Love was certainly in the air at St. Therese Accommodation and Retreat, Leauva’a, on Friday. The beautiful surrounding of the place provided the perfect backdrop for Mata’afa Anitele’a and Bridie Ann Henson to begin their journey as husband and wife.
The pair exchanged vows before God and in the presence of their families and friends, to love and cherish each other until eternity. The bride, Bridie Ann Henson is 25 years old and she is a High-school teacher. She is the daughter of Kay and Russel Henson from Christchurch, New Zealand. The groom, Mata’afa Anitele’a Mata’afa is the son of Mata’afa Petelo and Atusamoa Mata’afa. He is 32 years old and from the village of Lufilufi.
Speaking to the Sunday Samoan, Mata’afa said this is an exciting time for them. “We’ve been together for quite some time and I am probably the happiest man on earth today,” he said. Trust and unconditional love is the secret to the success of their relationship, he said. “I met Bridie at one of our fun nights in Christchurch after the clubs,” he said. “She was the most beautiful girl I have ever seen, and she still is the most beautiful girl in my eyes. “I’ve been preparing for this day for four years and I am just grateful to the Man above for His guidance and for our families for making this day possible for us.”
Mata’afa described his wife as beautiful, gorgeous, warm, funny, loving and friendly.
“She is not perfect but I know that she is perfect for me.”
Mata’afa proposed to Bridie about a year and a half ago. They could have had the wedding in Christchurch where they both reside, but Mata’afa said he wanted Bridie’s family to have a taste of the Samoan culture. This is why he insisted to have the wedding in Samoa. “Her whole extended family and friends from all around the world are here. And I wanted my family to witness this special day and I wanted Bridie’s family to see our country and experience our culture.
“And I am happy not only because we have all our families and friends here, but also because I am now married to the love of my life, who is also my best friend.”
The newlyweds were joined by their families and friends from New Zealand, Canada, Australia, England and Samoa at a reception held at the St. Therese Retreat and Accommodation.