Nick and Shameel

Our Story

Nick and I were engaged in July 2019 and the very next day we jetted off to Europe for a few months! We looked for venues while we were away knowing that we wanted to get married the following year on our fifth anniversary. We had a specific vision in mind but found it hard to find venues that met our expectations. That was until we found Kumeu Valley Estate’s website. Immediately we fell in love with the aesthetic, the venue, the bell tower and how rustic and homely the venue felt (that was just from the pictures!!). A quick email to Annette to see if we could reserve the date (it wasn’t available but the following week was, it seemed a perfect fit as our lucky numbers made up our wedding date 13 & 6). While we were confident that was the venue we wanted, we wanted to see in it person before we signed a contract or paid a deposit. Annette kindly offered to pencil it in for us until our return.

Finding that perfect place

Fast forward to a few months later and we got to see the venue for the first time and chat with Annette about everything we wanted. Immediately we booked the venue, paid the deposit without looking at any other venues because we knew that Kumeu Valley was where we wanted to be married. There was a charm about the venue and Annette and Mike - we just felt so welcomed! We were very organised and had the whole thing planned by January - about 6 months before the actual wedding date. Throughout the whole planning process we were treated as people who were getting married - Annette did guide us on what other same sex couples did for their wedding as we weren’t sure about how to bend the traditional man and woman wedding to accommodate for two men getting married. She was a wealth of knowledge in this department!!


Photography by Katrina Cooke photography

Nick and Shameel

The planning process

Once COVID-19 started to gain traction here in New Zealand we began to feel worried about our wedding. We hoped for a full lockdown in the hopes that it would ensure restrictions were eased by the time it came to our wedding, eventually we went into level 4 lockdown. We would watch the 1pm announcements and email or call Annette right after - sometimes worried and stressed but mostly positive! Annette was so great about riding the wave and going with what was happening in the moment. Two weeks before the wedding it was announced that restrictions were easing but 10 people max would be allowed at weddings - at this point I lost all hope that we’d be getting married on our original date and ours too would be another COVID casualty. A quick call to Annette where she offered to wait until as close as she could to the wedding and if that wasn’t looking good the opportunity to move our date to whenever would be best for us we remained positive and hoped that restrictions would ease just in time! The week before the wedding we got the announcement that we would have our wedding in Alert Level 1. The excitement was overwhelming with Annette and myself so happy we would be able to go ahead! Nick and I were very aware that we had vendors who were out of work and knew that we wanted to go through with the wedding if we could to help support our local businesses!

Thankfully everything was planned well in advance so it was just the small details that we needed to get organised and then it was time to tie the knot!

The day before the wedding we met with Annette at the venue - talked with her about how we wanted to decorate the venue and went from there - she gave us some suggestions to make everything look nicer and that was it! Annette and her team decorated the venue and all we did was have to show up! She even had left over flowers from a virtual open day the week before which she let us use to decorate the ceremony area!

The Wedding day

Our wedding day was magical! When we arrived the venue was decorated beautifully - it was exactly as we had imagined the year before while we were getting inspiration while we were in Europe. All of our guests were telling us about how it was the best wedding they had been to as well! Nick and I enjoyed our day - we got to relax, spend time with our family and friends. Annette ran the whole afternoon and evening for us and she did it excellently. Everything ran smoothly (as far as I’m aware!), it all ran to time. The food was incredible, the drinks were flowing, I could not fault it in any way!!

We had one of the best experiences working with Kumeu Valley Estate - considering the pandemic at the time we had nothing but happy and good memories with our entire experience. We were treated as people who were getting married - nothing other than that. It was a positive atmosphere even when talking about the possibility of cancelling/rescheduling!