This gorgeous elopement in Kilkenny in Ireland is sure to leave you with a lump in your throat it is that adorable. Nikki & Steve's initial plan was to have a big wedding with all of their family and friends, but they soon realised they wanted to spend their money on their future together rather than one day. They chose Mount Juliet Estate in Ireland to wed as it was where Steve's Grandmother was from and set about saying their vows in the gorgeous gardens just the two of them and their witnesses. They looked incredible in their wedding attire with all the special moments captured beautifully by Kathy Silke Photography. Once you've pored over the pictures I urge you to read Steve's wonderful account of their love story, the way he talks about his 'sassy little Aussie chick/ Fiancé/ Wife' will give you all the feels.

About us

Steve: Fit, dashing Kiwi bloke that loves football and would make a great secret agent. Decided to uplift himself and move to Melbourne for a bit of a fresh start, with the intention of some day attracting Sir Alex Ferguson’s attention and making a quick move to Manchester United. That didn't work out, but I went one better and found the love of my life! Nikki: Studied in the United States and did a post grad in Melbourne, became an exceptional Physiotherapist. Through a mutual love of the round ball game, wound up falling in love with a romantic New Zealander that fancies himself as a footballer and hides his baby face under a week of hard-earned stubble.


Steve the Groom: Upon arrival my only mate in the country at the time, Geordie, joked he knew the perfect girl for me. In reality, this was just a case of him matching up the two oldest single people that he knew, but he got lucky and within a month of our first date, I knew I loved this sassy little Aussie chick. I told her I loved her after three weeks and she laughed in my face and told me I didn’t... I love me a good challenge. November fifth 2015 came quickly, after a year and a half of living together I took Nikki to our first date restaurant, made it seem as if I was going to propose. When I didn’t, I took my thoroughly unimpressed girlfriend home and surprised her in bed with a ring, and Nikki became my sassy little Fiancé.

The Planning

We then encountered the arduous process that is planning a wedding. We had a practice run by organizing a huge engagement party which turned out wonderful yet was made extra difficult by our family circumstances, coupled with trying to feed and drink an army on the cheap. Turning our focus to the wedding itself saw us stuck between two large families on two countries separated by four hours on a plane, made the location an immediate bias towards one side. We finally decided on an Australian wedding, had a spectacular venue booked for April 23rd 2017 and then realized we had just signed up for a wedding that we could not realistically afford if we expected to also buy a house in our lifetime. So after the stresses leading up to the engagement party, we decided the big venue wedding wasn’t for us and forfeited our $1000 deposit. We began informing people that the wedding was postponed which resulted in numerous frantic phone calls from well meaning family, terrified that I had blown yet another relationship. But no, this was not the case.

Our Elopement

We decided our money could be better spent on making memories and travelling before settling down, so we booked tickets for a UK and Ireland adventure. Still looking for a solution to have a dream wedding without the house deposit sized price tag; I mentioned to Nikki that we could potentially get married on our holiday in Ireland. My beautiful Irish Grandmother had passed away the year before, and a huge piece of me had wanted to visit Ireland to thank it for giving me my Grandma. It seemed perfect to me that it would be even more beautiful to marry the love of my life there. It took a little bit of convincing, but Nikki eventually agreed and we took the first steps towards our elopement. Nikki had already bought her dress and veil, and I found the perfect suit (for a bargain, might I add!) which we casually carted across the world just tucked into our suitcases. Nikki googled “places to elope in Ireland” and voila Mount Juliet Estate popped up. We fell in love with the photos of this stunning venue and with the assistance of the events co-coordinator we’d set our wedding date...again! To cut a long story short, all the essential paperwork was filed so simply via email, and then suddenly we were off to the other side of the planet. We spent three weeks traveling the UK, having the time of our lives (mixed in with occasional pre-marriage arguments where Nikki wanted to kill me, but I tell her that happens to everyone). Next stop on our journey: the picture perfect Mount Juliet Estate, Thomastown, Kilkenny, Ireland. The morning prior to our wedding, Nikki became a nervous wreck about our family’s reactions if we actually went through with eloping. We fortunately met two ladies at breakfast who asked why in the world we were going to the quiet Thomastown, to which Nikki blurted out “WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!” They were the first people we announced our secret to and coincidently one of the ladies had also eloped and provided great comfort and advise which put Nikki’s mind at ease. October 5th 2016 @ 2.30pm, we exchanged vows in front of a Chinese stonewalled garden, and Nikki became my beautiful, sassy little Wife. The most important person in my life was there, and in my humble opinion, Nikki was all that was required. We were of course accompanied by our legal witnesses - our celebrant’s best friend and the lovely events co-coordinator at Mount Juliet, whom we met on the day and so graciously, assisted Nikki into her wedding dress. Following our ceremony we spent the next 2 hours wandering the breath-taking grounds with our photographer Kathy Silke Photography who captured our memorable day so perfectly, before enjoying our first Michelin Star dinner at the Estate’s restaurant. Our families took it surprisingly well (to Nikki’s delight), we told them in person once we had returned from our holiday. They were perhaps a little disappointed that they missed our day, but no anger, just pure happiness and excitement. Most have been impressed with the romantic and logical notion it was to get married the way we did. Eloping is not for everyone, but it was perfect for the couple that is us. Now we just have to look forward to the next stages in the story of Nikki and Steve. Watch this space...
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Bridal Boutique: Fairytale Bridal | Makeup: SOMA Makeup | Hairstylist: Denise Bray | Grooms Suit: YD | Venue: Mount Juliet Estate | Flowers: Flowers by Lucy
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