When it comes to locations that are drop-dead gorgeous, New Zealand has plenty (The New Zealand Issue is going to be good!), but the backdrop of Lake Coleridge, which played host to Danielle and Gui’s sunshine-filled engagement session. The pair, who chose photographer Emily Rachel Photography to join them met when they were both at university in Brazil. “We wanted something simple and cool for our engagement photos ” notes Danielle, “Photos that would show off a bit of New Zealand to our Brazilian friends and also capture our youth and happiness without being phony and cheesy, although we were a bit cheesy!”

Of their Brazil meeting, it was a bond formed over notes. Danielle remembers “We’ve met in 2014 at the University back in Brazil, Gui was two years ahead of me, but because he’s spent a year studying abroad, we ended up having some classes together. Gui couldn’t take notes to save his life, so when the final exams were due, Gui asked me for my notes and we became social media friends, but nothing more than that. The semester was over, Gui finished his studies, and I continued my degree starting my masters not long after.

Two years went by and in 2016 Gui sent me a message asking some technical questions about my research (he says his intentions were pure – wink wink) and we started texting the whole day, then every day, about many other things until Gui finally asked me out… to a hike!  It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. One because I had spent the last year sitting in a chair inside a Lab, I was very unfit, and two, I had a cold, but my crush on him was bigger than that, so I went.

We did the whole walking and climbing thing, and around 7 hours later, at Ipanema beach (it is a very famous beach in Rio de Janeiro, where we are from), at sunset, we had our first kiss.
After almost a year together Gui got a job offer in NZ and he came down here, I stayed in Brazil to finish my master’s and 6 months later I landed in Auckland to start a whole new life. And here we are since then.”


The proposal was somewhat mutual, with Danielle actually asked Gui to marry her first. “After all the difficult times we have been through, and, of course, all the wonderful moments too, on our first year in NZ it was very clear to me that we would be together indefinitely… so one night after a very normal day, I just asked the question, and he said yes. But what I didn’t know was how he was invested in being sneaky to make me a beautiful and remarkable surprise.

He made me a bespoke ring with an uncommon stone, Alexandrite, that changes colours naturally, it goes from beautiful green to a light blue, then to slight purple to finally get to a deep pink. And the reason for this stone choice is my favourite song by a Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso called “Trem das cores” (literally means Colour’s Train) and it is a song about a train ride through Rio de Janeiro where the composer describes all colours he sees on the city.

He took me to a Candlelight quartet concert, performing The Four Seasons by Vivaldi, because I love classical music and, of course, CANDLES, could it be more romantic? lol, At the end of the concert, when it was still dark, the music stops, the crowd applauds… he whispers to me: Do you still want to marry me? And then the music starts again.

There was no kneeling, no big gesture, no emotional reactions from strangers. It was just him and I, in the dark, with beautiful music in the background, tears, smiles, ring. It was amazing. After that, we went for a walk in CHCH city and we were probably one of the most smiling, happy faces one could see around town.”

On what they love about one another Danielle shares “Gui has said hundreds of times that he loves my awkward sense of humour.  And I love how smart, loving, kind, and giving he is.”