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Sunita and Hamish met at a Jewish summer camp in 2009 and despite a year of long distance, managed to keep the romance alive.
Through careful planning and downright impressive creativity they managed to incorporate aspects of both their cultures and traditions into their special day guaranteeing an unforgettable day for all involved.
We'll let Sunita fill in the gaps...
How did you meet? We met on my birthday in 2009 when we both arrived at a Jewish summer camp called Round Lake Camp in Pennsylvania, USA through the Camp America programme. I wound up being Hamish's boss for the summer and we got to know each other thanks to randomly being given the same day off. We travelled to New York after camp before parting ways, Hamish back to NZ and me to Canada for a year as planned, but we maintained a long distance relationship for a year and reunited again in Auckland on my birthday 2010.
Tell us about the proposal: There are two stories for this. The one we tell everyone, and the truth. The truth is, we were watching Once Were Warriors on TV in our pyjamas and Hamish said: "we should get married ay?". I know, romance personified right there. The one we tell everyone happened a week later - he decided to make it a bit more romantic and organised a private room for lunch at Fisher House in Highbrook where he got down on one knee with a beautiful black sapphire and diamond ring.
Location of wedding: Nice Hotel & Table Restaurant in New Plymouth, Taranaki with wedding organiser and host, Terry Parkes.
Describe your wedding day: Perfection! Our day was a fusion of Bollywood and vintage which played on the decor of the venue as well as the traditions of my famiy. The ceremony merged aspects of both mine and Hamish's cultures and backgrounds. It rained up until 20 minutes before the ceremony started and was a stunning day for the rest of the day and evening. There were beautiful nibbles and meals by the venue (Table Restaurant) and traditional Indian snacks and sweets supplied by my aunties, coupled with entertainment by good friends Monique Bradley and Pete Ward from Stray Dogs. I walked down the aisle to my favourite band KISS with a stunning acoustic version of Forever by Pete and Monique, and after the Jewish breaking glass ceremony we were celebrated as husband and wife with Scottish bagpipes and drums.
The dress: Halo dress in ivory with vintage lace and a sweetheart neckline. I fell in love with it on the rack at Churchwood Bridal, New Plymouth and it happened to be on sale... but it was far too small for me. My Mum and I couldn't bear being without it so we had it altered into a lace-up back so it would fit.
The flowers: Our venue, Nice Hotel, supplied the flowers for the tables. Lodge Floral Studio in Waitara provided the buttonholes and sprays as well as the bridesmaid's bouquet. Roz at Lodge used her skills to perfect my amazing broach bouquet which includes my late-grandmother's ring, my late-father's ring and mementos of mine and Hamish's travels and relationship.
Highlight of the wedding: The day was just beautiful, but my favourite moment was Hamish's speech at the reception. For a relatively shy, nervous guy he really nailed his big moment and stunned everyone who didn't expect it.
Was there any drama? Aside from drunken old timers, my custom-made shoes didn't end up fitting me - as soon as we came back down the aisle I had to take them off as they were way too big. There was also some confusion around the arrival of the bagpipes, but straight after everyone yelled "L'chaim!" they started up to our relief. The lead-up to the wedding was also stressful as our best man, Tom, was in Afghanistan in the Army and wasn't sure if he would make it back in time - luckily, he made it!
The honeymoon: We have planned a late honeymoon to Thailand and Malaysia for June 2014. With nursing school and business commitments we had to find a time that fit.
Your photographer and favourite photo? Our photographer was Ngaere Woodford from Octopus Ink Design in Inglewood. She was fantastic and made us feel at ease. I'm sure she thought we were nutters because we were keen to do all sorts of crazy poses and use strange props. There are so many great photos, but our favourite photo is actually the one of the boys in what we called the 'Mafia Room' at Nice Hotel holding cigars and looking staunch.
- © Fairfax NZ News