Rizza + Nicko Eloping At Stoneridge, Queenstown New Zealand
Elopements are getting more and more popular for so many reasons but especially now during a pandemic. Love is still stronger than fear and people are recognising this and are changing, instead of canceling, their wedding plans.
Although Rizzo and Nikos’s beautiful wedding ceremony may look like an elopement, thanks to the power of the internet and live streaming, it was actually filled with their family and friends.
I met Rizzo at Oaks Resort where she was getting ready before the ceremony. She was super organised and had everything laid out and ready for me to photograph. There were so many beautiful pieces that caught my eye, from the delicate vow books to her amazing shiny pink Doc Martin shoes, but the show stopper was her dress.
She told me that her mother and sister had designed and made it for her in the Philippines and sent it over for her special day. It was clear that this one of a kind dress was made with love and attention to every exquisite detail.
Next, we headed to the chapel at Stoneridge Estate for the ceremony where my videographer, Tom had set up the live stream, and their family and friends all over the world were waiting for us. Nicko was wearing a cream coloured suit and the delicate pink and white flowers in Rizzo’s bouquet swayed in the gentle breeze as we walked through the magnificent garden to the chapel. Rizzo and Nickos pastor from the North Island officiated the ceremony as their nearest and dearest watched on the live stream. There was a champagne toast and cake cutting afterward.
After the intimate ceremony, I brought the newlyweds back out into the sunny garden that was filled with summer flowers where we took photos with the stunning views of Lake Hayes in the background.
Our next stop was the airport where we had planned to jump on a helicopter to Cecil peak but the wind had other ideas and instead, we headed up the Remarkable Mountains. The weather in New Zealand can definitely be unpredictable but even I was shocked to see so much snow in December! We landed right on the snow and it was amazing. Dramatic sun rays were coming down through the clouds as Rizzo and Nicko did a champagne toast.
As I watched Rizzo and Nicko embrace on the top of the iconic NZ mountain, I knew in my gut that love will always win out. Even though they were physically far away, from the live stream to the handmade dress, this couple were surrounded by their friends and family. They were surrounded by love.
Congratulations Rizzo and Nicko, I am so happy I could be a part of your special day.