Sonya and Joel wanted the overall aesthetics for their wedding to be simple but classy. Sonya’s not huge on color, so they went for a white and leafy green look and used greenery like ivy with brass, tarnished bronze and silver throughout. They kept it low-key as the venue didn’t need much dressing up. Sonya made some blackboard frames and Joel also made a wedding arch, (which wasn’t arched), and they had quoted photos frames and a lot of other hanging decorations around. And with Nordica Photography behind the lens, this stunning day couldn’t have been more perfect.
How They Met:
Joel and I met amongst the bars in Queenstown. He is from California and had been out here for a couple of years already. Joel was managing a cocktail bar and I was about to finish my summer holidays before I headed back to University.
Last easter weekend Joel booked us into the world’s cutest cabin out in a place called Paradise past Glenorchy. There is no electricity (or really anything), just huts dotted throughout this amazing landscape which all have features like open fires and outdoor woodfire baths. Long story short, I had been helping unpack the car and found a box of our favourite wine under one of the seats.Wine is one of our favourite things, so protocol, but Joel almost levitated to take it from me which was strange. Later on that night we were having a drink with dinner and he started laughing to himself about the wine situation earlier. Suspicious, I ran to the box and fumbled through the paper shavings to find nothing and just as I was about to close it I saw the label. Joel had contacted the owners of our favourite New Zealand pinot noir vineyard and have them reprint their normal Surveyor Thompson label with the words “Sonya Chalmers will you marry me” and the nicest words I’ve ever read written on the back! Because it was only the Friday we got to spend the rest of the weekend together without cellphone service and the hype that come with making an engagement public.
What Does Marriage Mean To You?
To us Marriage is not a contract, it’s a commitment. It’s a peace of mind knowing that the search is over for that one person and its so much excitement for everything to come.
We chose the Lookout Lodge in Wanaka for both our ceremony and reception, and I think it completely speaks for itself. The view is breathtaking, and the garden setting is absolutely beautiful. We also wanted somewhere already established as wedding venue so that the day would move fluidly and so that we could essentially walk in and walk out.
We chose Nordica photography because they photograph weddings in more of a documentary/story style. We cringe over staged traditional style photography and for that reason Nordica have been so perfect. Jakob flew from Sweden to NZ, so for him to come all that way means they’re very special. Joel wasn’t hugely fussed on a photographer but since receiving our photos he agrees Nordica were the best money we spent. There is no way we could have found someone better for us.
My Father just so happens to be a pastor as well as a wedding celebrant so it made for an easy choice! Having him marry us was perfect and obviously had a lot of meaning!
It was pouring down with rain right up until the guests pulled up in the busses. I was having a panic getting into my dress seeing rain falling on the roof as it was so much more beautiful for us to get married outside. It was honestly a miracle that the weather cleared up and it turned out to be the most stunning warm day! We couldn’t have asked for better weather that afternoon.
Obviously seeing each other coming down the aisle was a huge moment and the speeches were also really touching for both of us. Every part of the day was so perfect so it’s hard to choose!
Advice For Brides:
Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be a stressful affair at all! Throughout the process we kept thinking that we felt we were supposed to be stressed but couldn’t think of any reason to be! Never let yourself forget the reasons you’re doing it for, it truly is the most unbelievable day of your life.
Thanks for stopping by!
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Photography: Nordica Photography // Bride’s Shoes: New Look // Bridesmaids Shoes: New Look // Grooms Formal Wear: Hallenstein Brothers // Hair: Alice Hair // Florist: Studio 24 // Cake: Whitestone Cheese // Catering: Flying Trestles // Wedding Venue: The Lookout