Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

Nick and I are quite opposite. I am loud and bossy and Nick is quiet and thoughtful. It works brilliantly! We met before the days of Tinder; the old-fashioned way. His best friend was dating my best friend and they wanted to set us up. Nick fell in love with me because of my intellectual questions about his dog’s nipples and my love for him blossomed with his care and love he showed to his family and friends.

Nicholas is a self-employed builder who loves a project! He is a typical tradie in that he starts out with the best intention with jobs around the home but can never quite finish them. He loves spending time with his family, travelling and enjoys a few beers with his mates.

I work for a hospitality company in the accounts and payroll department. I greatly enjoy spreadsheets and number crunching! I am also massive yoga fan and cannot wait to get Nick into it on our honeymoon to India. Hopefully he doesn’t regret letting me choose the destination!

We share our home and hearts with two fur babies, Layhee, a Jack Russell and Ted, a Pomeranian. They are delightful pooches and cannot wait to be older siblings to little humans soon.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…

Our day was super special as nobody knew what was about to happen except our parents and a few relatives who came from overseas. All of our guests thought that they were coming to a regular engagement party but after an hour it turned into a surprise wedding! Being a surprise, it was very short and sweet and we kept things to a minimum.

We got married in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in a beautiful loft style setting that overlooks the gallery. I often went there in my lunch breaks in winter to read my book or have a look around and really liked the big open spaces.

Our main feature and what everything was kind of styled around was definitely the stunning floral wall that our wonderful florist Jolene created. Nick built this huge frame (which I kind of helped to paint) and Jolene and her team did the most amazing job of decorating it in deep reds, purples and pinks. It was truely breathtaking! A few of our guests actually thought that it was a part of an art instillation at the gallery! We were wed in front of this and our guests all enjoyed taking photos in front of it afterwards.

The dress I wore was kind of vintage inspired with floral lace in light pink and cream. So having big and bold flowers were definitely a key feature for us.

One of my other favourite features was the cake that my mum made. It was so big and gorgeous with some simple flowers decorating it on a vintage brass plate. The fact that my mum spent ages making this for us was so kind and truely meant a lot to us. Especially as it had naked icing on it and she hated doing naked icing as she thinks it looks stingy!

On the day after the wedding, our super talented photographer Erin took us to go get some lovely photos done on the peninsula in our wedding attire. It was pretty special for us to have our photos taken in this area as we had just purchased our first home out this way and we both love our beautiful moody city. Our dogs came along and stole the show of course so that was pretty hilarious with them running up and down cliffs and jumping up on my dress with muddy paws!

Tell us about your main outfits:

From intense Instagram stalking I found the most divine brand called Odylyne the Ceremony and fell head over heels in love. Due to the time restraints on our wedding day (we planned it all within three months) my dress had to be purchased very fast.

I also didn’t want to spend a million dollars as I would only be wearing this dress for three hours so I decided to have a look at StillWhite.com where they sell secondhand designer wedding dresses. Fortunately for me my dream dress was available on there and I got it sent over from Australia. It fit like a glove so was well worth all of the logistical stress!

As a builder Nick doesn’t often get a chance to dress up so it was most exciting seeing him try on suits! He chose a beautiful navy one that looked very dashing on him.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

As our wedding was a surprise, the wedding itself was definitely the most stand out feature of the night! The lights were dimmed, the bridal march was played and our MC announced that this was in fact a surprise wedding. One of our best friends did a reading that she had five minutes to prepare for and the couple that set us up were out witnesses. It was all done and dusted in about ten minutes flat!

Hearing the screaming and excitement from outside the room whilst I was getting changed was definitely a highlight for me.

We liked the fact that everyone felt very involved in our special day and it was definitely a more intense experience for our guests due to the element of surprise.

A favourite moment of mine was when my dad came into the changing room to get me for the big walk in and I gave him a big hug and I actually badly bent his glasses that were loose in his jacket pocket. He was in such a worried state that he was going to have to make a speech in front of all of these people with these broken glasses that he didn’t even notice that I had changed into my wedding dress!

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

Just do yourselves and you will find that everything else will come together perfectly! I think what works so well for us is we have very different interests and it’s important to not lose yourself in a relationship. Your wedding day should be a reflection of your love for each other and showcase your individuality as well.

Photography: Acorn Photography | Ceremony and reception location: Dunedin Public Art Gallery | Celebrant: Grace Ockwell | Entertainment: Anne Marie Nelson | Flora: Estelle Flowers | Catering: Plato | Cake: Mother of the bride | Hair: Aart on St Andrew | Wedding dress: Odylyne the Ceremony | Shoes: Topshop | Groom’s attire and shoes: Barkers | Rings: Creeps and Violets

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