Bianca + Miles by Journal Co Photo

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

Bianca: Miles and I met as fresh, baby-faced students at university in Dunedin. Miles was someone that I would see around EVERYWHERE – in lectures, on the street, in cafes – but I didn’t actually meet him for almost 2 years. Finally, my flatmate who studied physiotherapy with Miles, introduced us when I bumped into them one day at uni. From that day, our friendship grew effortlessly. 

He would “study” next to the water cooler, positioned perfectly for when I would find any reason to fill up my water bottle, he suddenly took up an interest in baking, only to find him at my flat baking a cake with my flatmate, I would take the long walk home in the hopes that he would also be walking past the veggie store at the same time, the list goes on… Word has it that before we even started dating Miles was witnessed gallivanting down Dundas Street yelling at the top of his lungs “ONE DAY I WILL MARRY BIANCA”. I guess when you know you know…

We very quickly became best friends. Now, almost 5 years later, we are still, and even more so, best friends. We have accomplished more than we ever imagined we would have 4 years ago. We have both graduated from university and started working (Miles as a physiotherapist and me as a doctor), survived a year of long distance, volunteered and travelled in Zambia and Turkey, got MARRIED, moved into our dream house on Ohope beach – and most importantly are absolutely in love with each other.When we’re not working at our local hospital, you’ll either find us fishing, surfing, boxing, at church or cooking up a FEAST. We both love food and love experimenting in the kitchen – it’s my dream to one day open my own restaurant.Miles is my safest place. I could be lounging around at home or backpacking through rural African bush and feel just as safe and at peace if Miles is there with me. I have found my home in him. Regardless of where in the world we may end up, I know that I’ll always be at home with him beside me.

Miles:  What I love about our relationship is how we’re both each other’s number one supporters. Every day I wake up, I know that whether my goal is to watch a seven series show or run a marathon, Bianca will be right there to cheer me on. Vice versa, I’m always so impressed with what Bianca sets out to achieve, she is a champion and I feel so in awe to have her as my wife.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…

Bianca: Our day was, undoubtedly, the BEST day of our joint 50 years on this planet. There were so many times throughout our engagement that we seriously talked about eloping (more so Miles than me!). The expectations, the pressure, the nerves of the day – surely it would be so much easier to elope! But when it got to the day, everything was absolutely magical. We had an outdoor garden wedding with the reception hall on site. The weather was supposed to cave in on us, but hours before the ceremony began the rain clouds cleared and the sun shone. We had family from all over the world join us to celebrate, and there was nothing more special than looking out and seeing everyone that we love in one room together – here to celebrate us! We kept most of our photos on site, which meant we were able to enjoy the company of our guests. The food was AMAZING – beetroot and vodka cured salmon, pulled lamb shoulder with pomegranate and mint jus, maple roasted pumpkin with walnuts, chili and goats cheese, I could keep going… To top it off, our live band created the most fun we’ve ever had on the dance floor, and that’s saying something! All in all, we had the most incredible day and wouldn’t have changed a thing about it – we definitely would not have even considered eloping if we knew in hindsight how much fun it was going to be!

Miles: We really wanted to represent our cultures through our bridal party. So, on my side my mum is Nigerian born and therefore we wanted the guys to have African style shirts. My Uncle Richard in the Republic of Congo asked one of his local tailors to send different material patterns, and we got to choose the print and the design for the groomsmen to wear. It was pretty unreal seeing them in person, and then seeing the 5 guys lined up in them beside me, I was blown away. 

Tell us about your main outfits:

Bianca: I wore a Sally Eagle dress. This dress was just completely me. I tried on multiple dresses before finding this one, and found a few that I could have been happy with, but when I tried this dress on with Sally I KNEW that it was the one. I felt timelessly elegant all day and just did not want to ever take it off! My mum is Sri Lankan, and I also really wanted to incorporate this culture into the wedding somehow – plus some of bridesmaids had already voiced to me that they were going to be wearing a saree regardless of what I said so I guess that was that! Two of my aunties in Sri Lanka were incredibly helpful in getting sarees made for my bridesmaids. They ran around the chaotic markets of Colombo trying to get enough material for 7 sarees (each saree has 6m of material, you do the math!). They then found the best tailor around to stitch the sarees together. In the days leading up to the wedding, and then on the morning of the wedding, a troop of my aunties here worked tirelessly, making sure the sarees were fitted impeccably to each girl. The outcome was just beautiful – silk cream sarees with black, embroidered velvet borders. The girls felt simply exquisite all day, and boy were they treated like it too!

Miles: The suit I went for was to add to the outdoor theme of the ceremony in the willow trees. I wanted a linen material suit and looked in Turkey while we were there last year but couldn’t find the right one. Once I got back to New Zealand I went to Barkers and found this forest green linen blend suit and knew it was the one. 

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

Bianca: There were so many moments when I would look over at my best friend, now husband, and then look out at and realize that not only do we know every single person here, but we also love each and every one of them individually! One word that we would say describes our day – and our marriage – is rich. Rich in love, friendships and true supporters who we know will genuinely be there for us and our marriage to celebrate the highs and champion us through when the times get tough. We felt so richly blessed by everyone who had traveled at extreme lengths to make it. 

Miles: One of the highlights of the day was getting to slip away during dessert to get some sun set shots at the beach, a kilometre down the road from the venue. It was so surreal to let the day filled with friends, family and so much love sink in together while the most beautiful sunset happened over a misty sea. 

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

Bianca: I’m not sure there’s a moment that you decide “I could marry this person one day”, or whether that moment is rather when you realize that you have a foundation so strong there is absolutely nothing that could rock it. When you realize that you love someone so deeply that there is nothing that you wouldn’t be able to work through, I think that’s the moment you realize you’ve found a partner for life. And honestly there is no one else I would rather spend every waking moment with!

Miles: Just do it. I joked lots about eloping, especially since we were doing a trip to Zambia and Turkey last year and thought it would be a fun story to have and be much nicer on the bank accounts. After having our special day, I would be an advocate against eloping. Having a day surrounded by friends and family from near and far, and making such a special memory together that you can always look back and smile at is priceless. 

Ceremony and Reception location Anam Cara Gardens | Videographer: Tim Marshall | Photographer: Journal & Co | Entertainment: Jamie and the Gents | Catering: Sunday Cantina | Hire: Mavis and Foxe Events | Bride’s Dress: Sally Eagle Bridal | Veil: Handmade by bride and mother of the bride | Groom’s Attire: Barkers | Rings: The Gold Exchange and Renshaw’s Showcase Jewellers | Bride’s Shoes: Wittner Shoes | Bride’s Earrings: Michael Hill | Makeup: Made Up By Brit | Hair: Hair Ministry | Bridesmaid’s Traditional Sri Lankan Sarees: Amaranta | Groomsmen’s Attire: Traditional African shirts, Pants by Barkers | Flower Girls Dresses: Jamie Kay