I love hearing true love stories, cheesy romantic movies and I especially love learning about how couples came to be together.
I have this really adorable memory from when I was working for Lush on Queen Street. This elderly couple came through who were fresh off a cruise ship and had spent the morning shopping. I started asking about their cruise and if they were enjoying it, and the elderly lady wandered off to look at products. I gradually just ended up asking the elderly man about how they keep their relationship fresh and exciting (after he told me they had been married 55 years). He literally looked at his wife across the room, and whispered to me “I still give her a sneaky pinch on the bottom whenever she walks past me”. It was so unexpected and cute, we both had a giggle.
I was inspired to reach out to our pinup/vintage loving community and find some good ol’ love stories to share. It’s a lengthy post, but romantic nonetheless…
This is me and my boo, we met 12 years ago at our best friends wedding – yep our best friends married each other, and we were both in the bridal party. I was a socially awkward baby goth but somehow I got words out and communicated with him and we hit it off as friends. During the bridal photos I didn’t have my jacket, it was cold so he went and got me his hoodie – super sweet but he would literally do this for anyone and he always stuck in my mind as a sweetheart.
Years went by and 5 years ago fate brought us together again. We dated long distance for 3 months, then he moved from Wellington to Auckland, engaged after 6 months, married after a year, baby just after 2 years and the rest is history. Love this guy to bits!
“So this is love, so this is what makes life divine.” – Cinderella
Sylvanna Yukich (Miss Scarlett in the Ballroom)
Apparently Denis and I met as children, but neither of us remember! Denis and I met (for real) in 2008 at the Dalmatian Cultural Society where we both danced the Kolo, which is Croatian group folk dancing. A running joke in the kolo is find a wife and get out, as many couples that danced together over the generations ended up marrying, my parents actually met at the Dally Club, my mum was a dancer and my dad was in the band!
I was 19 and Denis was 17 when we first met, I always knew who he was and we chatted and danced in the same group for four years. It wasn’t until he was a bit older and gained a delicious blue Mohawk and I saw him perform in a live rock musical of Nosferatu that I was like dayum! So talented and pretty. We hung out consistently over the summer, then he went to play the Nosferatu gig in Wellington and according to Denis on the long motorbike ride back to Auckland he realised he was in love. We officially started dating in February.
Now let me tell you, attending the Dally club is like being in a scene of my Big Fat Greek Wedding and there truly is a gossip grapevine! After just few weeks of courting, Denis received a phone call from his mum in the South Island asking if he had anything to tell her, he was like “ummm no not really”… she replied “oh okay, but I hear you are dating that Yukich girl”! At some stage someone saw us together (our theory is one of the old dally ladies potentially saw us holding hands a little bit more than the dancing required or gazing at each other too long ). Word then got to my Grandma who then spoke to Denis’s Grandmother back in Croatia and then it came back to his mum in Greymouth! Oh how good news travels fast, and far!
“How do you spell love? You don’t spell it, you feel it.” – Winnie the Pooh
Andrea Haylings (Miss Kitty Kat)
I had just moved back to my home town of Kawerau to be closer to mum after our father passed away. He was a member of Toastmasters and I decided to go to a meeting one night, just to see what it was all about. That is where I met Nick. I remembered him from our fathers funeral, as he had spoken at it, but never thought our paths would cross again. We became friends and, after some time, that friendship became more. He has encouraged me to try new things and push my limits. In fact Nick is the one who truly got me to enter my first ever pinup competition. He’s my partner in crime, my rock and love of my life.
“Love is a song that never ends.” – Bambi
Fran Henricksen (Fran Robertson Decorator of People and Things)
Tony and I met at a friend’s 21st, the week after I moved to Auckland. It definitely wasn’t love at first sight or anything – I had moved up to live with my long-term boyfriend, so we were just acquaintances really. Two years and a break up later, we were both involved in the organising committee for a huge scout event. Neither of us had particularly healthy sleep schedules, so often we were the only people from the committee online at 3am to bounce last minute ideas off, and we really got to know each other in the few weeks before the event kicked off.
He hadn’t thought particularly highly of me to start with, I discovered, because he didn’t really ‘get’ me, and I’d had no interest in trying to force conversation with someone who was that quiet and standoffish, but we really got a better sense of each other’s personalities online and it definitely changed the way we looked at each other. I’d been offered a tent to share with some friends for the event, but I thought it would be weird sharing with a couple (turns out it would have been weird, but not for the reasons you might think!) so Tony offered to let me share his tent. I found out much later, long after we got together, that he went out and bought a bigger tent after I’d said yes, because he was worried I wouldn’t be comfortable being that close in his two-man hiking tent, and I’d go back to sharing my friends’ tent.
