From the majestic mountains to the crystal clear waters, this romantic elopement is a true adventure of love.
Location: Queenstown Photos: Kate Roberge
See that magical mountain light? It’s what first inspired newlyweds Mary and Neil to marry in this epic New Zealand locale. When photographer Kate Roberge blogged her favourite elopement locations, “Big Geordie stood out by far,” says Mary. “The wild grass on the hills remind us of Scotland, where Neil is from, so it felt a bit like home and very fitting for his kilt.”
After Covid foiled the couple’s original 2020 elopement plans (as well as several subsequent dates), it was, thankfully, smooth sailing when they crossed paths with the Elopement Collective. Their advice? “Forget what you’re ‘expected’ to do and focus on your marriage and what would make the day special for you,” says Mary.
That wisdom came into sharp focus when the pair landed on Big Geordie. “It felt surreal,” says the bride. “Once the helicopter was off, you could feel the serenity of this cheeky little piece of heaven we were in. It was the most stunning view I’ve ever seen.”
The sheer exhilaration clearly worked up an appetite, with the newly minted couple beelining it to the Sherwood Queenstown. ”We ordered the ‘feed us’ menu and a couple of drinks,” says Mary. “All the food was delicious and prepared with ingredients grown on site or sourced locally.”
You’d be forgiven for thinking the day was Insta-perfect for this gorgeous couple (seriously, that Pronovias gown!). But Mary reveals a moment of hilarity. “Probably when I tripped out of the helicopter when we landed back at the airport,” she laughs.
And how did they honeymoon? “Queenstown baby!” says Mary. “We ziplined across rivers in Glenorchy, did an off-road buggy tour in the hills, hiked Ben Lomond Track, raced each other on the luge, went horse riding around Lake Tekapo and sampled lots of cocktails around town in between.”
And while they deployed a just-us policy, the newlyweds say their celebration has been garnering interest. “Some married couples have seen our photos and said: I wish we did that. I guess because of how stress-free it was,” says Mary. “If you’re considering a destination wedding, do it. You can always throw a big party later!”
Honeymoon: The Hillary Family A-Frame in Queenstown (yes, it has a connection to Sir Edmund!) via airbnb