Even with 1.7 million Instagram followers, when it comes to finding the most ideal wedding venue, digital influencer Nicole Warne and her photographer fiance Luke Shadbolt had to face the same dilemma all other couples do. "If we eloped we'd probably have gotten married in Norway, yet we wanted a destination close enough for all of our families and friends," Nicole said. The couple, along with their family and friends, are all based in Australia. So the decision to wed in the south island of New Zealand came naturally. Their choice landed on Rippon Hall in Lake Wanaka, which favored their desire for adventure. "It was the closest place geographically that suited our desire for wild nature, mountains, lakes, fjords, and glaciers," Nicole added.
Blessed with such dramatic scenery, the couple's ceremony was not any less extraordinary. Nicole instructed specifically to make all decorations as natural as possible, "My brief was to make it look like the flower beds were naturally growing from the earth." Soon after Cara Gallagher, their old friend and ceremony celebrant, announced "You may kiss the bride," the wind started to pull Nicole's veil out of her hair. "We couldn't believe the timing and everyone couldn't stop laughing!" Nicole recalled.
The bridal party photo session was next, held atop Roy's Peak that was located 5 minutes away by a chopper ride. Nicole's bridesmaids were gifted mismatched gold-colored attire that represented their personal style, while Luke and his groomsmen were clad in Giorgio Armani custom pieces. Still fully wrapped in her Valentino Haute Couture wedding dress, Nicole's dress was a beautiful sight in the midst of the wilderness. Though she felt ludicrous for wearing the dress and heels in such an untamed and raw setting, she loved the contrast between two things. "It was a reflection of two parts of me; a girl who works in the fashion industry yet is a nature girl who grew up on a farm at heart," she uttered.
For the reception, Nicole shifted her visual to a completely different direction. Designed by Oscar de la Renta, her white velvet dress had ruffles cascading down its edges. On her hair were pearl hairpins, something so simple, so sophisticated and so her. Later that night, she slipped into another custom-made dress crafted by her favorite Australian designer, Dion Lee. With an asymmetrical neckline and cutout detail on the waistline, the look was simply to die for.
With such a picture-perfect wedding, it is certainly worth mentioning that the couple also had a picture-perfect proposal. During a spontaneous trip to Tokyo, the couple took time to sail on a lake, drifting underneath some sakura trees. "There was a storm approaching so there were petals softly falling around us," Nicolle recalled. That was when Luke asked her to marry him. "For me it was perfect. It felt like we had the place to ourselves, truly like a scene out of a movie," she added.
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