India & Ash

India & Ash

I met Ash at a party thrown by a mutual friend. He was so handsome and funny! 

I was leaving to live in Jamaica for 8 months and we started dating less than 4 weeks before I left . Ash was born in Manchester (and has now lived in NZ for 5 years) so I surprised him by flying to the UK to meet his family over Christmas, and then one week later I flew to my new job in Montego Bay!

We dated long distance and called each other every day. Ash would wake up at 5am to call me on my day off, and I would fall asleep talking to him every night. He made me playlists of songs to listen to while I worked, and sent photos of dinners he had with my family. He was my absolute rock, and I kept dreaming of the day we would get to see each other again! We planned a trip to Mexico together after my job ended, and he flew and met me in Houston airport. I remember seeing him across the room and wildly running to throw my arms around him - his was, and still is, the place I feel the most safe. We spent three weeks in Mexico, I travelled for another 2 months and then I came home to NZ and immediately moved in with him to our tiny apartment.

We were isolation buddies and "quaranteam mates" during our first lockdown, and then after travel restrictions were lifted in late 2020 we took a mini trip to Rotorua & Taupo (Ash's first trip to see New Zealand's geothermal wonderland!). In the Redwood forest, between the giant trees (while I was wearing his baggy sweater!) he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him  He proposed with a beautiful, NZ made necklace with a little bee on a silver chain (he is my little bee - which is the symbol for Manchester!)

I was so surprised and thrilled!! I didn't expect it, but it was such an easy "yes" - he's my best friend and I couldn't wait to be his wife <3

We planned our wedding together, but Ash was quite traditional in his view about my wedding dress - he didn't want to see me in it (or any wedding dress!), and he said I should pick whatever I wanted to wear, so I was left to my own devices! I did a *lot* of shopping! Lots of secondhand options and websites, but nothing felt right. I did some research on bridal stores in Auckland and found Bridal Brilliance - women owned and operated, a beautiful space and a huuuuge range of options for a wedding dress. It was important to me to have a lot of options because I really didn't know what I wanted - I loved so many brands/designers - I wanted to see them all!

Arriving at Bridal Brilliance we were greeted with such warmth, my family and I felt so free - we were given total control, I got to choose any gown I wanted to try. I started to form an idea of what I was drawn to, what fabric I thought I'd prefer, what extra details I liked (feathers!!), and the shapes I thought were flattering. I felt right as soon as I tried the dress on, it had everything I didn't know I wanted; long sleeves, a boho style and feather detailing - it was perfect! I chose the Marlena style dress from Wilderly Bride - and it was on sale!

After 18 months of planning, we had our beautiful small wedding at the Boutique Barn in Puhoi. Morrae & Trevor were the most accommodating, delightful duo who do everything  they can to make the day easy and fun. The barns have a rustic feel, and we aimed to be as sustainable as possible in our choices - locally sourced food (a delectable menu crafted by Trevor from the Little Yellow Food Truck), second hand decorations and an almost completely zero waste event! It was such a wonderful day, getting to spend time with so many people and celebrating our commitment to each other. Dressed in my beautiful gown, Lauren from Fresh & Flawless did gorgeous makeup looks on my bridesmaids, my mum and myself. Our ceremony was very personal and written by our fantastic celebrant Linda Noble, who tailored the ceremony perfectly to suit us. Our photographer and videographer were the incredible couple Kiri & Sunny from Kiri Masters Photography. They made us look (and feel!) better than we ever could have imagined and truly captured the joy we felt as we got married. 90% of our wedding video is footage of me giggling - Ash makes me laugh all the time and he is just so handsome, I couldn't help but smile and laugh the entire day!

And suddenly, it all came to an finale - a whirlwind of partying and love, of family and friends and happy faces, and I was married to my best friend. We had a fantastic wedding day, and since our wedding we have had a brilliant honeymoon and we're planning on moving into our house together soon. I absolutely love spending every day with Ash and I'm looking forward to our future together, whatever it holds xx



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