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Personal trainer Josef Rakich hares a look at his lavish $160,000 wedding

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While many have settled for a smaller, intimate affair when tying the knot during the coronavirus pandemic, one couple have shown that a lavish, social media wedding isn’t necessarily a thing of the past.

New Zealand personal trainer Josef Rakich, 30, wed his bride Maryam Matti, 32, at a luxury retreat in Auckland in April, after their elaborate nuptials had to be put on hold twice due to lockdown restrictions.

The Rakichs’ big day was worth it in the end, with the couple enjoying the $160,000 celebration complete with a helicopter ride for the bridal party, a choreographed first dance, a four-tier origami wedding cake and fresh seafood canapes for the guests.

New Zealand personal trainer Josef Rakich, 30, wed bride Maryam Matti, 32, at a luxury retreat in Auckland in April, after their elaborate nuptials had to be put on hold twice due to lockdown restrictions across the country (pictured at their wedding)

The Rakichs' big day was worth it in the end, with the couple enjoying $160,000 celebrations complete with a helicopter ride for the bridal party (Maryam pictured arriving)

The Rakichs’ big day was worth it in the end, with the couple enjoying $160,000 celebrations complete with a helicopter ride for the bridal party (Maryam pictured arriving)

The couple tied the knot in front of 100 of their closest friends and family members at the Te HiHi Estate in Auckland (pictured on the day)

The couple tied the knot in front of 100 of their closest friends and family members at the Te HiHi Estate in Auckland (pictured on the day)

The couple tied the knot in front of 100 of their closest friends and family members at the Te HiHi Estate in Auckland (pictured on the day)

The couple set up a marquee (pictured) for the reception for their wedding at the TeHiHi grounds (pictured)

The couple set up a marquee (pictured) for the reception for their wedding at the TeHiHi grounds (pictured)

‘COVID caused us so much stress with our wedding, but the entire day was absolutely amazing,’ Josef told Daily Mail Australia. 

‘We were really lucky to have such a fantastic wedding planner, Astrid, who helped us navigate through two difficult lockdowns and having to postpone.

‘It’s worth remembering that while it’s important to read the contracts and find out what the cancellation and re-scheduling policy is, a virus can never stop love – so you just need to be patient and know that your special day will happen when it is meant to happen.’  

The couple had a wedding planner so they could focus on all of the elements of their big day, including the four-tier origami wedding cake (pictured)

The couple had a wedding planner so they could focus on all of the elements of their big day, including the four-tier origami wedding cake (pictured)

The couple had a wedding planner so they could focus on all of the elements of their big day, including the four-tier origami wedding cake (pictured)

The Rakichs (pictured) had been forced to postpone their wedding day twice beforehand, due to COVID restrictions that meant weddings were not permitted

The Rakichs (pictured) had been forced to postpone their wedding day twice beforehand, due to COVID restrictions that meant weddings were not permitted

The Kiwi couple wed at the lavish Te HiHi Estate , which boasts 92 acres of grounds and facilities in a secluded setting close to Auckland CBD (the grounds pictured)

The Kiwi couple wed at the lavish Te HiHi Estate , which boasts 92 acres of grounds and facilities in a secluded setting close to Auckland CBD (the grounds pictured)

Josef said one of the best parts of the evening was the fact that both the bridal party and groomsmen arrived at different times via helicopter, so they were able to take in the sights of Auckland before the nuptials (pictured)

Josef said one of the best parts of the evening was the fact that both the bridal party and groomsmen arrived at different times via helicopter, so they were able to take in the sights of Auckland before the nuptials (pictured)

The Kiwi couple wed at the lavish Te HiHi Estate, which boasts 92 acres of grounds and facilities in a secluded setting close to Auckland.

They had a marquee custom built at the grounds, where they hosted their reception for their 100 guests.

‘There were so many highlights to the day, it’s hard to pick a standout moment,’ Josef said.

‘My favourite part would have to be when we were pronounced husband and wife. We both looked at each other and knew that we had finally made it. All that stress was worth it!’

The personal trainer also loved the theatre around their wedding, which saw the bride and groom fly into the venue at separate times with ‘our bridal party arriving by helicopter’.

‘It was so great arriving and overlooking Auckland from above,’ Josef said. 

‘It really helped to calm the nerves before the big moment.’

