Mountaintop Wedding with a Helicopter Ride & Matching ‘Budgie Smugglers’

Kellie Francis Photography

July 11, 2022

A sunny summer beach wedding was the initial plan for Ashleigh and Wian, however after hitting a few bumps in the road, the couple decided to do things completely differently. Ashleigh told us, “The stress of having to organise every minor detail myself just wasn’t very fun, it wasn’t coming together smoothly. This is where the plans did a complete 180 and we contacted Shaken and Stirred wedding planners to help organise a winter wedding… in nine weeks! We didn’t have to worry about a thing. We just had to show up!”

The mountains held a special place in Ashleigh’s heart, so a mountaintop ceremony seemed the perfect fit. She explained, “After living in Queenstown for many years, finding my peace and serenity on the mountain tops after many a hike, and meeting my future husband there, I couldn’t think of anything more perfect than saying ‘I do’ on top of those same mountains whilst overlooking that sentimental little town. The wind was our music, and the champagne was our body warmers! But none the less, the scenery was just unforgettable for us. The sunset just starting to kick in, blue bird day, full moon, and a lake like glass. It was such a dreamy evening to be up there.”

The couple told us that their favourite part of their wedding was the beautiful helicopter ride up and down the mountain, however as a nod to their original beach wedding plans, they donned matching budgie smugglers! Ashleigh told us, “It was the absolute highlight of our evening, although I’m sure everyone there didn’t really expect anything less. It all started as our initial plan was to get married on a beach in summer, and show up to the reception in matching swimwear saying ‘Just Married’. Of course, I wasn’t allowing that detail to change as the wedding plans did, so instead we decided to still do it, just in the middle of winter. It was such a hilarious and cool experience!”

Shunning the traditional sit-down wedding breakfast, Ashleigh and Wian did their own thing, as they explained, “Stepping away from the whole ‘traditional’ wedding in itself made it different for us. No sit down dinner, no DJ, no first dance, no bridal party. Just cheese and crackers and dancing the night away… with lots of cocktails!”

Ashleigh told us the best thing about planning their wedding was, “Having wedding planners do it for us! I enjoyed creating Pinterest boards searching for theme inspo, colour schemes, hair styles and makeup styles. But I loved even more having someone able to execute these plans for me, stress free!”

She also advised future couples not to worry about every little detail and instead focus on enjoying the day, “Don’t put pressure and stress on everything being perfect, otherwise you’re going to find something wrong with the day. Put more emphasis on celebrating WHY you are here, and what the day is about – marrying the love of your life. It’s not about the weather, or that button that popped off your dress (can relate), it’s about having the most special and fun day, laughing every minute and embracing every moment. It goes by SO quick!”