Tia and Eddie

With the dust barely settled from the marriage of my younger sister Kelly, I find myself flying high in the sunny skies of Sydney heading to New Zealand for the nuptials of my baby sister Tia. We don’t do anything by halves this family, two weddings in almost as many months, boy are we gluttons for punishment!


The youngest of three girls, my sister Tia or “TT” as we affectionately call her, is the kind of person who sets her sights in life and just goes for it. As a flight attendant she is beautiful, well travelled and intelligent. As my sister she is hilarious, stubborn and the cheekiest girl you’ll ever meet. Our Dad would often laughingly refer to her as his “spirited baby”.


So when Tia first met Eddie we wondered if he would be the man to rise to the challenge of winning our Miss Independence. It seems that, two years on, he certainly is. The calm to my sister’s storm, Eddie’s quiet confidence and laid back nature have been perfect for Tia. As their relationship has flourished, there is such an air of happiness and contentment about them that is special to see and are what life’s loves are truly about don’t you think?

Tia and Eddie wanted a simple, fuss free celebration and to enjoy a beautiful summers afternoon with the people they love, good food, fresh air and sunshine. So they decided on a picnic celebration at Muriwai Beach in Auckland’s west. These are my diary entries of their beautiful day …


They marry on a Monday. As I drive our bridal party through the winding roads of Muriwai in an old column change van, beeping and waving to wide eyed passers-by, crunching the gears the whole way and laughing hysterically, the tone of the day is set.


Tia and Eddie have filled their day with their own special touches. My two gorgeous sons and Eddie’s adorable nephew escort the bridesmaids down the aisle and my handsome nephew and proud mum walk Tia to Eddie who stands beaming under a beautiful bamboo canopy.


The ceremony is magical, directly on the beach. The waves crash, the sky shines blue and the romantic melody “Always” is whipped around by the wind. The exchange of vows in front of the intimate gathering of family and friends is poignant and simple.






We are welcomed into the reception by a sway of hips and a flash of pink as Eddie’s cousin performs a traditional Cook Island dance, it is beautiful and heartfelt and tears spring to my eyes. I sit and listen as my brother-in-law MCs us through a joyful and carefree afternoon. A mix of Maori, cook island and European cultures comes together easily and reflects who Tia and Eddie truly are. I clap, I laugh and I cry … and just for a little bit my chest aches as our Dad is lovingly remembered.




Champagne is flowing and the umu (Cook Island food) is sumptuous, the hard work of loved ones is acknowledged and appreciated, Tia and Eddie’s day, in a word, has been perfect.



And as the sun sets and the evening cools everyone rallies their tired children and rolls up their picnic blankets. I look to the newly weds and chuckle. My sister dances blissfully around in my aunty’s hat in danger of losing her champagne filled glass at any moment, her new husband watches her adoringly, shaking his head. The look on his face says everything, and for the second time I find myself thinking, kudos to you my baby sis.




All the other important bits! Tia’s dress by Anna Campbell from La Luna in Cronulla, Eddie and the groomsmen in Country Road, bridesmaid’s dresses bought online, beautiful hair and makeup by Sara Tomlinson, the lovely celebrant Peta Hardley, fantastic photographer Jack of Dream Life Photography, the most delicious wedding cake by The Cake Stall Royal Oak, flowers and decorations by us.

Images courtesy of Dream Life Photography

Ms Gingham says: “Nothing says cool better than a beach, picnic wedding! The bamboo canopy is so beautiful. Thanks to a very proud sister for sharing Tia and Eddie’s wedding with us!”

Tracy says: I am a busy mum of two small boys who have certainly kept me out of trouble these past few years! And as my two main men tottle off to school I look forward to this new year as a journey of self rediscovery both personally and professionally – bring it on 2011!

Read about Tracy’s other sister Kelly’s wedding here.