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When Dan and Allen met 15 years ago, there was no way they could have ever imagined that last month, they and 60 of their nearest and dearest would be gathered in the central Queenstown Gardens, sipping on Veuve Clicquot, while basking in the sunshine and their love for each other!

On Tuesday the 5th of September, 2017, that’s exactly what happened!

Being a part of their big day felt like I had known them for as long as they had each other! Their guests were excited and chatty about all the amazing things to do and see in Queenstown, and with a fresh sprinkle of snow on the mountain tops (and a whole dump still to come!) the atmosphere was enthusing waiting for the couple to arrive!

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They met at the infamous Wickham Hotel on the Queen’s birthday in June 2002 – the rest is history! After only being able to discuss marriage for the past 5 years, they have been waiting for the Australian Government to pass the marriage equality bill. Same-sex marriage is now in the process of a very expensive postal plebiscite asking every Australian if they want same-sex marriage.

“We originally wanted to get married in Australia and never really thought about Queenstown until we won the same-sex marriage giveaway so it was meant to be! Queenstown is definitely the wedding destination and so pleased we got married there.”

Winning a Gay Wedding Giveaway organised by Charlotte Winkel from Your Big Day, they found out they had won the competition after returning to Brisbane from Gay Ski Week 2016.  “We both thought it was a hoax until we got home and watched the Facebook video of Charlotte drawing our name out of the hat.”

They told me the process of organising the wedding from Australia was pretty simple. With the time difference to NZ being 2 hours ahead, they were able to contact wedding vendors before they went to work and stay up-to-date with the planning!

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Having already visited Queenstown twice prior to winning the same-sex marriage giveaway, they had an idea of what Queenstown had to offer. “Both Charlotte at Your Big Day and Sarah at Simply Perfect Weddings were also a great assistance and helped us plan our wedding. I recommend to everyone who plans on getting married in Queenstown to have a wedding planner, they have all the contacts to the right people. Simply Perfect Weddings setup our ceremony beautifully. We wanted a simple look – ‘less is more’ – and it looked amazing!!!”

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They told me getting the marriage certificate was simple as it was all done online. “You must do this 3 months prior to your wedding to allow time for the council to process. When you arrive in Queenstown, the process of picking up the marriage licence and certificate from the court house was very straight forward.”

A Facebook group was set up for the wedding guests about 6 months prior to the wedding, so all communication was shared with everyone. They had a travel consultant in Australia to look after the flights and accommodation and to assist those who were travelling to the wedding. Most guests booked their own flights and accommodation and made a week long holiday out of Queenstown. “Most of the guests have never visited Queenstown and commented how beautiful it was and what a perfect location it was to have a wedding.”

“Getting taken up for photos in a helicopter overlooking Lake Wakatipu was amazing! We did this pre-ceremony so it allowed us to spend more time with the guests and enjoy the champagne and cheese after!”

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Dan and Allen made the day entirely theirs, from the decision to have a cake made from local Gibbston Valley Cheeses, so they could enjoy chatting and picking at their favourite food with their guests; to having the notorious and simply stunning Kitty Glitter as their ring bearer – it was totally unique to them and represented them perfectly as a couple!

It’s hard not to love Queenstown, and being slightly biased, we think we are pretty good at what we do when it comes to weddings! Mother nature has given us a jaw-dropping backdrop to work with, and when you have the choice of so many fabulous suppliers – it’s not hard to find exactly what you want!

It’s been made easy for couples choosing to get married here, with our new and easy to use QWA website, couples can find an abundance of photographers, celebrants, florists, venues, accommodation, etc. – all in one place! So if it hasn’t crossed your mind to tie the knot in Queenstown, or you’re thinking about it and need a final push – get in touch with our wedding gurus and have a chat about your big day!!

Why not enter our competition to tie the knot in Gay Ski Week QT 2018?

A HUGE thanks to the happy couple Dan and Allen for letting us be a part of their journey and sharing with us their spectacular Queenstown Wedding!

He Aroha, Te Aroha

Love is Love

xx

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