Stuff's wedding of the week
A trip down to Dunedin resulted in a beautiful romance when Sara met Richard at a traditional Otago University O-Week party.
Following a year of long distance, Richard really knocked it out of the park with his thoughtful proposal by the water in Wellington, and the delightful couple ended up tying the knot at the stunning Old Church venue in Hawke's Bay.
The lovely bride will fill you in on the rest...
How did you meet? We met at a classic Dunedin O-week party, on the roof! I was about to start my second year at university and had moved back to Wellington to study criminology. I met Rich while visiting my friends in Dunedin, and the first year of our relationship consisted of a lot of travel back and forth between Wellington and Dunedin to see each other, as well as many hours spent on the phone.
Tell us about the proposal: The proposal was just what I had dreamed of. Rich took me out for a delicious meal at St John's in Wellington and then we went for a walk along Oriental Parade. When we arrived at the big concrete blocks out by the water, where we had spent hours talking the first time Rich visited me in Wellington, he got down on one knee and proposed. The ring was stunning: a sapphire (my birth stone) with diamonds either side, beautifully created by Rich and the Goldsmith Jewellers in Wellington.
Location of wedding: Our ceremony and reception were both held at the Old Church Restaurant, in the Hawke's Bay. The Old Church is the most picturesque, fairy-tale like venue I have ever seen, our guests are still raving about it! The Old Church staff were fantastic, helping us plan out our whole wedding well in advance so there were no problems on the day. Everything at the venue was magnificent, including the amazing food and wine (made by the Old Church).
Describe your wedding day: The day started for us girls at 8.30am when the hairdresser and make-up artist arrived. We were all a little disappointed as it was quite cold and raining (not your typical Hawke's Bay weather!) but nevertheless we started getting ready, the excitement started to build. At 2.30pm, the sun miraculously came out and it got so hot we were all wishing it would cloud over again. The wedding went perfectly. Our celebrant, Father Peter Roe, did such a wonderful job at making our ceremony so personal and special for us, and it flew by in what felt like five minutes. The photos with the bridal party were great fun, and we loved the picnic set up for us in the cellar of the villa next door to the Old Church. The wedding speeches were absolutely fantastic and had everybody laughing and shedding a few tears. The rest of the evening disappeared, but it was wonderful to celebrate the day and evening with all our family and friends.
The dress: My dress was from Confetti Bridal in Petone. Susan was absolutely wonderful and made my dress shopping experience really special - just like any girl's dream. I ended up going with a princess-style dress by Halo which was so much fun to wear and really suited our venue. The bridesmaids' dresses were from the Bridal Studio in Palmerston North where Kris helped us to find the perfect fit and colour to suit all three of my bridesmaids. They all looked stunning in the cobalt blue.
The flowers: Our flowers were from Zinnia Florists in Havelock North. Jenn was wonderful at helping me decide which flowers to go with as I know nothing about flowers! She suggested the blue delphiniums in the bridesmaids' flowers which really tied in their bouquets to their dresses. We got a lot of compliments on the stunning flower arrangements and the unusual colour combination.
Highlight of the wedding: The highlight was definitely when Pete introduced us as 'Mr and Mrs Todd' and we had our first kiss as a married couple. The speeches from my dad, the best man and Rich were also a highlight for me as none of them are big fans of public speaking and they all did such an amazing job!
Was there any drama? No drama at all, thankfully. Everything went according to plan and we had a wonderful day!
The honeymoon: We started our honeymoon with two nights in Melbourne to attend Soundwave. It was a full on start to the honeymoon, but it was great fun! We then flew to Thailand where we spent two nights in Bangkok before heading to Krabi and staying at the Sheraton for ten nights. Krabi was fantastic and we really enjoyed experiencing the culture, including taking a four hour cooking class to learn how to make Thai food. It was wonderful to have some time to relax together after all the hype leading up to the big day!
Your photographer and favourite photo? Our photographer was Tim Whittaker who is based in Hawke's Bay. Tim did an amazing job, and it was great having someone who knew the venue so well as we never had to worry about getting good photos. It's hard to chose a favourite photo, but we would have to say the one with us up in the balcony with all our guests behind us enjoying their dinner.