Katharina Cox was travelling around Australia with her friend's partner when she bumped into her future husband from Whangarei.

She'd just finished high school in her native Germany and was on a work holiday in 2006 with a friend and her Kiwi partner when her friend had to return to Germany.

"So, me and her partner were at a camp ground in Bowen, Queensland, when Chris and his friend rocked up in an old Bedford camper. He had been living and working in Aussie since he was 17 but had had enough of the Gold Coast lifestyle and was travelling up the coast," she explains.

The two hit it off and Katharina (Kat) ended up jumping ship and travelling with them up the coast. The pair were friends for around a month before winding up together. They continued on in Australia for the year, where Chris met Kat's parents when they arrived to visit and, as Kat's visa was coming to an end, they decided Chris would join her in Germany.


"But first, we stopped over in New Zealand for three weeks so I could meet his family before I whisked him off to the other side of the world," she laughs.

They had been living in Germany several months before discovering they were pregnant with their first son Felix, now ten. Several weeks before his birth, they married in an old castle with only Kat's immediate family and a couple of friends present which, Kat says, wasn't very special and with none of Chris' family present.

They spent Felix' first year in Germany before moving to New Zealand in 2010, where they have been Whangarei-based since. The couple had two more children – Mason, 5, and Spencer, 2, and started their own business repiling and moving houses.

However, having now attended kiwi weddings herself, Kat, 32, began to realise what Chris, 34, and his whanau had missed out on.

"We always joked about having a wedding at the marae but the aunties were quick to point out the amount of work that would be included. And now that I have a couple of tangis under my belt, I understand! But then Chris suggested early last year, with it being our ten-year anniversary, we should have a party for that, and the planning began from there.

"The aim was to have no one have to do anything on the weekend and we could all just spend time and enjoy everyone's company at the beach. Our amazing business partner let us use his beach house at Ngahau Bay where we erected a marquee and hired five caravans for our family and friends to spend the weekend with us."

In lieu of a celebrant, Kat's best friend, whose husband is also best friends with Chris, was the 'Still do lady' – a perfect touch, says Kat, and, in a 'crack-up' moment, the song Baby Shark, a favourite of the couple's two-year-old son, was sung, which everyone joined in.

A week before the wedding, Kat's parents flew in from Germany as a surprise, which Chris and Kat's brother, in New Zealand on a working holiday visa, were in on.


"It was amazing having them there and I can say that it was the best day of my life – the whole weekend was; Having all our favourite people in one place, everyone having a good time, celebrating us and the amazing people we have in our lives."

Kat reflects that their December 2018 wedding couldn't have been any more different to their first.

"Our wedding in Germany was very low-key and it sort of always bugged me a bit, not having had a nice wedding with all our family and friends, which made this one even more special. Finally, we were able to have our day. We organised it all ourselves and made sure we loved every aspect of the weekend and it was us to a tee.

"The only thing we haven't done yet is have a honeymoon, but we'll get there one day."