Vanessa & Nick

What we love about Summer, is the different takes on a summer wedding. Summer is not all about beaches and tropical blues, in many cases, like today, it’s about honouring the landscape, the space, and just celebrating within it. For Vanessa and Nick, this dream resulting in a beautiful tropical day in stunning Port Douglas – a day where everyone felt on holiday, where palm trees and the shoreline were their backdrops and where Matthew Evans captured every little piece of magic.

It was a chance meeting for these two, who both originated from completely different countries, yet somehow managed to be in the same place at the same time! Vanessa fills us in “We met in Cairns, which is my hometown. Nick who is originally from Auckland had been living there for a couple of years. After being together for a year we both moved to Canada, then Sydney and now we live in Nick’s hometown, Auckland.”

Vanessa chose a long sleeve lace gown designed by Lillian West. She tells “I found dress shopping really hard, I was very undecided about what style I wanted but after trying on over 30 dresses I kept coming back to this one, which was the second dress I tried on. It seemed to somehow tick all my boxes – romantic, a little sexy, structured enough to give shape but also light and flowy, sheer back with button detailing and lace but not too much lace.”

Guests were greeted to the gorgeous ceremony set up with a handmade ice cream cart, built by the bride’s father. “My Dad built a gorgeous little ice-cream cart so delicious ice-creams could be eaten after the ceremony. I was so impressed with how cute the cart was, he did such a good job and the ice-creams went down a treat!”

The couple opted for a romantic, seaside vibe, noting “The style was very romantic and pretty with varying shades of pink mixed with splashes of gold, white and navy. This colour combo contrasted beautifully with both the tropical feel of the ceremony location and the rustic heritage of the old Sugar Wharf for the Reception.”

Vanessa walked down the aisle on the arm of her father to Elle Goulding’s “How Long Will I Love You”.

The couple made sure to include their favourite people in the day, the bride remarking “It was really important to include my 95-year-old Grandma who had flown up from Melbourne, at the wedding. My Grandma who has always been wonderful with words read a poem out at the ceremony called ‘On your Wedding Day’. The first verse of the poem goes like this, ‘Today is a day you will always remember – the greatest in anyone’s life, you will start off the day just two people in love, and end it as husband and wife’.”

Beautiful, tropical Port Douglas was the most beautiful location for these two and their destination wedding. They chose Little Cove at Rex Smeal Park for their ceremony – marrying under palm trees overlooking the sea. “This location gave us a beautiful tropical ocean outlook without having to get all sandy! We chose Port Douglas as our wedding destination because we wanted this wedding not to be just a one-day event. We wanted everyone to be able to have a holiday and spend time together. Nick is from Auckland and I am from Cairns, so it was really the first time both our families got to properly meet each other” tells Vanessa.
“I lived in Port Douglas 10 years ago and worked as an Event Manager for a few of the hotels in the region, so I really wanted a non-hotel venue, I didn’t want to feel like I was back at work! We also wanted venues that really showcased Port Douglas to all our Kiwi guests.”

Of their photographer, the bride raves “The photos speak for themselves, Matthew is fabulous! I have too many favourites to pick just one! The down-side to having such an amazing photographer like Matthew Evans!”

Horses are a love of the bride, and she included them in many parts of the day, sharing “Horses play a big role in my family. My Mum grew up horse riding, I grew up riding and we have had horses on my parent’s property for over 20 years. Ideally, I would have loved to have my childhood horse Tommy included in the wedding, however, unfortunately, he was too old to travel to Port Douglas. Luckily though I found Horses In Port. Derani and her boy Thunder took, my Dad, my Bridesmaids and me to the ceremony in a beautiful carriage and after the ceremony, I was able to ride Thunder bareback along the beach.”

The beautiful waterside venue of Sugar Wharf, hosted the reception. “This venue while it oozes natural charm and character it really comes as a blank space. This allowed us to really stamp our own personal style on every aspect of the venue.”

Vanessa and Nick worked with stylist and floral designer The Vintage Hire Company to execute their vision for the day. “The styling of the ceremony and reception was one of my favourite parts of the day” shares Vanessa.


The groom gifted his new wife with a very special gift, she explains. “Nick surprised me with an engraved horseshoe during his wedding speech. The horseshoe was from my childhood horse, Tommy. Nick knew that I was sad that Tommy was unable to be part of the day, so this was his way of involving him.”

A big congratulations to you both Vanessa and Nick! Thank you for sharing the stories of your day with us. Thank you also to Matthew Evans for sharing today’s beautiful photographs with us!