Isaac was sneaky with his proposal. We were visiting my parents in Tauranga and he took me out for lunch and told me to bring my swimsuit so we could go swimming in the ocean. It was the middle of winter, but it was one of our traditions, so I went with it. Then he surprised me with a spa day. I just thought he was being lovely, but after the spa, he took me to the spot on the beach where we met. We had a picnic, played cards, then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Our planning was pretty smooth sailing, although the woods where we’d planned to marry were cut down! But in the eleventh hour, we found somewhere even more perfect. I remember walking down the aisle, seeing the woods decorated for the first time, and feeling like I was in a dream. The florist made the most beautiful backdrop to hang between the trees behind the altar. We set up lawn games for guests to play while they had drinks at the reception before the bridal party arrived. And one of our favourite details was the doughnut wall we had, instead of a traditional cake. Ever since I was little, I had been eyeing up my grandmother’s wedding dress in her photo on the wall. It’s the most beautiful, intricately designed dress. The day I rang to tell her I was engaged and wanted to wear the dress, I knew she was thrilled, and I was so honoured to be wearing her gown. My grandpa got to hug two brides in that dress — priceless. I wanted the place we were staying afterwards to be a surprise, since I knew every other plan. We got to our room, took all the bobby pins out of my hair, and just sat in the bath, discussing our favourite moments. It was so nice to just be still and together, after running around all day. Marriage is a powerful commitment to decide to continuously love and trust your partner. In 20 years, I won’t be the same person Isaac married, and I think that’s wonderful. We get to evolve and grow together, knowing that our best friend is by our side the whole time.
Photography: Charlotte Sowman Bride’s dress: Grandmother’s 60 year old, hand-made gown Suits: Barkers Special song: ‘Touching Heaven’ by Johnnyswim Ceremony location: BottleLake Forest Flora: Bunch Floral Celebrant: Bride’s father, Mark Salisbury Entertainment: A friend sung during the ceremony Bride’s shoes: Glassons Rings: Stewart Dawsons (bride), Thrifted (groom) Bridemaids’ dresses: Glassons Makeup: A Friend Hair—Graceful Hair Art Groom’s shoes: Meccano Gift registry: The Lovely Registry Wine: 27 Seconds, a fundraiser for anti human trafficking organisation, Hagar Reception venue: Valley Of Peace, Kennedy’s Bush Cake: Made by a friend Catering: Moveable Feasts Styling—The Bride