Our relationship grew so naturally and organically. However making it through four long years of long distance was enough to tell me that we always had our eyes on the big picture. Nowadays there’s Facetime to keep us connected, but in our time we had to rely on calling cards, and transtasman flights to be together. It was a challenge and a lot of effort but we knew that our love for each other was worth the work.

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

AD: We both work as health professionals – I work as an optometrist and Kish works as a dentist. Interestingly, Kish and I are polar opposites. I’m an avid reader who can stay home all day reading Harry Potter, whilst Kish is an active relaxer and and has unwavering commitment to golf. He’s super laid back, whilst I’m very particular. However we’re both kids at heart and are happy enjoying the little things in life – family, friends, sleep-ins and ice cream.

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

We briefly met in the inauspicious corridors of a science lab during our first year of University. We hit it off straight away but as fate would have it, we didn’t cross paths again until a year later. Luckily neither one of us had been snapped up in the mean time. Twelve years ago, we met again through mutual friends and through shared lectures, study sessions, and late-night facebook chatting, we got to know each other really well. Six months later, we finally went on our first date to watch Toy Story 3.

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

KD: We did long distance for four years while I studied in Australia and Anuja was studying in NZ. But once we made it through that, I knew we were stronger than we had ever been. When she moved to Australia to join me, that was when I knew.

AD: For me, there wasn’t a particular moment – our relationship grew so naturally and organically. However making it through four long years of long distance was enough to tell me that we always had our eyes on the big picture. Nowadays there’s Facetime to keep us connected, but in our time we had to rely on calling cards, and transtasman flights to be together. It was a challenge and a lot of effort but we knew that our love for each other was worth the work.

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

KD: It was Anuja’s birthday so we had planned a two week holiday to Hawaii. I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to propose so I bought a polaroid camera and a photo album and went around all the spots in Auckland which were special to us (like where we had our first date, our first kiss etc), and took a photo for the the album. Finally I took one last photo of me holding the ring and put in on the last page of the album to wait until the time was right. It took a lot of cunning skills to hide the ring and the album when we got to Hawaii. We had been out for a hike and were sipping on some pinapple slushies and basking in the Hawaiian sun when I gave her the album disguised as a birthday gift. When she turned to the last page to see the photo of me holding the ring, I was already down on one knee.

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

AD: Being Indian and Sri Lankan, our wedding was a fusion of many traditions. Whilst Indian weddings go on for a number of days, we decided to have just two important events – our Hindu ceremony and one week later our official wedding ceremony/reception that incorporated a Sri Lankan Poruwa. For both events, we opted for outdoor venues, and chose not to be bogged down by ceremonial traditions and rituals. We wanted the Hindu ceremony to be fun, casual and unorthodox and filled up the garden with bright marigold and jasmine flowers. Our official wedding was a more formal affair. In contrast to the Indian ceremony, the styling for this was a bit more romantic, sober and soft. Our photographer Lara did a great job in capturing the vibrancy and colour of our Hindu ceremony and the dreamyness of our official Kauri Bay Boomrock wedding.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

AD: We were both happy to splurge on our wedding outfits. Wedding outfits play a big role in Indian and Sri Lankan weddings – not just for the couple but also for the guests. We also were happy to indulge in food which is an important aspect of our cultures. Since Kish and I are kids at heart and unashamedly obsessed with ice-cream, we decided to splurge on Mr Gelato. Sadly, we got caught up with the hubbub of the wedding and didn’t get to enjoy any gelato for ourselves on the day.

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

AD: We had three outfits, each of which represented a different aspect of our cultures. All of our outfits were custom made, hand-stitched and represented many centuries of crafstmanship.  For our Indian ceremony, I wore a simple Anita Dongre lehenga sent over from India and Kish wore a beige sherwani. I opted to go for a non-traditional route, and went for a playful red lehenga with elephant motifs on it. It was perfect for an outdoor garden ceremony and set the tone and atmosphere for the day.

For the Sri Lankan Poruwa ceremony, I wore a white embelished saree and went for a minimalistic look. I was given a necklace by Kish’s parents, passed down from his grandmother, which tied in with my saree perfectly. Kish wore a custom made suit by Sabe Bespoke House which looked incredible on the day. For our reception, I wanted to wear something a bit more comfortable and slipped into a classic white dress by Daisy Brides. I had so much fun moving and dancing around in all that tulle

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

AD: It was very windy at the time of our ceremony, and being on top of the Poruwa meant we had our hair flying everywhere! My mother had to tuck my veil into the back of my saree to stop it from blowing onto my face and later on it did come off with the wind. Luckily my sister caught it in time – it was no small miracle my veil didn’t end up in the ocean!

Ceremony location: Indian Ceremony: Brigham Creek Restaurant and Café, @thebrighamcafe / Official Wedding + Reception: Kauri Bay Boomrock, @kauribayboomrock / Photographer: Soul Sisters Photography, @soul_sisters_photography / Celebrant: Melanie Stuart, @melsceremonies / Styling: Curiously Creative (Brides sister), @curiously_creative / Catering: Indian Ceremony: Brigham Creek Restaurant and Café, @thebrighamcafe / Official Wedding: Kauri Bay Boomrock, @kauribayboomrock / Mr Gelato, @mister.gelato / Hire: Event Essentials, @eventessentialsnz / Marquee: Raj Tents (For Indian Ceremony) , @raj_tent_club_nz / Flora: Branch and Bloom, @branchandbloomnz / Cake: Sweet Bites Cakes , @sweetbitesnz / Stationery: Curiously Creative (Brides sister), @curiously_creative / Anuja Indian Ceremony Attire: Anita Dongre, @anitadongre / Anuja Official Wedding Attire: Daisy Brides, @daisybrides / Kishara Official Wedding Attire: Sabe Bespoke House, @sabe_bespoke / Ring/s: Steve Weston Jewellery / Shoes: Jo Mercer, @jomercershoes / Makeup: Indian Ceremony: Serenity Makeup, @serenity_makeup / Official Wedding Makeup: Eleanor Dorn Makeup, @eleanordornmakeup / Hair: Boutique Bride, @boutiquebride / Bridesmaid Attire: Bridesmaids Dresses by Monsoon London, @monsoon