It started with one of my close friends postponing her wedding, then it started with cancellations, then I saw one of my best friends lose all her bookings for the foreseeable future. My heart was breaking for them, for an industry that is built on love. Life as we know it is about to change, it is about to get a whole lot more interesting and our normal will now become a new normal that will feel normal again, it may just take some time. The current climate however pushed me to create a blog, one to share our love and two to share the love about our beautiful friends who need support during this tough time.
You may or may not know that Robbie got down on one knee in my favourite place in the world a year ago, he took my blubbering sobs as a yes and planted the most wonderful, beautiful custom made ring on my finger. It was at this moment that I regretted ever biting my nails. However, joy, adrenaline and a whole lotta love just swooped over us and we skipped down from mountain top like a couple of excited kids. It was 2 pm meaning we had the whole afternoon to bask in our love, alone before all our family and friends in the northern hemisphere woke.
What I didn’t know is that my sneaky (now fiancé) had booked a room at the hermitage hotel in the Mount Cook Village – what a dream. I cried the whole way to the check-in desk, still wearing my hiking boots and my backpack. The beautiful lady on reception upgraded our room and we made our way upstairs. The night consisted of pizza, beer and wine from our camping cups. We called our loved ones and watched the stars illuminate Mount Cook from our balcony.
We knew that we would elope here in New Zealand. It had always been my dream to wear a dress and run into the mountains with Robbie to say our vows so that’s exactly what we will be doing. Our proposed dates are for September 2020, but we will be waiting until it is safe to travel around our country before we set a date in stone.
My approach to wedding planning is pretty simple. Pick the people I like, book them and keep it simple. For now, our wedding is just us two so its important to keep our circle close and personal and support those I love in this industry. I won’t be revealing all our details as I want some things to be a surprise, but for now, these are the people I want you to check out, support and if you are thinking of getting married in Queenstown or New Zealand book up before its too late.
Kate Craig Brown Photography
My beautiful, wonderful, talented best friend Kate Craig-Brown. I remember sitting down in a coffee shop in Queenstown with kate five years ago to discuss some potential blog writing. Little did I know that meeting would blossom into the friendship we have today. I have watched her photography business and career grow from strength to strength and I honestly couldn’t think of anyone else I would want to be stood by our side capturing our love. Kate used us as models years ago to practice for a couples shoot, she perfectly captured our love a few years later and delivered us engagement photographs that we will treasure forever. She is cemented in to be there on our big day, in fact, Kate was the first person I asked when planning.
You can see her wonderfully wild love stories on Instagram here.
Nemo Bridal is the only bridal shop in Queenstown and I have a deep connection with this establishment. I spent two years working here and I also have a very close, personal friendship with the owner, Trudy Munro. Trudy rented a room to us when we first arrived in Queenstown and soon became one of my closest friends, not only is she fabulous but she is a very, very talented lady in the fashion world. Her girls are also incredibly talented and I can’t wait to put my outfit dreams in their hands. Why do I love Nemo so much? At Nemo, the circular economy is at the heart of what they do. They remodel, repair, alter and create bespoke. They care about our planet and are always finding ways to combat the crazy world of fast fashion. I love that our project is a collaborative piece between all that work there, including me as much as possible in this special process. Their Instagram page is a dreamy place for inspo too.
This was going to be difficult for me. I thought a simple courthouse wedding with a celebration after would be perfect however you can no longer marry at the Queenstown courthouse SO I needed to book a celebrant. Not knowing any celebrants I was stuck on what to do. That was until Trudy, owner of Nemo and a very close friend called me last week. She is now halfway thorugh her celebrant’s certificate meaning that in a few months she can legally marry us in a destination of our choice. I cried happy tears down the phone knowing that our day is now bound even closer with people we love.
