Stuck in Love: A Tropical First Date and a Scenic Elopement in NZ

Real Weddings
tips, tricks & info

 Some of the best wedding photographers and planners in New Zealand. The Journal is Lost in Love’s way to share the tips, tricks & stories to help you elope in nz in style

We are lost in love

Ray & JOE

“The Quickie Package”

scenic elopement NZ lost in love elopements queenstown kelvin heights

Love Story

Ray and Joe met one month before the world shut down…

They met through a mutual friend, and Joe reached out via a virtual chat. These two definitely clicked and after talking online for a bit. They then decided to meet on a little island in the Philippines called Cebu, which coincidentally was also both their hometown. If that’s not enough to convince you that these two are soulmates, they then got stuck in Cebu for two months because of the lockdown. Even after Joe had to go back to NZ for work, they didn’t stop communicating and eventually, that connection they had grew into something stronger. Strong enough to endure three years of a long-distance relationship. Strong enough to be celebrated in a small patch of paradise called Queenstown.

Accommodation: Resort in Cromwell
Ceremony: Kelvin Heights
Couple’s Photos: Deer Park Heights

On the day

It was a nice almost-spring day when Ray and Joe drove to the ceremony location to meet us. Even though the resort they were staying at was a 40-minute drive away, Queenstown’s pleasant weather and gorgeous wilderness offered a nice scenic drive. Ray had just flown in from the States a few days ago and Joe had driven down from Christchurch, and after three years of not seeing each other, they were finally going to make it official.
The couple and their two friends met me and Andrew Bell (their Celebrant) at Kelvin Heights for their I do’s. They had brought some branches that they’d gathered along the side of the road, and we put them in bottles to make a gorgeous, rustic arch down at Kelvin Height’s lakefront. Ray hadn’t seen Joe dressed up yet, so when Joe walked towards him, looking beautiful in a white dress, with romantic music playing in the background, everyone was beaming with excitement.

After the ceremony, their friends showered them with flower petals, which was amazing for their kissing shots. All of us then drove up to Deer Park Heights for more photos, maybe even a couple with some super cute donkeys. But they weren’t in their usual spot so we just drove up further for some cool shots with the couple standing out of the sunroof of their car, which was ah-mazing. When we reached the top, Joe changed into this gorgeous, black and white checkered coat and we popped open a bottle of champagne to celebrate the end of a long-distance relationship and the start of Ray and Joe’s happily-ever-after, together.

Congratulations Ray and Joe!


Celebrant: Andrew Bell / @andrewbellcelebrant

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Being based in Queenstown, New Zealand - one of the world's most stunning wedding destinations - we have seen our fair share of elopements, therefore we have put our collective wisdom together to create The Ultimate Queenstown Elopement Guide

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