It wasn’t until we were camping with friends over a long weekend and someone asked him when he’d bought his new tent that he let the cat out of the bag and told me! It’s the ultimate scout romance really – we even got married at our local scout camp, with 100+ Rover Scouts in attendance!
“One song, my heart keeps singing, of one love only for you.” – Snow White
Monique Mclennan (Miss Monique Sweet)
You know that old romance story… when you see someone across the room and they literally make you stop swoon-fully. That was me to Sam – VVDO 2013. It seemed like our novel was already written in the stars, as we ended up meeting at a photoshoot at Pukemiro Junction, a couple of weeks later.
To be honest, Sam initially snobbed me – being too shy to say hello back (or so he tells me) and ended up finding me on Facebook to start up a conversation. After a few months Sam finally found out my real name (he thought I was called Leigh for a while lol) and I found out he in fact did not have a girlfriend, and that’s when our fairy tale story took pen to paper.
Our first date was at the Hamilton Gardens – he bought all of my favourite food, serenaded me with his guitar, played on a sun dial and worked allllll of his charm to get a kiss on the cheek.
After 2.5 years of long distance (which is loosely termed – we lived close enough that we could make our midweek visits) and only 6 months of living together – he proposed at home. I had just got home from work and had been in the door for less than two minutes. I was apologising for buying (more) clothes from an op shop, he said ‘that’s okay, I spent money today too’ and ran off to our bedroom, got the engagement ring and got down on one knee. He had purchased the ring from our (ahem my) favourite antique shop in Tirau, and had driven there and back after work. He was going to wait until we went out to Raglan to do it at the beach (and he took me to the spot the following day to walk me through his actual plan, and explained why he couldn’t keep the secret). Weirdly I was helping Dave Rowe the day after we got engaged with a student class he was taking – so I asked if Sam could come along so we could get a photo to share the cool news!
Our next chapter starts down south, in Arrowtown, on the 1st April next year and we cannot wait! #SAMMONTHEWEDDING
“When I look at you I can feel it. I look at you, and I’m home” – Finding Nemo
Geneen Sparks (Miss Chantilly Sparkle)
“You mean more to me than anyone in this whole world” – Peter Pan
Georgia Lee (Vola tile)
So he was sitting at the bar two seats down with his friend. There was an older gentleman sitting between us who was talking to him, I later found out the gentleman had thought he was charming and had given him his business card which contained his phone number. I had seen him looking at me from behind the gentleman between us. Being the gentleman I was I bought him a drink. My friend working at the bar made some remark to me and my the girlfriend I was with along the lines of ‘good luck’. Luck was needed, I was taking a gamble. I was taking the gamble that this very attractive man sitting at Family Bar was indeed not as interested in the man between us as he may be in me. I don’t remember the first things we said to each other but I remember his comment on how velvet (which I was wearing) was a nasty feeling fabric. I looked fabulous and bounced the comment off (velvet is my absolute favourite fabric).
Now the night was ending and Family bar was closing its doors, an anomaly I had never experienced as I had never made it to the closing time of a bar before. This is where there is some debate about the story. If you ask Ross he jokes that I followed him home and forced myself in his life. I remember it as him being a damsel in distress, he wasn’t from Auckland and didn’t know where his apartment was from here. Again being the gentleman I am I walked his intoxicated butt home and tucked him into bed where he pretty much instantly fell asleep. I made my way home, the sun had started to rise by the time my head hit the pillow at home.
Fast forward some time, and a few dates later we were at my bestfriend’s 21st birthday. There was nothing official going on with us on the account of him being English and potentially having to leave the country at the end of his work visa. He decided he would pluck up the courage to ask…. My Mum. He asked her if I had those kind of feelings for him. Of course Mum told him that was a question he would need to ask me. A week or so later and armed with information from my Mum I decided that I wouldn’t wait for the coward any longer.
A few hurdles later, like finding out he had swiped right to my cousin on tinder (he obviously likes us Berge Family girls), we move in together. Like well soon into the relationship. It was the only way he would be able to stay in the country. I do not think he realised quite how much stuff came with the Georgia package. We lived together, me being messy and liking to treat myself (often) and him being very tidy and very responsible with money. We are so different in so many ways but we share the same silly slapstick humour. We often embarrass people when we are out together because we are pretty much constantly laughing at some silly inside joke or enjoying the sport of trying to out humiliate the other person in public.
