It seemed so strange to think that just 6 months ago we had hit the wall, we were depressed, exhausted, possibly suffering with some kind of post traumatic stress and we didn’t think we could ever carry on without our beloved Peggy…but, surprisingly, here we were! On top of the world…ironically at the bottom of the planet in one of the most incredibly stunning countries we have ever seen about to have a New Zealand wedding.
The morning of the wedding got off to a flying start with a radio interview that ensured we would look like our 4 hours broken sleep for the rest of the day. Chatting with Henry and Margot at MoreFM was actually very relaxed and easy and by the end of it we were pleased to be up and about. The next stop was Hush Spa to have my nails painted and as we all tried to decide whether ‘marsala’ was more red than purple I once again realised that the nerves were beginning to build in my tummy.
Alex sat calm as a daisy flicking through womens magazines as I had my cuticles removed, giving my facial muscles excercise they never want to have again. Contorting your face into a silent scream is pretty exhausting it turns out…but as the beautiful Sarah slid colour onto my nails perfectly, I decided it had been worth it. They shone in only the way a salon can make them and I swore not to touch anything that may damage the crystaline surface for another 20 minutes as we waved our farewells.
As we drove along the only road in and out of Queenstown we pondered living there. Nestled among the mountains, perched on the edge of the most mesmerising blue rushing river and surrounded by indescribable beauty… we decided that the laid back pace had an incredible draw. We popped into the Supermarket to stock up on New Zealand booze, not hard to do as they make all manner of the stuff, bubbles, beers and cider made it into the ‘trundler’ (English translation – trolley/cart) along with some big fat sausages, apples and herbs to make some things on sticks to put in the bonfire after the wedding.
Stocked up and still in a hurry we had to be back at Trudy’s home to meet with Dierdre who had driven all the way from Wanaka to drag me down the Road to Beauty…which she did with speed and precision and within the hour I was wedding ready and helping Alex build our invented ‘sausage pops’.
The pace of the day slowed down as we had a couple of hours to kill with Jared and Jacob of Humdrum Films and photographer (and co-ordinator of this entire wedding) Emily, answering a few questions here and there, pottering around in Trudy’s garden and packing up the ‘chilly bin’ (English translation – Cool box) ready for the wedding. Florist and all around lovely lady Gypsy flew in and out of the house in an excitable whirlwind to bring me my flowers and head-dress and I almost threw a hysterical fit at how STUNNING my bouquet was. HUGE and beautiful and smelling divine, so unique in every way I immediately knew it was my favourite bouquet yet. Hand picked garden roses nestled in with feathery snap dragons, astilbe and Queen Annes lace. Poppy heads echinops and hypericum bobbed their perfectly rounded heads at every opportunity and dark as night scabiosa and Calla lily sat beautifully next to virgin white jasmine, all trailing fuzzy pink amaranthus and dark green ivy off to one side…it was just perfect.
As we all oohed and aahed at the flowers I couldn’t completely focus due to my innards being all a quiver about the up and coming HELICOPTER RIDE! Over the Top Golf had offered to take us up to putt a few holes in one on their golf green…4500 feet above Queenstown.
Trying not to look like I thought I might be about to die of a panic induced heart attack it was time to get into my dress. Trudy and her team at Nemo Workroom had made me the most beautiful dress, simple and elegant with a stunning dusty pink vintage lace skirt and what can only be described as a Disney Princess neckline and I loved it. Alex was dapper as always in his Omen Suit and tan boots and I opted for a pair of Trudy’s worn in boots to accompany my dress too…all in the name of staying rustic of course…not at all because I was about to get in a chopper!
Alex waited for me in the garden and I crept down the stairs and hid behind a tree as he turned for the ‘first look’ at my dress clutching his 7th coffee of the day. It was such an exciting, emotional moment. This wedding had brought about all kinds of emotions, memories and feelings of accomplishment for me.
Just 6 months ago we were rock bottom, we were depressed, suffering with post traumatic stress and we didn’t think we could ever carry on without our beloved Peggy…but here we were! In that moment I re-lived all of the amazing times we had stood and looked into each others eyes and said I do, I thought of all of the people who had made our adventure possible and how they had touched our hearts and I felt ready to carry on, to give myself completely again to this man, to this journey and to this wedding…and to the damn helicopter!
We packed up, ensuring we had peppermints as recommended by our celebrant to be, Kathryn, for motion sickness, sick bags as insisted by me and a Pinks bar from Jared just because I couldn’t leave NZ without having one and set off to Over the Top’s helipad.
A first for myself, Alex and Joe we sat in nervous silence until our pilot came over and tried to take our minds off the entire thing with a quick safety briefing, telling us not to get out whilst in motion, not to walk into the rotor at the back of the chopper and to keep our eyes peeled for other aircraft in-case she failed to notice them…(I’m kind of kidding here, it was all very incredibly professional and relaxed…NZ relaxed) and feeling absolutely like I might hyperventilate we all went and climbed in to the beautiful, sleek, black helicopter.
Strapped in to what can only be described as the front seat of a goldfish bowl with glass above, below and in front of us we adorned our head sets and within minutes we were in the air. I immediately forgot my sick bags and mints and that I had ever been worried, it was so damn cool!
It was quite honestly the ‘coolest’ experience in the world ever and as we dipped and turned, skimming the top of a mountain to land on the putting green I couldn’t have been more in my element!
We spent an hour drinking in the views all around us, clambering up on the precarious rocks and whacking a few balls as the world below us carried on with its business. I couldn’t wait to get back in for another go in the helicopter and as we landed back at the airstrip I was ready to sign up for flying lessons…alas, we had a wedding to get to!
We waved farewell to Choppy our aptly named Pilot and sped away towards our next mode of transport…the Spirit of Queenstown was taking us on the 40 minute boat-ride to Mount Nicholas Station where the wedding was going to be held.
I would normally be worried about the boat thing but after being in the chopper I felt like I could walk on water so I looked forward to the crossing as we boarded and were greeted by our guests, our saviours…the fair people of Queenstown that had made all of this happen.
The cobalt blue water sprayed a cool mist around us as we sped towards our wedding venue and the dazzling scenery flew by as we drank chilled ciders and talked with our new friends, all of us excited to get there and get our wedding on. We talked cake, Saskatoon pie and knickers with Jaimie from Cup and Cake and vintage suitcases with Dan the amazing travelling photobooth man and I tried my hardest to palm my motion sickness sweets off on Milly in preparation for her singing and fire dancing for us but she had it all under control!
As Southern Discoveries delivered us to the door of Mount Nicholas Station and into the welcome arms of Kate the owner of the station, Kath from One Fine Day and Gypsy who had all been busy dressing the venue for our arrival. It was just mind-blowingly beautiful. The pebbled beach lapped by pristine waters, the bright green weeping willows floating in the breeze and all backed by the long wool shed that would offer us shelter in the event of rain.
A huge bonfire of gorgeous driftwood had been erected, strung along with lights and an arch stood firm, waiting to accept us as we exchanged our vows for the 67th time.
Dress – Nemo Workroom | Suit – Omen Suit | Make-up – Road to Beauty | Cinematography – Humdrum Films | Photography – Emily Adamson | Flowers – The Vase Fesh flowers and Foliage | Nails – Hush Spa | Helicopter – Over the Top Golf | Celebrant – Kathryn Omond | Boat transport – Southern Discoveries | Wedding Venue – Mount Nicholas Station | Stylist – One Fine Day | Naked Cake – Cup and Cake | Photobooth – The amazing travelling photobooth | Music – Milly Bea | Fire Dancing – Flame
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