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Jess & Shaun - REAL WEDDING - Paloma

Jess & Shaun's Unforgettable Mountain Elopement in Queenstown, New Zealand




March 22, 2023, marked the culmination of seven years of love and laughter for Jess and Shaun as they embarked on an unforgettable journey to Queenstown, New Zealand, to exchange vows amidst the breath-taking landscapes of the Southern Alps.


The Proposal

Their love story took a thrilling turn on December 3rd, 2021, when Shaun, unable to contain his excitement, proposed to Jess in the comfort of their home. Despite initial plans for a grand gesture, Shaun's spontaneous proposal was filled with sincerity and love, creating a cherished memory for the couple.

Jess writes

"On December 3rd 2021, I was away for work and whilst I was away I received a promotion. My partner had been asking a work colleague if the weather was going to be nice over the weekend as he was planning on taking me to where we had our first date for the proposal. I arrived back to work and my work colleague drove me home and decided to stay for a coffee. They were there for almost an hour. Once they had left I went and said hello to my fur and feather babies and my partner asked me to come to the bedroom. As I turned the corner into our hallway I saw him down on one knee and he said "Wanna get married?" with a big grin on his face. I immediately snatched the ring out of his hands and cried and eventually said "yes!". He said he couldn't wait any longer as he had been planning it for ages and was so proud of my accomplishments that he just wanted to make it even better. Even though it wasn't a flash proposal it was still perfect and memorable. I was also surprised he was able to get down on one knee as he has dodgy knees so I'm thankful he was able to do so."


Wedding Planning: Embracing Adventure and Intimacy


Jess says - "We started planning in May of 2022 and we were looking at having a big wedding in our local area. Some of our friends had their weddings at venues that we were interested in but didn't want to use the same locations. I decided I didn't want a big wedding and brought up the idea to elope. We looked at elopement packages and the one that caught our eye was HeliWeddings in New Zealand. Their packages looked amazing and we instantly knew that was for us. We had our first year anniversary in NZ and loved the country. The company got in touch with us straight away after enquiring and they were so easy to deal with, there was no stress at all!!"


Vendor Selection


"HeliWeddings had all of their vendors organised for us. Special shout out to our amazing celebrant, Phillipa Cook. The owner and wedding planner, Laura Larsson. Our Videographer, Robyn Shearwood. The amazing photographer who unfortunately I cannot remember their name but were super lovely and fun. Ingrid and Paige for the beautiful hair and makeup and last but not least, the awesome pilots that got us safely to our ceremony and photo locations."



Dress Selection

Jess's quest for the perfect gown led her to Desert Moon Bridal, where she discovered Paloma.


"I was brought to Desert Moon Bridal for their uniqueness. I fell in love with the Paloma dress as it was one of the first ones I saw and after searching in local bridal shops I couldn't find anything I liked and I knew the Paloma dress would work perfectly for our venue setting and would suit me.

I LOVED it!! I did not want to take it off when I first tried it and I was SUPER excited to wear it on the day. I could not stop telling all my friends and work colleagues about it!

The Paloma dress was so comfortable and wasn't too heavy. It flowed beautifully when I walked or posed for a photo and I just felt so elegant and amazing in it. The quality was great and I will definitely be keeping it for many years to come."





Final Thoughts


Reflecting on their day, Jess and Shaun cherish the intimate moments shared amidst the grandeur of nature. From the heartfelt vows exchanged atop a mountain to the exhilarating helicopter ride, every moment was imbued with a sense of wonder and joy.


In conclusion, Jess and Shaun's elopement was a celebration of their love for each other and their shared desire for a wedding that was uniquely theirs.


"Everyone at HeliWeddings NZ went above and beyond!! Could not recommend these guys enough!! Our total budget with Heliweddings was $14,000 but that covered everything and they organised everything! It can be done cheaper if you have less guests than what we had (9 guests).


We had our wedding pushed back a day so our reception was the day before the wedding. We went to a lovely restaurant in Queenstown and sat by the Queenstown Lake afterwards and chilled out. The night of the wedding however, my partner and I got back late from the wedding photos and we were exhausted so we got maccas and went back to our hotel room. Was so perfect though."


The whole day felt like a dream. No stress, no issues, it was just perfect. Our friends and family will forever be talking about our special day and how much fun we all had. The HeliWeddings team were absolutely amazing and we could not thank them enough for the incredible day they gave us. Wearing the Paloma dress made me feel like a goddess and I love everything Desert Moon Bridal creates and love their diversity, I can not stop telling all of my friends who are brides to be to order their dresses from these guys as they are beautiful dresses and have something for everyone.



Honeymoon plans?

For Jess and Shaun, their honeymoon was an extension of their adventure in New Zealand. Staying an extra week, they explored the picturesque landscapes of the southern island in a cozy campervan, creating memories that would last a lifetime.


When you look back on your day, what is your most favourite memory?

Getting to marry my best friend and having my first flight in a helicopter.


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