He has always loved how I looked and dressed. Encouraged it, picked out dresses, bought me the things I ‘needed’ from Etsy for my ‘birthday’ in like 6 months. He supports the waist training, the cloth making, the wigs, and even the burlesque. He has helped me pick outfits, take photo’s, shave my neck (for the wig wearing) and even put up with my meltdowns over misbehaving hair or wardrobe malfunctions.
He has encouraged me into being the pinup I am whilst still keeping me grounded. We have days we sit around in our underwear and whinge about who’s turn it is on the playstation and days where he is helping me into vintage frocks and aiding accessory decisions. He is my silly supportive English boy who I don’t think will ever get over the way I say bin and Ben. It’s okay though he can’t pronounce Porirua.
“One look at your smile, and I could see the light shining everywhere” – Aladdin
Rebekah Orr (Miss Mustang)
Our story is pretty unusual these days. It’s one I almost avoid telling young people for fear they’ll do something silly, like get married at 18 (like I did)!’ He’s now 41, I’m 37, we have five children together and we’ve been together over 20 years. In fact, May next year is our 20th wedding anniversary. I was fifteen when I walked into my bestie’s sixteenth birthday party and saw a guy from behind.
No, I’m not kidding. He wore Levi’s and he wore them damn well, let me tell you. I was admiring the view when he turned around and it got even better. But he was talking to a bunch of guys I knew pretty well, and I hadn’t seen him before. If you’re a city dweller, that’s not unusual, but we lived in a town of fifteen hundred people, so it was pretty weird. Intrigued, I rocked up bold as brass, and introduced myself. The young man I found was funny and engaging although a bit taken aback at my approach, and pretty soon we drifted outside to talk. I spent most of the time at that party sitting beside him on the hood of my best friend’s dad’s car rather than in the garage where everyone else was. Eventually though, I had to get home.
Because, fifteen. Curfew! He offered me a lift but I was a cop’s daughter and not about to get in a car alone with a boy I’d met that night, so I bailed. I bailed without getting his number or giving him mine. When I got home and thought about that, I was bummed, but figured we’d bump into each other. Small town, after all. Six weeks went by, and I hadn’t seen him, hadn’t heard anything, despite having asked a mutual friend about him. (She lied, but that’s another story). So I gave up, figuring I’d done my best to find him, and if he wanted to find me, then he would. (He’d asked the same friend about me and been given the same lie.) As life would have it, I started dating one of my best friends, and I saw my future husband again the following morning, with my new boyfriend right beside me. It was like a nightmare. As a youngster I was a bit ruthless with fellas, I’ll admit it, and I would have dumped any other guy on the spot. But one of my best friends? (A man I adore to this day). No. The short story is that my now-hubby had a girlfriend within a few weeks, too, so we spent a year tiptoeing around an unspoken connection that we both felt but weren’t sure of, trying to figure it out without breaking any ‘rules’.
The easiest way to describe it is that we were too young to know what it was. Love. Like, the real deal, capital letters, LOVE. We spent time together, going to the movies etc, sometimes with our respective partners, sometimes without. I look back and shake my head and laugh. How did we not get it? But we didn’t, not really. Not until one day when a kiss happened. To this day neither one of us could tell you exactly how it happened. One second we were talking, the next…. Well, let’s just say everything changed. The first words out of my mouth were ‘We’re in so much trouble now!’. It was true in so many ways, mostly good. We were married with a baby son inside two years, and the rest, as they say, is history.
“You’re the one, the one that I’ve been looking for” – The Little Mermaid
Jessica Caulfield (Miss Jessica Mae)
Me & Brett have been together for two years. Brett from Auckland, me from Rotorua.
We meet in July 2014 at a Hot Rod event in Rotorua. Sulphur city rod & custom club put on a do with band at night and that is where we met (on the dance floor). We where dancing together and got talking. Both having similar interests, we hit it off and talked and danced all night. The following weekend we decided to meet up for a date, Brett came back down to Rotorua. Both very nervous, we meet at bar and really hit it off talking until very late. After a week or two of texting/talking on the phone, we made it official. Now the interesting thing about us is that there is a bit of a age gap. I’m not going to say the number, but my parents weren’t thrilled about it to start with (but they are fine with it now).
Brett moved to Rotorua March 2015 with no regrets in leaving Auckland. He was ready for a change and there was no way I was going to move to Auckland (been there done that), not my place. By July 2015 we opened our business Kulture Shock, which is my Hair Salon and also Vintage/Retro store.
