Melissa + Alex by Sophie Isabella

We live in Christchurch, New Zealand. Alex runs his own plastering business and I’m a cardiac sonographer. We’re happiest going on adventures with our two dogs, Arlo and Jacko. Alex and I originally planned to have a traditional ceremony in Christchurch, but it just didn’t feel right for some reason.

So we decided to have a more intimate destination wedding at Jacks Retreat in Queenstown. When we first stumbled across this incredible venue, its beauty completely stole our hearts and we couldn’t imagine tying the knot anywhere else.

We invited 10 guests and our two fur babies. We didn’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen, just us and our immediate families. Alex and I were so excited on the day of our wedding that we accidentally woke up at 5am and couldn’t get back to sleep! We didn’t need to start getting ready for a little while so decided to chuck on our fancy robes and have a cup of green tea, while watching the sun rise.

The lake was remarkably beautiful and still, a completely serene experience. We couldn’t have asked Mother Nature for a more magical start to our special day. We purposely didn’t make plans tied to a strict time frame, nor did we go in with too many expectations. Alex and I told ourselves that even if it was raining with gale-force winds, we would still get married on that day. This meant that we had plenty of time to relax, eat lots of food and cherish every moment. For a special touch, we decided to design traditional Korean outfits [hanboks] to wear later that day. The idea was to reflect my heritage, as I was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when I was two years old. We’ll certainly treasure our hanboks for years to come, and can’t wait to pass them on to our children one day.

A real highlight of the wedding was our first-ever helicopter ride, which took us to Lake Erskine. The sparkly waters, which were iced over, began to melt beneath the warmth of the sunshine, as we popped a bottle of champagne. My dog, and ring bearer, Arlo, also helped to make the ceremony memorable by running into my veil when I was struggling to pull myself together during our vows. It was important for us to have our dogs with us on the day, as they played a huge role in our love story, back in 2016. I was playing fetch with Arlo in the park when Alex drove past with Jacko. He stopped after spotting me and told Jacko to “go work his magic”. Alex and I haven’t spent a day apart since.

Weddings don’t have to be daunting or a financial burden. Focus on what is important for you as a couple and what marriage symbolises to you both. Your wedding day will be a completely surreal experience, filled with laughter, happy tears and loved ones from near and far. What more could you possibly want

Photographer Sophie Isabella | Videographer Sarah Clements | Groom’s Outfit Hugo Boss | Bride’s Outfit Pretty Things | Venue & Catering Jacks Retreat | Flora The Vase | Helicopter Heliworks | Groom’s Fragrance Christian Dior Sauvage | Bride’s Fragrance Juicy Couture | Celebrant Jodie Stuart | Hire Queenstown Wedding
| The Vase | Traditional hanboks Jisook Park | Groom’s Ring Pascoes | Brides Ring The Fancy Cut | Groom’s Shoes R.M Williams | Bride’s Shoes Billy J Boutique | Earrings Amélie George Bridal | Ring boxes The Mrs Box | Hair Sarah at Pure Hair Studio.