Kristain and Brendon had been together for three years when he proposed. Even though Kristain knew it was coming (as Brendon is not good at keeping secrets!), the proposal was really special.
Out for a drive with their dogs to a favourite lookout point late one night when the stars were out, Brendon popped the question. Kristain of course said yes!
Although they had originally planned a December 2002 wedding, a lack of funds and the logistics of having people overseas meant that they decided they put it off until March 2004. Kristain’s wonderful mother and stepfather generously paid for her dress, the flowers, alcohol, photographer and half of the reception and the couple paid for the rest.
Kristain and Brendon chose the fabulous Beaufords Restaurant at Totara Park for both their ceremony in the gardens and the reception, which was held in the outdoors marquee on the property.
Their friends and family pitched in to get everything ready for the big day.
Kristain and her mother chose the stationary to match with the wedding " theme" colours of silver and light blue and then Kristain’s mother and her work mates made the wedding invitations.
One of her bridesmaids, Chantelle, made the 90 table favour bags using the remaining blue bridesmaid dress fabric which were then all filled with sweets and tied with thin silver ribbon. The tables at the reception had flowers on them which were supplied by Beaufords.
As well as being involved in all of the preparation, Brendon handmade a Kwila wedding gift book with brass hinges and black carbon paper pages (also carefully matching the silver and blue theme) which all the guests signed on the wedding day - a great record of the day.
Kristain’s Aunty Linda kindly made the most beautiful wedding cake - three layers of white fruit cake with white, blue and silver flowers adorning the top and side of the cake.
Kristain choose a beautiful white and silver satin and silk gown from " Silver Sixpence Bridal “. It had a full white skirt with silver beading and jewels embodied around the bodice.
Her bridesmaids dressed in light blue tops and skirts with silver shoes and a pair of blue topaz & silver earrings (which were a gift from the bride-to-be). In keeping with the wedding colours, the men of the wedding party wore silver ties and Brendon chose a classic black suit from Frank Casey with a white shirt and silver tie.
Kristain’s wedding bouquet was of white lisianthus with camellia leaves , bundled with blue silk ribbon.
The day itself went smoothly for all 81 guest from all over the country and overseas. Kristain arrived in style in a classic blue mustang (her stepfather’s pride and joy) while the rest of the bridal party had the generous use of her cousin’s finance’s blue Mitsubishi and the trusty green Subaru Legacy station wagon (Brendon’s pride and joy).
The ceremony, held in the gardens at Beaufords, was a simple non-religious ceremony presided over by a marriage celebrant and Kristain walked down the aisle with her mother to " Forever and For Always " by Shania Twain, the words in that song fit the moment perfectly.
Another special moment was the exchanging of the rings as Kristain’s wedding band was gifted to her by Brendon's grandmother and had been in his family for 80 years.
And not to forget two other important members of the wedding party - the couples’ two dogs, Bella and Tosh, were their flower girl and pageboy and sat on either side of them throughout the ceremony.
The reception passed quickly in the wonderful setting. The speeches, the guests, the laughs and the food all made the day unforgettable for the couple.
A special memory for Kristain was the first dance as Brendon, who knew how to dance, made a special effort to take it really slow so that Kristain could keep up. The couple had chosen a special song for their wedding dance " Have I told you lately that I love you" by Van Morrison, this was also Kristain’s granddads’ favourite song and they played it for him because he was not there to share their special day.
The wedding had aspects of both traditional and modern approaches to marriage. Kristain stayed the night at her mothers and stepfathers’ place the night before the wedding. Brendon had only the one groomsman while Kristain had two bridesmaids (she could not choose, so had her sister, Victoria, and her cousin).
As one of Kristain’s close friends was in London at the time and could not make it to the wedding, Kristain’s mother blew up a picture of her and, on the day, Kristain had a photo with her friend in all her wedding gear - it was her way of sharing the day with her good friend.
The couple both agree that the day went better than they had ever imagined. While they have yet to get away for a honeymoon, they are enjoying married life together and are in the process of buying their first home.
And their advice to other couples planning their day… “sit back and just relax - at first the concept of planning a wedding was pretty scary, however we decided to just let it happen and not to worry about every little thing. John, the Manager from Beaufords, was just fantastic and he made us feel at ease , assuring us that all would be ok - and it was. In fact, it went so well that the guests all said it was the best wedding they had been to”. One final piece of advice from Kristain - don’t pose under trees for photos - when they had a shot taken under some trees one of her bridesmaids and the bride herself both got a “good luck” blessing from a passing seagull!!