Anj and Nirav
Photography by Nisha Ravji
"Both Nirav and I come from very cultural backgrounds, which we definitely brought into our wedding. We had a traditional Indian wedding ceremony the day before. On the Civil Wedding day, I swapped out the traditional white dress for a lehenga that I bought from Mumbai (a traditional Indian outfit). I wanted to find a lehenga that seemed like a mix of myself, a fusion of the east and west. Therefore, I went with a light, champagne-coloured lehenga, making it simple to tie these two cultures together and represent who I was. Planning the wedding was full of special touches. We got engaged in Tuscany, so it seemed only natural for us to bring Tuscan elements into our wedding at Allely Estate, such as grazing platters, a prosecco hour, gelato carts, rosemary tied to napkins each plate, and shared platters for the mains. It felt like we were transported to a mini Tuscany here in Auckland - which was terrific, as Tuscany has a very special place in both of our hearts. Nirav and I decided to have our first look with each other in a forest before our actual ceremony, and it was the best decision we made. We got to see each other without seas of people and really appreciate all the moments leading up to the ceremony. We then took all of our bridal party photos soon after. It was just so much fun; we all were laughing and having a great time. It meant that we didn't need to stress about being removed from our guests to have photos taken during our ceremony. This allowed us to spend the afternoon with our family and friends and have a great time chatting with everyone - it was so relaxed, instead of being pulled in every direction between shoots. Going with the flow is what really helped Nirav and me. There are always things that won't always go to plan, no matter how hard you try to control things and how much planning you've done in the months leading up. The most important and memorable moment to us, looking back, was being surrounded by the people we love the most, talking, drinking and laughing. Also, to future couples, try and have a moment where it's just you and your partner, even if it's just a few minutes. It's crazy how busy the day can get, and it's easy to be pulled apart by family and friends who are overwhelmed with excitement for you. It was lovely to get away for a bit and reflect with just us, no one else, as we took a breath."