The wedding of Colleen and Graeme Northe saw them convert their retirement village community centre into their wedding venue, capping off a whirlwind love story. The Bupa St Kilda Retirement Village centre had the happy couple’s resident friends and family attend and saw them tie the knot after meeting through an online dating site.
Colleen (75), a widow of many years who was living in a one bedroom apartment at Bupa St Andrews Retirement Village at the time, joined the dating site and found an online profile that caught her eye, a man in Napier looking for love.
Graeme Northe (72) had lost his wife and was an elder at his local church. After chatting online, they both met and found they had an instant spark. The next weekend Colleen visited Graeme in Napier to see him preach at his church and by the Sunday, Graeme had proposed to her.
Colleen moved from the Bupa village in Hamilton to a larger villa at Bupa St Kilda Retirement Village in Cambridge, where she was joined by Graeme after they were married, moving from his Napier home.
The larger two bedroom stylish villa in Cambridge has given the couple a lush private garden and spacious open-plan lounge and dining area to host their children and grandchildren.
The couple have settled into village life easily and have made many friends in the village after making the most of the regular social activities. Colleen says it was a rapid romance but she finally found 'direction' in her later life with Graeme, in a warm and cosy retirement village surrounded by friends.
"My saying is I’m always Northe," Colleen says with a smile.