On a warm sunny March day, #AstraBride Shannon married the love of her life Simon at the beautiful Manawatu Golf Club in Palmerston North.
Shannon found her dream dress at our Wellington store and ended up with something she never thought she would! She wore the striking Raven Marie wedding dress by Maggie Sottero - made of a luxe Mikado satin and featuring a plunging v-neckline and back, with delicate pearl buttons all the way down the train. She added a classic yet modern touch by accessorising with our scattered pearl Harriet veil and other delicate pearl jewellery.
Keep scrolling for a look into their wedding day, some gorgeous photos, and insight from Shannon about the wedding and finding her dream dress with us here at Astra Bridal.
What was it that made this particular wedding dress catch your eye and fall in love?
I had originally gone into Astra Bridal with an idea of what I wanted in a dress and intended on only trying on dresses in that style. However, someone in my bridal party asked if I could try on something ‘plainer’ than the lace covered gowns I was trying on. Lisa went and grabbed ‘Raven Marie’ by Maggie Sottero, she put the dress on me, I turned to the mirror and immediately gasped in awe and how perfect the gown looked on me. When the curtains were opened and my bridal party, mum and aunty saw me, there wasn’t a dry eye from any of us, me included. This was the dress, there was no doubt about it. Paired with a pearl studded veil to top off the look, I felt like the bride I had always pictured myself being, in a dress that made me feel like a million bucks. Everything from the A-line shape to the sinched waistline and the pearls right down the back of the long train, there are no words to describe how truly stunning this dress is and it just goes to prove that it is okay to try on different styles as you may find something you didn’t know you would love. Because we had purchased the dress for an earlier intended wedding date, I did need adjustments made in order for it to be a perfect fit on the day. My seamstress Katrina from ‘The Hussif’ in Palmerston North did an incredible job of opening the back and adding in a lace up corset so the fit was just right. Although it did slightly change the original design of the dress, it still looked and felt gorgeous.
Tell us about your search for the dress and the experience at Astra Bridal.
into my consultation with a clear idea of what I wanted in a dress and ended up
with something completely different, but I couldn’t have been happier with the
dress I purchased. My consultant was Lisa and she made me feel so relaxed
during my entire appointment and picked out gowns that were ideal for my vision
and my plus size body type. I would 100% recommend Astra Bridal to anyone that
is looking for a wedding dress, not only do they have an amazing range of
dresses, but the consultants are also so knowledgeable and friendly.
Tell us your story, how you both met, and the proposal.
Simon and I met at the beginning of 2018 on good old Tinder, we were both university students at the time. We talked online for a couple of months before meeting up in person, but when we did it was absolutely love at first sight. Right from the start our interactions came so naturally and we genuinely just enjoyed being in each other’s company. By the end of 2018 we had moved in together and started our life as a committed couple. It didn’t take long for me to start dropping hints of wanting to get married, it was the day after Valentine’s Day in 2020 that he popped the question. We had been out looking at rings on this day and we happened across one that I loved, I tried it on, and it fit perfectly, without hesitation Simon purchased it but was quick to let me know that it was up to him as to when he would propose. Later that day we went out for lunch with my mum, it was then that he asked her permission before asking me to be his wife. Of course, I said yes!
Shortly after we got engaged COVID hit, and we were concerned as to when we would be able to have the wedding due to all the uncertainties surrounding lockdowns and mandates. Unfortunately, due to this both our 2021 and 2022 wedding dates had to be scrapped, as we had overseas family that we couldn’t imagine not being at our big day. So, after three years of planning, two date changes and other things here and there, our March 2023 wedding rolled around, and it was everything we could have asked for and more.
What was your favourite part of the day?
favourite part of the day was hearing my husband call me his wife for the first
time. This was during his reception speech where he was letting our guests know
how thankful we were for their attendance and support. Just hearing him finally
call me his wife was the best feeling ever and I still get giddy thinking about
Tell us about your wedding day as a whole.
It was the ideal wedding day to say the least. The weather leading up to the day was so miserable and we were very concerned that we would not be able to have our outdoor ceremony, but as luck would have it, on the big day the sun was shining, the wind was low, and it was a beaut. My bridesmaids and I woke up nice and early on the Saturday morning for our hair appointment at 9am, after that we headed back to my mum’s place for a breakfast platter before I made a start on our makeup. It was such a fun morning of music, champagne and lots of laughs. My husband and his groomsmen got ready at a separate location and had a very relaxed morning consisting of a MacDonalds breakfast and whatever else guys do before a wedding I suppose. Hayden, our photographer arrived at my mum’s house just after 2pm where he captured some gorgeous pre-wedding pictures of us girls, as well as their first look reactions of seeing me all dolled up.
ceremony kicked off at 4:30pm and was so special and perfectly tailored to us
as a couple, there were plenty of tears from the both of us, as well as a lot
of laughs. Our celebrant Jane did such an amazing job at curating and presenting our ceremony
and we couldn’t thank her enough for how great it all turned out. After the
ceremony we had some group and family photos before our guests heading into the
reception area and the bridal party headed off for our photos. I still cannot
comprehend how amazing all of our photos turned out, Hayden is an incredible photographer,
and we will cherish these pictures forever. After our bridal party photos, we
headed into the reception area where we cracked right into speeches, then had
dinner, cut the cake and then proceeded to dance and mingle the night away. I
am someone who had been planning my wedding since I was about 12 and honestly,
the day went better than I could have ever expected. I appreciate all of our
vendors, our family and our friends so much for helping to provide us with such
a perfect day.
Finally, what is your biggest piece of advice for brides to be?
Be open to change! Not everything is going to be exactly how
you have pictured it to be in your head when you first start planning and
that’s okay. You can have Pinterest boards of your dream wedding and how you’re
going to replicate what you see online, but the truth is that it probably won’t
be that way in the end. Weddings can be very expensive, especially if you
insist on having everything a particular way. I found a lot of happiness is
DIYing a lot of our decorations which in turn cut down our costs, as well as finding
second had things on Facebook Marketplace, such as all of our flowers, were
they exactly what I had in my head from the beginning? No. Did they still end up
being absolutely stunning on the day? Yes. Also, me trying on a different style
of wedding dresses from my original idea ended up in me finding what I didn’t
realise was my dream dress. It is okay to change your original plans to best
suit you as a couple, your financial situations, family situations etc. If you
are marrying the person you love, it will be a perfect day regardless.