Myth, magic and a salty Californian breeze swept across Gisborne as Nicole and Choppie wed in utter backyard bliss. Boheme-elegance electrified their nuptials in their very own slice of paradise before a backdrop of lush sage and pear hues. With daughters Nia and Coco by their side, memorable layers of laughter, free spirits and open romance engulfed friends and family.
Atop the gusty wild cliffs, Nicole was a vision of the female spirit in her Daughters of Simone gown; a seventies silhouette, fluted sleeves licking the wind, pleated daisy-cream chiffon and an overall golden state glow.
Their secluded garden soiree brought summer narratives and a covetous affinity with bohemia. The day was steeped in uncomplicated, soft dreamy light and spontaneous, relaxed energy. At sun down, a celestial dance floor unfolded, lit by the moon and strings of lights. Details of their dreamy day below.
Moments deeply captured by Oriwia Soutar.
How did you meet and how long have you been together?
We met at Rhythm and Vines, exactly nine years ago on our wedding day.
How would you describe each other? Nicole – I would describe Choppie as sensitive, hard working, extremely caring, very relaxed and a wonderful friend, partner and father!
Choppie – I would describe Nicole as fun and a great mum – my favourite person in the world.
Tell us a little bit about the proposal and your engagement?
The proposal was super relaxed, with both of our girls there. Simple beer at the beach during Summer. I was totally caught off guard and so stoked that both of the girls were there.
Tell us about your wedding style. What influenced your planning for the day?
We have two beautiful girls, Nia and Coco, and have been together for nine years so for us the day was very much about celebrating our love and our family with our nearest and dearest. We kept everything very casual, and wanted the whole day to be very family orientated. A lot of our friends have children as well and so they were all invited too – it was so special to see them playing together throughout the day! It was your classic kiwi backyard wedding.
One rule that we had from the get go was that we wanted the process to be as stress-free as possible and through all the planning that was what we kept coming back to, to keep ourselves grounded. The day was about our love and our girls – and it was that simple.
What was your favourite moment from the day?
Seeing each other for the first time as Nicole was walking down the isle.
Do you have a favourite quote or piece of your vows you would like to share? The last line on both of our vows was “I will love you, fiercely and unconditionally for the rest of my life.”
What does marriage mean to you?
For us marriage was just about solidifying our family. We have been together for so long that relationship wise nothing really changed, but it really is just another level of commitment. And nice now that we all have the same last name.
Why did you choose your destination?
We wanted to keep our wedding as relaxed as possible, which included keeping costs as low as possible. We bought our section almost two years ago and are planning to build on it this year. It’s a massive open space (1600Sqm) so we had total free reign on whatever we wanted to do!
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
KEEP IT SIMPLE. Your wedding should be about celebrating your love for one and other, not about trying to impress your friends and family. You don’t have to spend a crazy amount of money for one day.
Who were your stand out vendors?
Definitely our food truck. Again – things were kept very simple with just three burger options but Verity (from Curbside Café) made the whole process so easy. Her wonderful staff brought trays around to everyone so there was no awkward queuing for food etc.