A long expected blog post with an unexpected ending! It’s time to buckle up because these locations are about to blow your mind! And there is a surprise at the very end so make sure to go all the way to the bottom!
It has been one year since Bruna and Fabricio’s elopement in Queenstown, New Zealand. Much has changed since then and this is the story…
My husband, Dustin, and I are Lord of the Rings nerds. When we got married, we added New Zealand to our bucket list of places to see. I added it to my list of places to photograph a wedding! It’s stunning and it happens to be the home to all the filming locations of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. To our joy and surprise, last year the opportunity arose for us to visit New Zealand over Thanksgiving. So, the thought arose in my head, “What if I can find a couple to photograph there?”
I placed an Instagram ad for an “Adventurous couple looking to elope in New Zealand”, our story, and God provided Bruna and Fabricio. Two Brazilian natives now living in Queenstown, New Zealand and looking to elope before the end of the year. It was a dream come true! Tickets were booked and we were on our way!
We met Bruna and Fabricio the night before their elopement and had dinner at Ivy and Lola’s overlooking Lake Wakatipu. The next day, I joined Bruna and her close girl friends for getting ready photos. We then met up with Fabricio, Dustin, and more of their close friends for a laughter and tear-filled elopement at the Queenstown Courthouse. Afterwards, we all headed to Rata Restaurant for a phenomenal lunch where the newlyweds treated us like dear guests and friends.
After lunch the adventure continued, as the four of us piled into a car and went on a 4-hour photoshoot all over the area. We first drove from Queenstown to a magical, little place called Glenorchy, NZ. Listen, these places…well, it was wonderful and magical and perfect! We then continued on to a gorgeous spot named Moke Lake, a favorite hangout of the new Mr. and Mrs. Can you believe they “hangout” in these locations? Bruna changed into a second dress and we were greeted by the horses that live there whom (according to the bride) never come near people, but I think even they felt the magic of the occasion and followed our dear couple for photos.
As the sun set, we headed back to Queenstown where Bruna and Fabricio re-joined their friends for a stunning dinner at Skyline Queenstown. It was all so amazing and perfect! A dream come true and I even got to do it all with my best friend! And I would do it all over again and again…maybe in Hobbiton next time. ;-)
Bruna and Fabricio,
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Thank you for making my nerdy, little dream come true! Thank you for trusting me as your photographer. Thank you for treating us as your guests and friends! Thank you for becoming our friends! Thank you for all you have done for us since your wedding. ;-) Happy Anniversary! We love you and miss you and we wish you many MANY long and happy years together. We hope to one day visit New Zealand again, but know that you are always welcome here in California as well!
With love, Kristin
And now for the photos…(with a few Behind the Scenes photos mixed in)
But then after we got home…we found out we had brought an accidental souvenir back to the US.
We decided to keep this pregnancy a surprise as much as possible. We even kept the gender a secret from ourselves. However, we sent the gender reveal answer to Bruna and Fabricio back in New Zealand. They were kind enough to help us get a pink or blue swaddle for our little “hobbit” and shipped it back to us. We wouldn’t open it until after the baby was born.
And so it was that Emerald Rose joined our family in August! Our forever New Zealand Souvenir and our little hobbit. Her middle name is in honor of Samwise Gamgee’s wife, Rosie.
”And she endures, making the world green where she walks.”- J.R.R. Tolkien