Real Weddings

Ashleigh & Michael

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I met Michael on Tinder three years ago. We shared an instant connection and discovered we have the same values and goals. We have so much fun together and everything is just easy! We got engaged surrounded by some of our favourite things: a beach sunset, a cheese platter and wine. We ventured out to Muriwai beach after work one Friday to relax with a picnic, which is something we do quite often, so I was VERY surprised when Michael popped the question at sunset. It was low key and perfect. 

We were due to get married in Vanuatu in August 2020. Everything was booked and a few months before the wedding date, we went into lockdown for the first time. We cancelled everything pretty quickly after that and started looking at other options, as we knew international travel would be unlikely in 2020. We lost deposits with our cancellations and so we decided instead to have a small elopement with our immediate family to keep it as easy and intimate as possible. We had eight guests. We rescheduled for December 28, 2020 as we wanted it to be warm but also we thought it would be a great way to end a crappy year, on a high! We chose Queenstown, as it was the first holiday we took together soon after we met. It’s always been a favourite place of ours as we both love wining and dining. 

As we had a later ceremony with our guests at 6.15pm, we didn’t finish the photos until 9.30pm. We shared a beautiful platter together privately after our sunset photos. We had a recovery lunch the next day at Akarua with our family. The sunset photos were my favourite photographs from the day. Our photographer was recommended by Boutique Weddings NZ.

A special shout out goes to Over The Top Helicopters who flew us from Millbrook Resort to the top of The Remarkables for our ceremony. Michael (Mikey) is our favourite pilot and we would definitely recommend him to anyone getting married! Glennys Logan was our celebrant and we picked our own music to play at the top of the mountain. Surge Media looked after the videography. 

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Michael wore a charcoal-grey suit from Barkers. My wedding dress was a bespoke gown of couture lace. I designed the dress myself and the talented Anita from Vinka Design brought my vision to life. The top half of the dress was made with transparent white chiffon with lace delicately hand-stitched over the top. It had no sleeves and a low, open back. I wore it with a long veil for more drama on the mountain. My shoes were from Billini.

My mother gave me pearl earrings to wear that she had custom-made for me. Our rings were by Naveya and Sloane. We had no bridesmaids or groomsmen. Charm Beauty in Queenstown did my hair and makeup. 

Michael spent his time getting ready with his brother and mum. I had some nice downtime with my daughter before makeup and hair arrived, with a glass of bubbles and a cheese platter, of course! 

I’m really happy we kept the day small and fuss-free, as it was a dream! We’ve also yet to take our honeymoon abroad because of travel restrictions but in the meantime, we treated ourselves to a mini-moon in Hawkes Bay.


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