Mel + Sid's Queenstown Elopement


Photographs by James Simmons Photography

Wedding Date: 17th November 2018

What was your wedding venue and why did you choose there? We went on our first trip together to Queenstown and instantly fell in love with it. I never had a doubt in my mind that we’d have an intimate outdoor ceremony and I was so glad Sid felt the same way. I was checking the weather obsessively everyday for the two weeks leading up to the wedding and the forecast did not look good with good chances of rain. We chose 12 Mile Delta because it was so close to the water and was so secluded. We didn’t realise we’d chosen a date that collided with the largest annual marathon in Queenstown.After the ceremony, Sid and I had the most fun on our photoshoot with James and Olivia before we made our way back to Phil’s garage to return a 1976 Triumph Spitfire. The many hills on the way made for an interesting and stalling car ride. Instead of a reception, we had a private dining room in Eichardt’s, where the walls were lined with bottles of wine. It was the perfect wedding dinner for us.

Did you have a wedding theme/style? We didn’t plan on having a particular style, but when we pooled together all the elements, it came through as moody boho. We had a focus on native florals and dark foliage. Once we identified this, it made it easier to narrow down our choice of wedding wear. We actually went shopping together for Sid’s suit as he wanted my opinion, which was sweet. I sought his opinion on the type of dress I’d go for (though he never saw the dress till the actual day) and we had a pretty open discussion about how we wanted ourselves to look on the day. We’d peruse Pinterest together for some inspiration and ideas. It was actually a lot of fun!


How did you and your now Husband meet? We met through mutual friends in uni. Sid ended up getting a job in the Southern Highlands when he graduated and he’d come down every weekend to hang out in Sydney. We became really good friends after that, then he asked me out and the rest is history. We were together for five years before he asked me to marry him.

What is your proposal story? It was my birthday and Sid took me out for dinner at Chiswick. He had planned a getaway to New Zealand as my birthday treat and we were flying out the next morning. As we came back home, I noticed the lights were still on and in my head, I thought ‘Oh great, Sid accidentally left the lights on.’ I didn’t realise I was walking slightly ahead of him and when I entered the apartment, I saw burnt orange and yellow petals on the floor and I thought ‘Oh no, he left the windows open and now all this junk blew in.’ It took me a while to trace the petals leading to an empty table with a box on it. He was so cute and got down on one knee. I had learnt that he had asked for my parents’ permission before, which meant so much to me. Of course, I said yes and the trip became our engagementmoon.

Hpw did you hear about Prea James Bridal? I came across Prea James on Hello May via Instagram. I was looking for a simple, modern gown and when I tried it on, I knew this was the one.

From where did you purchase your gown? The Bridal Atelier in Double Bay. I had such a wonderful dress buying experience and the ladies there were so kind and helpful.

What do you love most about the gown? There’s not an inch of this gown I didn’t love. It was the perfect mix of elegance and simplicity. I think the best thing was the way it felt when it was worn, it was so cool and comfortable.


Are there any special details about your wedding that you would like to share?Sid and I saw each other on the morning of our wedding. Getting ready together was the funnest part and we were both so giddy and excited. Watching Sid YouTube tie - tying tutorials made my day.

Were there any details that you made yourselves? No, we didn’t. I didn’t trust myself with any DIY. Thankfully, our vendors were so wonderful and everything came together so nicely.

Finally, Do you have any words of wisdom for couples planning their big day? This can be to do with any part of the wedding –eg, planning, budget, or the day itself. The first thing we did was define our budget and size of wedding. As we had always wanted to get married in New Zealand, it made sense that we engage in a local wedding planner. Jess from Two Foxes was fantastic and we had regular catch ups to get up to speed on progress and she consulted us on the style of the wedding. The best thing about having a wedding planner, in our experience, was that we still had our time and we didn’t stress about the wedding. Sid and I had a lot of time to just enjoy getting excited about the wedding. It felt that we didn’t lose ourselves in the detail and kept the bigger picture in our head - which was us celebrating the best day of our lives.


Wedding Vendors

Photographer: James Simmons Photography
First vendor we booked. We’ve never had professional photos taken before and James and Olivia made it so easy and fun.

Hair & Makeup: Crew Stylists, Queenstown

Stylist, wedding coordinator, florist: Two Foxes Styling

Stationery: Just My Type

Cake: White Rabbit Cakes

Hire/Prop furniture hire: Two Foxes Rental


Earrings - Both Sides Bridal

Shoes - Gucci

Groom’s Suit: Peter Jackson

Tie - OTAA

Vest - My Tuxedo

Shoes - Aquila

Celebrant - Kathryn Ormond

Restaurant - The Grille by Eichardt’s

Prea James1 Comment