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Rudo & Joydah's Piha Ceremony

Posted in: Weddings & Civil Unions
By Rudo and Joydah, with GayNZ.com staff - 1st March 2015

Rudo and Joydah married in Piha in a ceremony which reflected their openness, creativeness, culture differences. They tell us more.

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Tell us a little about each of you:
Rudo: I was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in Kentucky. I am half city girl and half country creature. NZ attracted me because of the natural beauty and easy-going lifestyle. I stayed because I fell in love and we continue to live here because of the equality given to same-sex couples.
Joydah: Born in raised in the remote mountains of northern Philippines, I’ve come from a long line of Ibaloi Tribe, migrated to NZ in 2000 to be with my immediate family. I’m very proud of my ancestry, when I learnt of about the Maori people I organically connected with their culture. The opportunity that is continually being opened to me has made NZ my home, it was confirmed when I met a free spirited woman which made my life colourful.

How did you meet?
R: We met in Auckland, at a bar in Botany! A mutual friend shoved us together on the dance floor and introduced us while we were dancing.
J: I had a late shift working as a chef at this restaurant that becomes a club after 9. I was mopping the kitchen floor when my friend hurriedly got me out to the dance floor to meet a girl with a broccoli tattoo. That odd and interesting introduction changed my whole life situation.

When did you know it was the real thing?
R: When I heard her sing, and when she cooked me dinner for the first time.
J: When I knew that I could get a green card to North America (Joke!) For me it wasn’t about knowing, so much more than that, it was the connection, beyond explanations, my whole being, my heart felt at home.

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Who popped the question, and how?
R: Joydah did, sort of. For years there was never an official proposal but then in 2013 Joydah took me to Piha and gave me a sparkly crystal (ring). I was really surprised.
J: I did! Everything that I planned didn’t go as I expected, that day Rudo was so grumpy and I was trying to be patient, we got lost driving to Piha and I decided to stop at this random Pear Orchard, and said “ there’s no perfect time, no perfect place but here and now we can just be, will you marry me?”

How did your wedding day go?
R: Total chaos during the days leading up, and then the ceremony went so well. We didn’t have a complete picture of how the day was going to happen so we were pleasantly surprised at times with what people got up to.
J: The ceremony flowed so naturally, everyone collaborated and made the event possible, centering us with their love, kindness and support. So grateful

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Where was it and who was there?
R: Piha, on the north side. We rented the community hall. We invited only our nearest and dearest and tried to keep it under 100!
J: Everyone that represents who we are, who reflects our wisdom, our beingness.

What were your favourite moments?
R: Reading our vows in front of everyone, getting all our guests out on the beach during the ceremony, and running into the sea while the sun set!
J: Observing everyone connect with each other through our love. The VOW!

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How did it reflect the two of you?
R: We’re all about connections and love, which you could totally feel during the whole thing. Everyone gelled, and people got to take home special made pot plants as wedding favours, which is so us. We love nature.
J: Openness, creativeness, culture differences, being one with nature, using the event to educate people about our impact in our environment.

Anybody you would like to thank?
R: I’d like to thank Aotearoa for its beauty, thanks to Karen Ritchie for being a wonderful celebrant, and thank you everyone involved in our ceremony.
J: Infinite gratitude to our families and friends that took on responsibilities to make the event successful. And to our friends that have travelled far and wide to be a part of it.

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Honeymoon plans?
R: Nothing yet, we vacationed with my family before they went back to the states in late Jan. We’ll do a honeymoon-type thing later.
J: Honeymoon? It doesn’t exist! Honeymoon is everyday.

What might the future hold?
R: Love, laughter, music, and food. The rest will unfold itself down the road!
J: Sharing love, music, connect, manifest, create, openness, rest will take care of itself

Would you like to share the story of your special day? Email news@gaynz.com
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Rudo and Joydah, with GayNZ.com staff - 1st March 2015