ALWIN & DENISE – TONGARIRO
Wild love stories, how they began and their journey, are what we swoon over at Wild Hearts. The dreamers and wanderers. The magical destinations. That raw love before the big day.
A roaring waterfall and wild open spaces, this beautiful location is something incredibly special. After meeting and going their separate ways over the years and spending time in different countries, Denise and Alwin finally caught up and after a few get togethers, the rest was history. This beautiful real Engagement shoot was captured in Tongariro by Auckland photographer Christina Schmidt.
Tongariro is one of New Zealand’s true wonders with people from all over the world travelling there to do the epic trail and explore the landscape. Christina made sure to capture and incorporate as much of their moody wanderlust surroundings as possible and we are swooning over this wildly romantic engagement shoot.
THE LOVE STORY
First, we were acquainted through mutual friends. Then, we went our separate ways with no intention of keeping in touch; I (Denise) moved to NZ in 2009 and Alwin stayed in Malaysia. In 2011, Alwin decided to further his studies in NZ. And though we were both in the same country, we did not reconnect. Neither of us could have imagined our paths would cross again, but somehow, we found our way back to each other.
After a three-year hiatus, on a crisp Winter morning, I invited Alwin out to catch up over coffee. It took a text message, a church service, a lunch together and a couple more text messages before we became friends. I must admit I didn’t think much of Alwin first few times we hung out. And then slowly overtime, but also all at once, we were not just friends. We were Alwin & Denise. We leaned on each other in tough times, we ran to each other in our pain, we sought each other in our growing, and simply put, life was better when the other was near. We wanted each other, on our best days and on our worst days. We had become something way bigger than mere friends.
It was a little over three years ago, we made a promise to choose ‘together’ above everything else. To live life and continue to be on the same team, together.
October 2016, Zara opened its first NZ store and Alwin said he’d take me there on the weekends. Little did I know, he has got something else planned all along. On Saturday 29 October, he came over to our apartment (we do not live together) in the morning, knelt beside my bed, gently wakes me up, and popped the question! He proposed in our first home, just us, no fuss. It was like the proposal scene from the movie ‘About Time’, where Mary said ‘thank you for not going for a melodramatic proposal, with lots of people around’.
We ended up not going to Zara that weekend, but instead escaped to the countryside to celebrate our newly engaged status.
This is all Christina Schmidt. She gave us location suggestions, and we instantly fell in love with the magnificent landscape in Tongariro.
It was a rather dark and gloomy day, so the tones turned out quite earthy and moody as if you could smell the gentle rain on the owe inspiring l landscapes.The photographic style is a balance blend of romantic boho, fun and natural. It is uniquely and beautifully Christina Schmidt’s.
WHAT DOES LOVE MEAN TO YOU?
As cliché as it sounds, love is not merely a feeling. To me, love is what C.S. Lewis so brilliantly worded and ever so true – ‘Love is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other’. Love is sacrificial.
Alwin makes me swoon every time he grabs the heavy groceries without being asked. My love grows stronger every Sunday he sacrifices sleep to drive me to church rehearsals at 7am. I couldn’t help but melt a little when he delivers dinner to my doorsteps on days I don’t have time to cook. These daily moments, the ones we do to selflessly serve one another or that we do just to get by, leave an imprint on my heart that can easily win a competition with any grandiose romantic gesture.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR YOUR WEDDING?
Celebrating the day with our family and closest friends.
| CREDITS |
Photography – Christina Schmidt
Florist – Tash from Zimzee
Ring – The Rolling Mill
Make up – Ruth Baron