Nikita & Simon – 29/02/20

Band mates and best friends, Nikita Hyde and Simon Christensen were going to Australia for a holiday and to attend a friend’s wedding. Nikita had a feeling Simon was going to propose because he and his daughter Emma are both terrible at keeping secrets. She imagined him proposing to her on golden sandy beaches, at a theme park, at a zoo holding a koala or something equally cute, but the holiday came to an end and still no ring.

The couple had not long moved from Ashburton to Christchurch, living in New Brighton across the road from the beach. “The Monday evening after we got home Simon suggested we go to the beach to watch the sun set. As the sun was setting, a rainbow literally appeared in the sky, Simon and Emma both got on one knee and asked me to marry them. It was so special to have Emma be a part of it. My friends all laugh about all the beautiful beaches we visited on our holiday and he did it at New Brighton! To me it was just perfect though!”

Simon and Nikita wanted their wedding to reflect the things that are important to them – their family and friends – and that included their beloved dogs, black Labrador Colbie and Bichon/Chihuahua Bindi. 

They were married at Stonebridge in Geraldine in front of 146 guests who celebrated with the couple, enjoying the lovely location, ceremony and reception as they exchanged vows.

“Our wedding was absolutely amazing. Our bridesmaids Caitlin Hyde, Monica Leadley, Rebecca Keoghan, Kezia Rose, Ashleigh Sparks and Emma Lily Thompson were just beautiful in stunning jade and groomsmen Quyen Chau, Daniel Hitchens, Chris Saunders and Brett Colgan were very handsome in their bow ties and braces.

My Dad passed away when I was 17 so my Mum walked me down the aisle, carrying my bouquet, which had my Dad’s wedding ring tied into it was very emotional. After the speeches I sang a song that I wrote a couple of years ago for Dad. I dedicated it to him and our other passed family members.

Nikita recalls many favourite moments, “Learning an awesome first dance with Madi and Anna from LDA to the song You’re My Best Friend by Queen; my super fun/crazy hens party; walking down the aisle with my amazing Mum to see our friends and family around and Simon with tears in his eyes;  having our dogs part of our ceremony; dancing to the band Corner Sounds all night; groomsman Dan Hitchens setting up his own music gear and guitar after the band finished so we could keep partying and have a jam. The entire day was a huge success and so much fun!”

One piece of advice we were given that I would love to pass on was to take a walk just the two of you during the day/evening in the quiet. Reflect on how amazing the day has been, dance/cuddle under the stars, enjoy a snippet of being alone on your special day.

After a fabulous honeymoon in the Marlborough Sounds Simon and I are now in the process of selling a home and buying a nice big family home that we’re going to slowly modernise with our first baby together on the way due early December! Married and having a baby all in a year!   

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Judy McAuliffe is a writer, and publisher Essence Mid Canterbury. Her experience in media is extensive and includes approximately 15 years as Creative Director for The Radio Network, writing, and managing the writing of radio advertising, mainly in Invercargill and Greymouth. In the late 1990’s she transferred to Christchurch, moving into an Account Management role with 91ZM. In 2007 she and a business partner set up Essence Mid Canterbury, very quickly adapting her radio-writing skills to print media. Judy became sole owner of Essence Mid Canterbury in June 2014. Judy is a ‘people person’ and has found her niche writing feature stories about the community she lives in and the people who live there. She is also available for freelance writing assignments.