Amba and her husband Brodie have had a somewhat out of the ordinary relationship, engagement and marriage. But that’s exactly how they wanted it!
For the pair, they completely skipped a few steps in between the meeting and actual ceremony. All except the dress, which of course was still a non-traditional choice.
“Like most girls though, I've always dreamed of getting married. I grew up in a loving family with healthy relationships and have always admired the love my parents and grandparents had for one another. Marriage is the love I've witnessed firsthand and I want my children growing up with no doubt that we are soulmates”.
Brodie and Amba originally met in 2012. The pair had just graduated high school and was celebrating with a group of friends. “On this particular day, a friends mum pulled me aside to introduce me to her son. We spent a half hour making small talk and playing "Michael Jackson's Moonwalker" on the arcade Machine Brodie had built. Soon, we found each other on social media and began talking more. We went on a couple of dates but eventually parted ways to pursue university courses, Animation and Paramedicine respectively. We kept in contact and eventually rekindled our relationship in 2017 and had grown up enough to truly appreciate one another”.
When it came to proposing, “we actually skipped this step completely! Brodie had always promised to buy an engagement ring once he had a stable career. When he landed a decent job I joked, I guess I get my ring now, to which he replied, I guess you do. I ended up finding the perfect ring on Etsy and we made a deposit the same night. This kind of took the surprise away from an ‘engagement’ and sparked questions of how we would tie the knot. Eventually, we came to the conclusion that we’d elope in secret and throw everyone off by pretending to get engaged whilst away. Neither of us liked being the centre of attention and both hated the thought of confessing our love in front of a huge crowd of people. I had wanted to get married in New Zealand for as long as I could remember. So, we settled for the most fun, stress-free and intimate experience ever!”.
The only down side of eloping as they did was that Amba and Brodie’s family weren’t able to attend the ceremony. “We had originally planned to have them there, but it proved too difficult as it was an overseas destination. Most elopement packages are suited to a couple and there’s no way I would be able to convince my father to jump on a plane, let alone a helicopter. We just made sure to send a few pictures on the day, hired a videographer to film the ceremony and called our parents once it was over. The rest of our friends and family found out at the same time a few weeks later”.
Before any of these plans were made, Amba found her dream gown. “I’d visited a few bridal stores but had nothing specific in mind. All I knew was that I didn’t want it to be white. It had to be easy to move in and non-traditional. The only inspiration in the back of my head was to find something flowy that made me feel like Stevie Nicks. Time was ticking and I still hadn’t found what I wanted. I was almost ready to settle on a ballgown just because it was the only thing I felt somewhat confident in as a bigger girl. When Freddie Met Lilly was the last store I visited and I’d been eyeing a few gowns. I can recall stepping in and being asked - which of these speaks to you the most? To which I immediately grabbed the Halo Gown. I tried on a few gowns before Halo but kept coming back to - it’s beautiful, but it’s not you. But then I tried the halo gown. It’s true when they say ‘when you know, you know because GIRL, I KNEW!. The sparkles, the detailing. It was everything I had ever dreamed of and in the background of the studio… Fleetwood Mac was playing… need I say more!”.
Once Amba’s gown had been finalised she decided to go shopping with her partner as he is “notorious for choosing the first thing he sees. He hates shopping with a passion and I knew he wouldn’t know what to look for. To no surprise, the first thing he tried on he was convinced he was ‘sold’. I eventually persuaded him to visit another store. He tried on something which wasn’t the typical ‘slim-fit’ set and I could immediately see the confidence in his eyes”.
Overall, the day was about Amba and Brodie. “Having a stress-free day with nothing but love and commitment to one another. I wanted the day to be entirely "ours" and to not feel overwhelmed by most of the modern-day stressors of a wedding”. Including small touches between the pair kept the day extra exciting! Keeping her gown secret, Amba opted for a ‘first look’ before our mountain-top adventure. They also chose to include cufflinks and socks with faces of their dogs as they really wanted them to be included. It was also a good way to incorporate ‘something blue’.
As a piece of final advice from our lovely blushing bride, “don't try to please anyone else. The day is about you two - don't let anyone make you feel guilty about doing your own thing. Go with your heart! Don't try to please family members or friends at the cost of your own happiness. Make the process as stress-free as possible and take in as much of it as you can and spend the extra $$ on the perfect wedding dress, a great photographer and a videographer. These are the memories you will look back on forever”.
We could not be happier for this lovely pair! They looked like a match made in heaven on their big day and we wish them every happiness!
Mountain Weddings - @mountainweddings_nz
Orange Blossoms Designs Queenstown (Flowers)
Eureka Films - @eureka.films
Wanaka Helicopters - @wanakahelicopters
Jodie Stuart - @marriedbyjodie