Real Wedding – Craig & Annett

Real Wedding – Craig & Annett – Our Big Secret

Photography: Melanie Cooper Creative

Real Wedding - Craig & Annett - Our Big SecretTying the knot had been discussed a few times. We even thought about getting married when Annett’s family visited in December from Germany but that would have meant our baby would be 6 months old, and it just didn’t seem like the right order to do things. Friends joked that we should get married on our upcoming trip to Rarotonga, but we dismissed that as a ridiculous idea!

Our coming of ways wasn’t the most romantic setting; I was looking for a nice girl in Rotorua and Annett was looking to increase her circle of friends as she was on a work visa and had only just learnt English. So the internet brought us together and five years later we have never looked back.

Real Wedding - Craig & Annett - Our Big SecretWe settled in together very quickly; Annett gained residency, we bought a house and decided to start a family. Annett became pregnant in August, much to the delight of our families.

For Annett’s birthday we booked a trip to Rarotonga, this being the last opportunity to have a holiday alone before our baby arrived. We realised marrying in Rarotonga didn’t seem like such a silly idea after all. Facts were: we had always wanted a beach wedding; it would only be the two of us, which would make it all the more personal and romantic; this is exactly how we both had always envisaged our ceremony to be. As much as we would have loved our families to be with us, Annett’s family wouldn’t be able to visit before our baby was born anyway. We decided to keep it secret from our friends so it would be a big surprise on our return!

Proposing on one knee, to Annett’s surprise while talking to her parents on Skype, I asked (in my best, yet pitiful Deutsch!) for her parents’ permission to marry their daughter. We all had tears in our eyes, and Annett’s mum was beside herself. They then asked when we would get married. “Ahhh, that’s the catch, in four weeks!” Her poor mum nearly fell off her chair. After getting our parents’ blessing for our secret wedding, the real planning began.

Great photos of our wedding were essential to show everyone on our return. When we found Melanie Cooper, we knew instantly she was the perfect choice. Not only that – she was also a wedding planner! Being only four weeks out we were really worried we would not have enough time, but after a few emails backwards and forwards, Melanie had everything sorted.

That just left us to arrange our wardrobe and the rings. Amazingly, Annett found a dress that fitted almost perfectly straight off the rack, not bad seeing she was now five months pregnant! I managed to find some beautiful rings shortly before we flew out, but had a big scare when my wedding band, which had to be ordered from Australia, arrived two sizes too big! But somehow the jeweller managed to get another one delivered in three days over the weekend period, magic!

Before flying out to Rarotonga we attended a friend’s wedding, so we had to be very careful not to let the cat out of the bag, which was really difficult, especially after Annett caught the bouquet. Everyone was saying “Oh, you’ll be next then” – little did they know!!

The time had come for our dream holiday, and our dream wedding. Our wedding day was pure magic. Melanie organised a perfectly romantic ceremony with tropical flowers in a heart shape on the deserted Titikaveka beach. She also arranged a ukulele player to serenade Annett as she walked the down to the beach – as time grew closer, he had still not arrived; it turned out he was stuck on an island due to a cruise ship full of tourists arriving late and was not going to make it. Then one minute before Annett arrived he managed to get there after literally swimming back to the mainland and breaking the land speed record on his scooter, legend!

We were married by John Kenning in the most romantic and personal ceremony we could have hoped for. Annett and I wrote personal wedding vows which left both of us with tears in our eyes.

Melanie managed to capture the moment perfectly with an intimate yet totally fun photo shoot, followed by a romantic candlelit dinner in a beach gazebo just for us at our resort, the perfect end to a perfect day.

The following afternoon we splashed in the turquoise lagoon in our wedding attire while Melanie captured more precious moments; we were buzzing after the shoot.

We were then left with three magical “honeydays” before we flew home to break the news to very shocked but very happy family and friends – Surprise! ♥



Bride: Annett Reissmann

Groom: Craig Gebert

Date of Marriage: 21 February 2011

Location: Titikaveka beach, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Celebrant: John Kenning

Wedding Planner: by Melanie Cooper Creative

Photographer: Melanie Cooper,

Accommodation: The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa,