The first thing that made me oooh and arrrr over this wedding is that stunning bride Jess is wearing her Grandmothers wedding dress. AMAZING. This stunning vintage style shindig shot by the talented Nisha Ravji is chocca with wedding inspiration, and proof that you can totally have a fabulous wedding for less than $15k.
Congratulations and best wishes to gorgeous loved up couple Jess & Dom, and a massive thank you to incredible Auckland based photographer Nisha Ravji, it is always an honor to feature your work!
How did your love story begin?
I was living in a retreat centre in London, where we ran activities for young people much like that of Camp America except this was all year round, and I was a volunteer there for a year. I decided to stay on for another year, and that year Dominic was a volunteer as well. I wasn’t particularly attracted to him at first and we just used to work together with the kids, but this one day on our day off, Dominic and I and a few other of the volunteers decided to go the Bournemouth Beach and it was a wonderful day. This was the pinnacle moment that everything changed for me. Walking along the beach talking with Dominic and when he playfully tried to dunk me in the ocean against my will, I realised that he was a fun and amazing man.
Why did you say ‘YES’?
I knew he was the one because he’s an amazing man with a giant heart. He is everything I want to be and he encourages me to be a better person everyday. Dominic has amazing confidence, he’s at peace with who he is and takes everything in his stride. I said “Yes” because my life would feel incomplete without him. He is the best man I know and the better part of me.
What was your budget?
We were hoping to keep the budget between $10,000-$15,000 and it fell somewhere between that price range.
What was your inspiration or theme for the day?
Because Dominic is part Italian, we some how came to agree on a loosely Italian themed wedding, we wanted it to feel relaxed like a picnic, with some Italian hints without it being overwhelming.
What were your Save & Splurge items?
We didn’t have a huge budget so we tried to save in as many ways as we possibly could. We did so by getting friends and colleagues to help out in as many ways as possible. We hand picked our own flowers, had a friend make the wedding cake for cheap, my mom made all the table cloths, my dress, the flower girl dresses, and many other touches. We decorated jars cheaply with lace tape from vintage love and just collected jars from jams, sauces and other food items.
Our Splurge items would definitely have to be the bridesmaids dresses, which my sister and I saw in the window of Hera Bridal and had a touch of lace, and I instantly fell in love with them, Katie from Hera is amazing and a talented designer. And our Photographer – Nisha Ravji, who we think is the bees knees, because she doesn’t just come in and photograph the wedding, she is personal and loves to get to know her clients and we became great friends!
What music did you play for those special moments?
I walked down the aisle to Hymn by Brooke Fraser, which was sung by my close friend Anna Surrey, During the signing of the register our friends Cameron and his wife Cheryl Surrey sung ‘Set me as a seal’ by Matt Maher. I recessional hymn was ‘Love has come’ by Matt Maher. Dom and I did our first dance to Quando Quando- by Fergie from the musical Nine.
In hindsight, is there anything that you would have done differently?
Nothing really, we loved the day from start to finish. Running on time would have made things a bit smoother, but other than that nothing went awry.
What advice would you give to future brides to be?
Always keep calm. Let everyone else fuss. Don’t plan for a perfect day, I think brides can tend to obsess about every little thing, but if you plan for things not to be perfect then it won’t bother you if it isn’t. In my mind, I was ready for the flower girls to misbehave, the flowers to wilt, the car to be late to pick us up and when none of them happened I was pleasantly surprised!
Don’t sweat the small stuff, ask for people’s help and all will go well! Also go into it with your spouse and discuss with each other what you both want and always keep each other in the know, at the end of the day both of you are getting married. Get that amazing man behind your decisions!
What do you love most about being a MRS?
I love the way Dom’s wedding ring looks on his finger! I think that was the thing that really drove home the fact that I was finally married, seeing that ring, knowing he was proud to wear it and seeing him fiddle with it absent mindedly. I love the finality of marriage: We are going to be together forever. I love the fact that we can start from scratch, building a house, family, and life together. I love everything about being Dominic’s wife.
Photographer // Nisha Ravji
Planning > Styling //All the ideas, organisation, theme and preparations were done by myself and my Mom > Kathy Gram
Flowers // Nookie Hanfling > Maragret Sheppard > Philomene Rankin
Hair // Bridal Hair > Rochelle Sills, Bridesmaids Hair > Sarah Gram (Bridesmaid)
Makeup //Veronica Kloeten, Blue Dahlia Make-up
Cake // Daryl Hull
Brides Dress // Grandmothers Dress and lining by Kathy Gram, Mother of the Bride
Veil // Kathy Gram (Mother of the Bride)
Service Venue // St Patrick’s, Pukekohe
Reception Venue // Bluestone Room, Durham Lane, Auckland CBD
Invitations // Created by myself and Kathy Gram. Supplies > Warehouse Stationery