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Nicky + Matt’s journey began on Hyde Street, Dunedin. A chance encounter with neither knowing just what was to come… Their engagement location was quite the opposite to the Hyde Steet origins, with Matt popping the question at sunset, on a romantic evening in Rome, Italy. 

Both sentimental souls, with Matt’s roots firmly etched on the family’s Marlborough Farm, the decision was easily made to celebrate their forever love locally, in a place that held countless meaning and memories for them both.

They promised their forever’s within the change of seasons, Autumn. With their rich, tonal palette influenced by Autumn’s mosaic of colour, grapevines of yellow and gold, trees and leaves a carpet of fireworks. Both speaking about how incredible it was arriving at their ceremony to a crowd of special faces waiting to celebrate them, those faces made even more important as there were a few who unfortunately were unable to make it due to covid regulations…

And although the rain came, spirits were not dampened, rather it was embraced and added another element to what was already their favourite day ever.

“Remember why are you getting married in the first place which is for love and love doesn’t care about rain or anything else. Soak it all up, smile, laugh, and hug your loved ones, it is such an amazing special day to have all your favourite people in one location celebrating your love and happiness.”

Another highlight from the day was the secret helicopter ride Matt had arranged, with the two of them plus their photographer David James + Videographer BeJoined Films joining them to fly into the moody Marlborough Hills for photos. Champagne was popped and celebrations started early… The night finished with a wicked dancefloor captured perfectly by David James. You can read all about Nicky+ Matt’s journey and their wedding day below.

How did you meet and how long have you been together? 

We have been together since we were 20 years old, so 9 years this year. We first met back in 2012 when 20-year-old Matt was out roaming the streets of Dunedin with his mates and decided to go and check out the new girls living in their old flat on Hyde Street. There were 7 girls living there but after the meeting, Matt only remembered one… He ended up saving his number in my phone as “hot pull”… little did he know he was about to initiate the beginning of our love story and our life together.

Tell us a little bit about the proposal and your engagement? 

We went on a 6-week trip overseas back in the day when we had the freedom of traveling. We were in Rome in Italy on Aventine Hill (one of the seven hills on which ancient Rome was built on). It is a stunning place to watch the sunset and is also known to have the most amazing delicious orange trees. After a couple of hours of watching the sunset and talking to people from all around the world, we ended up getting kicked off the hill by police due to it closing at night… Before we left though, I quickly ran to try and pick those juicy oranges to taste test and Matt ran back to help me pick them. When most people had left, Matt got on one knee and absolutely nailed the surprise proposal after one of the most beautiful, fun days on our travels. What amazing too is that there were a couple of girls walking by who predicted a proposal was going to happen, so they took photos which they bravely came over to offer to us. It meant so much for us to keep that special moment forever. 

How would you describe each other? 

Matt describes Nicky: an extraordinary person who is organised, funny, kind and she cares for and treasures the time she spends with anyone. She is worthy of a bafflingly handsome and intelligent husband, so I count my lucky stars she married me before she found one (haha). Nicky describes Matt: the most handsome man I have ever laid my eyes upon, he is very funny and always makes me smile. Fiercely loyal, patient and calm.

Tell us about your wedding style. What influenced your planning for the day? 

We chose to have it in Autumn as Marlborough is STUNNING around that time with the grapevines turning golden, orange and red and the days are beautifully crisp and blue with golden evening light. This is also where our colour palette for the wedding started. It’s one of our favourite seasons. Being on the farm too we wanted to have a relaxed and rustic feel where our guests had the fun to dress up but also would let their hair down.

Why did you choose your destination? 

We had it on Matt’s parent’s farm which is where he grew up. Recently Matt and his brothers have started a business together planting grapes on the land too. So there is a lot of history for him there and I am very sentimental, so we both really wanted to have the wedding at the homestead. It is also an amazingly beautiful spot with great family memories there of many chats out on the verandah looking out to the stunning view.

What was your favourite moment from the day?

Matt’s was the helicopter ride which he had kept a secret from Nicky until the moment it landed to take us up on the hills for our photos. Neither of us had been in one before so it was all very exciting as well as having a moment to ourselves after the ceremony. Mine was arriving at the ceremony, it was so amazing to see all of our guests waiting in anticipation with grins on their faces excited to celebrate Matt and I. It meant so much to us to celebrate with those that could make it as there were a lot that couldn’t due to COVID including one of my brothers. Also seeing all of the details come together as it all looked so beautiful, our vendors are LEGENDS!

One more is getting to kiss Matt for the first time as my husband, it was an amazing feeling to have all the fun lead up to sealing it with a kiss.

What does marriage mean to you? 

Matt: It means commitment. Finding that person that you can rely on through sickness and health. Nicky: I read something by Nicholas Sparks when I was researching what to write for my vows and it really resonated with me: “Marriage is about becoming a team, you’re going to spend the rest of your life learning about each other and every now and then things blow up. But the beauty of marriage is that if you picked the right person and you both love each other, you’ll always figure out a way to get through it.” Matt and I have been through our lumps and bumps over the years but we always seem to come out the other side stronger having learnt more about each other and coming together to overcome whatever it may be and to me, that is someone who I want by my side for the rest of my life, that is marriage.

Advice for other couples planning a wedding? 

