Taygen and Lafoga tied the knot on a beautifully sunny day in front of their loved ones and over looking the vibrant blue ocean at Baylys' Farm. Their day was full of sun, fun and love. Photos feature the couple celebrating their cultures and beaming with happiness surrounded by the gorgeous scenery. The beach venue perfectly complimented Taygen's wedding gown.
She wowed in Heather by Rebecca Ingram, a whimsical chiffon A-line with a swirling lace motif covering the bodice and extending down to the top skirt and the off shoulders. The chiffon skirt swishes down dreamily and the romantic look of the gown continues with the soft scoop back and classic covered buttons trailing down the train. She also added an extra touch of shimmer with our cut edge pearl scattered veil, an accessory that completed her look.
There are so many beautiful images to scroll through, so enjoy!
What was it that made this particular wedding dress catch your eye and fall in love?
I was torn between two dresses Heather by Rebecca Ingram and one similar, but a bit more lacey. They were both beautiful! But what sold me on Heather was the venue that we were having our wedding at. Heather was comfortable, light, and I wasn’t restricted in any movements. Comfort is key and that was a big tick with this dress. It also gave me a beautiful elegant dress that wasn’t too over the top, and was relaxed and beachy. It sat well and I just loved the way that it looked and felt when it was on - the perfect dress.
Tell us about your search for the dress and the experience at Astra Bridal.
I had actually googled “Auckland wedding dresses” and after having a look through a few, I couldn’t really find any that catered to my size, or had enough options for my size. I came across Astra Bridal and they catered to such a diverse range of sizes. I straight away knew I was going to choose Astra Bridal. The options and range of dresses that they had in my size blew my mind. I booked a Zoom meeting (covid times) and soon enough I was trying on dresses. I had convinced myself that there were certain dress types that wouldn’t suit my body type like off the shoulder. My stylist was quick to prove me wrong with the dress choice that she had made for me. As soon as I had it on, I knew it was the one and funnily enough, it was off the shoulder. So it’s true when they say you never know until you try! After going in a second time to choose between two off the shoulder dresses I had liked, I finally settled on one and we got it ordered. The dress arrived before the date it was expected, my stylist was always in contact with me, keeping me up to date with the ETA. I came in and got my veil as well. Overall, I loved my experience with the Auckland Astra Bridal team and I’m forever telling everyone the story about how I was so convinced off the shoulder dresses weren’t for me!
Tell us your story, how you both met, and the proposal.
We met via our good friend Tinder! haha. After about 5 years together, unbeknown to me, he had phoned my parents due to covid and asked for their blessings. We had planned to head out to the beach at Omana one weekend, which was almost not going to happen because I started feeling sick that morning but he insisted that we go. Surely enough I started feeling better so we left around lunchtime. He actually thought I knew what was happening because I kept asking if he had everything before we left and once we were there I kept telling him to look after his bag (which the ring was in, but had no idea). I’d always said I didn’t want a big extravagant proposal, or to be proposed to in a public place with heaps of people around. So after a day of eating, swimming and just hanging out at the beach (when the sun was around) he had waited until the very end when everyone at the beach had left. He was on his knee and I was behind him putting something away so he asked me to come around and take a photo. I was so oblivious, nothing had clicked until I was in front of him and saw the ring in his hand… then the rest was history. It couldn’t have been a better day.
What was your favourite part of the day?
Good question! My husband is Samoan/Tongan and I’m NZ Māori, so one highlight for me was seeing our families together and our different cultures celebrated - it was beautiful. There was a Haka and Siva (Samoan dance) so the families got to experience one another’s cultures. I was also worried that everyone would sort of stick to themselves on the day, but everyone got along like they had known each other forever, so there was plenty of dancing and laughing throughout the day/night which made my heart happy. I also learnt a Siva (Samoan dance) to perform alongside my husband towards the end of the night, so that was pretty special as well. Second favourite highlight would be the very end. The dancing and hanging out with everyone after all of the formalities. I mean, the whole day was amazing, but once the formalities were over you could finally relax a bit more - nothing was coming up, we didn’t need to be anywhere or worry about running on time. I could finally drink some happy juice and enjoy the rest of the day/night with everyone - and the best highlight of course, dancing with my husband on the dance floor letting it all sink in.
Tell us about your wedding day as a whole.
We were extremely lucky to get the day that we did! The day before and after was a completely different story. We had actually made the call to change our ceremony location during rehearsals because it was overcast and drizzling all day that day. But we were blessed with the most amazing weather the next day! The day was perfect, blue skies, light wind, not a drop off rain, the most amazing sunset and a beautiful full moon. The day after the wedding - torrential rain. We like to think that our loved ones were definitely looking over us on our special day!
Myself and the bridesmaids got ready at the amazing Rusty Ram in Haruru. With a bridal line of seven, we were of course up at the crack of dawn kicking the day off with makeup at 6am. Music, food, my girlfriends, it was surprisingly a relaxing morning - the night beforehand though, no sleep whatsoever haha. We did a first look with my bridesmaids, my parents, parents in-law and my grandparents. I wanted my late poppa to very much still be a part of our day, so our transport to the venue was his and our family friend’s Toyota Hilux. The groomsmen got ready at an AirBnb closer to Paihia with a beautiful view over the water, although they weren’t up as early as we were.
Our new ceremony location was right where our cocktail hour and reception was, so everything was super close with an open flow from the marquee to the lawn front looking out over the water. We had lawn games, bean bags, grazing tables and drinks for our guests to enjoy throughout the night. With food being an important area for my husband, our caterers absolutely nailed it. Plenty of food to go around and we even got to have leftovers the next day! Looking back, we couldn’t fault anything. My heart was so happy and we both thought it was the perfect day.
Finally, what is your biggest piece of advice for brides to be?
Drink heaps of water the night before, pee before you put your dress on and take comfy shoes! hahaha and enjoy the day of course - take a moment on the day to let it all sink in. Yes, budget is a big thing, but one thing you can’t get back is time, so it's totally worth that extra amount if it means one less thing for you to worry about (e.g. setting up or packing down) and more time spent with those who are there to celebrate with you - money will always return, memories won’t… but that also doesn’t mean go way, way, WAY over budget lol and you can’t always please everyone, but as long as you and your husband/wifey are happy and on the same page, that's all that matters in the end (: