Canadian professional soccer player Sophie Schmidt was playing her second season for Frankfurt FFC when she met Nicholas Kyle, a theatre actor who was in Frankfurt for five months performing at the English Theatre. Following some great conversation in the lobby after Nicholas' play, the pair exchanged numbers. When Sophie left, Nicholas fondly remembers one of his cast members asking, "Where is your future wife going?" Later that week, Nicholas and Sophie had their first date, which started at the Christmas Market and turned into five different dates in one day.
The couple was exploring a castle's hidden garden on a weekend trip to Prague when Nicholas proposed. "I was taking in the view when I heard Nicholas say something from behind me. I turned around and he was down on one knee holding out a box with a perfect ring inside," Sophie recalls.
For their summer wedding in New Zealand, Sophie and Nicholas went with rustic and minimalist wedding décor that included beer hall-style seating, beautiful wooden benches and tables and flowers from a local lavender farm. "The venue had so much charm that hardly anything extra was needed," Sophie explains.
The wedding cake was handmade by the bride's sisters-in-law the day before the wedding. "I wanted a rustic, simple little wedding cake that had character," Sophie shares. "I sent them an inspiration picture from Pinterest and she absolutely nailed it." The cake was topped with authentic Star Wars figurines that were a wedding gift from a friend who was not able to make the wedding. "We agreed to put them on the cake and we gladly kept our promise," the couple says.
For Sophie and Nicholas, one important detail was that the engagement ring and wedding bands were ethically sourced and handcrafted from local jewelry makers. At the start of the ceremony, the wedding bands were tied together and passed around to all of the guests. Each guest was able to hold them in their hands and say a wish, a good thought or simply have a look before passing them on. "At first, I was a bit nervous about losing the bands, but this warming of the rings before putting them on was special because it was so inclusive," Sophie explains. "Our guests felt extremely honoured to be included in the ceremony in that way."
In the moments following the words, "I now pronounce you husband and wife," the couple had their first kiss before walking down the aisle together as guests threw lavender in the air and a bag piper played classic tunes. "We are an easy going couple that spends a lot of time traveling and living out of suitcases, so it was important to make the wedding all about the people, not things," Sophie explains. During the afternoon cocktail hour, a live band performed as guests mingled, played various outdoor games and enjoyed a custom crafted wedding beer. "Our guests were barefoot, carefree and enjoying the moment," Sophie says.
Sophie Schmidt and Nicholas Kyle, December 29, 2018, Greta Valley, New Zealand.
Photography courtesy of Emma Brittenden.
Venue: Woolshed at Tipapa
Bride's dress: Laure de Saganza
Groom's tux: Joseph Abboud
Caterer: Smoke n' Barrel and Dave the Brewer
Hair & Makeup: Sarah Greenwood Buchanan
Engagement ring: Crown Nine
Engagement bands: Filigree
Flowers: Mother-in-law and friends Music: Friends of the groom Cake: Betty Crocker made by the bride's sister-in-laws
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