How to describe this wedding? Freaking awesome! And proof that last minute plans can not only work, but work out to be the best day ever. Kick back and enjoy folks, this one has a story to match the epic scenery.

Danielle got in touch with us about three weeks before the planned wedding date. Little did we know that it was also the day after her and Chris got engaged! They were due to leave on a pretty adventurous mountain biking holiday around New Zealand and had one day off in Wanaka in the middle. “Any chance we could fit in a wedding?” she asked.  So we put our best wedding planning heads together and with lots of emails and a couple of Skype calls, organised a perfect wedding day.

However, the timing of their campervan/mountain bike adventure was just a little bit off.

First Danielle came down with the flu in Rotorua upsetting plans to bike the Moerangi track to Taupo. Then the Kaikoura earthquake happened. We knew they were planning to drive the camper to Wellington then bike the Queen Charlotte Track. Wellington was suffering a huge storm, flooding, road closures, ferries were not sailing and hundreds of aftershocks an hour were still going on with massive slips along the track, traffic delays and diversion. It was generally not the place to be.

After working so closely with them for the previous weeks we felt a bit like Danielle and Chris’ surrogate NZ family, so were a bit concerned. “Um, guys. Have you checked your ferry crossing? Have you seen the news? Maybe you want to rethink plans. And can you check in with us every night so we know where you are and that you’re ok?” Bless, them they did.

They managed to sneak through on the last ferry before all crossings were cancelled. A rough and ready crossing with only a few passengers and by all accounts a fair degree of sea-sickness for poor Chris. Thankfully they made it through the worst and travelled straight on to The Old Ghost Road. It sounds like this was a mountain biking adventure to tell the grandkids!

And we’re not even at the wedding yet! We finally met them the morning of their Mt Roy wedding at Lake Wanaka Outlet Camp. The beauty of being a one-stop planning, photography and video shop means we get to help organise everything, but be there on the day to give them a very relieved hug!

Sure enough, the weather was not behaving. Rain and wind is not your friend when you’re planning a mountain helicopter flight and ceremony. But with a little jiggling of timings, the sun came out, we had an idyllic flight thanks to Aspiring Helicopters and a beautiful, relaxed ceremony with Glennys Logan. And there was still enough time for a photo and film shoot around the lake with mountain bikes and a golden sunset.

We have never felt so relieved to finally see one of our couples on the wedding day safe and sound. But then again, they both sum up what they mean to each other in their wedding film, so we suspect Danielle and Chris will get through whatever life throws at them. From one island of misfit toys to another, huge congratulations and thank you for letting us be a tiny part of an incredible adventure.

Wedding planning, photography and wedding video by Sunshine Weddings. Visit our Elopement Weddings page for more info on packages.

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Lake Wanaka Mt Roy Wedding

Wanaka Wedding Planner: Sunshine Weddings, Wanaka wedding photographer and video: Sunshine Weddings – Film & Photo, Celebrant: Glennys Logan, Campground: Lake Wanaka Outlet Camp, Hair: Absolutely Fabulous Hair, Makeup: Gemma Kaler, Helicopter to Mount Roy: Aspiring Helicopters