NICOLE + CAMERON by The Vincent Alexandrias

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship:

We live at the Mount, and absolutely love living here, being so close to the beach, nature and all the wildlife we get to see, like the seals, penguins, and native birds.

We are passionate about nature and conservation, Cameron runs an Environment and Conservation Technologies company helping preserve and protect native species, and I am currently studying full time completing my Animal Management papers whilst running a travel Instagram.

We love surfing, photography, and going on outdoor adventures (camping/hiking), travelling and board games! We are very big family people and love spending weekends with my parents at their beautiful home helping in the garden or playing games.

We met in an unorthodox way, Cameron joined a Facebook Surf Group that I was a part of and asked if anyone could teach him how to surf, I didn’t think anything of it just “oh how cool I love teaching people to surf” so I messaged. After no more than two messages to each other I half-jokingly said “actually I am going to Bali in 2 weeks, you should come.” And was very pleasantly surprised when his answer was “I’ll take leave from work.” So, the first time Cameron and I met in person we were booking tickets together for Bali for ten days. We went to Bali, had the best holiday ever, and then when we returned, we found a beautiful apartment and moved in together within the month. I guess when you know you know!

We also found out we were getting married and had 24 days to organise my dress, Cameron’s suit, accommodation, the rings, the dinner, the wedding car, etc. It was an absolute mad crazy rush but suited us perfectly. And the wedding could not have been more perfect, we are so grateful.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details:

Our day was absolutely magical, everyone was staying at Princes Gate Hotel just across the road from the venue and had joining rooms, so the men and women got ready in the different rooms but still super close. The hotel was gorgeous and old fashioned, with the mot beautiful staircase. I arrived at the venue in the gorgeous BMW Convertible we had hired, with my dad. When I walked into the venue and began to walk down the aisle I was absolutely blown away by everything, the string duo was playing our requested aisle song, Canon in D, and Cameron was stood looking so handsome in his tailor made suit, the fantastic flower arrangements and set up, the cake!! Seeing all my family and closest friends there ready to celebrate our moment, meant so much to me. One of our favourite details was the fact it was a small elopement. This size meant that absolutely everyone could participate in every aspect, everyone was involved and could celebrate every bit. We had time to chat, laugh, and celebrate with everyone and no one was left out. My sister was my honorary made of honour, so she and Cameron’s younger brother, were our witnesses, and Cameron’s other brother was our ring bearer.

We also loved that we didn’t have to stress about planning a wedding for 18 months+ and that we could just enjoy every part, each bit just adding to the excitement, a whirlwind of emotions with so much happiness and love. And that we could both be surprised by the elopement too, that made it even more magical.

The theme was very pastel, fairy-tale like, almost ethereal. It was so unbelievably gorgeous and just absolutely perfect. The setting was stunning, at the Blue Baths in the Rotorua Gardens. We had the most idyllic setting in amongst the perfectly manicured gardens and flowers, with the terracotta building, near the geothermal wonders, a short walk down to the lake, and a short drive to the Redwoods, so we got to experience every bit of nature. Cameron wanted to get married in Spain, so having the Spanish architecture for the Blue Baths really made it very special to us.

We adored the champagne tower, and the beautiful pastel flowers at the end of the aisle, and the gorgeous pink couch for our signing. It was like walking into a dream. Having a talented beautiful string duo playing our chosen songs just added to the dream-like experience and took our breath away. Seriously, everyone who came together to make our day so special did the most incredible job and we are so eternally grateful.

Tell us about your main outfits:

I was actually so happy we could get such wonderful outfits in time! Cameron was able to get a tailormade Italian midnight blue three-piece suit made from the talented Devonche, this was the most amazing experience because we got to pick every detail! The embroidery, the lining, how many buttons on the sleeves, all these personal little touches. I was able to pick a beautiful dress, I’d say 1920s with a 2020s twist, hehe, from Bridal Brilliance and not only that but Sandy, the seamstress, was able to alter it and make it fit like a glove in time! I was insanely impressed. Cameron also got some dark brown two-tone shoes from Devonche, and I got the most adorable little blue heels from Chaos and Harmony (from here in the Mount). They were my something new and something blue! My something borrowed was the most gorgeous subtle necklace from my mother, it had platinum and gold entwined and since my wedding ring is platinum and Cam’s is gold, it symbolised our union and went perfectly with the outfit.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day:

Honestly, every single part will remain etched into our memory and a special place in our hearts forever. Hearing Cameron’s vows meant more to me then I can ever explain, and he has said the same about mine, so it was very wonderful to write our own vows. The String Duo playing our chosen songs was so amazing, and they played a song for me and my Dad, and that was super special. Having the whole thing be a surprise, walking in and seeing our wedding created from Alina’s amazing vision, seeing the flowers, and my gosh my incredible bouquet, just transported us to another world. Kelsey our amazing celebrant who made the day so personalised and unique to us, our amazing photographer and videographer who have now become friends, walking down the aisle as man and wife and having my sister’s Vera Wang champagne flutes she had gifted to us as a Wedding gift, waiting for us, was very special.

