Sometimes all it takes is a single item to inspire the entire look of your wedding � as was the case for Mel & Cliff who designed their wedding around the colours in the bridesmaids dresses. They also incorporated little details throughout the day that had sentimental value to them from their travels around the world. Both growing up in Auckland, they wanted to hold their wedding on the waterfront, which also made transport and accommodation very easy for their many visiting guests. Thanks to Amanda Thomas for her lovely photos of the day.
Tell us about your proposal: (Cliff) It was in June 2011. We were living in London at this time, so I arranged a Skype session with Melissa's father on a day I knew she would be out for the evening. Mel and her sister are very close and I didn't want to wait too long just in case her sister spilled the beans, so I asked if she wanted to have a picnic in Kew Gardens the next day. Little did I know Mel had then asked our friends to come join us. Lucky they had other arrangements so it was just the two of us. It was a hot summer's day so the gardens were pretty busy. The picnic came and went and we had seen most of the gardens but I still hadn't popped the question. I was pretty nervous the whole day and Mel could sense something was up but didn't say anything. I finally saw a quiet spot with a rickety old bench, and thought it's now or never. Mel didn't want to go that way (she had control of the garden map) but I grabbed her hand and just lead her there. I asked her to sit down, when she finally clicked and said "is this really happening now?". I got down on one knee and gave my speech I replayed in my head 100 times before and proposed with a small diamond ring that I had given her in 2004 as I knew we would choose a ring together.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I was able to try a few dresses on when I was back in Auckland and was thrilled to share the experience with my bridesmaids. But as we were moving to Toronto and it was early on in our engagement I didn't want to commit to a dress just yet. Being in Toronto I did find it more difficult not having my friends there for support in making such a big decision. But I was fortunate and was able to try on dresses and send them pictures for their advice. The initial dress I had my eyes on was politely axed by my bridesmaids and after several months of trying on an array of styles and silhouettes, and still getting nos, maybes and iffy yeses, I was getting nervous I wouldn't find THE DRESS! The lovely sales person (who by now knew me so well) led me to a gorgeous lace, fitted Monique Lhuillier dress, and as soon as I saw myself in the mirror I was sold. I didn't even need to send a pic to my friends back in New Zealand as I knew this was it (whether they liked it or not).
Any DIY/Budget elements? As we flew into Auckland only 2 weeks before the wedding, we didn't have the time and didn't want the added stress of styling the entire wedding ourselves. We did assist as much as we could by fluffing the pom pom decorations the day before the wedding, and I stamped the treat bags and menus with the bride and groom motif to link to our wedding invitation envelopes. We used a friend's sound system for the ceremony and he looked after the sound and music during the event. Instead of hiring a photo both, we had two polaroid cameras, props and a frame hanging from the ceiling that guests used to take pictures. They could keep the polaroid as mementos of the day or add to our guest book with their messages.
Describe your wedding flowers: The wedding flowers were beautifully crafted and were in tone with the theme colours. The flowers had texture with the lambs ear and added additional colour which complemented the bridesmaid's dresses. The only request I had with the flowers was to include orchids where ever possible. My mum passed away when I was young, and her favourite flowers were orchids. Having orchards there was our way to keep her close and for her to be part of our day.
Most memorable moment? Seeing Cliff's reaction to seeing me for the first time in my dress and of course being walked down the aisle by my dad.
Anything other details that help tell the story of your day: The sentiment of the bracelet � The bracelet I wore was my mother's. My sister wore it on her wedding day and I wore it on mine. We were also very lucky to have family and friends that flew in from various parts of the world to share the day with us.