Naomi– We’re both from the UK and met working in a restaurant in my home town of York.
We were both quite shy, so we each thought we weren’t liked by the other! It wasn’t until a few months later that a few beers at a leaving party gave us the courage to finally talk.

I’ll never forget our first date. Stu booked everything as a surprise and it was a weekend getaway in a cool little glamping pod in Sherwood Forest. It was perfect, even if he did kick a football square into my face within the first hour. His enthusiasm for adventure was what really drew me to him.

Stuart– Naomi seemed to understand my quiet, laid-back personality and shyness, but also my personal qualities and goals. We’ve explored, emigrated, worked unbelievably hard, got lost, got scammed, fallen down manholes, run marathons and climbed mountains, and I don’t believe I could have done any of it without her by my side. After a year or so of living together in York, we were seeking an adventure and spontaneously booked a one-way ticket which would see us travel through Europe, South-East Asia and Australia, finishing in New Zealand.

We felt immediately at home here and decided to stay, it was the perfect place to do the things we love: hiking, swimming, biking, surfing… We’re both keen trail runners and we met most of our wedding guests through this incredible community sport. That’s why getting married in the mountains was the perfect fit. We’d always dreamed of getting married surrounded by our families but the pandemic meant we had to change our plans drastically. Still, an intimate guest list opened up the possibility of an elopement and an adventure in the South Island. We knew immediately that a mountain-top ceremony was what we wanted.

Naomi– I began working at Rue De Seine Bridal as a seamstress when we arrived in New Zealand in 2015. The company was only a couple of years old then, with a small team.
Now it has grown to include over 90 incredibly talented people. Working at Rue meant I had the option to try on any style I liked but I knew I wanted to wear something with a bit of colour.
As soon as I tried this dress on, it felt like a dream. I love the blue tones and the way the tassels really pop against the white.
Stuart– Fortunately for Naomi, I picked similar colours. I had no idea what she was going to wear!

Naomi– On the morning of our wedding, we woke around 5am to the sound of thunder and heavy rain-
our hearts sank.
We felt awful that our friends had journeyed down and were not going to share this special day with us. But by 8am, the weather was brightening a little and a Facetime pep session with family back home lifted our spirits. Our fantastic photographer/videographer duo Charlotte and her husband Bruno were more than happy to push their day back to suit a later flight. By the time we reached Wānaka Station Park to greet our friends, the sun was shining.

Photographer: Charlotte at Charlotte Kiri Photography | Videographer: Bruno at Charlotte Kiri Photography | Ceremony Location: Coromandel Peak, Wānaka | Bride’s Dress: Rue De Seine | Groom’s Suit & Shoes: Zara | Bride’s Shoes: Raid | Bride’s earrings: Lovisa Jewellery | Hair: Queenstown Wedding Hair | Flora: Crimson Wedding Flowers | Celebrant: Sharon Van Gulik, close friend | Sunglasses: SVNX | Bride’s Fragrance: Alien by Thierry Mugler | Groom’s Fragrance: Eros by Versace | Bride’s Engagement Ring: Family Heirloom | Wedding Rings: Custom-made by Areias Jewellers | Maid Of Honour’s Dress: Shona Joy | Cake: White Rabbit Cakes | Reception Location: Glendhu Bay, Wānaka Station Park