Marry Me.
James is the worst liar in the world but luckily I had been at a bottomless brunch and was a few mimosas in when he picked me up he was quite stressed out but I had no idea what was going on. He drove me out to the lighhouse at the tip of the Awhitu Peninsula (one of our favourite spots) and proposed at the top of the lighthouse over looking the water. He then showed me a picnic basket he had in the boot of the car and we drove down to the nearest beach. It was raining so we sat together in the car with a glass of bubbles and all of my favourite cheeses. The picnic basket it turned out he had to borrow from our good friend. James had made a plan with him to let himself into their house that morning with a key hidden under a rock but when James arrived the key had been moved and he told James that he’d have to climb through the bedroom window to get the picnic basket. No wonder James was so stressed by the time he picked me up.

The Day.
Our wedding service was held at St Mary’s Church in Parnell. Sarah had worked for the Cathedral in Parnell for many years and always lovely taking care of the historic church on that site. The reception was held our in Bombay at the Simunovich Olive Estate. Due to Sarahand James’s musical commitments (James plays for the National Champion Pipe Band down in Christchurch and Sarah is  singer) January was the only month during summer that we could be sure of having all our music friends at the wedding so we settled on 12 January 2019.


The Details.
James is very proud of his Scottish heritage and Sarah emigrated to NZ from Wales so both of us wanted to have a modern wedding but with a nod to the traditions in both cultures. James wore a traditional Scottish kilt in his clan tartan and performed the Address to the Haggis at the Reception, while Sarah chose flowers arangements inspired by the British countryside. We were very lucky to have a huge number of wonderful musicians attend the wedding. Sarah organised a choir of her friends to sing traditional Welsh and Scottish folk songs arranged for the wedding by her good friend, NZ composer Andrew Baldwin, and one of James’s bagpiping friends played Sarah and James down the aisle after the service.


Expectation and Reality.
While we had designed our wedding to incorporate some of the traditions of our culture, it was surprising to both of us how much those parts of the service and reception stood out to us. We both felt tethered to our family and heritage which was incredibly moving.


From One Bride to Another.
Having worked in the wedding industry for many years, Sarah was quite organised when it came to planning our own wedding but it is important to remember that something inevitably wont go as planned on the day. So long as you have done the leg work in the planning stage, anything beyond that if out of your control and most people will neither notice or care. Give yourself permission to RELAX in the days leading up to the wedding.


Best Bit.
It is so hard to choose but I think we’d both say the service. The actual ceremony to become a married couple is so special, whether you choose a religious or secular service, that it a struggle to stay present and take it all in, especially as the Bride you (usually) do the majority of the planning but you’re the person who sees the least of the results on the day as you’re usual last in/first out!