Thursday, June 13, 2024

‘It was the best day of our lives’

Like many modern love stories, Simone Botherway met her dear future husband on a dating app only to realise that they lived 500m away from each other in London. Daughter of long time Howickians Jan and Colin Botherway, Simone recently tied the knot with Josh Thompson. A chinwag with the beautiful new bride on the next page of their love story.

Could you introduce yourself?

I grew up in Howick and then moved to the UK. After spending nine years living in London, I returned to NZ at the end of 2022. Both Josh and I absolutely love to travel and have seen much of Europe and Central America together. Being back in NZ, we love spending time with our families and keep ourselves busy tripping around NZ. I work in advertising and Josh is a teacher.

Your first date?

We met each other at a local pub in Dalston. We spent the evening going to a few other local spots while we got to know each other.

The proposal?

Josh proposed at Glastonbury Festival in South West UK. I had always said that I would like a quiet proposal, on a beach somewhere. Instead, he chose to do it in a field in the middle of the UK in a crowd of 200,000 people. Glastonbury is one of my favourite places on earth so I could easily forgive him for going against my wishes! It meant that we were able to have a 5-day long engagement party with a lot of our friends.

Most romantic thing Josh has done for you?

I’m very lucky and Josh treats me extremely well so it’s hard to pinpoint the most romantic thing he’s done for me but I absolutely love a good cheese platter and one day, while living in London during one of the many lockdowns, he went to great lengths to make a picture perfect / Pinterest inspired cheese board with all of my favourite things.

How did you decide on the wedding locale?

When we moved back from the UK, I was unemployed for a couple of months so jumped into wedding planning by looking at Instagram/Pinterest for inspiration. I came across a photo at Orua Beach House and assumed it must be in a different country. When I discovered it was in NZ and on the Coromandel Peninsula, where I’d spent most of my summers, I knew we had to go and look at it. It was the first venue we went to see, and we knew it would be hard to beat. When a cancellation came up for January 2024, we knew we had to jump on it.

Your wedding gown looked gorgeous. Details please?

My dress was made by Nazneen at Alter Me. After trying on a number of dresses, I had a clear idea of what I wanted but wasn’t able to find it in store so took my ideas to Nazneen and worked with her on the design.

What was the best moment of your wedding day you will always remember?

The day was honestly the best day of our lives. Being surrounded by so many of our close friends and family was super special. I was quite nervous to walk down the aisle but seeing some of my best friends in the crowd and then Josh at the end of the aisle made all the nerves disappear. The moments Josh and I were able to steal by ourselves (plus our photographer!) in another part of the farm were the most special… and we absolutely loved partying with all our friends under the stars until the wee hours!

Are you planning a honeymoon?

We spent five days on Great Barrier Island straight after the wedding which was amazing to completely disconnect after a hectic few week. We are going back to the UK in August for our friend’s wedding and are hoping to spend a week in Corsica as it’s one of the places we didn’t get to while living over there.

Any advice for couples planning to tie the knot?

Don’t try to achieve everything at once. Break it down in to manageable chunks. I created a ‘to do’ list and broke it down into monthly tasks.

One fun thing Josh and I did was a date night on the 27th of each month in the year leading up to the wedding, we’d talk a little bit of ‘wed-min’ but mostly a good excuse to get excited about the day!

Another bit of advice would be to choose the three most important aspects of the day and put your money into that. You quickly learn that most of the beautiful things you see online come at a high cost/the small things quickly add up!

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