The couple held their ceremony outdoors in front of their guests (pictured)

The couple held their ceremony outdoors in front of their guests (pictured)

'My favourite part would have to be when we were pronounced husband and wife. We both looked at each other and knew that we had finally made it. All that stress was worth it!' Josef said (pictured after saying 'I do')

‘My favourite part would have to be when we were pronounced husband and wife. We both looked at each other and knew that we had finally made it. All that stress was worth it!’ Josef said (pictured after saying ‘I do’)

No expense was spared on the big day, whether via accessories and details, the food or choreography. Josef said he and Maryam had nine dance lessons to prepare for their first dance (details pictured)

No expense was spared on the big day, whether via accessories and details, the food or choreography. Josef said he and Maryam had nine dance lessons to prepare for their first dance (details pictured)

No expense was spared on the big day, whether via accessories and details, the food or choreography. Josef said he and Maryam had nine dance lessons to prepare for their first dance (details pictured)

Tips to set your day apart 

* Keep a guest list that is close to your heart – only invite the people who you are closest to.

* Hire a good photographer and videographer. You will want to look back on the most important day of your life, so capturing it is a must.

* If you have any cultural elements, add those to the day. Josef’s wife is Middle Eastern and so they did her entrance into the reception with drummers and Arabic music.

Other highlights of their lavish ceremony and reception included a choreographed first dance to Beauty and the Beast by Ariana Grande.

‘We had had nine dance lessons in order to get it perfect, and we finally nailed it on the evening,’ Josef said. 

‘Our wedding cake was also incredible. A four-tier origami cake with beautiful detailing. I was a big fan of the food. 

‘We had an ice-cream truck from Mister Gelato for dessert, as well as fresh seafood canapes for the guests to enjoy while mingling with champagne.’

The couple budgeted $160,000 for their wedding and said they spent close to that amount.

‘Our wedding was customised and personalised by our wedding planner to bring our dream day to a reality,’ Josef said.

‘It was so worth the wait in the end.’ 

The couple’s wedding follows an even more elaborate proposal that took the internet by storm in 2018.

At the proposal, the ‘world’s number one online trainer’ asked his girlfriend of three years to marry him with the help of a full camera crew, a hot pink Range Rover worth $100,000 and a decadent ring.

‘Yesterday I asked the the girl of my dreams to spend the rest of her life with me,’ he previously captioned a video on Instagram, which shows the moment his wife-to-be’s car was unveiled. 

The couple budgeted $160,000 for their wedding and said they spent close to that amount (the marquee pictured)

The couple budgeted $160,000 for their wedding and said they spent close to that amount (the marquee pictured)

The couple's elaborate wedding follows an even more elaborate proposal that took the internet by storm in 2018, where the 'world's number one online trainer' asked his girlfriend of three years to marry him with the help of a full camera crew, a hot pink Range Rover worth $100k and a decadent ring (pictured)

The couple's elaborate wedding follows an even more elaborate proposal that took the internet by storm in 2018, where the 'world's number one online trainer' asked his girlfriend of three years to marry him with the help of a full camera crew, a hot pink Range Rover worth $100k and a decadent ring (pictured)

The couple’s elaborate wedding follows an even more elaborate proposal that took the internet by storm in 2018, where the ‘world’s number one online trainer’ asked his girlfriend of three years to marry him with the help of a full camera crew, a hot pink Range Rover worth $100k and a decadent ring (pictured)

Josef blindfolded Maryam, and flew her in a helicopter into Eden Park. He picked her up and carried her to a place in the centre of the near-empty football stadium where a giant pink box stood waiting filled with a Range Rover. He then proposed with a stunning ring (pictured)

Josef blindfolded Maryam, and flew her in a helicopter into Eden Park. He picked her up and carried her to a place in the centre of the near-empty football stadium where a giant pink box stood waiting filled with a Range Rover. He then proposed with a stunning ring (pictured)

Josef blindfolded Maryam, and flew her in a helicopter into Eden Park. He picked her up and carried her to a place in the centre of the near-empty football stadium where a giant pink box stood waiting filled with a Range Rover. He then proposed with a stunning ring (pictured)

Josef blindfolded Maryam, and flew her in a helicopter into Eden Park.

He picked her up and carried her to a place in the centre of the near-empty football stadium where a giant pink box stood waiting.  

Walking towards the luxury box, he slowly unravelled a Tiffany-style white bow, upon which point a mass of white and pink balloons escaped to reveal a custom Range Rover convertible.

Only then did Josef get down on one knee with a huge sparkling diamond in hand.    

To find out more about Josef Rakich, you can follow him on Instagram here

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