Hailee and Henry's cultural celebration of love and tradition

We live in Port Hedland and we didn't want to spend a fortune on travelling back to New Zealand for our wedding.  A friend of ours suggested to have our wedding in Bali - I was 5 months pregnant whilst looking for a wedding venue so my main criteria was to hire a company to do all the planning - I got that and more with Botanica Weddings.  The best thing about having a destination wedding is you get the full experience of visiting somewhere NEW.  We wanted that excitement and we were so lucky to be in the best hands - we were quite naive in the sense we had no idea the pitfalls with some bogus destination wedding companies - so again, very lucky. We had never visited Bali before. We arrived 6 days prior to our wedding day, the experience was amazing. We absolutely loved Bali!

We managed to organise most of our guests (family and friends) to stay for 12 days.  We did a lot of activities - Waterbom park, Bali Zoo, Monkey Forest, Water Sports at Nusa Dua, Dinner on the beach at Jimbaran Bay, A lot of sight seeing and of course Kuta Nightlife.

We choose the Romantic Vintage theme - it was really amazing and the colours really complimented the bridal party wear.

I fell in love with the scattered pearl jewellery (ordered online) and the colour Jade so I decided on sweetheart styled loose fitting dresses (ordered online) for the bridesmaids - they were flattering and very comfortable.  Both Henry and I decided that a light grey suit (without jacket) would be ideal to go nicely with the girls colouring and we were again lucky to have the services of an amazing stylist Danni Terepo.  All suits were purchased from Tarocash Sydney.  My beautiful wedding dress was designed by Ed Bridal and featured a sweetheart bodice, cathedral style with train.

The boys teamed up their light grey suits with a white belt and white dress shoes - they were all meant to wear pearl ties but someone (Henry or Hailee) forgot to pack them on the day.

We also felt the need to incorporate our own Maori Culture - Korowai (Traditional Maori Cloak). My brother Bowen Kareko (who gave me away) wore our Late Father's (Charlie Kareko) Korowai and husband Henry Heta wore his Whanau Korowai care of Lara Heta.

We had loved ones who had passed on - so I requested photos of them to be put in a special place of honour - they certainly were directly at the front of the ceremony pavilion.

We also had the privilege of Henry's brother William Heta singing "Always and Forever" by Heatwave as I walked down the Aisle.

In our Maori Culture, usually after a speaker has spoken a song/waiata is performed, so during the ceremony, Henry's dad Joseph Heta said a reading, and once finished, our family stood and sang a beautiful hymn in English and then in Te Reo Maori

As we exited the ceremony pavilion - our male family members gave us the honour of a traditional Maori Haka.

We had a few songs sung by family members at the reception.  Henry's brother Robert Heta via Acoustic sang during our first wedding dance - singing "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran and "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye.

We had 35 guests and it was a sit down dinner menu.  I wanted the full service for ourselves and our guests.

If I am to be perfectly honest, we had too many favourites - I could never pinpoint any particular memory.  We really did have a fairy-tale wedding.

Images by Light and Love