Through working at Nemo I quickly got to know local vendors and wedding industry specialists. During a styled photoshoot, I met Rosie Bristed. What a woman. Instantly drawn to her quirky character and demure I knew I needed to keep this girl on my radar. Rosie Flowers is a passion project turned business that I couldn’t be more proud of. Born from the love of the garden and the great outdoors, Rosie creates incredible ethically sourced blooms that quite frankly make me happy dance when I see them. I think I will opt for some kind of dried arrangement so I can use the bouquet twice and I have a big soft spot for Toe Toe (Pampas Grass). I cant wait to see what Rosie makes for me. Check her Instagram here.
Chaos & Harmony Shoes
Shoes, shoes, shoes. Ever since being a little girl and getting my first pair of docs have I been obsessed with shoes. Unfortunately, I have been banned from wearing doc martens on my wedding day so I will have to opt for something a little classier. Queue, Chaos and Harmony shoes. NZ owned and operated these shoes are DIVINE. I am yet to choose the exact pair(s) I want yet, however, I have my eye on a few for sure. Getting married or just fancy a new pair of boots? Head to the Insta here.
Stacey Banfield – Make-Up
My girl Stacey. Damn does this girl work freeking hard. I followed Stacey a few years ago on Instagram, did you know my guilty pleasure is watching beauty bloggers unpack PR packages? Stacey does this incredibly well AND then I found out her full-time job is running a tribe of boss lady Make-Up artists. I suck at make-up; I suck at doing anything remotely girly, so I need to lean on those who know what they are doing. Check out Stace’s personal Instagram here and her business Instagram here.
It is no joke how much I love the ladies at Arrowtown Hair. They sort my mane, the make me look presentable and damn they do a good job. I am still pretty unsure about what my hair will look like when we get married as I’m not crazy about the up-do or crazy curls. It might just mean that I go and see my gals for a cuppa in the morning, they blow dry my hair and I go home to be a wife. Whatever it be I know I will be booking in here for a wee pamper before the big day.
Debra Fallowfield – Jeweler
If you don’t know who Debra Fallowfield is then please go to this LINK now and check out how incredibly talented this lady is. Again from my time at Nemo during a styled shoot, I had my first encounter with Debra’s work. I showed Robbie how beautiful her work is and he went away and contacted Debra to create a bespoke ring for me. Robbie’s Grandma and Mum both have Blue sapphires in their engagement rings and Robbie wanted to carry on that tradition. My favourite colour is Green and Austalia is where we first met. Back story complete my Sapphire is Green and from Queensland in Australia, are you crying? I am. Every day I look down and see my ring my heart skips a beat. I can’t wait to start designing my wedding ring together. Her dreamy Instagram account is here for you.
Without giving away to much detail to our day we have two locations that we would love to celebrate our love at. Queenstown is our home, its where we have lived for the past 5 years and it’s where our love grew. For us celebrating here and legally marrying surrounded by these mountains is what feels right. Mount Cook is where we got engaged and is our ultimate happy place and go-to for an escape. Below are where we would like to stay during our celebrations in Queenstown and the Mackenzie Country.
The rooms are simple, cosy and everything I want when staying somewhere that is not my home. Think local artwork, blankets, tea on demand and beautiful views. Plus a bar and restaurant that pick from their garden, source local and endeavor to operate with the community at the forefront of their business. They offer a beautifully authentic experience here at The Sherwood and even if you’re not in the market for somewhere to sleep then drop in for a coffee or a delicious bite to eat.
High Country Cabin
The high-country cabin of my dreams. Nestled in the heart of the Southern Alps on the South Island close to Twizel is where I want to spend our newlywed days. Not only is the cabin in my favourite place in the world it is aesthetically beautiful. Log fire, sheep for neighbors all in the middle of a field away from civilisation. The owners have worked hard to create this little sanctuary for wandering folk and I can’t WAIT to stay here.
Alternative Venue – Gather & Gold tipis
Giant Nordic style tipis create the most magical as hell atmosphere for any wedding day, am I right? In my dreams, where all our family and friends jump on a plane and come celebrate our love here in Aotearoa we would 100% be all sat under one of Gather and Gold’s amazing Tipis. The team is based in Queenstown and creates the most beautiful setups for all kinds of events. Check out the magic here.