Tom and I first started talking when we were 19 (in 2013). We had a mutual friend who was throwing a birthday party and had invited both of us – all I'd known about Tom was that he was in the army and all I could think was ‘oh, an army man. How dreamy!’ I lived in Auckland and Tom was on Corp Training in Burnham. He gave me his number, but I never texted him so eventually he asked for mine… A few months later he finished training and flew up to Auckland to see me – we've been together ever since.
Eight months into the relationship I moved down to Palmerston North to be with him, as he was based at Linton Military Camp.
I wish I had some kind of beautiful, romantic story about our engagement, but Tom and I aren’t really those kind of people! Tom had been bothering me for months asking when we were next going up to Auckland to see my family. I told him it wasn’t going to be for about another three months, and asked why he wanted to know so much. Tom blurted out ‘because I want to ask if I can marry you’ while we were lying in bed on a lazy Sunday morning (19-07-2015). I looked at him in confusion and Tom ran out of the room, ran back in, hid under the covers and held his shaking hand out with the box and my engagement ring. Little did I know Tom had been speaking to his cousin, Sophie (my maid of honour), since May about wanting to marry me.
In June all three of us were in Wellington and Sophie dragged me in to a Michael Hill’s claiming she needed to get her ring cleaned – while we waited we looked at engagement rings and we tried some on. I thought we were just playing around – but fell in love with one ring in particular. I made Tom memorise it for ‘when we get married in ten years’ as I joked. He remembered and bought the ring!
I bought my dress from Bridal Studio in Palmerston North. I had always imagined my dream dress to be a lace, floor-length and long sleeved, fitting gown, but I was open minded about this. I tried on a few dresses like this and quickly realised that this was not the style for me! I eventually tried on the dress I chose for the wedding and loved that although it was simple, it sat in all the right places on my body and wasn’t too over the top – I liked that I had the option to dress it up with the jewelled belt, but most of all, my favourite piece was the veil. I think the veil is what pulled everything together and if the dress was any more extravagant then it would have pulled the attention away from veil.
The dress was an off-white Devon. It is normally strapless but we arranged to have soft, romantic chiffon off-the-shoulder straps added. It has a sweet heart neckline, quite fitting around the bodice and bottom and then drapes beautifully down to the ground. I wore my grandmother's opal ring that my mum had made into my size and had gifted to me a few days before the wedding. I also wore red criss-cross kitten heels.
The groomsmen wore charcoal pants and vests with black shirts and cornflower blue ties while Tom wore a vest, jacket and white tie.
We got married on Saturday 25th March 2017 at Makoura Lodge in Apiti surrounded by 73 friends and family. Tom and I knew we wanted an outside ceremony. We were lucky that a friend suggested Makoura Lodge as they had previously been out there on a horse trek – we thought we would give it a go and both fell in love with it!
Tom loved the idea of shooting before the wedding and my mother thought it was a great coincidence that they had the McGregor tartans throughout the lodge and I also grew up on Makoura Street when I was younger.
Accent on Flowers in Palmerston created our bouquets and provided flowers for us as part of the table decorations. We used soft yellow and pink roses with gypsophila.
My dad loves his classic cars and has several of his own. He drove down his own 1964 Chrysler 300 all the way from Auckland – well, at least he tried to. He made it to just before Waiouru before the car broke down and he had to tow it from Waiouru to Palmerston North. It got fixed in two days – just in time to drive it out to the venue on the Friday afternoon and ready for the wedding on Saturday.
We stayed at the cottages at the front of the Lodge. On the day my dad drove me up to the Lodge where the ceremony was held.
Petit Fours from Palmerston North made our cake. Each tier was two layers and the cake was two tiers. The bottom layer was lemon flavoured and the top was salted caramel. It was a simple butter cream icing that was roughly applied with some roses added for the final touch. Guests raved about the cake too and there was not much left over!
If I was going to give one piece of advice it would be: Don’t be afraid to kick off your shoes and have fun! In reality, your guests know that your wedding day is a busy blur and really don’t mind having the quick hello – they would much rather meet you on the dance floor and have a boogie anyway!
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