Real Weddings

Emma & Christopher


Chris and I went to school together at St Kevin’s College in Oamaru. We had always known each other and been friends but started dating when we were 15 after reconnecting in maths class. When we left school we both moved to Dunedin to study. We moved in together when we were 21 and it was then that we knew we were in it for the long haul. Chris and I have the same life goals and have grown together throughout our relationship rather than drifting apart. In August 2019, Chris suggested going for a walk around Moke Lake, just outside of Queenstown. When he wanted to walk up an extra hill I was not that keen, but eventually joined him. When we got to the top he got on one knee and asked me to marry him.

We always wanted to get married in Queenstown, where we now live, because it is just so beautiful – particularly in summer! I heard about NZ High Country through chatting to people at work. Chris and I looked at a few other venues, but nothing else compared! We absolutely loved it! So that it would not be too hot for our guests we went for a date at the very end of the season. We also made sure that there was shade and planned for a station with water and sunscreen. When it came to the day of our wedding there was supposed to be a storm. We had a wet weather plan to move inside and hired clear umbrellas, but luckily the weather on the day turned out to be beautiful! NZ High Country has the most amazing view and fitted our rustic boho theme well. Our main motif throughout was eucalyptus, and we opted for lots of flowers. Our dried flower arrangement for the head table was from The Greater Good Gardener and our fresh flowers were arranged by Sarah from The Flower Room. We went with lots of flowing foliage and shades of white, with pops of burgundy.

I was really nervous about dress shopping as I had no idea what I wanted! Vicky from Bride & Winter was amazing and made me feel so relaxed as soon as I went in! I had tried on a few dresses when she brought one over – I initially said no as it was the opposite of what I wanted. She encouraged me to try it on anyway, and I fell in love with it! The Madi Lane Bridal dress fell so beautifully and had a romantic boho feel which I loved. The floral embroidery was beautiful. I paired the dress with Gracious earrings, a simple one pearl necklace and a flower crown featuring lots of eucalyptus.

Our buffet-style menu was catered by Double Thyme Catering. Canapes were served after the ceremony with whitebait fritters, pork belly, arancini balls and coconut prawns – they were such a hit! Rach and Paula from Double Thyme made us a bridal basket with some champagne and canapes so that we would not miss anything while we were getting our photos taken. The main meal consisted of lemon and nut crumb salmon, slow-cooked lamb, roasted baby carrots, a halloumi and nectarine salad and dauphinoise potatoes. Our guests raved about everything! I thought the salmon and the potatoes were particular highlights. For dessert, we had a sweet station and our wedding cake. The two-tiered cake was from Zest Cakes and had one layer of lemon syrup cake and another of chocolate mud cake, both with a white ganache frosting. We often have the yum lemon cake at my work and I love it, though I am not a sweet tooth and do not really like cake. It is that incredible!

I planned everything and curated all of the little details myself, like our wedding favours which were scratchies in envelopes that said, ‘lucky in love’. Chris, who is a builder, made our archway and games for our guests to play including a giant set of connect four. We were really happy with how everything turned out. Pippa, our dog, was the flower girl and had a great day! Our friend Cal was the celebrant for the wedding which was so special for us and made our ceremony very personal. We are really glad we wrote our own vows and kept them a secret from one another. A dancer friend of ours choreographed a dance for me and Chris to ‘100 Years’ by Five for Fighting for the reception. We practised for about six months! Both of us were nervous but as soon as the music started we forgot everyone else. We are so happy we did it! Chris and I think our guests will remember the beautiful location and having a fun, relaxed day. We hope they had even half as much fun as we did. Overall our wedding day was relaxed, fun, and totally us.

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