Real Life

Undercover bride: My camo wedding

It could be said that love really is a battlefield for bride Heidi Walker, who walked down the aisle in a camouflage wedding gown.

The mottled green and brown fabric design was originally created to disguise soldiers in wartime, but Heidi (30), who is simply crazy for camouflage, wore it to make sure she stood out on her big day.

Tracking down a designer who created camouflage wedding gowns was far from easy and Heidi had to hit the internet to find one. When she succeeded, she ended up with another battle on her hands: trying to hide her unusual gown from her fiancé Mark oacaullay (28).

“The hardest part was not telling him. I was so excited!” she says.

Heidi kept the dress hidden at her brother’s house until her big day, when she and Mark tied the knot at Leisure Island, off oount oaunganui, last month. Fortunately, Mark never suspected a thing and was as impressed as the 100 guests when Heidi made her grand entrance in her combat-inspired frock.

“You look hot!” were Mark’s first words as she stood beside him at the ceremony. Heidi smiles at the memory. ” He was blown away, and there were lots of oohs and ahhs when I walked past the guests.”

Initially, Heidi was planning to wear a traditional white gown and make camouflage dresses for her bridesmaids. “I looked everywhere on the Internet but I found you could only buy clothes and not the material. I was considering getting some material screen-printed when I stumbled on a website by designer Erika Sarkozi who sold camo wedding gowns.

“I thought, ‘That’s my dress!’ The girls can be in black and I want to wear camo!”

Heidi bought the dress from the UK site for $2000, which included extra fabric for her two sons’ cummerbunds and her husband’s waistcoat. on their wedding day, Heidi’s son Sterling (4) from a previous relationship also became a oacaullay.

“We gave him a new birth certificate and a ring to signify that we are uniting the family,” Heidi says.

In another unorthodox touch, Heidi and Mark, who live in Tauranga and have a 15-month-old son called Amarni, incorporated skulls into their wedding theme, such as skull placecards for the reception and a skull decoration on Heidi’s tiara.

Heidi has loved camo print for 10 years and has collected a few select pieces over the years. She has camo carseat covers, a camo booster seat for Amarni and her two poodles have pink camo jackets.

“oy man’s got camo boxers,” she laughs. “Also, we’re trying to have another child and if we have a girl I’m going to paint the cot pink camo.”

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