Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
We met in January 2010 at my flat in Parnell while we were both at University. My flatmate Ben was a friend of Simon’s and once we had finally been introduced to each other, that was that. I knew I loved him after only 3 weeks and knew I would marry him one day.
After many years of long distance and moving cities we are now both based in Auckland. I am a Marketing Manager at Microsoft and Simon is a Mechanical Engineer and works for Transpower. Simon proposed in June 2016, two days before we left for our six month trip around Europe. It was a complete surprise because I thought (as did everyone else) he would do it overseas. It was the perfect way to start the trip of a lifetime together and it made it so special.
We have a lot in common but we are also polar opposites in some ways. We definitely balance each other out. Simon is very calm and patient. He likes to analyse situations and do his research, whereas I am more emotional (he says crazy), spontaneous and I am incredibly impatient. He is the most forgiving, kindhearted person and he sees and assumes the best in everyone. We are always teaching each other something new. We definitely share a love of our families, friends and our cat baby Nova. We also enjoy travelling together, exploring new places and spending time at the Mount and the beach.
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…
We got married in Pyes Pa which is 20 minutes from my hometown Mount Maunganui. We chose our venue (and most of our vendors) while we were travelling Europe. We always knew we wanted to be married outside in Summer so soon as we saw Ataahua online we knew it was perfect and we locked it in right away. It is such a stunning venue so we simply added a few touches to make it our own.
We didn’t really have a specific theme and wanted to use the venue as our inspiration, we just wanted everything to be modern and simple and I didn’t want it to be too feminine. I wanted my bridesbabes to be in white but plain as a contrast to my own dress and we tried to add different ideas from our Europe travels, spraying the rose stems silver was one of those ideas and I love what it added to the look. My Dad is big on peanut slabs, they are a cult classic in my family so they were on all the tables as favours.
Our favourite details (apart from my dress of course) were actually already part of the venue or the venue grounds itself. The walled garden, the oudoor fireplace, the hanging wreaths in the marquee, the style of the main building where we had our bridal shots, the manicured gardens. Everything set the scene so perfectly for our day and it was a total dream. Plus Abby and her team are incredible!
Tell us about your main outfits:
I am not very traditional and didn’t want a wedding dress. I didn’t even know where I would find what I wanted but one day while we were in Naples I was online looking at designer dresses and seeing what came up on Still White, and there it was. It sounds so cliché but as soon as I saw it I just knew. I bought it immediately after trying to measure myself versus the size 0 measurements all while in our Airbnb with no ruler. The dress was in Australia so I had it sent to my bridesbabe in NZ. I wouldn’t get to see it or try it until we returned home from Europe three months later.
Luckily it was perfect. It originally had full length sleeves, which I adored but I had removed so it wasn’t so hot, the hand-rendered lace is quite thick. It’s stunning! I also love that it was previously worn at a wedding in Paris, to me that makes it more incredible. The one thing I knew I always wanted was a dress that showed off my shoes, the thoughts of a shoe lover. My shoes are Kurt Geiger which I bought in Scotland in our final weeks in Europe.
Simon bought his suit and shoes from Strellson while we were in Krakow, Poland. He knew what style he wanted and that he wanted to stand out or be different in some way from his groomsmen. His shirt was a stunning bluey purple colour and he actually had a matching pocket square too which slipped out of sight for the whole day. He paired his navy suit with navy suede monk shoes, also from Strellson, we have never seen any shoes quite like them. More shoe love.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
EVERYTHING! The whole day was incredible, better than we could have imagined! Seeing each other for the first time for our first look was a real highlight. The look on Simon’s face and the feelings we had isn’t something I will ever forget. We were so pleased we chose to do photos before the ceremony because the most important thing to us was creating a day with our friends and family where we could make the most of our time with them.
I loved having both my parents walk me down the aisle, that was really important to me and I know they both loved that moment too. Our ceremony was incredible thanks to our celebrant Will who made it so fun and easy and everyone loved him! He got rave reviews. Saying the vows we wrote for each other in front of all those people we love meant the world to us. Our first dance was also very special, there were tears around the room.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
Something we have learnt over the past year especially is to have each other’s back. Be there for each other no matter what. That is what family is all about. Assume the best of each other, be patient, and think about how important something is, will it bother you in a day, a month, a year? Pick your battles, most of them won’t be worth it. Smile at each other, make each other laugh and have fun! And I’m very touchy feely (Simon would say grabby) so keep touching each other, even just holding hands or having a cuddle every day is important.
Photographer: Nisha Ravji | Ceremony and reception location: Ataahua Garden Venue | Celebrant: Will Johnston | Styling and flora: OLIVIA ROSE Creative | Catering: Devour Catering | Cakes: The Cheesecake Shop | Hair and makeup: Fiona Claire Beauty | Wedding dress: Jonathan Simkhai | Shoes: Kurt Geiger | Groom’s attire and shoes: Strellson, Rembrandt | Engagement ring and bride’s wedding band: Culet Jewellery | Groom’s wedding band: Warren James | Bridesmaids’ dresses: THE ICONIC, Glassons | Groomsmen’s attire: Hallensteins