Congratulations to Melissa & Kali
WEDDING DATE: 3rd September, 2016
NUMBER OF GUESTS: 140
Tell us about your love story!
We met when I decided to go on a mission trip to Fiji with my church Menai Salvation Army in 2012 to do mission work on the island of Taveuni. We contacted our sister church in Taveuni and worked with them in their local community. Kali attended this church. We found we both had a heart for helping people and that we had the same values and beliefs and that really connected us. Our relationship has been a long distance one however it’s true when they say absence makes the heart grow fonder.
The question was popped at the natural water slide in Taveuni Fiji where we had our first conversation in the exact spot. Then we enjoyed a lovely dinner at a local resort overlooking the water and watching the sunset.
What is the meaning of marriage to you?
A quote by Timothy Keller sums up what marriage means to me:
“When over the years someone has seen you at your worst, and knows you with all your strengths and flaws, yet commits him- or herself to you wholly, it is a consummate experience. To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretence, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”
The wedding location.
Because my husband’s family were all in Fiji and unable to attend we decided it would be best to have the ceremony and celebrations all in our church hall at The Salvation Army in Bangor as it was through this church that we met each other. The hall is quite large in size and it would mean we could invite as many friends and family as we wanted.
It was a fusion of Fijian and Australian style. Our wedding and reception was in the format and style of an Australian wedding with some Fijian cultural influences thrown in which made it fun for us and our guests. We also had an amazing stylist come in and give the room a tropical feel. We were married under a beautiful tropical style arch.
My Dress was the Mia Solana Lucinda dress which I felt was a more Beachy style, relaxed type dress and I love lace, so I thought it was perfect for me and my wedding style. Because this was the grooms first Australian Wedding and the people attending were mostly the Bride’s friends and family we decided to have photos first in the Royal National Park to overcome any nerves of being in front of so many people and just to enjoy some time together with our family before the formalities. The Groom was able to view his Bride for the first time in a more private setting and it was a really special moment for us. Kali had never even seen a bride in a white dress as he was used to traditional Fijian wedding dresses so it was even more special to see his bride in such a beautiful white dress.
Ceremony and reception.
The wedding ceremony and reception formalities were all held at the church hall in the afternoon. We were able to open up the doors into another room where everyone could mingle, eat and drink and all of our guests were able to enjoy the reception formalities with us, speeches, cutting of the cake, first dance etc..
We then had a small private dinner of 12 people at Sealevel Restaurant & Bar in Cronulla with our closest family and friend to finish off the night on a more private note.
Our music was very significant to us, had special meaning and we chose songs that also had an island vibe to them.
I walked down to “Somewhere over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
We walked out to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” By Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell – this song signified our long distance relationship.
Our cake cutting song was “Dela” Johnny Clegg – From the George of the Jungle movie because my Fijian husband is my George from the Jungle.
We played a few Bob Marley songs to end our night as we both love reggae!
Our first dance was a Fijian style dance which had our guests clapping and cheering and was something very different for them to see. They enjoyed watching it as much as we enjoyed performing it for them.
Food, food, food!
We decided since the theme was tropical we would need to do tropical style food, so we had an afternoon tea of a mixture of sweet and savoury finger food. Lots of colour with fruit platters, cakes and treats. I organised a cupcake stand and popcorn bar for everyone to enjoy. We also had a Kripy Kreme donut cake which everyone got to share with us. We outsourced most of our food from various catering companies and had some amazing friends offer to serve it all up for us.
Most memorable moment.
Being with my best friend the whole day and marrying him. We barely left each other’s side the whole day. I loved having all my friends and family in the one room witnessing the best decision and day of my life.
Also all my guests remember my sisters speech, it was hilarious and it is still talked about months later.
What about the extra details?
To give myself extra time to get ready before I walked down the aisle I had the film clip “Lava” a beautiful love story about two volcano’s played on a screen to get everyone in a tropical island romantic mood.
As a surprise to my husband I decided to secretly learn a song in his language and performed it in front of everyone and asked my sister and two of my closest girlfriends to do a Fijian dance while I sang to him in Fijian. He loved it and everyone thought it was so special and enjoyed the performance.
We were really blessed with family and friends who helped us out on the day and shared their many gifts and talents which blew us away and we are so grateful for every one of them.
What’s the best advice you can give a bride and groom planning their wedding?
The most important thing that needs to happen on your wedding day is that you marry your best friend, everything else that happens on the day is just an added bonus. It’s good to keep in mind what the wedding is actually about, you and your hubby making a commitment to each other. It can’t get much better than that.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
What do you look forward to most as Mr. & Mrs.?
Just being able to share everything together, just doing life together as a team. I’m 30 and have been waiting a while now for my true love and to start my 30’s sharing my life with someone is such a blessing. We know in our hearts that God has great plans for us both and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for our future.
Did you have a videographer?
We had a few friends video the ceremony on their go pros and ipads and so we were able to capture the whole ceremony and reception. We can use the footage to have a professional video made of our wedding in the future.
Our photographer Jackie Schneider from JackFlash Photography did a lovely power point presentation of our best photos with the “Lava” song in the background which we love and really captures our special day.
Wedding Venue: Menai Salvation Army Church Hall and Sealevel Restaurant and Bar
Photography: Jackie Schneider of JackFlash Photography
Dress: Mia Solano LUCINDA from Luv Bridal
Hair: Long & Short Of It -Christie
Makeup: Sara K Makeup
Caterer: Padstow Frozen Foods, Cake Connoisseurs and Popcorn from King Tasty Foods
Florist: Frances Dunn Florist
Cake: Krispy Kreme and Hayley Ann Styling
Invitations: Cake By The Ocean
Jewellery: Mimco & Michael Hill
Music: Spotify Playlist
Celebrant: Mark Soper Church Leader and Civil Celebrant at Menai Salvation Army