In Josh’s wedding speech he said, “Gemma & I met in a bar in town. And for those who know us, you’d know that that is the most unconventional place for us to meet.”
I was there the night they met. About a month into university, a month into a new life in Wellington, I followed a group of friends into town to have a drink or two. Note: I was 18 and not a big drinker. And my friend Gemma? Probably less of a drinker than I was.
We met up with another group at DTL (Downtown Local), friends of friends. Josh was there. Once they saw each other, that was it. Josh & I hardly spoke that night – there were introductions, but other than that, he only had eyes for Gemma.
“The thing I love about Gemma & Josh is that you knew what they were from the beginning. They were a unit. It was always Gemma & Josh, nothing in between.” My friend Michelle put it perfectly. They really were. They started dating a few weeks after meeting, and it was a great union. There was no drama. They just…fit.
Seven years later, March 7th 2015, their wedding was beautiful.
It poured down. The ceremony was at Zealandia, a bird sanctuary in Wellington. Two adventurous people who have been on more hikes than I can count, this was the perfect place for them to tie the knot. Due to the rain the ceremony was inside, and I sat with three of my best girlfriends from university. After a particularly emotional part, Pauline leaned over towards me and said, “Did you cry, Jamie?!” We all had wet eyes.
It stopped raining enough to take photos outside by the trees and the lagoon. Arms raised in the air, click.
Pauline made the wedding cake. All white fondant, with green fondant ferns and leaves climbing the cake. As nervous as she was, shaking in her heels all morning, (“What if it fell apart on the way there? Maybe I could try fix it before everyone sees it…”), it was a hit. It did wonders to her future cakery business!
There was thunder and lightening during the reception, as we all sat and ate, drank and were merry. I am a firm believer and collector of moments. And this moment? It was one I put into my memory bank. It was, for lack of a better word, perfect. The boom of the thunder, the trees all around us, drinking and meeting new people. It was like nature was celebrating too.
We danced. One thing about me is that I love to dance. Get me on a dance floor with some 80s and 90s pop, and I go crazy for it. I’ve lost my shame over the years. I just do it! Us girls danced with our arms linked to 500 Miles and Michelle & I did a dramatic dance to I Will Survive.
Whitney Houston, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, came on halfway through our dancing frenzy. The newlyweds put their arms around each other and swayed, and me and five other girls (three I already knew, the other two I had just met) spontaneously decided to dance around them in a circle.
There’s a moment if I ever did see one. It was caught on camera, everyone watching. We continued for the entire song, skipping and dancing around the bride and groom as they danced. It made me so unbelievably happy.
We went home at midnight, drunk with wine and happiness, our feet sore and our heads swimming.
Gemma & Josh, I wish you the very best for the future. May we have more dinner dates and BBQ’s, Guy Fawke’s nights where we watch the fireworks from Northland and movie nights with your cat.
^^ Apologies for the quality! Snapchat photos, am I right?
^^ Me trying to get a selfie with the groom. Too busy socialising!
^ My dress I borrowed off a friend for the wedding. A woman at the wedding asked if it was vintage!