new zealand destination wedding

New Zealand Destination Wedding Elopement

Photography

Sophie + Robbie’s Incredible Two Day New Zealand Elopement

This elopement was extra, extra special for me. My friend Sophie & Robbie got engaged last year in March and after a year-long engagement decided to plan their elopement during the New Zealand lockdown. As soon as the country emerged into level 2, plans got rolling, everything was booked up and the big day was just around the corner. 

Sophie and I met 5 years ago in a coffee shop after chatting on Instagram. We bonded quickly over our love for photography, hiking, and adventures. Over the years I have shot their couples sessions, an engagement session after their beautiful proposal in Mount Cook (their happy place) and now I feel absolutely honored to be with them on their epic two-day elopement adventure. 

The day before their wedding the spring rain came to Queenstown. Topping the mountains with fresh snow and forcing us into seriously thinking about a backup plan for their outdoor ceremony. With less than 24 hours to go, the venue was locked in and it was perfect. 

Wednesday 16th September, the day of Sophie & Robbies’ legal ceremony in Queenstown. They choose to get ready separately. Robbie at Trudy’s house and Sophie at The Hilton in Queenstown. Sophie luckily had her childhood best friend, Liss with her to help her get ready and just as we were about to leave for the ceremony, Liss handed Sophie a beautiful handmade blue sapphire ring from @vujewellers. Robbie had designed the ring for Sophie to wear as they married in Queenstown, such a thoughtful gift for this bride to be. 

Robbie and Sophie were lucky enough to have their friend, Trudy Munro, as their celebrant. When she found out about the engagement she decided to get her celebrants certificate and marry these two love birds. Trudy also owns @Nemobridal where Sophie had her dress designed and made, making the whole experience and incredibly intimate and beautiful. Liss was on hand for makeup and Arrowtown-hair fixed up Sophie’s hair. Sophie’s other close friend Haley joined this tight-knit crew to help set up and style the location. 

Two hours before the ceremony time we decided to use the Thomas Brown Art Gallery indoor location. Haley set up the wooden arch that my husband had handcrafted for them and borrowed one of Trudy’s vintage rugs. The set up was beautiful and just so perfect for them. 

Robbie nervously awaited Sophie’s entrance and was blown away when she walked through the door in all her pantsuit, shoulder to floor-length winged glory. Long blonde hair curled and to the side and a beautiful bouquet from Rosie Flowers completed this bridal look. 

Trudy’s ceremony was very personal and intimate, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. The three of them have a beautiful five-year friendship story, after living and working together she referred to them as her whanau. It was beautiful. After a short little indoor shoot we headed to Coronet Peak to get those classic Queenstown views and golden hour, we then jumped in the car and raced to a very special location, which was meant to be the outdoor ceremony location. The wind made for some dramatically awesome images and scenery we will never forget. 

The next day we packed up the car and headed for the high country cabin. This is Robbie & Sophies’ favourite Airbnb and such an epic spot. I met them early in the morning ready for round 2 of adventure in Mount Cook National Park. 

The lovely folks at the Helicopter Line had a scenic flight lined up for the newlyweds. Unfortunately due to high winds, we missed out on the Mount Brown snow landing but we took a flight through the National Park, up the Jollie river, and to an awesome little hunting hut in the backcountry. Sophie loved it, in her mountain element, and running free with her love in the heart of her favourite place here in New Zealand. We were surrounded by mountains, beside a flowing river and it was here that Sophie & Robbie decided to read their beautiful hand-drawn vows to each other. It was emotional, intimate and so very them. A beautiful moment in this awesome landscape.

A windy, cold day in the mountains wouldn’t be the same without a big bowl of tomato soup and fries, nothing fancy for this pair. With her robe protecting that silk jumpsuit we chilled and drank tea before heading out for some epic roadside shots in the grass, with Mount Sefton behind. One last stop at the famous Mount Cook road location while departing the park and some Pukaki goodness before calling it a day of this epic adventure. 

By the time we go back to the high country cabin, pouring a large glass of red, we were exhausted but so very thrilled. Not everything went to the initial plan but every single moment was just utterly perfect for these two. 

Now they are off on their greatest adventure yet as husband and wife & I am so happy I got to share every special moment with these two. 

For more info on Elopement Packages click here.

Vendors-

High Country Cabin Airbnb

Nemo Bridal & Suit Hire

Hilton Hotel Queenstown

Vue Jewelers

Arrowtown Hair

Rosie Flowers

The Heli Line Mount Cook