A South African girl meets a Kiwi Guy and they fall in love (sooooo in love) Everything about this wedding is oh so fab, from the their love story, the cool choice of tunes, their diy touches & of course that stunning venue, this wedding is refreshingly simple and unique and I am in love with it ALL!
Beautifully captured by talented Auckland based photographer Anna Allport, these images so perfectly portray the love between the couple and the happiness and style of this magical day.
A huge congratulations to gorgeous couple Melani & Joel, and a big thank you to the lovely Anna Allport for sharing these incredible images with Paper & Lace.
How did your love story begin?
Joel was on a rugby contract in South Africa in 2008. A school friend of mine introduced us. He told me I was rude for not wanting to talk to him – that got my attention and a week later we went on our first date. We were inseparable, but unfortunately Joel had to come back to New Zealand. We started dating long distance and did holidays in both countries for the rest of that year until I moved to New Zealand to be with him.
Why did you say ‘YES’?
I knew from that first date. I thought to myself – I would really like to get to know him better. Every quality he possessed was what I needed in a partner with out me even knowing it until I saw it in him.
Tell us about your budget?
We decided that we would pay for most of the wedding and our parents would pay what they were willing to, or could put in. We put most of the budget into the food as that was important to us, and kept cost down by lots DIY on decor and finding amazing suppliers. But in the end I did blow the budget – whoops!
What music did you play for those special moments?
A special moment was when Joels uncle Tony Williams serenaded us with the song I Cant Stop Loving You. It wasn’t planed so that made it even more special. It was a memorable gift.
We had music playing the whole time thats 8 hours worth! The Dj thought I was mad and not to happy but he did it any way. I spend hours timing and getting the right songs to play through the whole ceremony. It was like being in a movie. It started with me and the bridesmaids walking down the ale to A Thousand Years by The Piano Guys.
When we were pronounced husband and wife the music got louder with Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles. We did our first dance to Michelle Jackson The Way You Make Me Feel, and the night ended with its Business Time by the Flights Of The Concords.
What were your Splurge & Save items?
Splurge – We went to Rarotonga 3 weeks before the wedding on a ‘pre-moon’. I highly recommend doing this! And we gave wedding gifts to each other. He bought me earrings that I wore on the wedding day and I bought him a watch.
Save – We made our own save the date, invitations and name cards, so easy and great idea if you have the time. Also I made all the table decorations. The bridesmaids from South Africa and Joel needed to jump in and help out to finish it up the week before the wedding. It was a big job, but we had great chats while wrapping twine around jars.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
Weddings are stressful, but those little moments like walking towards your groom, that inside joke, special hugs and having beautiful people that you love share in that moment makes all the crazy before hand worth it!
However if I had to choose… we had a lot of overseas guests so transport was a big issue on Waiheke Island. I suggest hiring bikes or cars for overseas guests.
What advice do you have for future brides to be?
Suppliers recommended to you by wedding coordinators might not be the best for you and your wedding. Do your own home work. Choose someone that understands you, and your budget. There isn’t a one-size fits all when it comes to weddings, you are unique and the wedding should be too.
And most important: remember to be kind to your fiancé, families and friends. Everyone just wants the best for you both in the long run.
What was your inspiration or theme for the day?
Firstly I really wanted Joel to be involved, so I planned the wedding around Joel’s suit as he wanted a dark brown suit. I made a few look boards for him, took him out for breakfast and he chose what he liked. From there it was all about the venue and what would look good in that setting. I wanted things simple, but still us.
What do you love most about being a Mrs?
When I refer to Joel as my husband. I hear myself saying it and I get a little buzz every time. I love it!
There is something special about being married. I can’t put my finger on it, but its great!
Photographer // Anna Allport Photography
Venue // MudbrickVineyard, Waiheke Island
Hair for the bride and bridesmaids // Amy from Loxz Hair Auckland
Nails // Amber McIver from Verdo Nails, Parnell
Brides Make up // Heather Vette
Bridesmiads Make up // Morgan – Ann Manson
Cakes // All three cakes made by Mary Wright from Food With Flair, Waiheke
Bridesmaid dresses // Dotti
Brides Dress,Veil and Hair Piece // Hera Bridal
Accessories // Simply Italian
Groom Suit // French 83
Invitations // Made by the couple via Wedding Chicks