Stuff's wedding of the week
Personal assistant, Rachel, and builder, Paul, were the couple whose engagement seemed forever imminent, but never quite happened. Paul finally rectified that with a romantic dinnertime proposal in Waiheke.
The couple married in a lovely ceremony surrounded by family and friends, and still have their worldwide honeymoon to look forward to.
Two decadent dresses, a pup bridesmaid and emblazoned jocks for the groom and his best men - sometimes simple just doesn't cut it.
How did you meet? Paul and I met through mutual friends and had known each other a while. Then one night, after we had known each other for a while, everything fell into place. After 6 months travelling between my place in Auckland and his in Palmerston North, Paul moved in with me in Auckland. Unfortunately, his father was diagnosed with a terminal illness shortly after, so we made the decision to move to Palmy to spend as much time as we could with him.
Tell us about the proposal: Paul and I were one of those couples who everyone was waiting to get engaged. Together for six years, our friends were all married and having kids and there seemed to be numerous perfect opportunities: an overseas trip to Europe, a holiday to Fiji, but still... nothing! Then one weekend we went to Delamore Lodge on Waiheke (the location of our first holiday together) and had dinner in their restaurant. The other guests had gone out so we had the room to ourselves. Nothing was out of the ordinary, but then hidden on my dessert plate, was a Wilshi ring. I looked at Paul, and he smiled, and asked me "Will you marry me?" I burst into tears, leapt into his arms and said YES!
Location of the wedding: Our wedding ceremony was held at the beautiful All Saints Church in Palmerston North. We had the honour of being the last wedding held there before the church was closed due to its earthquake rating. Our reception was in a marquee at our home - an old homestead that Paul and I are renovating. All our friends and family pulled together and did everything they could to help us get it ready for the wedding day. It meant the world to us to have the wedding at our home - it made the day even more personal, we could do anything we wanted and at the end of the night, once all the guests had gone, Paul and I sat on the steps together, taking it all in and reflecting on our perfect day.
Describe your wedding day: We had the perfect day. Everything ran smoothly and to schedule, the weather was perfect, but more importantly, everyone we love was there. All of our friends and family travelled from so far away to join us - America, Scotland, England, China and all across New Zealand. Having them all there celebrating with us made our day complete.
Leading up to the day, I was so worried that I was going to cry (I'm a crier) however, I smiled the whole way through the ceremony, and only cried during the speeches, when Paul spoke of his late father and how we wished he could have been there. It was such a beautiful and special moment - I wasn't the only one crying, he had everyone in tears.
The dress: I always knew I was going to have the big "poofy" princess dress - just like in fairy tales. I found my dress online and knew it was the one. I flew up to Auckland to try it on with my mum, and when I put it on, it seemed perfect. While we were there mum found another dress that she wanted me to try, it was fitted to the knee but I put it on, just for fun. When I walked out of the fitting room, mum's face lit up - it was stunning! So my dilemma, how to pick? I just couldn't, so ended up getting both. My gorgeous princess gown for the ceremony and my sexy reception dress.
The flowers: I love roses and wanted the venue to be over-flowing, but was really worried about the cost. Then I found I could purchase bulk roses from DIY Wedding Flowers and was over the moon! We got them delivered a couple of days before the wedding and they were amazing. My gorgeous sister in law and bridesmaid, Clare, made our bouquets and they looked stunning!
Highlight of the wedding: There were two very special highlights on our day. There were concerns that my Grandma was not well enough to attend, at 97 years old I knew it was a huge ask, however she made it and had a ball. She has told me since it was one of the happiest days of her life. I was also very lucky to have my little dog Eva as one of my bridesmaids. When our amazing Reverend Barbara Coles said of course she could walk down the aisle with me, I burst into tears of joy and knew this was going to be our perfect day.
Was there any drama? Fortunately we didn't have any drama, though I was worried about the fireworks and the noise level for our neighbours. A couple of weeks before the wedding we wrote a letter to all our neighbours in the area, letting them know that we would be having our wedding reception, including fireworks, at home in case they wanted to move any stock or keep pets inside. We had great feedback from the neighbours for letting them know, and no noise complaints even though the party lasted until 4am.
The honeymoon: We still have our honeymoon to look forward to. We are leaving in September for a 6 week whirlwind round the world trip to visit everyone who travelled to our wedding. It's going to be amazing adventure and we are so excited! I've already planned our second wedding in Vegas!
Your photographer and favourite photo: Our photographers were Adrian and his team from Adrian De La Fuente Wedding Photojournalism. On the day, they took in excess of 5000 photos so choosing our favourite is difficult. My favourite is one of Paul and I after our first look, it just shows how truly happy and in love we are. Paul's favourite is one taken just after he pulled out the hand saw to cut the cake. It was a complete surprise to me and one of the funniest moments of the day.