Nicole and Sam

Our Story

Our story began when we were just 8 years old and met at primary school. We went to separate high schools but met up again in year 13 and have been together ever since. Sam proposed while we were on holiday in California. We pulled over on the coast near Big Sur to take a photo in the spectacular view. Unbeknownst to me Sam had cleverly set up the camera to take a series of photos and captured the whole proposal beautifully!

Finding that perfect place

We began our wedding planning and found the decision on a reception venue to be an easy one. We had looked at 5 venues all around Auckland but fell in love with Kumeu Valley Estate’s open feel and the rustic setting. We had to do so little in the way of decorating the venue and chose the natural tone of white chair covers with champagne sashes to blend in with the warm timber of the venue. My parents had been to a wedding at KVE and it had always stood out to them as one of the best weddings they had been to. Our ceremony was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland. It is a very special place for us as my parents were married there and I was baptised there. Our parish priest Father Rob officiated at the ceremony and it all looked so beautiful. Again we had to do very little to decorate for the ceremony as it is a magnificent church a few flowers and some ribbon was all we needed!

Hair Make up and Dress

In the lead up to the wedding it seemed as though everything went so smoothly. When my mother and I went to window shop for dresses on my birthday an opportunity to try dresses on came up and we took it. I loved the first dress we tried! We thought we had better try some others and different shapes but we ended up going back and buying the first dress!

Nicole and Sam


My cousin was our photographer. We had planned just to make the one stop at the vineyard across from the venue but on a last minute change of plans we also stopped at the railway tracks and got some of my favourite photos!


Our parents’ marriages are an inspiration to us so we had photos of their wedding day and our grand parents’ weddings at the entrance to the venue with our guest book. We also personalised the day by making loads of signs of inspiration for the wedding that Annette scattered around the grounds for our guests to see before we arrived. We also hired a bunch of lawn games that everyone seemed to really enjoy.

Advice from the couple

Our wedding day was such a beautiful celebration. If there is one thing I can tell other brides in their planning is to surround themselves with people who you can depend on as this will make everything so much more enjoyable. We could not fault the team at KVE who were always thinking of everything we needed before we did. Sam’s advise is to not stress about the small stuff as if you get the big things in place everything else just works.

Nicole has since started a business selling and hiring out customised wedding signs and decorations. The business is called Penny Farthing Party Supplies and is based in Browns Bay, Auckland. To visit her website click here.