cecil peak helicopter elopement

New Zealand Elopement at Cecil Peak

Photography

Sarah + Gerry New Zealand Elope

Romantic vow renewal at Cecil Peak, Queenstown

Sarah and Gerry had their dream wedding in 2018. They had a small elopement with their close family and friends, they said their vows on the lakefront surrounded by mountains and loved every second of their day. The weather, however, did not love them back! Just as they were getting into the helicopter to go for their couple shoot, the rain suddenly lashed down and the wind picked up, the conditions were not safe for them to stop at their intended helicopter destination and they just got a glimpse of it through the storm clouds as they flew past it.

A few months after their wedding, Sarah had a terrible accident. It left her with a severe concussion and she spent the next year trying to recover. She told me once that the concussion was both the worst and the best thing that had ever happened to her. The pain, the frustration, the dizziness, the confusion, and the headaches had all made her slow down. The bad days where she couldn’t leave the house gave her time to think, the good days made her appreciate the little things in life. She wanted to live a life with no regrets. Her husband had been her rock through the whole ordeal, their wedding vows were put to the test and they came out stronger than ever.

Sarah told me that the accident had changed her so much that she felt like a different person. She wished she could marry Gerry all over again as the people they were now, the people that had made it through the last year, and were more in love than ever. I paused and then said, “well why don’t you?” Her eyes lit up immediately and we started to work out a plan.

A few weeks later and her Grace Loves Lace wedding dress still fit her perfectly, her long veil was expertly pinned into her hair by Niamh Murphy and Yanisa from Charm Beauty did her makeup before we drove to Heli works to meet Gerry. The love between the two of them was visible as they looked at each other all dressed up in their wedding gear again. Sarah wiped away a tear as she fixed Gerry pocket square and he held her hand as she walked in her sparkly heels towards the helicopter.

This time around, the weather loved us. We had a smooth flight up to the Ledge on Cecil Peak. The scenery all around us was absolutely breathtaking and the sun lit up the turquoise lake below as if someone had filled it with diamonds instead of water. It doesn’t matter how many times you see these views, Queenstown still blows me away with its beauty every time. Sarah and Gerry had the biggest smiles on their faces and I was so happy they were finally getting to do this.

The landing was smooth and the weather conspired to make it the perfect hour for us. The sun dipped slowly towards the mountains bathing us in the most beautiful golden light and the air was still, a warm breeze occasionally lifting Sarah’s veil just enough for the perfect shot. I moved back to give them some privacy as they said their vows to each other again, I snapped shot after shot as the rest of the world melted away and it was just them, together at their dream location at last.

I made the most of the hour and shot them from every angle, the lake still sparkling below and the majestic mountains all around us. They popped champagne and looked out over the view, the smiles on their faces contagious. In no time at all our hour was up and, still shaky on her feet, Gerry held Sarah’s hand as we walked over the rocky ground back to the helicopter.

We flew back to Queenstown as the sun finally set behind the mountains.

Love comes in all shapes and sizes, it is both complex and simple all at the same time. Love changes as we change and it grows as we grow. This is why people renew vows, they change, and yet they choose each other again and again.

Congratulations Sarah and Gerry, keep choosing each other as the years pass because you two are perfect for each other.