Real Weddings

Chloe & Nathan


We met on Castle Street in Dunedin at the birthday of a mutual friend. It was Nathan’s final year of university and we had a long-distance relationship for two years while I finished my degree in Dunedin, and he lived in Sydney. We really worked hard on our communication and treasured the time we got to spend together in the university holidays. The fact that living in different countries couldn’t get between us was a testament to the strength of our relationship. That’s when we knew we were meant for each other. In December 2016, after multiple failed attempts to get me up Mt Maunganui for a walk, Nathan gave in and we went to Otarawairere Beach, near Ohope, for the day. Nathan called me over – he’d written ‘will you marry me’ in the sand. I wasn’t expecting it at all and burst into tears.

We chose to marry in Ohope near where we got engaged. We love the beach and spend our summers there. It is a pretty special place to both of us. We stumbled across our ceremony location by accident on the Holiday Houses website. The property served as the groom and groomsmen’s accommodation for the wedding weekend and we had our ceremony on the front lawn. It was perfect. Our reception was at Ohope Golf Club – my dad, brothers and Nathan play golf together there over the summer.

I wanted a classic bridal look and looked around at quite a few different dresses but couldn’t find one that I truly loved. I wasn’t huge on lace and wanted to feel comfortable. Vinka Design were amazing and made me a beautiful dress that I absolutely loved. It was a fitted V-neck style with a long train that made photos on the beach interesting! I accessorised with a veil, statement earrings, Chaos & Harmony shoes and a ring passed on to me from my Nan.

Nathan wore a blue Barkers suit with a white shirt and a tie patterned with small whales. He wore socks with surfboards on them to go with the beach wedding theme and brown Wild Rhino boots. The groomsmen also wore blue suits that were from Hallensteins and perfectly paired with the bridesmaids’ teal silk dresses from Ruby. All the boys had matching cufflinks and pocket squares from Barkers.

NATHAN: As cheesy as it sounds, seeing Chloe walk down the aisle was the most memorable moment of the day. It was when reality hit – eight and a half years had led to this moment and it was finally happening. She was more beautiful than I had ever imagined. Lori the celebrant was super casual and injected humour into the ceremony as neither of us take ourselves too seriously.

At our reception we served a buffet dinner of classic Kiwi food with ham, beef, seafood and salads. There was something for everyone, including the vegetarians. We also had a buffet dessert spread with brownie, sticky date pudding and pavlova. We had lots of comments about the food – our guests loved everything. Although it was simple, it was full of classics, so everyone was pleased.

From what we’ve heard, people had just as good a time as we did. We really made an effort to bring everyone together and it was great to see new friendships built over the course of the weekend. Having so many people chip in and help out made it an absolute breeze. We didn’t have one issue with the day – it all went perfectly, and we were so happy to be celebrating with the people we love. We were both so relaxed for the whole weekend. I think this is also just us – we don’t take things too seriously and tend to roll with what we’re dealt. The words that come to mind looking back on our wedding are: Best. Day Ever! We wouldn’t change a thing, except to maybe drink more water before we went to sleep!


BRIDE’S GOWN Vinka Design. BRIDE’S SHOES Chaos & Harmony. BRIDE’S ACCESSORIES Zoe & Morgan. HAIR Laura Simpson. MAKEUP Fiona Crossett. RINGS Michael Hill Jeweller. BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES Ruby. GROOM’S SUIT, SHOES Barkers, Wild Rhino Shoes. GROOMSMEN’S ATTIRE Hallenstein Brothers. CEREMONY Ohope holiday rental from Holiday Houses. RECEPTION AND CATERING Ohope International Golf Club. CELEBRANT Lori Fretwell (bride’s aunt).  FLORIST Jo Fretwell (bride’s aunt). MUSIC Jade Music NZ. HIRE The Heirloom.


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