Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
JC: We are a couple of NZers who live in London – where we have been riding out the pandemic and trying our hand at all sorts of failed craft projects. I am a public sector consultant (boring I know) and I love food, literally any sport, and books.
NB: And I am a civil servant over here (maybe even more boring?). I love food and cooking even more than Joe, and definitely love sports a bit less. We have lived in London for three years and have just moved to Bethnal Green in the eastern part of the city. It’s an area full of good food and drink, lots of cool little shops, and frighteningly cool arty types. We love it.
How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
NB: I met Joe at Victoria University in Wellington on the first day of HIST 404 class – US History in our Honours year. There were about six people in the class, and I sat next to him for the first tutorial. I was running late and in a panic, the first words I said to him were “oh my god I’m so sweaty” (from running down Kelburn Hill). Then I remembered I had forgotten the notes I had diligently prepared for my first class, and spent the next five minutes asking him whether I should run home and get them (a harbinger of the sort of thing Joe would be hearing from me for the next eight or so years).
Joe was a mystery to me, he wasn’t from Wellington he was unknown. He and his big woolen jerseys and his beanie, and his South Island friends. He was funny, and reserved in a cool way. I wanted to impress him and make him laugh. I looked out for him when he wasn’t around and made excuses to go to university in case I’d see him. I bee-lined for him at parties, and he always made me feel safer – even when we were just friends.
JC: It was Nic who was the mysterious one. She thought so fast and spoke so fast and was always moving. She was so effusive and so funny. I had never met someone like her before. I’ve always found it so energising to spend time with Nic – right from the start.
When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
JC: We didn’t really mess around. We moved in together very quickly after getting together. There wasn’t a real epiphany at any point – we just both seemed to know that there was no point waiting about. We moved in together after three or four months together and after that point I didn’t really contemplate any other future.
Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
NB: There was no proposal, one night we were sitting at one of our favourite Italian restaurants (Nicolinis in Wellington) and we decided it would be a nice thing to be married. We’ve been together almost nine years so this was just a celebration more than anything else. The next few weeks we went out together and found some rings – one for each of us – and that was it.
JC: Yeah. Personally, we don’t like the whole boy-proposes-to-girl thing that seems to have emerged as the tradition for most heterosexual couples. We talked about everything else together and made decisions as a team so there didn’t really seem any other way to go about it.
To be honest, we didn’t really know if marriage was for us. Neither of us saw marriage as a prerequisite to anything. And big parts of the whole wedding-industrial complex are pretty weird, really. In the end we decided to do it because we wanted to recognise – with our friends and family – that we were locking it in and have the opportunity to mark that ‘properly’ with a party. Plus the weddings we had been to were really fun. And we haven’t regretted that decision for a second. It was the best day.
Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
NB: There was no strong vision, it was more about how we wanted to feel, and how we wanted our friends and family to feel. Our wedding was delayed by a year due to covid – and it was a miracle we even got home due to covid (there are so so many New Zealanders overseas who have been through worse, and are still very far away from getting back), so seeing everyone after three years of being apart was so special that everything around it was just icing on the cake.
JC: We were organising the wedding from afar – we got married in the Catlins but were living in London. So we really couldn’t be too picky – if we got a good vibe from vendors we locked it in pretty quickly. We really just wanted everyone to be relaxed, not worry too much about things being perfect.
I guess the other thing we wanted was to avoid the traditional stuff that didn’t feel like us. So Nic didn’t get ‘given away’, we didn’t do a first dance (I’d rather die) and we didn’t do a cake-cutting or anything like that. It was just an intimate little ceremony and then a disorganised-but-fun party. We probably spent the most time on the Spotify playlist, which occupied a kind-of-fraught day a couple of days before the wedding.
What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
JC: No one should feel like they have to spend any real money to celebrate their relationship. I wouldn’t say I relished the opportunity to splurge on anything.. But for us, we spent lots of money on good food because we really eating and cooking – having a good meal with 90-odd of your nearest and dearest is a rare treat so I figured we might as well go for it. And the food (by Him & Hers in Dunedin) was absolutely delicious – people couldn’t shut up about it and I didn’t regret us coughing up for a minute.
NB: Hannah’s photos are so important to me too – I really like that she took so many great photos of our guests just enjoying themselves. It means that I can look at our photos and recall the day so easily.
Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
JC: We laugh about it all in hindsight – it feels like it happened in another universe already. Two days later we were on the plane back to London and then all of a sudden we were here in the freezing cold, once again separated by tens of thousands of kilometres from our friends and families! We are just so grateful that we got the opportunity to make it back to NZ, at the end of the pandemic, to get married.
Nothing happened on the day that worried us too much – we were running a bit behind schedule and began the ceremony about 30 minutes later than we intended. But no one seemed to mind too much so we weren’t too worried either. My Nana did ask the photographer if she worked for the Otago Daily Times – which Nic found pretty funny – but I was far too used to that kind of thing from her.
Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
NB: Joe got a suit from Moss Bros in London and picked the fabric he wanted and got it made. He chose a reasonably bold chocolate herringbone number which looked great. There wasn’t really a story behind my outfit – I knew I didn’t want to wear a dress (I’m not really a dress-y person) but I did think it was a good opportunity to get decked out head-to-toe in white. So I bought the trousers and the top separately, and thankfully they kind of worked together. My friend Alice gave me a bag and my Mum gave me a pearl bracelet that belonged to my Grandma.
Ceremony + Reception: Portmolyneux School + @the_portmolyneux_school | Photographer: Frankly Faye + @frankly.faye | Celebrant: The Word Resort + @_annabel_hawkins | Flora: Remotelea Creative + @remoteleacreative | Catering + Beverages: His and Her Catering + @hisandherscatering_ | Grooms Attire: Moss Bros + @mossbros | Brides Attire: Solace London + @solacelondon | Ring/s: Sarah and Sebastian + @sarahandsebastian & Welfe + @welfe | Shoes: MiPiaci + @mi_piaci & Dr Martens + @drmartensofficial | Makeup + Hair: Face Mobile Makeup + @FACEmobilemakeup