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Real Weddings

A Decadent Culturally Infused Wedding at a coastal Scottish Manor

At a historic Scottish Manor, namely The McCallum Residence, Thussheeta and Ayas’ luxurious wedding spilled with story and sentiment. Located in picturesque Kawakawa Bay, the Clevedon settlement was host for both their wedding and reception – a nod to the brides childhood memories. The reception, set on the beach, was held in a long outdoor marquee and was dressed in an all-white decor – a beautiful contrast to the idyllic coastal setting. Ornate chandeliers, billowing fabric and pops of blush pink floral created a dramatic atmosphere to elevate the space.

This stunning beachside wedding was beautifully captured by Amrit Photography

How did you meet and how long have you been together?  

Ayas actually knew of me (~2016) long before he decided to reach out to me. We had many mutual friends, but as fate had it, it just wasn’t the right time until August 2021. In 2021, he asked one of his boys to reach out to my sister to check if I was single (such a gentleman!). Once he knew that the coast was clear, he requested me on Instagram and replied to one of my stories a few days later. At the time I wasn’t interested as I was busy working full time and modelling, but as time went on, we started talking. Closer to the end of 2021 I wanted to put my entrepreneurial spirit into a side project. At the time I called it ‘Boyfriend,’ but essentially the brand was my creative outlet inspired by girlfriends stealing their boyfriends hoodies to wear. I hired a designer to sketch a few designs of celebrities or famous taglines or lyrics that I wanted to feature on hoodies. In the background of all of this, was Ayas trying to get to know me. Fast forward to now and we’ve been together for 3 years!

Tell us a little bit about the proposal and your engagement? 

Proposal Location – Fairmont Château Lake Louise, Canada

Ever since I started dating Ayas, I had my heart set on being proposed to in the snow. There’s just ‘something’ about absorbing the festive energy around Christmas time with families coming together, snug in furry coats, and indulging in hot cocoa amidst the winter chill.

In September 2022, during my business trip to Christchurch, New Zealand, my curiosity piqued as I prodded Ayas about our upcoming trip to Canada and the USA in December. Eager anticipation filled my heart, envisioning the possibility of a snow-filled proposal. However, Ayas artfully led me to believe that such plans were postponed until he could procure the perfect ring by February or March of the following year. He played it off that he was going to propose in NZ in the snow, but little did I know I was in for a surprise. 

Unbeknownst to me, Ayas was meticulously planning a surprise proposal, aligning it with an auspicious time according to my family’s beliefs in Gowri Panchangam, a ‘good time’ for any auspicious activity. Ayas found a good time for 8th December 2022, between 11am-1:13PM. Ayas’ original plan was to take a Helicopter ride to view the glaciers in Canmore with the proposal on a snow-capped mountain in The Rockies. However, no one accounted for raging winds that day. With the helicopter ride cancelled, and the good time out the window (2PM at this point), Ayas was stressed when the ride got cancelled, while I was happy-go-lucky prancing around throwing fresh snow into the air to soak it all in.

We ended up spending the afternoon in Banff to explore that day, or in Ayas’ words to kill time and “figure it out” as he still had to propose. Ayas had to create a new plan while trying to distract me from what he had in mind. Ayas found the next good time slot between 4:30-6:30PM, and his new plan – to take me on Lake Louise and propose there under the stars. However the next bus back to Lake Louise was at 4:30PM, and it was an hour back. Upon reaching Lake Louise, Ayas had to rush me to the lake under the guise of “Let’s take a photo of us on the lake with the Chateau as the backdrop.” With the temperature being – 23 Degrees, I was not happy about the cold so I wanted to be inside. With only 1 hour remaining for the good time, we got back to the Chateau, I warmed up and he decided to walk with me to the centre of the most breathtakingly beautiful frozen lake, Lake Louise, to propose. He set up a tripod to record the moment, wrote me a heartfelt hand-written letter and got down on one knee to ask if I would spend forever with him. 

It was undeniably a ‘moment’ in our lives that we both shared intimately together. As snow gently fell around us, tears of joy streamed down our faces as we embraced each other on the frozen lake amidst the most beautiful snow-capped mountains.

Tell us about your wedding style. What influenced your planning for the day? 

We had a mood board that drew inspiration from the idyllic ambiance of Lake Como in Italy. We envisioned scenic water vistas, abundant floral arrangements, a venue steeped in heritage, and a culinary experience, but with a twist – it had to be in our homeland. 

Why did you choose your destination?  

