Shereena + Raj by Stephan & Nakita

I knew she was the one a long time ago. We share the same outlook, and our time together is always about fun, laughter, and happiness.

Raj —— We were both born and grew up in Auckland and, by coincidence, both now work for the same digital agency, me as a digital designer and Shereena as an account manager.

Shereena —— We lead very busy lives so spending time together is important — summer road trips, catching up with friends, eating out, or a night in with a glass of red, Monopoly Deal, and Netflix.

Our story began in high school when we went to our school balls together — crazy to think it’s been a decade! We balance each other out. Raj is calm, quiet, and kind-hearted, but with a cheeky sense of humour. I’m a wee bit louder, energetic, and straight to the point. I understand him and he understands me and our relationship continues to be as fun and exciting as it was when we were teenagers.

Raj —— I knew she was the one a long time ago. We share the same outlook, and our time together is always about fun, laughter, and happiness. We got engaged in September 2019 on a holiday in Bali, just before Covid made its presence known. I had the ring on me as we went through customs and, knowing my luck, was stopped as I went through the metal detector. Luckily Shereena didn’t really suspect anything! On the day of the proposal, I had booked a spot with a view for dinner and planned a small beach walk beforehand. In classic Shereena style, she was late and said we could do the beach walk the next day. I insisted we head down to Kubu Beach and popped the question with the old ‘look over there!’ trick while our photo was getting taken. When she looked back, I dropped down on one knee. I can still remember the elated look on her face.

Shereena —— There are many rituals and facets to a traditional Indian wedding and it’s spread over several days. The wedding ceremony took place in a special four-pillar structure called a mandap which was draped in ivory and gold tones, natural greenery, and white wisteria. The wedding party also dressed in ivory and gold. A special feature was a striking outline of Ganesh (the elephant-headed Hindu god, who brings success, prosperity, and good luck) which was created from greenery.

It was important that our bridal outfits complemented the mandap. Raj’s aunty has a flair with Indian clothing and guided us in the process. With her help, we liaised with the owner/operator of the Silk Museum in India. I had a vision, he updated me on trends and helped to create my deep crimson bridal lengha and floor-length veil. The embroidery and beading was all hand-stitched and the outfit took 6 weeks to make.

For our civil ceremony, we had seen and were mesmerised by the Glasshouse. A truly unique venue, tucked away in central Auckland, we were in awe of all the beautiful trees inside and the light filtering through the glass ceilings. We added floor-to-ceiling drapery and fairy lights and it felt like a romantic wonderland.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Stephan & Nakita, @stephanandnakita / ATTIRE: Silk Museum, Surat, India, @silk_museum_surat / LOCATION & CATERING: Mahatma Gandhi Centre / CELEBRANT: Devrambhai, an Indian Priest / BOUQUETS: @luxfloralstudio / MAKEUP, BRIDE & MOTHER OF THE BRIDE: Artistry with Sarika, @artistrywithsarika / MAKEUP, BRIDESMAIDS: Laura Russell, @__bylaura / HAIR, BRIDE & MOTHER OF THE BRIDE: Bridal Beauty NZ, @bridalbeauty_nz / HAIR, BRIDESMAIDS: Maaru Senthil, @maarusenthil / FRAGRANCE: Mon Paris Eau De Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent, @ysl / STYLING: 0800 Mandap, @indianweddingsnz / BRIDE’S DRESS: Karen Walker, @karenwalkeratelier / BRIDE’S VEIL: Hera Couture, @heracouture / GROOM’S SUIT & SHOES: Rembrandt, @rembrandt1946 / ENGAGEMENT RING: Naveya & Sloane, @naveyaandsloanejewellery / BRIDE’S WEDDING BAND: Family heirloom / BRIDE’S EARRINGS: Amelie George Bridal, @ameliegeorgebridal / GROOM’S WEDDING BAND: Four Words, @fourwordsnz / BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: Zara, @zara / BRIDESMAIDS’ EARRINGS: 08 Jewellery, @08.jewellery / LOCATION: The Morningside Glasshouse, / GROOMSMEN’S SUITS: Barkers, @barkersclothing / FRAGRANCE: Miss Dior Eau De Parfum by Dior, @dior / FLORALS: Lux Floral Studio, @luxfloralstudio / STATIONERY: The groom / CELEBRANT: Pushpa Lekinwala / VIDEOGRAPHER: Patty Lagera, @pattylagera / MAKEUP, BRIDE & MOTHER OF THE BRIDE: Rae Makeup, @rae_makeup / MAKEUP & HAIR, BRIDESMAIDS: Jaime Randell, @jaime.randell / CUTLERY & TABLE SETTINGS: Little Wolf, @littlewolfbite / CAKE: Just Jess Boujee Bakery, @justjessboujeebakery / THEMED COOKIES: Yours Truly, @yours_truly2419 / DJ: DJ Rick, @djricknz / LIGHTING: La Lumiere, @lalumiere_nz