Maddie: Our connection grew through our common values and life goals, and our love for adventure and the outdoors. I’m a teacher and spent my childhood in Hawke’s Bay, and Pete’s an environmental engineer who came to New Zealand from the UK after the 2011 earthquake to help with the Christchurch rebuild…
We’re both passionate about music, and keeping fit and healthy is important to us too. We’ve just moved to Sumner and absolutely love being able to wake up to sunrise walks on the beach. Our morning coffee routine and walks together have been a constant from the start, since we met at our local container café about three years ago.
After five years in Christchurch, Pete had nearly given up on meeting someone and had made plans to move away. I’d just arrived back after living in London and travelling around Europe, and had decided to settle in Christchurch to be close to my family, so I guess our timing was perfect. Preparing for our first date, I thought, ‘If he doesn’t like the real me, I won’t waste my time’, so I arrived with my dog and my own hazelnut milk! When Pete saw that, he immediately relaxed – it turned out I wasn’t the only one with special dietary requirements.
Pete’s romantic proposal happened about a year after we started dating. He woke me up early one February morning so we could watch the sunrise. Still half asleep, we were meandering along our favourite walking track in the Port Hills when he led me to a rock for a rest, then pulled out a game of Scrabble that he’d hidden the night before and asked me to open it. The tiles read, ‘Will you marry me’ and when I looked back at Pete, he was down on one knee with a ring box in his hand.
We wanted our wedding to be as relaxed and simple as possible and to say our vows beneath a beautiful old tree in our local park. It was also important to me that my dress was comfortable and timeless; I wanted to have the flexibility to dance all night and not get too hot. I’m very fussy and searched and searched before coming to the realisation that I’d have to get a dress made to make the design I had in my mind a reality – so that’s what I did. Pete wanted to wear navy, so he chose a jacket and chinos, and I made him a pocket square to match. Walking up the path towards the ceremony spot with my dad, we shared a few jokes – more to keep him relaxed, I think! There was lots of laughter at our ceremony too – my niece thought she was marrying Pete and wanted to hold his hand throughout! The music and dancing part of the day was also so much fun and we could not tear ourselves away from the dancefloor.
Photography: Ana Galloway | Celebrant: John Sellwood | Bride’s gown: Designed by the bride and made by Pauline Rodrigues at Streetwize with fabric from The Fabric Store | Bride’s veil: The bride’s sister with fabric from The Fabric Store | Bride’s shoes: Gray Matters | Groom’s shoes: Bourgeois Boheme | Rings: Ivy Nixon Jewellery | Bride’s earrings: Jasmin Sparrow | Hair & makeup: Makeup Artistry NZ | Fragrance: Curionoir Opia | Flora: Pepperberry Florist | Ceremony Hireage: The Little Hire Company | Cake: Cakes by Anna | Catering & beverages: Green Dinner Table & Blue Smoke | Planning & Styling: The Bride | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Auguste The Label, Christy Dawn, Kowtow, Lonely, Mahsa, & Zara | Entertainment: Lindon Puffin