This wedding venue is nestled amidst the lush hills and ancient river terraces of New Zealand’s Franklin region. It is located in a coastal settlement that is very close to my heart – Clevedon. This settlement, where I spent my childhood, is woven with cherished memories — from choir practices in the historic church with my big sister to fish and chips outings with dad, enjoying ice cream before beach visits with grandma, picking cockles in the waters with mum, family picnics on the beach, the final drive with my grandfather before he passed away,  and reminiscing all these memories with Ayas on our long drives along the coast over the years. Hence, choosing the venue for our marriage celebration was unquestionably centered around a location that carried the deepest significance for us – The McCallum Residence. The McCallum Residence, a historic Scottish Manor tucked into the coastline of Kawakawa Bay, Clevedon. A beautiful spot, it holds the best memories I’ve ever had and continues to, this time for both of us.

I had to curate a wedding that reflected all parts of our roots and heritage in the most authentic way possible (Kuching/Malaysia, Punjab, Kerala, Abu Dhabi & Auckland). I wanted our wedding to represent who we are and honour the humble beginnings that embody the sacrifices our parents made to get us to where we are today. The essence of my creative process was rooted in authenticity, simplicity, and sincerity. I wanted it to feel raw, earthy and heartfelt. Every detail of our celebration was carefully chosen to honour both families, cultures and communities. 

What was your favourite detail from the day?  

The florals – that had always been a big part of my vision from the start. Having a Mandap that was colorful, lush, full and vibrant was my favourite detail.

Did you have a stand out vendor from your Wedding?  

PS I love you – The attention to detail, creativity and organisation was 10/10 from the team at PS I love you. Courtenay and Astrid are a fabulous duo who really do bring to life a vision and make it STUNNING. It’s one thing to plan a wedding and it’s another thing to structurally bring it together, so I’m super happy we had them support us every step of the way.

Amrit Photography – What truly set Amrit and Sundeep apart was their ability to capture the essence of our wedding day with authenticity and emotion. Each photograph was not just a snapshot in time but a reflection of the love, joy, and sheer elation that filled the air. They had an extraordinary knack for capturing those fleeting moments of tenderness, laughter, and raw emotion, preserving them in perpetuity for us to relive and treasure for years to come. I’ve followed them and their work for years, ever since I was 18 years old, so I just knew I had to fly them in for my wedding!

What was your favourite moment from the day? 

Where do I start?! I think if I had to choose it would be having all my favourite people from different phases of my life who are located all over the world, fly in and be present on our wedding day. Friends and family who took the time to make it a point to come to New Zealand was definitely something I will always remember.

What does marriage mean to you? 

Marriage, to me, embodies the profound intertwining of love, commitment, and partnership. It signifies the union of two souls embarking on a journey of shared experiences, growth, and support. Beyond its societal or legal implications, marriage is a deeply personal covenant, built on mutual respect, understanding, and acceptance. It is a sanctuary where both individuals find solace, encouragement, and unwavering companionship amidst life’s triumphs and trials. In marriage, there’s a profound sense of belonging and connection, where the joys are amplified and the burdens are shared. It’s a sacred bond that fosters emotional intimacy, encourages personal development, and ultimately enriches the tapestry of life with shared dreams, aspirations, and love that transcends the ordinary. Individually we are whole as two different people, but together we are more.

Advice for other couples planning a wedding? 

To future brides embarking on the journey of planning their dream wedding, remember this: authenticity is the key to creating a celebration that resonates deeply with your soul. As you navigate the whirlwind of decisions and details, always remain true to yourself and your partner. Embrace the essence of who you are as individuals and as a couple, and infuse every aspect of your wedding with intention and purpose. Let your love story be the guiding light, weaving together moments of joy, nostalgia, and shared dreams. Draw inspiration from the memories of your childhood, incorporating elements that hold special significance and evoke cherished moments from your past. Whether it’s a favourite childhood dessert, a song that brings back fond memories, or a cherished family tradition, let these personal touches weave a tapestry of love and connection throughout your celebration. Ultimately, your wedding is a reflection of the unique bond you share with your partner, so trust your instincts, follow your heart, and savour every moment of this extraordinary journey.

|| VENDOR CREDITS ||

Photography Amrit Photography | Videography Made in Heaven Weddings | Styling + Planning Courtenay at PS I Love You Events | Floral PS Florals | Cake Sweet Craft | Venue McCallum Residence | Marquee Twelve Tables | Hireage PS I love you, Flock Events, Raj Tent Club | Lighting + Drapery La Lumiere | Tableware The Pretty Prop Shop | Linen tble.linen | Stationery + Signage h.studio | Celebrant Chandru from the Papakura Ganesh Temple | Bridal Gown Kumaran Silks (Saree) Frontier Raas (Reception) | Grooms Suit Sabé Manyavar (Indian outfit)

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