The entire event was vegetarian! Oh my, the canapes were phenomenal, and the ever-flowing champagne was delightful. And the lady who served the food was so gorgeous, explaining each and every part of the canapes for us and encouraging us to try things we normally wouldn’t. 

All of these moments were magical, and we also adored the funny human moments that mean so much to us and will give us smiles and laughter every time we think back. The String Duo learning Disney for me, us not wanting to flatten the bouquet but having nowhere to hold it up so putting it in the little plastic black kettle at the hotel! My beautiful friend knocking on the Wedding car window asking for a ride, but it is a two-door convertible so we had to say sorry and continue driving, so she takes off her heels and sprints across the gardens to make it there in time. Cameron and I not having time to practice a First Dance, so just completely winging it and Cam tilting me back and everyone cheering and asking how long we had been practicing, then being asked to do the “routine” again although there really wasn’t a routine at all! And one of my absolute favourite memories, the photography session with Jordan and JP. Not only was this so much fun and they made us feel absolutely so beautiful/handsome, but it was such a barrel of laughs. We had to cross over to the Red Wood forest across the most busy road, so we got stuck in the middle of the road for 5+ minutes with basically the whole of Rotorua seeing me in my Wedding dress in the middle of a road! Cars beeped, people cheered, it was as hilarious and wonderful as it was embarrassing. My mam had sewed me a fake fur shawl to keep me warm during the photos, and I had passed this to Jordan to wear whilst we took photos. Suddenly out of no where a bulldog starts charging over! He runs straight to Jordan and starts jumping up all over her beautiful skirt! We are all yelling “the shawl!! He’s after the shawl!” because it was dangling low on Jordan’s neck so we figured he thought it was a rabbit or something, so she has to grab the shawl and chuck it at the dog! The dog then turns and runs right at me in my beautiful dress! Cameron slides across in front of me, arm out, like a real modern-day hero and says, “not today!” Honestly, I was in stitches, I literally was curled over on the floor crying with laughter.

Then, after the photos and all that excitement, we returned to the hotel to a private room in the restaurant, and everyone was there, as we walked in they cheered, popped party poppers, and it was so heart-warming. My heart felt so full. The dinner there was absolutely divine, my dad said the loveliest speech, and then we watched a video on the large screen that was sent from my family in England who couldn’t be there because of travel restrictions. I will never forget that.

We are just so grateful to everyone who came together and made our day everything that it was.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together:

You do not have to spend 18 months stressing about it if you want to get married just do it and enjoy the crazy ride, and do not sweat the small stuff, you have each other and you should support each other and value the other’s opinions and wants. Getting married is about the two of you, don’t forget that and get lost in the show of it all. Also, we would highly recommend small weddings, you get to spend time with everyone, everyone gets to be involved, and you can create more intimate moments, then later you can do a big party celebration (that’s our plan!), and I would also recommend writing your own vows, if that suits you, as it does add a level of intimacy that is hard to explain. And although this isn’t about the wedding itself, have joint goals, be each other’s number one priority, try to enjoy the things your partner enjoys or support them enjoying it, always meet in the middle and compromise, and choose that person every single day. Congratulations if you are planning on getting married, we wish you all the best for your special day and your life together

Note from the planner –

What started out as styled shoot turned into something truly magical. I had this crazy idea for a styled shoot and thought since so much time, effort and often money goes into it these shoots, why don’t we gift it to a lovely couple who has been affected by COVID. Understandably, majority of couples who were planning a 2020 wedding have been affected. We had some amazing heartfelt stories enter this giveaway but in the end we choose Nicole and Cameron. We could just tell they were the perfect ones for this elopement experience and their story was very compelling and pulled at our heartstrings. Because after all we love love.

All the vendors were on board with this crazy idea of mine and truly went above and beyond to make it an amazing day for them. The couple got to see what the mood board looked like and that was it until they arrived to be married on the day. They went from not having any wedding plans to then being told you’re getting married in 29 days!!! They were allowed to invite 8 guests- making it super intimate and special. You can tell by the photos how truly special and emotional this day was for them. It’s not easy to have all your wedding/life plans turned upside down but then to take the risk and agree to a wedding without seeing anything is pretty crazy! Nicole and Cameron were so happy and thankful for this special opportunity. They had full trust in us and the vendors to present something uniquely beautiful for them and create a once in lifetime wedding experience.

Ceremony: Blue Baths | Photographer & Videographer: The Vincent Alexandrias | Celebrant: Married by Kelsey | Entertainment: Autangi Ensemble | Styling & Planner: Wild and Whim | Furniture Hire: Flock Events | Flora & Tableware: The Heirloom | Catering + Beverages: Terrace Kitchen | Cake: Sage and Grace | Stationery/Signage: Paper Darling | Bride’s Dress: Bridal Brilliance | Groom’s Suit & Shoes: Devonche | Ring/s: Timmermans Jewellers | Brides Shoes: Chaos & Harmony | Makeup & Hair: Sita Engling