Real Weddings: Johanna and Wepiha’s Heliwedding

In January I ticked off a celebrant first.  A Heliwedding in stunning Queenstown!

Johanna and Wepiha are a beautiful couple from Auckland.  They wanted an intimate family ceremony (that’s right Heliweddings aren’t strictly the domain of eloping couples) and boy did they get it.  11 guests – their closest family members – plus me (their celebrant) Nat (their photographer from Alpine Images) and the three helicopter pilots from Heliworks got into the three helicopters at the Heliworks base just after 7pm and flew up to The Ledge on Cecil Peak.

Isn’t everything about this just perfection! Photo courtesy of Alpine Images

From The Ledge you can see down onto Queenstown and up the lake as it bends on its way to Glenorchy, it’s majestic!  Seldom will you ever feel like you’re this close to the top of the world.

Even doing the paperwork up there looked epic!  Image courtesy of Alpine Images

Working with Johanna and Wepiha in the lead up to their wedding day was brilliant.  Their openness with their story – how they met, how they spend their time together, how Wepiha proposed (at sunrise at a temple in Kyoto – I know, how beautiful and perfect and wonderful!!) what marriage means to them, enabled me to write a ceremony that really was all about them.

Their ceremony included a speech by Wepiha’s brother Wiremu in Maori and English.  And if you’re planning a wedding in Auckland you need to keep an eye out for Wiremu he’s just applied to become a celebrant, because wow!

Johanna and Wepiha both wrote loving, heartfelt vows for each other and in what I think (in my humble opinion) was a moment of genius I gave the rings to each of their mothers just before the ceremony started to present to the two of them when it was time for them to exchange rings.

No need to take my word for how awesome I was.  See what Johanna and Wepiha have to say about me here

On top of the world! Image courtesy of Alpine Images

Notes for a Heliwedding – unless you’re very very confident in heels, work flats into your wedding outfit, the ground will not be flat up there! And consider that it will be a little colder up there than it is down in the town (I might have gotten away with less but I wasn’t uncomfortable in my wool coat and fleece tights)  Other than that have a wicked time flying around in helicopters, maybe get some Tom Cruise circa Top Gun shades for the mid-flight pics and remember choose either of my elopement/ tiny wedding packages and I’ll bring up some local bubbly or gourmet chocolates to celebrate with!

I totally need a new phone cover, and a better selfie game, thanks Nat for having me covered!  Image courtesy of Alpine Images

Congratulations again Wepiha and Johanna, can’t wait to hear about your epic European honeymoon!  It was a pleasure and an honour to be a part of your special day x


Interested in Wepiha and Johanna’s suppliers?


Celebrant:  Me!

Photographer: Alpine Images

Planner:  Boutique Weddings

Helicopters: Heliworks Helicopters

Dress: Jessica Bridal

Suit: Zara

Flowers: The Flower Room

Videographer:  Rewi Heke at OnPoint Cinema


If you’re after a fun young celebrant anywhere in Central Otago or beyond and you want to have a chat (over coffee… or a cheeky wine!) get in touch, we’ll make a date, whether in person or via Skype.   I’m up for a challenge, so hit me with your ideas and we’ll go from there.

Hannah x


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