From the time I hugged him goodbye after that first coffee date, I had this funny feeling in me that the direction of my life had just changed forever.

Jossi —— I’m a professional skier, photographer and filmmaker from Wānaka. I’ve spent the last two decades riding back-to-back winters, competing and filmmaking in the mountains.

Victoria —— I moved to Wānaka from Colorado and I work in marketing here. I love being outdoors, whether it’s skiing, mountaineering, mountain biking, rock climbing or spending time in the garden.

Jossi —— We first met at our church here in Wānaka. We followed up with a coffee date and from there on out, Vic had me hook, line and sinker.
Victoria —— Jossi was so relaxed and sweet on that coffee date. His genuine smile had such a calming effect on me, just as it does to this day.

Jossi —— We spent the initial three months building a solid friendship, climbing and skiing together, meeting each other’s friends. Before I asked Vic to be my girlfriend, I asked her parents in Colorado for their permission. I knew early on that this was for real, so although not a proposal at the time, the intention was there.

Victoria —— From the time I hugged him goodbye after that first coffee date, I had this funny feeling in me that the direction of my life had just changed forever.

Jossi —— When I did propose, I had just gotten back from a winter in the US and while I was there, Victoria’s father gave me his blessing. I had a ring made for her while I was over there. So I spent two weeks in MIQ staring at this ring. It was hectic! Once home, I proposed on a ledge at the top of a rock climbing route in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. It was incredible.

Victoria —— I didn’t realise what was happening until he dropped down on one knee. I have never been so surprised in my whole life. I had no idea he was planning to propose, which made it really special.

The aim was to keep the wedding very simple and tasteful. I went with a dress that would suit the alpine environment: a “boho” feel for the mountains; the veil and fur for more of a bridal look. Stoneridge Estate was a treat. We usually stay somewhere deep in the back country rather than in luxury. After the elopement, we enjoyed a five course dinner with wine pairing and a golden hour view of the garden and vineyards. The weather before and after our wedding day was horrible, but somehow we got the most incredible window.

When we got to the alpine lake and stepped out of the helicopter, we were speechless, in a dream state. Our pastor needed to gather himself. He said he’d never been anywhere so beautiful. It was stressful making the decision to elope. But with Covid restrictions increasing by the day we decided to focus on the one thing that was certain: each other and building our lives together. We look forward to being able to celebrate this new chapter with our families soon. But the elopement turned out to be more special than I could have ever imagined. The whole day felt like time stood still.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Kate Alexandra, @katealexandraphoto / ACCOMMODATION & DINNER: Stoneridge Estate, @stoneridgeestate / CEREMONY LOCATION: Lake Erskine / GROOM’S SUIT: A.P.C, @apc_paris / BRIDE’S DRESS: ShowPo, @showpo / FUR COAT & VEIL HIRE: Nemo Bridal, @nemobridal / CELEBRANT: Wayne Ward / HELICOPTER: Alpine Helicopters, @alpinehelinz / VIDEOGRAPHER: Chris Maunsell, @chrismaunsell / FLORA: Orange Blossom Designs, @orangeblossom_florist / MAKEUP: Annie Trengrove “Auntie Annie” / FRAGRANCE: Santal 33 by Le Labo, @lelabofragrances / GROOM’S RING: Perry’s Jewelry, @perryssouthpark / BRIDE’S RING: Whitney Shelhamer, @whitneyshelhamer / GROOM’S PINKY RING: Boyd Court, @boydcourtofficial / GROOM’S BOLO TIE: Silver Ashes, / BRIDE’S SHOES: Mi Piaci, @mi_piaci / GROOM’S SHOES: Gucci, @gucci / BRIDE’S JEWELLERY: Earrings, necklace and bracelet (gifted from Jossi on wedding day) from Michael Hill, @michaelhillj