On Saturday we were treated to a wedding in true New Zealand style, with a touch of Indian flair. Balanced on the edge of a cliff, 250 metres above the Tasman Sea, with sweeping views of the South Island in the distance, we gathered to celebrate the love of two special people coming together in marriage, Luke and Jaya.
Whilst we waited for the bride and groom, at Boomrock, we sipped champagne and admired the view.
The children played pentanque, threw horse shoes around a cricket stump and made pictures with pebbles on the astroturf of the golf driving range.
All of a sudden the sound of a helicopter broke the tranquility. We wondered if it was the bride arriving – but if it was the bride, then where was the groom?!
We didn’t have to wait long. The helicopter careered up and over the cliff edge, circling over our heads making a dramatic entrance of 007 style. Out of the helicopter stepped the groom, best man and attendants. They strolled down the dirt track to the lodge, in wild west style, with cows trumpeting their arrival in the background – and cheers from the awaiting crowd.
Conversations restarted, wishes of luck made to the groom – confidently shaking hands and greeting everyone with a smile and only a slight sweat on the brow. We were then asked to take our seats, balanced on the edge of the cliff on the outskirts of Wellington, New Zealand.
The bride and her attendants arrived in less dramatic style than the groom – but managed to arrive traditionally late (after a wrong turn on a gravel road added a little drama to the occasion). The groom stood strong and confident, whilst the guests tried to stay firmly seated – and not slide down the benches to the cliff edge!
I grappled with a wriggly two year old, thankful that this outdoor, relaxed wedding was a lot less restrictive than a church wedding (and that if I did have to make a quick exit there wouldn’t be the loud clip clop of heels on tiled floor – I could run barefoot over the grass!).
Then the music started and the bridesmaids walked the grass aisle to lead the bride to her groom. The bride, Jaya, looked spectacular on the arm of her brother – who’d flown all the way from the United States to walk his sister down the aisle. Her mother and grandmother, who’d flown from India, sat with smiles in front of us, watching the ceremony.
Dan and I leaned in close and watched with smiles and warm hearts. The words spoken bringing so many truths to us and memories of the day we vowed our love and support to one another.
After a lovely service we relaxed to the surroundings once more, taking turns on the driving range, clay pigeon shooting, chasing the children, drinking champagne… whilst the photographers captured the magic of the occasion.
Then followed the speeches and dinner, before an evening of dancing the night away. We slipped away just after the sunset (and Alice – Miss 2 – doing a naked sun salutation on the cliff top!) and returned to our oldest daughter (who with bad hay-fever just didn’t feel she could cope with the ‘country’ – a self-proclaimed ‘city girl’ at the moment!) enjoying the company of her best friend (who lives next door) and a very tidy home (thanks to our neighbour surprising us!).
Congratulations to Luke & Jaya! We were thrilled to be there to celebrate and wish you both all the very, very best for a long and happy future together.