Stuff's wedding of the week
Nicholas may not have been dressed to impress the first time he met his future bride, but he more than made up for it with a heart-meltingly romantic proposal.
The pair celebrated their engagement in Paris and went on to tie the knot in the equally beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound.
We'll let Frances fill you in on all the details as you peruse the stunning photos...
How did you meet? We were both at Uni in Christchurch and we met at an 80s dress up party of a mutual friend. Nick sealed the deal with his irresistible corduroy jacket that he stole out of his father's wardrobe for the occasion!
Tell us about the proposal: We were living in London doing our OE and we had travelled to Paris for the weekend to celebrate my 30th birthday. Nick gave me a lovely handmade card with a hand-drawn rose on the front. Inside the card was a poem but it was all written in French. He wouldn't tell me what it said until the end of our weekend when we were relaxing on the grass outside the Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Montmartre, then he translated and it was the most wonderful poem all about me and at the end he asked me to marry him! Ha ha can you believe it? It's all true!!!
Later on, when we were travelling around Europe before returning home to New Zealand, I lost my engagement ring while making a snowman on the top of Montenvers in Chamonix, France. I didn't realise until later on in the day and we looked through our photos to see when I last had it. Unfortunately it was lost forever - but my Nan had said that I could have an engagement ring of hers, my Great Aunty's engagement ring, so when we got back to New Zealand it was there waiting for me. Perfect serendipity really.
Location of wedding: Lochmara Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound. We were married overlooking the sea. The lodge is also a nature reserve and sanctuary with cool things like a sculpture trail, avairy, vege garden and fish feeding. It was so beautiful. In the evening there was phosphorus in the sea.
Describe your wedding day: We wanted to have a really relaxed wedding that would also be a bit of an adventure/new experience for our friends and family. We organised accommodation for everyone, as they all had to travel to get there, and Lochmara Lodge provided a launch so they could get to the venue as the only access is to tramp in or by boat.
I hope that it was as much of a special time for them as it was for us. Our aisle consisted of the wharf at the lodge, and I arrived by boat and walked up to Otis Redding's Sitting on the Dock of the Bay. The ceremony played out overlooking the sea and then we retired inside for a three course meal, speeches and dancing.
The dress: The dress is from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company, London - not purchased from them directly but from a charity sale in Soho. It had to travel all the way from Europe to New Zealand in a giant suitcase, but survived the journey thank goodness.
The flowers: We purchased cut flowers from Moffatts Flower Co. in Halswell, Christchurch. I purchased a mix of roses, stock, gypsophila, chrysanthemums, daisies and lisianthus - all white in colour. The bouquets and button-holes were made by Nick's sister-in-law Penny and she used the brown craft string that we had been using for everything else to tie the bases of the bouquets. Nick's sister-in-law Laurie made the table flower arrangements.
Highlight of the wedding: For me it would have to be going back to our room ... it's ok, keep reading... and on the wall was a painting by one of the guests at our wedding; Marty Kersey. It totally blew my mind, especially when we found out later that he had NO IDEA that the painting was even at the venue, and there was only one painting of his there, and it happened to be displayed in our room!!! What is going on in the universe?
Was there any drama? On the morning of the wedding Nick and his groomsmen went out for a spot of fishing to relax his nerves. Within about ten minutes Nick pulled up his first ever snapper! This led to a special mention from the celebrant and a whole bunch of terrible snapper related puns!
The honeymoon: After the wedding we stayed at a Bay in The Sounds for a few days where we had provided accommodation for some of our guests - some stayed on for a couple of days afterwards. After this we headed to Kaiteriteri in the Nelson Bays for a relax and unwind. The weather was perfect and we even managed a swim and some paddleboarding.
Your photographer and favourite photo? Our photographer was Anthony Strong of Circularink. He spent two days hanging out with us, one before the wedding and the wedding day. He took some great casual photos as well as the formal wedding shots. It's hard to pick a favourite, but we both love the shot of me throwing the bouquet into the abyss. (It was thrown onto the boat as some guests headed back to the mainland and landed safely on board).