I first saw Toby when I was holidaying with my family at Ha Hei beach when I was about 17 years old. Toby was the cool surfy guy working in the local burger bar that his family owned. I would go in there everyday and order a "banana & chocolate milkshake" just so I could talk to him... young love... then about seven years later I met Toby again on Saint Patricks Day at an Irish Bar in Hamilton, Toby was a friend of friend (who ended up being our MC at our wedding) we all went to the bar at 9am in the morning, booked in for breakfast and stayed until about midnight - a very long enjoyable day!
Toby and I talked all day and night and got along so well... I didn't even know that Toby was the same guy I'd seen at the burger bar at Ha Hei those many years ago! Anyway it must have been love at first site because when Toby got home that night he told his flatmates that he'd met the girl he was going to marry... and we are still very much in love over three years later.
We planned our wedding for 17 March 2007... Saint Patricks Day of course!
It was my 25th birthday and when I got home from work Toby was waiting for me and said "we're going out for a surprise dinner".
I jumped in the car ready to go, when Toby blindfolded me... he drove around half of Hamilton, going around round-abouts twice and up and down driveways so I didn't know where I was going...
Then the car stopped, he led me across a park, up some stairs and sat me down. I was very excited about my birthday dinner… I had no idea what was going to come next… after sitting down on a seat for a while, Toby eventually took off my blindfold and to my surprise we were in a Pergola, in the middle of park next to the Waikato river. It was a very still quiet night. The sun was going down and there was a beautiful sunset in the distance. Toby had laid a blanket on the ground, he covered it in scented rose petals, there was a bottle of champagne, and a lovely dinner all waiting for me. I thought I was the luckiest girl alive. Before I could really say anything, Toby got down on one knee displayed an amazing engagement ring that he had designed and got custom made, especially for me…before he finished saying “will you marry me” I said “yes”. We were both so happy, we stayed under the Pergola and finished off the bottle of champagne, then went to my parents house to tell them the good news. Unbeknown to me, Toby had already asked Dad for his blessing – very romantic!
Not long after the proposal and after the engagement party, we decided that we should start planning our big day. Having three sisters meant that choosing my bridesmaids was not going to be a very hard task. I ended up having four bridesmaids – my three sisters and best friend.
Toby had four groomsmen – his brother being the bestman.
We chose to have our wedding on 17 March 2007 for two reasons. Firstly, because it was our three year anniversary of when first got together. And secondly, it is St Patrick’s Day. St Pats day is a special day for my family and friends as I have distant Irish heritage. Our friends normally get together every St Pat’s day at 9am in the morning and spend all day at the pub. We normally get T-shirts and medallions made for everyone… so St Pat’s day has always been associated with a fantastic, fun filled special day. Therefore, we thought that St Pat’s day would be the perfect for our wedding day.
Dreamlife did an amazing job on our photos and worked very efficiently and professionally. They travelled down from Auckland to be at our special day from 11:00am in the morning until 8:00pm that night.
Gails of Tamahere
When looking for wedding venues, Toby and I wanted to have the ceremony and the wedding all at one location. Gails of Tamahere filled this criteria perfectly. It is a beautiful wedding venue with 15 acres of gardens, walkways, a beautiful water feature pool, a function centre that caters for weddings and a historical church that Gail had moved to the property. The church was built in the 1860’s and displays bunches of dried flowers hanging from the ceiling.
Designed by Jane Yeh
My dress was made and designed at Jane Yeh.
Veil: From Jane Yeh
Earrings from Jane Yeh. My mum bought me a necklace to wear on my special day and let me borrow her white gold, diamond cut bracelet as my “something borrowed”.
The bridesmaid dresses were bronze red carpet dresses purchased from Principles.
All of the girls hair and makeup (including the mothers) was done at Ktizo in Hamilton. They did an excellent job!
Toby’s suit was tailor made from Dorset suits. And the groomsmen’s suits were hired from Dorset suit hire. I purchased the bronze material that the bridesmaids dresses where made out of from Priciples and got Dorset to make ties and Waist coats for the guys so that the bridal party matched. Toby’s tie and waist coat was made from 100% silk to match my dress.
I bought my shoes from Overload.
I had a white gold channel set diamond ring to match my engagement ring custom made. Toby’s ring is also white gold to match mine. We bought these from Diamond and Time.
We designed and made our own centrepieces. These were 3-D modelled/laser cut and folded by Toby. We had a base (made from mirror finished stainless steel), we bought large square vases from Stevens to sit on top and half filled these with pink and white pebbled stones, and put a white square candle on top. Around the edge of the base was a mote that we filled with white pebbles. We sprinkled pink and white rose petals over the stainless base.
We had white favour boxes from Donovan’s chocolates with five foil wrapped chocolates inside. We had pink ribbons tied around the boxes. Next to each persons place card we had Medallions that Toby had designed and made. These were made from Stainless Steel, were laser cut and polished. The design was a Shamrock (for St Patrick’s day) with a heart around the outside and our initials in the middle. Each one had white ribbon tied to it and everyone wore them all night.
We had our flowers made and designed by Gail Jones Florist. I had a bunch of white roses, and the girls had pink roses and pink orchards.
Our celebrant was Geoff Williamson – he is a family friend of ours. He did an excellent job!
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