Nature doesn’t have to mean trees and forests, sometimes, it can also mean the beach. Marrying with the sand between your toes, or in Marie’s words “with beautiful florals, an ice cream truck, lawn games, a selection of beer & wine and a Pink Gin Spritz, delicious canapés, cake, music and dancing”. The shades of soft blush pink, the ocean as their backdrop and roses galore just the best compliment for this elegant beachside day.

And well if Nature can have all that? Consider us on board! Marie and Chris chose Frankly Faye to join them in Dunedin for their beachside celebration – the couple even sharing the same wedding date (with years between them!) as Marie’s parents. The perfect new beginning for a couple who met in their own sliding doors moment. “It was a modern-day romance” explains Marie. “A sliding doors moment, when the decision to turn to the left or the right led to our love story. After a short time spent going out on a few dates and getting to know each other better, it became fairly obvious that we had found our person.”

A romantic ballgown was just what Marie wanted. She found her Lee Bee Bridal gown at Bride and Winter. “I went to Bride and Winter to try on dresses having no idea what style I wanted and feeling nervous about the whole process. The shop was beautiful, it was relaxing and fun! I went back numerous times before deciding on ‘the one’ and Alana, Vicky made the whole experience a breeze. I choose a Lee Bee Bridal dress featuring a stunning plunging v neckline, soft sparkling lace with a floating tulle skirt. After Barb worked her magic it couldn’t have been more perfect!”

Marie was lucky enough to have two of her very favourite people by her side, on the day. “I loved planning with my best friend Tash. She got married six weeks before us so you can imagine what we spent the majority of our time talking about for the year prior! We said numerous times “what are we going to talk about once we are both married” – and we continue to talk about exactly that – getting married/our wedding days!

My sister Angela would have also been by my side but was unable to be due to Covid. I still wanted her to be a part of the day so she got into her dress and we facetimed off and on throughout the day.”

The beach was the central focus for the day, the couple choosing Ocean View Beach for their ceremony, before a celebration at Brighton Surf Life Saving Club. Marie explaining “Chris spent a lot of time in Ocean View/Brighton growing up and is regularly out in the ocean so after buying a house here 4 years ago it made sense to get married on the beach straight across the road from where we live. We got married in a reasonably secluded spot with the ocean as a backdrop behind us. We wanted our reception to flow on from our ceremony without guests having to travel far so chose the Brighton Surf Club.”

The walk down the aisle was a sentimental one for Marie, who chose her mum to be by her side. “Ollie Crocks played an acoustic version of “I don’t want to miss a thing” by Aerosmith. My dad passed away in 2015 and it was one of his favourite songs.”

The couple were married by Harriet Moir. “We wanted our ceremony to be nice and relaxed. We asked Chris’s Godmother Jacqui to do a reading for us and told her she could pick it so it was a surprise to us on the day. She exceeded our expectations by writing a personalised poem that we will forever be grateful for. Harriet was incredible to work with. She spent time getting to know us and listened to exactly what we wanted. She made us feel calm and relaxed and wrote such a beautiful ceremony for us. She even helped us write our vows which we were so thankful for.”

“Don’t sweat the small stuff!” advises this bride “If you find yourself overthinking it all, take a step back and remind yourself what your wedding is really about – you marrying the love of your life.”

The couple’s son Ollie, even had his own special part of the day. “After we exchanged rings we wanted to give him something special to remind him how much we love him and how important he is to our family. His face always lights up when he knows he’s going to match Dad so we brought him a pounamu the same as Dads and he adores it.”

Rock n Rosie styled the romantic floral details for the day. “Charlotte is absolutely amazing! She is friendly, fun and was extremely helpful by giving me ideas. I’m still blown away by what she created for us… she has given me a new love for flowers!. I wanted a soft and pretty colour palette with all the dreamiest tones to complement the beach setting” notes Marie, “I chose seasonal flowers and lots of roses to add to the romance of our summer beach wedding.”

The photos of the couple alone on the beach remain some of Marie’s favourites. She says “We took time out of our reception to do a creative session. We walked along, holding hands and swinging in and out from each other. It was fun, relaxed and nice to spend that one on one time together soaking in the day and the photo shows it.”

Tells Marie “I wanted to make sure we included my dad and other loved ones that have passed so had a beautiful sign saying “This candle burns in loving memory of those who are not here today, but who are forever present in our hearts”, along with a candle burning and a photograph of my Dad.”

Guests celebrated with a cocktail style reception, catered by His & Hers Catering. “Matt and Sheena are the best! They worked with us to create our personalised canapé menu including all of our favourite foods. Towards the end of the night, we had glazed ham with buns and pickles which was a hit! Everything was beautifully presented and our guests commented on how delicious the food was.”

Congratulations Marie and Chris! We loved sharing every moment of your day, Thank you also to Frankly Faye for sharing today’s beautiful wedding with us!