Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship:

We love the good stuff – having a laugh any time, we are epicureans – or maybe we’re just really French!

We both fell in love with NZ, the landscapes, the people, the quality of life. We really want to settle here as a married couple. But COVID decided otherwise. We will try again later, it’s worth it!

Hilda: As chief of projects in an NGO, I love to travel around the world, gardening, discover new places, galleries, clothes boutiques, restaurants, drink wine with friends, walk/trek in forests and mountains, read books, listen to music while exercising. I also love challenges, I have 2 masters in Berlin, both in English and German. I fell in love with the life there and stayed for 6 years until I met Harald.

Harald: I’m a software engineer, I enjoy staying at home with the cat, reading a lot of stuff on the internet (science, sci-fi, video games, role-playing games, yeah, a real geek!). A restaurant addict, I love rum, whisky, wine, and NZ craft beers! I love old reggae, blues, funk, soul and orchestral music. I play electric bass and studied musicology before becoming a software developer.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favorite details:

Harald: Hilda had a nice connection with Charlotte after a couple of email exchanges, so we definitely wanted her to be our celebrant. We were impressed and so grateful that Charlotte and Kellie from Shaken & Stirred Weddings planned a perfect day for us on such short notice. The day could not have been better, everything was perfect and went lovely and smoothly!

We both wanted a small wedding – with no headaches! We wanted to keep it simple but memorable. As it is our day, it might as well be one of our best day ever! We had no special theme, we wanted a nice landscape, a beautiful sunset, a lot of love and joy. Something like us, simple and fun.

We fell in love with NZ landscapes the first time we came here, and with covid, we couldn’t know when we would be able to get married with our families, so it made sense to celebrate in Queenstown.

Tell us about your main outfits:

Harald: I just wanted to look good, with nothing fancy. I don’t like wearing suits, I wanted something simple but elegant.

The wedding dress Hilda wanted had to be sent from France and because of COVID, the ETA was too far. So, after a lot of unsuccessful searches on the internet, she took a look out of curiosity at Nemo’s bridal shop, and thanks to Trudy, she found the perfect fit.

Hilda: Trudy (from Nemo shop) knows her job very well, she has an eye for guessing which dress will fit you or not. I wasn’t up to wearing a big or extravagant dress, once again I wanted to keep it simple. But when I was dressed up I was stunned and was sure it was the perfect dress. 

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day:

Well, it really started 2 days before the wedding, when we were looking for sand for the ceremony. So, we went under the old Shotover bridge in Queenstown to get some sand, it was raining and we took some, barehanded, and put it inside plastic bags. Then we had to dry it in the oven and colour it, it was epic!

The D-day was like a dream, seeing Hilda in her wedding dress with the flowers, she looked like a princess to me more than ever!  The flight in a helicopter to the top of the Remarkables was awesome, the spectacular view there, the instructions from Kellie to take amazing pictures, the lovely ceremony with Charlotte, the wedding kiss, the sand ceremony (we missed the bottle and poured a lot on the snow, it was beautiful!), the champagne popping, the music (we did the playlist), it was just perfect. A little bit cold but perfect!

The sky was also stunning, these colours, the light, it was calm and quite magical, like a cinema’s decor set up just for both of us.

Harald: If I had 2 things to remember, it was Hilda walking in the snow, she looked like she came from a fairy tale, and the flight up and down the mountain.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together:

We’re not sure we can give any advice to anyone on that matter. But we know we must enjoy each other every day and still be ourselves. Not get lost in the relationship. And whatever happens, don’t forget to enjoy quality time (food and drinks, or walks) together at least once a week.

For us, the wedding is celebrating the love we have for each other, it’s for us, not our families. That’s why, having attended a friends wedding before, we found it was way too stressful and that the married couple did not enjoy the whole day. That’s not what we wanted, we wanted pure happiness all day long, and thanks to Charlotte & Kellie, we had it. Now we will have time to organize a big party for friends and family without stress when we go back to France.

Photographer: Kellie Francis | Ceremony location: The Remarkables located via helicopter with Heliworks Queenstown| Celebrant: Charlotte Winkel from Your Big Day | Planner: Shaken & Stirred | Flora: Rosie Flowers | Bride’s attire: Hilda wore a custom made bridal top and then rented a skirt, both from Nemo Bridal | Groom’s attire: Ollygan | Rings: Aspiring Jewellers (hers) Joaillerie Barrière (his) | Shoes: EMU Australia (hers) Hibbett City Gear (his) | Hilda’s necklace: Sarah & Sebastian | Hilda’s earrings: Karen Walker | Makeup: Beauty & Bridal QT | Hair: Hilda (The Bride) | Nails: Beauty Lounge QT

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