"Craig is originally from South Africa and I was born and raised in Australia. It was 2009 and we were both on our OE’s working as ‘lifties’ (ski lift operators) at a resort in Park City, Utah, USA. We became close friends throughout the winter, and this developed into something more after the season had ended. My parents had moved over to New Zealand while I was overseas, so I returned back to NZ for a few months, and Craig made the big move to join me soon after!"
Craig proposed In Paris (no, not at the Eiffel Tower!). It was in June 2014, we’d planned six weeks off work to holiday through Europe and visit Craig’s sister in London. After an amazing day exploring Versailles we headed back to the city then out for dinner at a quaint little French restaurant. Little did I know, Craig had been working himself up all day to pop the question. Once we got back to our cute, very Parisian little apartment, Craig put on ‘Into The Mystic’ by Van Morrison and poured us a drink. It was a beautiful summer night, and we were staying up on the fifth floor with little balconies that looked out over the incredible Paris skyline. It took a bit of creative persistence on Craig’s part, but when he got down on one knee I finally caught on to what was happening! It took me completely by surprise - it was pretty funny and very “us” - but a very special moment for both of us.
We were married at The Boathouse, 326 Wakefield Quay, Nelson, New Zealand in April 2016 surrounded by 80 friends and family. We decided on The Boathouse as it was right on the water and had a beautiful outdoor space that overlooked the bay, as well as a large indoor area with lots of character so could also easily allow for a wet weather option - although luckily we didn't need it! Craig & I run two retail stores Trouble & Fox as well as Sidecar Menswear. December and January are just insane, so we decided to push out the wedding to April once things had calmed down a bit. April fitted in a lot better for our family & friends too and it was very important that all our loved ones could be there to celebrate with us. Daylight savings had just ended and it could have been a bit risky with the weather, but we got so lucky! The weeks leading up to the wedding and the day itself were just stunning.
After brainstorming ideas for food, we decided on a Southwest/ Mexican inspired menu, and the theme kind of just grew from there! We love how Mexican food is so fresh and colourful, so we ended up with a very “fiesta” style wedding. Tonnes of bright flowers and succulents, kraft paper table runners, bright paper garlands strung from the ceiling and lots of gold and silver accents. It was kind of over the top, but really fun & vibrant and exactly what we wanted!
My dear friend Rosie Holt at Rose Tinted Flowers in Auckland was the wonder woman behind our gorgeous bouquets and floral styling.I researched fiesta and Mexican themed weddings and found a few ideas on Pinterest for inspiration. I fell in love with all the bright colours and eclectic mix of flowers and succulents. Rosie was incredible and captured our vision perfectly. The bouquets were a mix of dahlias, tulips, roses, freesias, proteas and succulents with solidago and eucalyptus, bound with long tendrils of brightly coloured ric-rac ribbon. The groomsmen wore buttonholes that complimented the bouquets.
We personalised a lot of the ceremony wording and wrote our own vows which was really special. Our celebrant, Diane Strong was amazing. She has a great sense of humour and a really bubbly, upbeat personality so she was a perfect fit for us. We met with Diane a few months earlier and she got to know us and our story and incorporated that into the ceremony. I had also found a piece of text that reflected us as couple, but tweaked it a bit to add a few funny lines and personal touches. Craig has Scottish heritage and used to play in his high school pipe band. My Mum had arranged for a local bagpiper to come and play at the end of the ceremony as a special surprise for Craig. Roses also hold a special significance for Craig’s family, so as the piper started to play our guests were cued to throw handfuls of red rose petals in celebration, but also in memory of our lost loved ones. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house!
I’ve always loved that 50s/60s vintage inspired look, and opted for a tea-length, fit and flare style dress with a sweetheart neckline and 3/4 length sheer mesh sleeves. I’m quite a curvy girl, so I wanted to wear a dress that suited my shape but also express my own personal style. I worked closely with my friend Hayley Lukies who conveniently happens to be a locally-based dressmaker whose an expert in bridal gowns..I started browsing some of the designers that we stocked in our own store, and stumbled across this incredible Trelise Cooper dress. The fabric was an amazing 3-dimensional laser cut floral lace and it had a beautiful full skirt with the added bonus of pockets! I fell in love with it immediately, and Trelise kindly sent it down for me to try. Then Hayley worked her magic to create the sheer sleeves, adding boning to the bodice and shaping into a sweetheart neckline. It was such a fun dress to wear, I felt like I was channeling my inner Bettie Page, it was perfect!
Although we own a menswear store, we don’t really stock any formal suits, so we looked around town and found that Barker’s had a good selection. Being in the industry, Craig wanted a sharp tailored look with a vintage twist, adding pops of colour to tie into our fiesta theme. He went for a slim fitting navy suit with a subtle burgundy and charcoal check running through the fabric. His shirt featured a brightly coloured floral print by Dutch menswear designer Scotch & Soda, from our store Sidecar Menswear. Craig accessorised with a Scotch & Soda navy printed bow tie, Raen sunglasses, Vanishing Elephant leather brogues & Parisian brand leather belt - also from our store Sidecar. He wore a fresh floral buttonhole featuring a red rose, in memory of his late mother Lynn.
The amazing Olivia at local bakery Baked By Olivia created our gorgeous wedding cake. We had a two-tiered vanilla cake with fresh berry compote and marscapone cream filling. We had a lot of other chocolatey dessert options, so the berry filling was a nice fresh alternative. We opted for a “naked” scraped back look with the icing, and had our florist decorate with the similar brightly coloured flowers from the bridal bouquets to tie in with our fiesta theme.
Make sure you soak it all up, actively take in each moment. The day flies by so quickly and theres so many people to thank and say hi to, at times it felt like I barely got to see my new husband! Perhaps consider setting aside even half an hour for you and your partner to have some quiet time alone just enjoying the moment together, it’s your day after all!
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