We have achieved a lot in two years, and Kulture shock just celebrated its one year birthday. My parents are now supportive in our relationship, which helps a lot. We share the same goals & passions in life. We work together everyday. We both have a love of anything from the past. Especially classic cars & hot rods. We have very similar tastes in most things really. He loves me dressing in pin up and doesn’t complain too much about my spending on clothes and shoes, he likes op shopping with me too.
We are actually very rarely apart, and when we are we don’t feel complete. I’d have to say there wouldn’t be too many couples out there who work together, live together, pretty much spend every waking moment together and not be down each others throats haha. We wouldn’t have it any other way!
“You love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream.” – Sleeping Beauty
Ruby Mae Hinepunui Solly
Okay, I first met Daniela when we were sixteen, she was the guitarist in her high school’s jazz band and they needed an extra trombone player to qualify for the national youth jazz band competition… and that trombone player happened to be me. We had a quick chat, but I thought she was far out of my league and I thought she must have been a few years older than me as she was tall, mature and just seemed wise beyond her years. A year later, my circumstances changed and I ended up changing high schools.
Needless to say, when I saw her again I couldn’t believe my luck. It turns out we both thought the other was a lot older than we were! We started playing music together, her on guitar and me singing and playing cello, as well as playing together in the school jazz band, local youth string orchestra, and in a Dixie jazz band with my adopted dad where I played double bass. Throughout that year at high school we became very close friends and ended up dating towards the end of that year.
After that, I went to the big city (Wellington) to study jazz performance while Daniela finished high school. Long distance was tough and it got tougher still as the year after that she was studying biotechnology in Hamilton. I played in lots of different jazz bands so that we could have enough money to see each other and spend quality time together, which turned out to be the best thing I could have done for my career. Daniela was always encouraging without putting any pressure on me, and her support was an amazing driving force to keep me moving forward with my degree and my musicianship. This year, Daniela decided to make the move to Wellington and is now studying Biomedical Science at Victoria.
It’s great to now be at the same school again and to be a part of the great Vintage / Pin Up community in Wellington. We’re often out op shopping together (me for vintage dresses and her for vintage suits), going to listen to swing music, or spending time with like minded friends. I love how inclusive the pin up community is and I love having my own suited lady to escort me to dances and gigs! I feel very lucky indeed.
“You’re the best thing I never knew I needed.” – The Princess and the Frog
Jaimee Robinson (Soda Fontaine)
I met Logan in a ‘romance for the modern-age’ type of way. Tinder. There is a bit of cuteness to our story though. A close friend convinced me to download Tinder and “get back out there and give it a whirl”, so one lonely Monday night in October last year I did just that. After swiping no to numerous guys who were clearly not my type, Logan popped up, heavily tattooed with lots of travel pics.
I swiped yes and received an instant match. We messaged for a few hours and he asked for my number. Texted me the next day and asked me on a date for the upcoming Friday. Date night arrived and I dressed myself in a leopard print cardi, black swing skirt, purple lipstick and Dita hair waves. Keeping it casually glamorous in my goth pinup way. We met at a bar in Takapuna and we just instantly clicked.
After our date lasting for hours we both felt like we had finally met the one and have been inseparable since. 10 months later we are living together in London and travelling around Europe creating unforgettable memories.
“You are my greatest adventure.” – The Incredibles
Jaimee Beck (Velvet DeCollete)
James and I met in what feels like another lifetime. I was in my early 20’s, a metal chick who lived in docs and miniskirts, and he managed the only metal bar in Auckland. We chatted over the bar every weekend as I ordered my jack & coke but I didn’t realise he was interested – partly because I’m a total dork and partly because I thought he was keen on my friend! That all changed when he offered to host my birthday shindig, a jelly wrestling party. Our first unofficial date started with shopping for an enormous paddling pool and finished with dinner in Mission Bay while he charmed me with chivalrous manners and terrible puns (you could say he had me at jello ). Several drinks, a bikini full of jello and the offer of a shower later we were semi official.
Three months later we were engaged, two years later we were married. Eight years down the track we’re still trading terrible puns.
So much has changed in eight years. He owns a suit. I fell in love with the vintage scene. We’ve replaced mosh pits and metal with dinner parties and a dog (well, most of the time anyway!). But most of all we’ve supported each other and grown in ways we never could have done alone.
“We’re together now. Everything’s going to be fine…”. – Beauty and the Beast