Real Weddings

Kylie and Nick

Photography by Ryan Watts

Kylie and Nick's wedding features so many things we love. An unlikely meeting. A VERY surprise proposal. Abroad, even. Non-traditional and super great elements like getting ready together. Some of our favourite vendors and venue. A beautiful, laid-back couple. We'll let Kylie tell you about their epic wedding. — How did you and Nick meet? We met at University back in 2007. We were on very different paths, me in Primary Teaching and Nick in a Bachelor of Technology. Somehow, we both found our way to Earth Science, enrolling in a Field Geology paper and quickly clicking on a week-long field trip. — What was the proposal like? We were on holiday in Sicily with our oldest daughter, Georgie. We'd spent the day in Siracusa - wandering, eating, and swimming in the Med. After dinner (probably pizza), Nick suggested a walk to see a bit of the old town by night, gradually guiding us to the Temple of Athena. On the steps of this gorgeous 5th Century BC Cathedral, he and Georgie orchestrated a "photo opportunity". I was distracted trying to compose an artful picture of our bouncy three-year-old in the dark, while Nick got down on one knee next to me and asked if I'd marry him with a ring set with Whitby Jet - a stone found in a part of England that's dear to him. I won't disclose my first response because this is a respectable publication (it suffices to say the whole thing caught me completely off guard), but it was followed by an obvious "yes!". — Did you include non-traditional elements? We opted to have no bridal parties, and instead, we got ready together with our girls and closest family at a beautiful spot overlooking Auckland's West Coast. Our whole wedding was intentionally very laid back, and the beautiful setting really supported that - our guests were free to wander through orchards and gardens, and most importantly, our girls had a blast running around in the open. — What is your favourite memory from the big day? It's a whole lot of little moments: Our oldest daughter's dream dress, later covered in cake. The playlists we'd poured energy over setting the tone through the afternoon. Flowers everywhere, games in the sun. My usually reserved mum racing to the dance floor for "Teenage Dirtbag". Friends who haven't been together in years piled onto one couch. The most intense game of giant connect four I've ever seen. Aunties and cousins breaking into fully choreographed dance routines to Abba. The champagne buzz right before our first dance. There are so many, and I couldn't place one above the rest. — What do you consider the best wedding investment you made? Right after we got engaged in October 2019, we vowed to have a short engagement and a totally DIY wedding; we'd source, organise, and set everything up ourselves, and we'd do it soon. The universe had very different plans, switching up our short engagement for two and a half years of pandemic and giving us another daughter while we waited! Getting back into planning post-lockdown, it didn't take very long to realise that we were out of our depth as parents to a newborn and a toddler. We quickly agreed to invest in the help of professionals - Two Foxes Event Styling, who, with a very slim brief and a lot of creative genius, created the wedding set-up of our dreams. Flowers, greenery, lights, table settings, menus, name cards, napkins, candles... everything. I can't even begin to imagine how much time, stress, googling, and crying Jess and her team saved us. Looking back at our photos, I'm still in awe of their work. Everything was 100% us, and they absolutely nailed the vibe. — Who was an outstanding wedding vendor for you? Ryan Watts Photography was our MVP (out of a very, very strong lineup of vendors!) As well as turning out spectacular sets of photos of generally unphotogenic individuals, Ryan went far beyond the remit of a photographer. He became our go-to for all things wedding - run times, venue layout, must-haves vs nice-to-haves, the intricacies of seating plans, etc. In his signature laid-back manner, he politely put us on the straight and narrow when we voiced some less-than-rational ideas. In the two+ years between meeting Ryan at a pub in Hobsonville and finally getting our wedding off the ground, we met up over several beers, but largely went back and forward over countless emails. While I navigated some pretty huge border-related anxiety in the depths of Covid lockdowns, Ryan was always forthcoming with suggestions and advice. He was kind and empathetic in doing so. We're so glad Ryan stuck around for a beer at the end of the night, he was such an instrumental part of the very long lead-up to our day, and it seemed the very least we could do to say 'Thank You'.

Thanks to all the contributing vendors:

Venue: Little Wilderness
Photography: Ryan Watts
Suit: Barkers
Dress: Brooke Tyson Ritual
Styling: Two Foxes Styling
Catering: Jess' Underground Kitchen
Makeup: The Peach Club - Beauty with Jazmyne
Wine: The Fine Wine Delivery Company
Cake: The Caker
Celebrant: Ryan Berry