I came to New Zealand from Mexico in 2012 with a working holiday visa to work and travel for a year and take a break from my job. I met Eddie while I was waitressing at a pub in Auckland, he worked on the kitchen team. We went for heaps of coffee, walking and skate dates and before I knew it he’d showed me the whole North Island and surprised me with a visit in Queenstown when I went to work there for the winter.
Eddie had an interview to work as a chef at The Oyster Inn, so we went over to Waiheke the night before to try the menu so he could be ready. As soon as we arrived at the restaurant he starting ordering everything on the menu but once we got it he was hardly eating, and holding my hand really tight. I asked him what was going on and he said he was just nervous about the interview. Halfway through the main course he stood up saying he wanted to introduce himself to the manager. When he came back he just said, ‘I love you Paulina, with all my heart, I never met anyone like you.’ He was trying to remember how to propose in Spanish but he was too nervous, so he went down onto one knee and asked in English, ‘Will you marry me?’ I said, ‘Si’. After that our Waiheke dream began, as he got the job the next day and we moved to the rock.
We knew the wedding had to be on Waiheke – it was home and also an amazing place for my family and friends to discover. The venue was built by two American artists, a colourful Santa Fe-inspired hacienda surrounded by vineyards and farms – the perfect mix of ‘mexikiwi’ style! My favourite decor detail was that we didn’t use any real flowers – everything was cut and handcrafted with paper and or painted by hand.
Bayly & Moore came up with the idea of shooting some of our photos at our own home. Anyone who gets married on Waiheke can get wedding pics at cool vineyards, but not everyone’s lucky enough to live in a cute white bach on the top of the hill from Oneroa. We thought it was a brilliant idea because we’ll always cherish the home we had at the moment we were married and how it felt.
The day passes faster than you can ever imagine. It’s a day full of adrenaline and mixed emotions, it’s like having the greatest party of your life. It was surreal that all our best friends and family came together from Mexico, the US, Switzerland and Australia, just to celebrate our love and become part of it.