Stuff's wedding of the week
Amy and Alexis' special day truly looks like a fairytale come to life.
Set beside stunning Lake Wanaka under a delightfully whimiscal make-shift archway, the ceremony was an undisputed highlight.
Both the bride and groom appear to be having the time of their lives - what more could you want from your wedding day?
We'll let Amy (with added input from Alexis) fill you in on the details...
How did you meet? Alexis and I met through 'Couch Surfing' in Dunedin. At the time he was living in Wellington and working for a French television channel. One of my best friends convinced me to sign up to 'Couch Surfing' and despite having many requests from all around the world I never responded. However, when Alexis invited me to have a coffee with him in Dunedin there was something inside me telling me I couldn't say no. We met in the Octagon and it felt like I was hanging out with a best friend from my childhood.
Alexis: After having a drink with this lady from Mosgiel, I had the feeling she was different. Growing up in the South West of France, it was unbelievable to be able to have so many shared interests and passions with a woman from the bottom of the world!
Tell us about the proposal: Alexis stole the show at my Grandma's 70th in Tauranga. We were on holiday in New Zealand as at this point we were living in Melbourne. Little did I know he had asked my Dad for my hand in marriage as soon as we got back to New Zealand. My Grandma had hired out a restaurant for her birthday and I was rather surprised when my boyfriend kicked off the speeches! He proposed in front of all my family and had positioned everyone in the 'correct' seats so that I was seated with my parents and it was all caught on camera.
Alexis: I was ready to propose to Amy because we both knew we were the ones for each other. As the quote goes, 'You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.' I waited until Amy's grandmother's 70th birthday so I could share the proposal with all of her family. At this time my collarbone was broken so it was a bit of a challenge getting down on one knee!
Location of wedding: Our special day was a French-Kiwi wedding set in one of the most beautiful places on Earth! We always knew we would get married in Wanaka and it only seemed natural to get married by the lake. For our ceremony we chose the Edgewater Resort for its beautiful rolling green lawns and stunning backdrop. We were married under sunny skies with a warm breeze. Our reception was at The Venue in an amazing marquee over a courtyard.
Alexis: Wanaka has always been a special place for us because of the unique landscape and atmosphere. We share many memories together in this amazing place.
Describe your wedding day: After weeks of dubious weather we woke up to a stunning blue sky, it was an absolutely perfect day. It was a celebration of love, laughter, friendship and happiness. To top it all off it finished with a spontaneous French song sung by all of our overseas guests and of course it only made sense a Kiwi haka would be performed in reply.
Alexis: Amy is very arty and alternative - she knew exactly what she wanted. We loved the whole planning process and shared ideas to create a wedding reflecting our personalities and way of life; a lot of colour, happiness, energy and love! We added a touch of French class with our macaroon tower and Funny French Cars. We could not have had a better wedding because it fulfilled all of our dreams. We experienced the best day of our lives so far, and we know that it is just the beginning of our new chapter as husband and wife.
The dress: I had a vision before the big day and my dress and veil surpassed all my dreams! I originally found my dress in Auckland and sourced it through House of Kavina in Dunedin. My dress was designed by Essence of Australia. I always knew the veil would finish off the gown and when I least expected it, after searching high in low in both Melbourne and Auckland, I got a ring from House of Kavina to say they had found 'my veil'. It was an heirloom piece sitting in the attic! Hilary from House of Kavina was absolutely amazing as she had to recreate the veil in order for it to sit beautifully over my face.
The flowers: Jen at Studio 24 was absolutely amazing; she supplied all of the flowers, including the flower crowns and archway, on the day. She took my ideas of whimsical and unstructured and created everything much better than we could have ever imagined.
Highlight of the wedding: The highlight has to be the ceremony. It was beautiful and full of emotion. We were married by our good friend Rob who knew us both well which made it even more special.
Was there any drama? There was no drama as such, but things got a little dramatic when Alexis' best man got a little emotional and told him that he loved him during his speech (as only a French man would) and even the Kiwi boys admitted they were choking back their tears!
The honeymoon: We both had time off work and took the luxury of spending it in our new house. We are having a second wedding in Basque Country, France in June and the honeymoon will follow. We are looking forward to relaxing in Paris followed by the Loire Valley, Alsace, Avignon and Provence.
Your photographer and favourite photo? We were very fortunate to have my cousin, Bella (Isabella Harrex Photography) as our photographer. We always knew that Bella would be our photographer as she has an eye for colour and artistic flair like no other. We scouted out our locations the day before and discovered some of the most beautiful places on Earth. After the wedding we had our photos taken in the wild flowers and willows beside a magical stream. As the sun was setting behind the mountains we drove up to the Motutapu Valley for photos in the golden light. As for a favourite photo? We'll let you decide.