Do it your way. Don’t worry about traditions or whether it’s what other people do, it’s you and your partner’s day, not anyone else’s. Remind yourself what is important on the day and that is you and your partner. Surround yourself with amazing people including picking the right vendors who are lovely and easy to work with. Everything else is a bonus. For Matt and I our beloved dog went missing the night before (thankfully she was found the morning of the wedding), we weren’t able to have the ceremony where we planned initially due to the rain (it never rains in Marlborough…), and not everyone was able to make it due to COVID. However, with a few things not going the way planned, bring it back to basics and make the most of what is good in life instead of focusing on what is going bad, which is another reason to surround yourself with the right people who uplift your spirits and only want the best for you. Remember why are you getting married in the first place which is for love and love doesn’t care about rain or anything else. Soak it all up, smile, laugh and hug your loved ones, it is such an amazing special day to have all your favourite people in one location celebrating your love and happiness.

Who were your stand out vendors?

Photography: David James and videographer Jared Buckley ( BeJoined Films), when we went up the hills to get the photographs it was a misty, moody afternoon and being on a farm there were lots of cowpats. Both Jared and David were machines running up and down the steep hills to capture Matt and I, through the cowpats, mud and everything else just to make sure they captured us perfectly. Not only that but the number of hours they put in on the day was crazy and the enthusiasm they brought to the day was so much fun. I totally respect what they do, very hard workers and it doesn’t stop on the day it’s the hours of editing after.

Stationery: Working with Caitlyn from C.G Creative on all of my stationery was a really fun way of getting excited about the wedding. We created a monogram together for Matt and I which we turned into a wax stamp for the invites and save the dates. Never did I know how much fun stationery is to work with, from picking the types of paper to the font and how it all fits in with the rest of the details on the day. She got me so excited and we had so much fun together on the lead-up.

Florals: Rebecca from Forget Me Not Design is a semi-retired florist as she now has three children to look after and a busy household to take care of. She blew it out of the water everything she touched was floral magic. I gave her a mood board and my colour palette and she came back with a few questions and then turned up on the day and turned it all into more than I ever imagined. She is so talented and so easy to work with.

Catering: We were always a fan of Feast Merchants as they cater at local events or at the Sunday farmers market. We did a family-style table where they place multiple plates of food down and you share it around as we wanted our guests to feel relaxed like at home sharing the food and having a good old yarn across the table. However not only is their food amazing but their work ethic is unreal too. In the lead up they let me know what we needed, where we needed it and if I didn’t know they suggested things that worked previously almost like an event planner which was great! Their staff stayed to clean up and sorted the rubbish/recycling into piles, sort each of the equipment we hired from multiple companies and they packed it up into piles ready to be picked up the next day which we highly recommend. A lot less work for the day after.

Dress: I was meant to go up to Wellington where my Mum lives and where she grew up to try on dresses. However, COVID hit so couldn’t go. Lisa from Astra Bridal was amazing, she had a skype meeting with me to talk about the type of wedding, what the theme is and what I’m looking for in a dress. She then sent me three dresses to try on which I video called mum, Lisa and had my mother in law and bridesmaid at my house to do the show and tell. I was able to say yes to my dream dress all because Astra Bridal worked their magic to allow me to still have a great time trying on their dresses. They also helped me find the veil that I had envisioned to complete the look.

Hair: My hairdresser and sister in law Amiee Harrison (works at H&Co in Auckland) has always done a perfect job on my hair, so I totally let her do her thing and went with it. Her inspiration was Elsa from Frozen and the result was perfect. It flowed down my back with the low back wedding dress and the golden vine intertwined just lifted up the look and made it more formal and wow factor as my dress was a classic simple. All you Aucklanders make the most of having her, she’s cut and coloured + now perfected my wedding hair. She just has the magic touch and knows just what to do.

Celebrant: James Galloway was our celebrant. He was so easy to work with, sent us templates to fill in so he could make sure he could perfect our ceremony. Met up with a beer the week of the wedding to touch base and catch up which was really nice to get to know him before he married us. He was the perfect mixture of funny, kind and knew when to get serious. Made the ceremony enjoyable for not only us but for our guests too which was great.


Photographer: David James Photography | Videographer: BeJoined Films | Florals: Forget Me Not Design | Prop or Furniture Hire: Betty and Co + Your Day Hire + Got it Covered | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Brookby Marlborough (private) | Bridal Gown: Marley by Jenny Yoo via Astra Bridal | Veil/Headpiece: Astra Bridal | Bridal Shoes: Merchant 1848 | Bridesmaids Dresses: Blak | Rings: Engagement ring was Matt’s Great Grandmother’s altered by GMW Jewellery Wedding and wedding band was done by Zoe Porter Jewellery | Hair Stylist: Amiee Harrison | Makeup Artist: Lucinda Campbell | Groom’s Suit: Hallensteins | Groom’s Shoes: Hannahs– Hush Puppies | Flower Girl/Page Boy Outfits: Farmers & Cotton On | Stationery: C.G Creative | Signage: Glitter Décor NZ | Celebrant: James Galloway | Catering: Feast Merchants | Cake: Friend | Entertainment: A Minor Thing | Marquee / Teepee: Got it Covered | Transport: Road Trips 

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