Photos from top left: Mint dress | Cichic, Teacups | Prue Ruscoe | Pat Moyer Photography, Navy bridesmaids | Jen Huang
Shoes | Katelyn James, Ring | Corbin Gurkin, Plate | Alea Lovely
We’re off to sunny California with the amazingly talented Cameron Ingalls this afternoon. A women’s health club is not exactly where you expect to find true love but that’s exactly what happened to this gorgeous couple. Make sure you read on to find out more about their lovely story and big day. Oh and before I forget… the gorgeous bride surprised her groom with a flash mob at their own wedding – check out the film here.
“In college I became a group fitness instructor and started teaching yoga, kickboxing, dance, and resistance training at a local all women’s health club (not exactly a place most go looking for love). After working there for about a year, I found that the gym was being purchased by a buyer who would own and manage the club. Little did I know that the guy turning our little gym into Equilibrium Fitness would one day be my husband!
For the next year we flirted at work, but we both felt a true relationship between owner and employee wouldn’t be appropriate. Dave would come take the dance classes I would teach. It was very endearing to see him trying so hard, even after he accidentally spun into one of the other female participants. Finally, after weeks of talking on the phone for hours each day like high-schoolers, we went out on our first date. From that night on we were completely inseparable. We kept our relationship a secret for a few weeks, but after only a month, we knew that what we had was serious enough to go public! Five years later, we were married on the anniversary of that first date.
For Christmas Dave presented me with an invitation that said, “Please join me for an exciting adventure on December 31, 2011.” We live in the country and our backyard looks out onto several acres of vineyards. On New Year’s Eve day, Dave took me on a zip-lining excursion through those very vineyards. At the end of the final zip-line, he caught me as I landed, removed my bulky zip-lining gloves, and said, “Are you happy?”
I replied, “Yes!”
“Did you have a good day?”
“Did you have a good adventure?”
After asking me, “Do you want the adventure to continue forever?” he got down on one knee and proposed. I was ecstatic and shaking and in disbelief and so ready to start our new adventure together!”
What was the inspiration for your wedding? Immediately after getting engaged, Dave and I sat down and promised each other that we wouldn’t lose sight of what this wedding was about to us: celebrating our love with the ones we love most. We wanted to have a day that was sacred and meaningful, but also fun and joyous. Above all else, we wanted to use this day as a beginning to our new adventure, and we wanted to feel free to express how meaningful and monumental this was for us to start our life as a new family of two. Because of all of this, our wedding was incredibly personal to us. We wrote our ceremony and our vows, and hand-picked each song that would be played all night. It felt like a true expression of us as a couple and of our love. To be able to share that with our friends and family was incredibly special.
Any DIY/budget elements? Most of our wedding was DIY. We dedicated countless weekends to all of our wedding projects in the months leading up to the big day. Dave rescued some old fence boards from a structure being torn down and we created the signs that told the story of our relationship. We used the boards to create the escort card frame and then hung a clue for each guest. In order to find their table number, the guest had to find which clue best described them (it could be a memory, and inside joke, or description) and then flip the card over to find their table. I also hand-painted the names of seven special places to us on placards that Dave had made to serve as our table “numbers.” Dave took the rings from old wine barrels we had on our property, along with a few mason and antique jelly jars, to make the gorgeous homemade chandelier that hung above our sweetheart table. My mom’s best friend planted 68 succulents into pots for our favors, and picked lavender from her property to decorate the ceremony chairs. We also designed our own wedding invitations with the help of a friend who has her degree in graphic arts.
There were so many details that made our day so completely us. I loved our journal, which had our handwritten vows inside. We each wrote our vows inside the journal beforehand (making sure that we didn’t accidentally peek at the other’s entry before the big day). During the ceremony we passed it back and forth to read to our words to each other. Now we fill the journal with love notes and reflections on our marriage that we write to each other on special days.
I also loved my wedding gift to Dave, which was a flashmob in the middle of dinner. He loves Ke$ha (a fact which he gets teased about mercilessly), so I choreographed a dance that a ton of our friends learned in the weeks before the wedding to Tik Tok by Ke$ha. It was amazing that our friends took the time and effort to really perfect it for Dave. The look on his face when we all went up there was amazing (and watching all my girlfriends’ husbands try to dance was pretty great too)!
The ceremony was the most amazing event of my life. Seeing Dave for the first time after walking down the aisle, I couldn’t stop touching his face and wiping his tears away. We were both complete cry babies! To hear him read me the vows he wrote for me and to be able to share my heart with him was so incredible. Dave’s uncle was our officiant. Together, we created our perfect ceremony with him. His uncle wrote a sweet piece about each of us and why we belonged together which he read to us for the first time during the ceremony. We also had our mothers each write a letter that expressed their love for us and their wishes for our marriage, which they read to us for the first time during the ceremony as well. We felt our ceremony really set the stage for the rest of the wedding, and sharing our love so intimately and openly with everyone there felt like such a special start to our marriage.
