Farihah and Wayne, Auckland, New Zealand
Delighting the guests were creatively packaged, bespoke gift bags that came with an animated portrait of the couple.
Charming décor, thoughtfully curated wedding favors and beautiful multicultural festivities made Farihah and Wayne’s wedding celebrations truly memorable. Not only were they a sight to behold together, but they perfectly summed up their long journey and truly represented the beautiful people they are. The bride took us through their delightful story.
How They Met
The bride shares, “Wayne and I met through a friend 5 years ago, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. My friend and I ran into Wayne and his friend while leaving Starbucks, and the connection we felt was instantaneous. Wayne added me on Facebook as soon as he got home. On our first date we talked for about 5 hours straight. It felt like he could see right into my soul. I remember leaving his house and texting my best friend saying ‘I’m going to marry this guy’. 5 years later, here we are!”
“Since he hails from South Africa and I am a Muslim from Bangladesh, there was a lot of stigma around our relationship within my community in New Zealand and so I didn’t garner any support from my family initially. We started living together quite early on in our relationship. Over a long trip that I took with my family to our home country, Wayne secretly worked overtime to save up for a ring, and the day I landed back, he proposed to me in our home with the most intimate, romantic proposal I could have ever imagined. Even after that, the next few months were challenging as we tried to get everyone on board, and eventually, his sweet and innocent heart and relentless efforts won everyone’s approval. He wowed everyone in my community with his respect and love for our culture, and even converted to Islam so we could get married with a Nikkah ceremony.” the bride shares.
The intimate Mehndi and Nikkah ceremony were held in a small cozy setting at the bride’s maternal home in Epsom in 2018. The formal Mehndi function was held at the Markovina Estate Winery in Auckland on 13th December 2019, while the Reception was hosted at the Grand Ballroom of Cordis Hotel, Auckland.
“Since my mum had never gotten a grand wedding celebration of her own, she fueled the energy and inspiration behind ours, and helped shape it into reality. We relied heavily on mood boards for colors and trends that we put together with help from Pinterest and got wonderful, quaint items off Etsy that helped us create a lot of DIY décor elements. Covers Decoration Hire helped us execute the décor. Our special moments were captured on camera by Logan West, while our wedding film was created by Aidan Rogers. All our outfit and wedding favors’ shopping was done across India and Bangladesh”, recalled the bride.
Holud, Mehndi and Nikkah
“Our traditional Mehndi night and Nikkah in 2018 were both very humble, intimate events held at my mum’s house in Epsom, Auckland. Those two events were the closest to our hearts as they were a symbol of our journey and everything we overcame to reach here”, smiles the bride. For the Holud and Mehndi, the bride donned a traditional Bangladeshi red and gold saree while the groom matched her attire, as well as the décor in hues of mustard and red. For the Nikkah, Farihah wore a richly embellished purple, gold and turquoise Pakistani suit while Wayne looked perfectly coordinated in a gold and turquoise sherwani.
For our formal Mehndi night on Dec 13th, 2019, we wanted a rich outdoor experience and so, we hosted it at the beautiful Markovina Estate Winery with a vibrant, Moroccan theme in hues of orange and magenta. We DIY’ed a lot of décor, signs and other elements, and arranged our beautiful centerpieces with lemons, Moroccan candles and flowers. For a fun element we got our gift bags printed with an animated image of ourselves wearing our Mehndi attire, which were filled with earrings, dupattas and bangles procured from India. I wore a fuchsia, purple and gold saree by Ritu Kumar while Wayne wore a navy kurta with a rich magenta and gold Bandi jacket from Manyavar. The most memorable experience was the 1-minute long flashmob of 6 dances that we had prepared with our friend, that was performed as a surprise. “
The enchanted forest themed reception was hosted at the Great Room of the Cordis Hotel with mesmerizing décor of lush greenery, majestic chandeliers, pastel floras with bursts of magenta and purple. The lush emerald green faux wall with bursts of deep purple, burgundy blush pink and cream flowers drew everyone’s attention and perfectly matched the couple’s custom made Shyamal and Bhumika ensembles and the bride’s Sabyasachi jewelry.
Advice for couples
“Remind yourself to focus on what truly matters, which is, celebrating the beautiful journey and the beautiful love you and your partner share. And remember, nothing in life is perfect, so remember this event isn’t a representation of you or an evaluation of your skillsets in organizing an event. It is essentially the celebration of your love.”
The Wedding Makers
Venues: Markovina Estate Winery, Auckland (Mehndi); Cordis Hotel, Auckland (Reception)
Décor: Covers Decoration Hire
Groom’s Outfits: Manyavar Mohey (Mehndi), Shyamal and Bhumika (Reception)
Bride’s Outfits: Ritu Kumar (Mehndi), Shyamal and Bhumika (Reception)
Jewelry: Sabyasachi Jewelry (Reception), Amrapali Jewelry (Reception)
Shoes: Italian Moda DI Fausto
Makeup artist: Chay Roberts
Hairstylist: Ricky Zhou
Cake: Sweet Bites Cake
Entertainment: DJ Areeb
Photography: Chasewild (Pre-Wedding Shoot), Logan West
Videography: Aidan Rogers