the background. The reception included amazing food, great speeches and some astounding moves on the dance floor.
We all got together at a beautiful home my parents had rented for a relaxed BBQ the next day - it was great to see our families mixing with one another.
The dress: It was a lace gown by Spanish Designer W1/White One. I bought it off the rack, but had it altered and changed the neckline and the straps. The alterations ensured it fit me like a glove - I was literally sewn into it!
The flowers: White hydrangeas and coral roses to match the bridemaids' dresses.
Highlight of the wedding: So many. I loved the fact I was wearing my mother's veil, oh and there was the moment we were pronounced husband and wife. Also, all of the speeches - they were all so touching, emotional, funny and memorable - we're happy we have them all on video to watch again whenever we want to. People also had a fantastic time in the photobooth - we had a lot of laughs the next day looking through all the photos that came out of that!
Was there any drama? The flower girl (Michael's niece and our goddaughter) got a bit upset before the wedding as full attention was not on her! She also had a few tears when it was time for her to leave. Luckily I had five amazing bridesmaids that took care of her and calmed her down. We also got a few cute snaps during those moments.
The honeymoon: We spent a fantastic 10 days down in Queenstown where we had a beautiful apartment right on the lake. Neither of us had been there before so we spent the time sleeping, eating, wining and dining and trying out all the tourist activities in the region.
Your photographer and favourite photo? Nate McNabb of Napier - he and his partner Donna captured so many great moments - we love the ones of our flower girl and of our fathers sharing a laugh together - these moments were what our day was all about.
- © Fairfax NZ News