I never expected our day to be so incredibly emotional. Dave and I were crying and laughing for pretty much six hours straight. We chose to have a fairly small wedding and we were so happy we did. We were able to connect with everyone intimately, and to be able to have each of those individuals there solely to celebrate our love was an amazing thing.
Dave’s father passed away when he was 26. He was there in spirit in many ways. Dave wore his father’s boots and we used his father’s wedding ring as Dave’s band. The ring had his parents’ wedding date inscribed on the inside, so I surprised Dave by inscribing our date, along with the words, “Let the adventures begin,” as a play off of his proposal.
Nikki & Mark met in a thoroughly modern way – over the internet. And the proposal was equally modern day to match – in bed, chatting about life, when a ring materialised and was popped on Nikki’s finger… love that! Their wedding was the blend of the bride’s South African heritage and the groom’s Kiwi upbringing. Nikki’s step-mother performed a traditional custom which involved sweeping the path with a grass broom, to clear the way for our futures together. What a lovely personal touch! The loved up couple were lucky to have Anna Munro along on their day to capture these special moments. And with Mindy from Twig & Arrow behind the gorgeous florals they were certainly in safe hands.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I had always known that I would not have a traditional wedding or dress. I found a beautiful designer dress that I completely fell in love with but we were on a tight budget so having a dress made by a designer was never going to happen. I ended up buying my dress online for a fraction of the price.
Any DIY/Budget elements? We were on a tight budget and I originally thought I would like to do it all myself. But as the months went by I realised that this would not necessarily make it cheaper. And it was so good knowing that certain elements of the wedding were someone else’s worry. All the stationary, favours, table decorations, vases and gold animals were DIY projects.
Describe your wedding flowers: Mindy, from Twig and Arrow did an amazing job with the flowers. We wanted our South African/Kiwi theme to come through strongly in the flowers we used. My bouquet was a soft mix of pink freesia, white avalanche roses, pink proteas and succulents. The bridesmaid’s bunches were a vibrant, eclectic mix of Calla lily, protea, crespedia, succulents, leucodendron, tulips. On the tables were succulents, cespedia, celosia flame, poppies, calla lily, roses, chrysanthemum, vines and fern.
What advise would you give out to a couple planning their wedding? I know everyone always says it, but dare to be different. Make the day about the two of you, personalise it as much as you possibly can. Follow the traditions that matter to you and ditch the ones that don’t! I wore my Grandmother’s 60 year old garter…no way was I going to throw that! It will truly be one of the best, most fun days of your life, relish in it! Things will go wrong, I am a complete ‘control freak’ and not only did I not notice but I was having way too much fun to care. I promise you no one else noticed or cared either!
Most memorable moments? My niece was one of the flower girls and she carried a sign saying ‘Sup Mark here comes your bride’ (That’s how they say hi on Skype- she lives in Australia) Mark said he was nervous until the moment he saw that.
2. My Dad’s face when he saw me in my dress (just like the movies!)
3. My Step-Mum performed a traditional African custom. Once we were married she sang beautifully for us and swept the path, with a grass broom, to clear the way for our futures together.
Happy weekend everyone!! Do you have anything nice planned? I’m looking forward to a fun dinner party at ours with some of my favourite wedding pals and their other halves. It’s a pot luck dinner so thankfully I only have to worry about a main, but I have to admit I haven’t even got that far so guess I’ll be spending my Saturday sorting that out!
I love this sweet and simple engagement shoot by Anne Paar. Just a couple in love and the gorgeous Raglan coastline. Living in Raglan herself Anne has some gorgeous surroundings to capture her couples in. Have a beautiful weekend everyone!
We’re glamming things up this Friday with a touch of Gatsby! Have you seen the movie yet? I saw it earlier in the week… thought it was visually beautiful. That’s all I’ll say! Nicole Barralet put together this fun shoot with a romantic colour palette of neutrals combined with soft dusty pinks and a hint of champagne. These colours were then accentuated with elements of metallics – silver, golds and mercury. Gotta say I’m loving that cake!!
The inspiration for our Hollywood Glam styled shoot came from a few different areas. We loved the sophistication and elegance of Old Hollywood glamour represented at this years Oscars. We love the 1920′s trend that the Great Gatsby movie has encouraged this year and we love the beautiful Lace wedding gown trends we are currently seeing on brides. We wanted to pull all of these influences together to create a beautiful, soft, romantic, sophisticated wedding editorial shoot to showcase the talents of all involved and to allow brides to take aspects of the current bridal trends and make them their own. We used a private residence for the location of our shoot, but we were careful to ensure that it didn’t look just like a home. We wanted to give the appearance that shoot could of taken place in any location.