Nikki Battiste and Dean Simpson met in May of 2012 at the Standard Hotel’s Biergarten in New York City. “I was blown away by Nikki’s beautiful smile,” says Dean. “Then, as we talked, I loved how composed, elegant, and intriguing she was.”
“Before we even spoke, our eyes connected, and this gorgeous smile came across his handsome face,” Nikki remembers. “An hour later, I was already smitten with his charm, warmth, and sincerity – and his sexy British-Welsh accent!”
"THE BRIDE AND GROOM EXCHANGED PERSONAL VOWS, AND A RAINBOW EMERGED JUST AFTER THE CEREMONY ENDED."
Ironically, the two were supposed to have met six months before, when a mutual friend told Nikki she wanted her to meet “this great, handsome Welsh guy who lives in New York.” Nikki didn’t want to be set up, but it turns out that man was Dean. Clearly, fate had intervened.
It was two years later when Nikki, an equestrian, was getting ready to ride. “I was floating,” she describes. “When Dean and I met, I had not ridden much in years and missed it. Dean encouraged me to ride again, and I did. He just knows me – better than I know myself – and he knew riding would make me happy.” Unbeknownst to Nikki, Dean had been working with a custom jewelry designer, Lindsey Scoggins, to create a stunning oval engagement ring, which he presented to her during his proposal at the stables. Their engagement was followed by a surprise rooftop party with Nikki’s friends and family in New York.
“The thought Dean put into the day was so special,” Nikki adds. “I’m so lucky. He is the most positive, kind, and gentle human I’ve ever known – truly. He also happens to be gorgeous.”
Nikki and Dean’s wedding took place at Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York, where the ambiance was kept simple and intimate. A horse was incorporated into the celebrations, along with traditions and food from their various cultures. Reflecting on their private “first look,” Dean says, “I was shocked by how beautiful she looked, and I thought, ‘I’m the luckiest man alive.’”
As the ceremony began, Nikki walked with her father as he led a white horse for her. The bride and groom exchanged personal vows, and a rainbow emerged just after the ceremony ended. Later, the bride also entertained guests by riding the horse into the cocktail hour. The reception was kicked off with the bride and groom performing a choreographed dance with a combination of rumba, salsa, and hip-hop moves. At the end of the night, Nikki’s matron of honor whispered to her, “I never pegged you as the girl who would have a fairytale wedding,” – but that’s exactly how their story turned out.
For their honeymoon, the newlyweds traveled to Italy’s Amalfi Coast for a romantic getaway with unforgettable surroundings.