Today’s wedding will make your heart sing! With a brilliant first meeting story, an awe-inspiring proposal and a family team effort in the wedding prep, Gui-Xi and Niko’s story is beautiful from the very beginning. We are delighted to be sharing their multi-cultural wedding with photography by Suzanne from Circus Photography.
Gui-Xi and Niko met at University in Cambridge when they were both studying for PhDs.
“We both did our PhDs at the University of Cambridge but in different departments (he was Earth Science, I was History) so our paths didn’t cross until I was invited to a BBQ at his house by a mutual friend. The BBQ was a complete washout – it started lashing rain and everyone ran into the house for cover except this one solitary Scotsman, stoically tending the coals from under an umbrella. Being Irish, I respected the fact that he wasn’t going to let “a little bit of rain” get in the way so I went and joined him under the umbrella,” explained Gui-Xi.
In November 2016 Niko proposed to Gui-Xi in the Bernese Highlands, Switzerland, as she explained, “For my birthday, Niko took me on a mystery tour through a Swiss winter wonderland. We took a train ride from Lausanne along lakes Brienz and Thun and then a cable car carried us some 5000ft up through the clouds to a snow-covered mountain village called Mürren at the foot of the Schilthorn peak. The place is spectacular in itself but it was extra special for me because I’ve loved Bond films since I was a child and the village was the location for the filming of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service back in the 1960s. When we first arrived, everything was shrouded in cloud and we literally couldn’t see two metres ahead. Suddenly, the sun broke through and the most breathtaking Alpine view was all around us…and he got down on one knee.”
The couple knew from the very beginning of their planning journey that they wanted their day to be very personal, yet fun and that it represented them both as a couple and individuals.
“I’m Irish-Chinese, he’s Scottish-Dutch; I studied French history, he’s a scientist and we’re both obsessed with old books and maps. The theme seemed to pull all these different strands together. After some time planning we realised our day was themed around Voyages extraordinaires’ – a reference to a series of adventure novels by the French writer Jules Verne, including, most famously, Around the World in 80 Days. By chance, I found some old, leather-bound editions of these books in a charity shop in France and as we flicked through the pages, it occurred to us that the spirit of these books – travel, literature, exploration and discovery – was pretty perfect for us,” added Gui-Xi.
Wearing a knockout David Fielden gown, Gui-Xi looked every inch like an Old Hollywood star of the screen, exactly the look she was going for. “I found my dress in a vintage bridal shopping heaven – Laura Dols Antieke Trouwjurken in Amsterdam. My bridesmaid picked up an unworn, David Fielden gown that was everything I had hoped for – ivory silk, bias-cut, sweeping train…it could have been designed for Rita Hayworth herself. Pure joy.”
When it came to the fine details of the day, Gui-Xi and Niko were in luck with lots of willing helpers!
“Mums, Dads (and Aunts and Uncles!) are a bride and groom’s secret weapons. They all put a lot of hard slog into helping in a way that not only saved us money but also made things very personal. Niko’s mum single-handedly made three metres of the finest fabric bunting I’ve ever seen. For our wedding favours, we collected about a kilo of lavender from her garden in France and then my mum and aunt painstakingly sewed up 80 little lavender pockets. My mum baked our wedding cake and her brilliant friend Una decorated it with hand-made sugar peonies to match my bouquet. My Mum is also a botanist and a very talented amateur florist so she did an amazing, Chinese-inspired flower arrangement for the ceremony room. My Dad likes to joke that he had the “toughest job” – to drive to France and to buy our wine directly from the vineyards. I think that one was win-win all round – he got a wine-tasting holiday and we were able to get much nicer wine than we could have otherwise afforded in Ireland,” said Gui-Xi.
Niko wore the tartan of his home town of Peebles. The kiltmakers, John Morrison in Edinburgh, were quite excited to do it as it’s a special weave they hadn’t made before.
“Without a doubt, the ceremony was our highlight. It’s easy to get caught up in budgets, table-arrangements and dress alterations and lose sight of what it’s all for – and that definitely has very little to do with excel spreadsheets and all to do with each other and those you know you wanted around you. There is a lot of scope to personalise a Humanist ceremony and that is wonderful, but it’s also quite daunting. Both being book-worms, we thought it would be easy to select our readings, but it’s quite challenging to steer clear of cliché and find something unique to you and your relationship. In the end, we found what was right for us in some of the strangest of places – like in an old geological text! We would both say now that all the time we put into it, we got back ten-fold and more. Our friends and family who did readings and played music seemed to understand the precise weight that each word, each note, held for us. And so much credit must go to Siobhan Walls, our Humanist celebrant. It’s hard to describe, but she has a truly special way of taking small words and small moments and giving great resonance to them,” concluded Gui-Xi.
Venue: St Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club
Dress: Laura Dols, Amsterdam
Bridesmaids dress: Ghost London
Accessories for female bridal party: Earrings from Newbridge Silverware & Chinese Oil Paper parasols from Jiang Pan Yue, China
Grooms wear: John Morrison Kilt makers, Edinburgh
Photographer: Circus Photography
Cake: Lee Hwa Young (Mother of the bride) and family friend Una Roche
Flowers: The Flower Boutique, Killiney, Co Dublin (bouquets, table arrangements, mantle arrangements & buttonholes) + Lee Hwa Young (Chinese-inspired, ceremony room arrangement)
Entertainment: Haste to the Wedding Ceilidh Band
Hair: Gillian Edgeworth Hair Studio
Makeup: Adriana from Charlotte Tilbury at Brown Thomas
The following two tabs change content below.