Real Wedding | Rachel and Grant

Grant and I first met when we exchanged some messages over a dating site. Our mutual love for caffeine sparked the first flames as we dated, and we would seek out the best spots for a brew, and of course a chat. Only weeks later after I deleted my account - And not because of Grant may I add - Did we bump into one another at the church group I was running. Grant’s friend had unknowingly emailed me asking about our group as they were new to the church. I happily invited them along. Upon seeing Grant - we instantly recognised one another and both thought - How about those odds?! After the old Facebook add, Grant asked me out one afternoon and picked me up just a few hours later to take me on a date! I loved the spontaneity and excitement of it all as he valiantly came to the door and took me out that first night. Grant continued to organise great dates - From the museum to art shows, to cookies and walks, and of course coffees and talks!

We were dating for almost two years when Grant's family organised a holiday to Fiji as a multi-celebration for Grant’s Mum’s 60th birthday and all the brothers birthdays as well. In September of 2017, we headed off. One day when I thought Grant was playing golf, he was rushing around to organise a special dinner for us. I felt a twinge of excitement that evening as for some reason all the family had a great invested interest in our dinner date and even came to see us off!

Unaware and un be-knowing, I walked with Grant to the table he had organised - right on the beachfront as the sunset. The waitress came with a bottle of J.C. Le Roux (a South African bubbly his sister brought to Fiji for him). He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It couldn’t have been more perfect and I was far too excited to eat anything after! We walked back down the beach to find the family waiting in anticipation and ready to celebrate with us.

I think for us, the most important thing in celebrating our marriage was to have it full of all the people who make our lives so full - and shaped us into who we are. We wanted our ‘lifetime’ friends and family to be there, the people we know will stand by us and invest in our lives over the many years to come.

For Grant and I, we always tried to look beyond the actual wedding and to the commitment it actually signifies. A lifetime of love, honour and respect. This begins far before the ‘I do’s’ and will continue long after.

We always thought the planning process would be fun and easy, but it was stressful at times! Especially in the beginning when we had to set a date that merged all the vendors we wanted. We also found it difficult planning from out of town, as most correspondence had to be done via Skype or email and at times left you wondering if the vendor actually understood what you are after, but the day was perfect!

Our most special moment was seeing one another at the altar. All the fear and anticipation left our minds and it was just the two of us. Right in the middle of the service, our Pastor lost his place in his notes when his iPad closed. Grant and I both found it the best moment, it gave us the chance to look around, pause and take it all in. Definitely a special, unintentional moment. The other special moment was when both of our parents came to pray together with us. At that moment we truly felt like one family.

I think our top advice would be to keep fixed on what the wedding is actually about - Marriage, and a lifelong commitment to one another. Don’t let little details and hiccups bring you down or cause problems in your relationship. Keep making time to ‘date’ during the engagement season and invest in your relationship. Don’t neglect each other in light of planning a wedding - A wedding lasts a day, a marriage lasts a lifetime.

We had a couple of stand out vendors that are absolutely worth a mention. I adore Charlotte Sowman, she is the most amazing photographer and we are so in love with our pictures and will cherish them forever. She made us feel so comfortable and she was so fun to be around. Secondly, and although I’ve never met her, Ginny from Charmed Flowers created everything I had dreamed of.

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Vendor Credits

Venue | Cashmere Presbyterian Church and Trents Vineyard

Photographer | Charlotte Sowman

Florals | Charmed Flowers

Table Decor (runners, candlesticks, festoon lights) | Little Hire Company

Table Numbers | Farmhouse Boutique

Celebrant | Ps Johnny Kanawa

Hair | Courtenay Tennent

Makeup | Carol Melek

Dress | Bridal Brilliance

Bridesmaids dress | Evolution

Groomsmens attire | Hallenstines

Grooms suit | Rembrandt

Cake | My Mum (Karen Badger)