Amna + Mahib by Keryn Sweeney

I would argue it was love at first sight but Mahib disagrees because he DM’d me to go out and I left him on seen for two weeks!

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

Amna: Both of us moved to New Zealand at the age of 3 with our families; I’m from Palestine and Mahib is from Bangladesh. I am an Analyst and I also own a small business making resin art, Mahib is a traffic engineer.

We both love food more than anything; If eating delicious food was a love language, it would be ours. We live in central Auckland so are absolutely spoilt with food choices around us, but it’s dangerous for our wallets. We love spending time together, whether it’s a stroll to our local café for coffee, watching the UFC on Sundays, or travelling around the world and immersing ourselves in other cultures.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

Amna: We went to high school together but didn’t know each other at the time because we were a year apart. We then met five years ago through mutual friends. I would argue it was love at first sight but Mahib disagrees because he DM’d me to go out and I left him on seen for two weeks! I eventually responded and we had our first date at Fed Deli where we spent four hours having a yarn. The rest is history.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

Amna: For me, it was initially on our first date that I got to know Mahib one-on-one, but then it was cemented two years into our relationship when we went through a bit of a rocky patch. We got through it because we both put in the effort to work on ourselves individually and ultimately grow as a partnership and team.

Mahib: Experiencing lockdown together.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

Mahib: I organised a surprise birthday for Amna but planned it a week after her actual birthday so she wouldn’t be suspicious. However, I hadn’t told a single person that I was planning on proposing. The first surprise was I blindfolded her and took her to Sweet Axe Throwing where we were greeted by all her close friends/family. She was definitely surprised when she took her blindfold off! After axe throwing, we all went to Satya in Ponsonby for dinner. That was when her best friend from Christchurch joined us which was the second surprise. I ordered a cake from the Caker in her favourite flavour (the same cake we ended up choosing for our wedding) and after everyone sang happy birthday, I asked her what she was going to wish for, to which she replied “You know damn right what I’m wishing for.” She blew out her candles and that’s when I got the ring out, asked her if she’d marry me and she said yes!

Amna: We picked the engagement ring 6 months prior to my birthday so as soon as I saw all my friends and family at axe throwing, I thought SURELY he’s going to propose today. But at dinner when I saw my best friend there, I knew he was definitely going to propose and I spent the rest of the evening grinning from ear to ear waiting for him to pop the question. All our friends were completely surprised and the entire restaurant started clapping and cheering so it was a pretty epic moment. Three days later, NZ went into another long lockdown so we were really lucky to have shared that moment with our loved ones before lockdown.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…

Mahib: We definitely didn’t want a farm, hotel or vineyard wedding because that’s not our style. The style we were after was more industrial and unpolished. I found Mantells Mt Eden and instantly knew it was the venue to bring our vision to life. And once we had it booked, we based all other decisions like décor, flowers and even our attire to suit the vibe of the venue.

Amna: We wanted an inner city wedding, a venue more old/rustic and moody, yet elegant. Mantells Mt Eden was everything we could’ve possibly dreamed of. It’s unlike any other venue in Auckland and reminded us of a European villa with palm trees in the courtyard. We weren’t keen on spending money on the little details that go to waste after the wedding but the venue was so stunning on its own that it didn’t need any dressing up other than a flower arrangement over the fireplace, which our florist did an incredible job of using some of my favourite flowers.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Amna: Photographer for sure! Videographer was out of our budget so we made sure to book a photographer whose work we loved and who had photographed at our venue before. Mahib stumbled across Keryns portfolio and instantly knew she was the right fit for us.

Mahib: My tuxedo. It’s not every day we dress up in black tie so I wanted to buy the entire traditional fit, from the tuxedo jacket, pants, shirt to even the cummerbund.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

Mahib: Nothing really stressful happened in the lead-up to the wedding but as the ceremony started and everyone was waiting for the bride and bridesmaids to arrive, the venue accidentally played the wrong song. Amna had chosen ‘This Love’ by Taylor Swift as her walk down the Aisle song (she’s a MASSIVE swiftie which is also why I chose to use only Taylor Swift lyrics for my vows), but the venue accidentally played ‘Temperature’ by Sean Paul. They quickly stopped the song but all everyone can hear from the courtyard was Amna erupting into laughter and that’s when we knew she had arrived.

Amna: It was such a hilarious mistake because the two songs are SO different, but I think it actually calmed my nerves a lot!!

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

Amna: The dress I wore was a dress I saw at NZ Fashion Week years ago. When I saw the model walk down the runway, I thought how cool would it be to get married in a dress like that?! After Mahib proposed, I got in touch with the designer Judy Gao to check if she still sold that dress, and in the blue colour I had originally seen at NZFW. I got to completely customise the design to my liking which was so much fun! My engagement ring is sapphire which is also untraditional, so I thought it was very fitting to wear a blue wedding dress rather than white, a unique but fun choice and I felt like a princess!

First Look Location The Convent Hotel, @theconvent_hotel / Ceremony & Reception Location Mantells, @mantells_ / Photographer Keryn Sweeny, @kerynsweeneyweddings / Celebrant Manisha from Marrygold Memories, @marrygold_memories_celebrant / DJ @dj_lukefader / Chair Hire The Main Event NZ, @themaineventnz / Florist @cupoftea__creative / Catering & Beverages Mantells, @mantells_ / Cake The Caker, @thecakernz / Styling, Stationery & Planning Bride & Groom / Gifts Bride Requested Handmade Cards / Groom’s Tuxedo Rembrandt, @rembrandt1946 / Groom’s Shoes Common Projects Derby Shoe, @commonprojects / Bride’s Blue Gown Custom Judy Gao Couture, @judygaocouture / Bride’s Party Dress Pagani, / Bride’s Shoes Loeffler Randall, @loefflerrandall / Brides Sandals Billini, @billinishoes / Brides Engagement Ring Partridge, @partridgejewellers / Bride & Groom Wedding Bands Cartier, @cartier / Makeup Lauren at Fresh and Flawless, @freshandflawlessnz / Hair Ashley Collett Styling, @ashleycollettstylingnz / Groomsmen Attire Rembrandt, @rembrandt1946 / Light Blue Bridesmaid Dress Azzurielle, @azzurielle / Cobalt Blue Bridesmaid Dress Meshki, @meshki / Navy Bridesmaid Dress Forever New, @forevernew_official / Wedding Planner Diary TJ x AOL Planner V2