Stuff's wedding of the week
From a fancy dress first meeting to a romantic ocean-side proposal in Niue, Graeme and Louise's relationship has been full of highs. But did their "fairytale wedding" top the lot?
But we'll let Louise fill you in on all the magical details . . .
How did you meet? We met at the Thirsty Whale bar in Napier in 2007. I had been at a costume party and was dressed as a police officer. I had a ticket book as one of my props and I gave Graeme a ticket with my phone number on it. It turns out he worked with my friend who had dropped me into town that night.
She assured Graeme that I wasn't a crazy person and she assured me that Graeme was normal enough, so we started seeing each other! It didn't take long before we realised that we had found something special.
Tell us about the proposal: Graeme proposed on the last night of our holiday in Niue in May 2013. We were about to go to bed when he said let's go get some last-minute photos of the view. I should have realised something was up, as it was very dark outside so not the best time to take photos!
We were standing on the deck of the resort looking out over the Pacific Ocean and Graeme got down on one knee. I almost dropped the ring!
Location of wedding: We were married on October 18 2014 at the Mission Estate Winery in Napier. It was the perfect venue for our traditional white wedding with a spring garden and winery theme.
Describe your wedding day: Our day has been described as "the fairytale wedding", and it really was. Our wedding day tagline was "sun, stars, green and white, laughter, love and candlelight" and all of these elements were present on the day.
The day went so fast but we soaked up every minute of it. We had 102 guests and felt so honoured to have so many guests travel long distances to celebrate with us.
The dress: My dress was Jayla by designer Maggie Sottero, which I had imported from New York. It was a ballgown style with spaghetti straps and a green belt to match my bridesmaids.
The flowers: Our flowers were artificial white silk roses by Keepsake Bouquets. They were beautiful and the best part is that we are able to keep them as a memento from the day.
Highlight of the wedding: There were so may highlights for me. However, one moment that stands out is being upstairs with my bridesmaids at the Mission before the ceremony. We were all dressed and ready to go, looking out the window as the guests arrived and feeling the excitement and anticipation building. That was a really happy moment for me. It was the "this is it" moment I had been waiting so long for.
Was there any drama? I woke up on my wedding day to the sound of rain on the roof. That caused a few tears but, thankfully, the weather cleared in the afternoon and we were able to hold the ceremony outside as planned. We were very lucky with the weather - the sun came out just as we were saying our vows.
The honeymoon: We went up to Northland and went scuba diving at the Poor Knights. We also travelled all the way up to Cape Reinga and explored this beautiful part of the country. We spent a few nights in Paihia, visiting Russell and the Treaty of Waitangi grounds.
Your photographer and favourite photo? Our photographer was Rachel Corley, who is based in Wellington but agreed to travel to Napier for our wedding. Rachel was fantastic and was more than willing to travel between locations to capture every moment, working to a very tight time schedule.
My favourite photos are the barrel room shots, but there are also a few candid shots of Graeme and I that really capture our natural cheeky style.