Southern Alps Wedding With A Nepalese Ceremony

Wedding Photography

By Magnolia Rouge

I'm so excited to feature Sarah & Amit's amazing Wanaka, New Zealand wedding by EMILY ADAMSON PHOTOGRAPHY on the blog today. I actually did their wedding stationery before I hung up that hat so I go to know Sarah a little during her planning process. She also utilised the amazing Kath from ONE FINE DAY – one of our awesome DIRECTORY MEMBERS – to help with styling and planning of the day… invaluable when planning a destination wedding like this.

I knew that this was going to be a pretty special wedding but wow… these photos are so beautiful and I love that we get to share in the Nepalese ceremony that they had the day before the mountain celebration too. It was important to Sarah & Amit that their wedding reflect both of their cultures… hence having the two ceremonies. The first in the Nepalese Hindu tradition – albeit a very condensed two hour version of the usual three day affair – and one western style ceremony. By incorporating the key symbolic elements of the Nepalese ceremony it gave their guests an insight into the nature-loving, ancient traditions of the culture and it gave the groom's family the opportunity to give full expression to their culture.

The location inspired all aspects of our wedding. We wanted to give our guests an incredible experience of the New Zealand wilderness and an insight into us as a couple. Both parts of our wedding were held outdoors - our pre-wedding blessing ceremony was held in a park by Wanaka lake which was looking stunning with the autumn colours. Our wedding ceremony on a remote, private station near Mt Aspiring National Park by the Matukituki River. Our guests had to cross a swing bridge and navigate the cows to get to our ceremony location, it was a very outdoorsy experience!! No one could put their camera down, the scenery was just breathtaking in all directions. We also wanted our guests to experience the best of New Zealand food and wine, so had Indian-style banquet dinner after the blessing and a "Wild New Zealand" themed degustation for our wedding reception both featuring local produce and wines.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: It started when we were holidaying in the South Island of New Zealand travelling in a humble little campervan and found ourselves in the stunning valley of the Matukituki River on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park. We parked by the side of the flowing river with Rob Roy glacier in the background. We felt there was something very magical about that place, and it was in that spot that Amit had a dream that we were married with children. That confirmed to him that he would propose to Sarah, we talked about it at the time and it feels like from that point we knew we would get married. But it was actually later, back in Sydney on our anniversary, that Amit "officially" popped the question over dinner. It was completely unplanned, but Amit felt it was the right moment.

FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: One was having the Nepalese caps (for men) and bangles (for ladies) which we gave our guests to wear at the blessing. This was a really nice way for everyone to take part in the cultural ceremony and made a nice gift for guests to take home. Everyone wore them, which was great! Also, the landscape and autumn colours were stunning, very little decoration was required on our part to supplement the natural beauty of our location. Another favourite detail was having our wedding cake at the ceremony for afternoon tea - it turned into a hilarious moment when a cow charged the cake and took a great big lick! We still laugh when looking back at the photos, and the fact that we still ate the cake! Another beautiful detail was the little tea candles scattered around the reception venue which made it look absolutely magical.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? There were so many special moments… For Sarah, it was getting dressed in a wedding sari with Amit's mum, seeing the huge smile on Amit's face on both days when he saw me in her wedding sari and wedding gown, the very special wedding rituals performed at the blessing. For Amit it was the serenity of the landscape and the rivers and waterfalls full from earlier rain. Exchanging vows was a really special moment - we wrote them ourselves and they were very meaningful for us. The cow licking our wedding cake was very memorable, as were the kea birds flying to greet us. Most of all, our greatest memory was having our family and friends travel the distance to be part of our wedding, including Sarah's brother who made a surprise appearance on the day!

Photographer EMILY ADAMSON PHOTOGRAPHY / Cake CAKES OF WANAKA / Florist THE GREEN ROOM FLOWER COMPANY / Stationery RUBY & WILLOW and LA POMME ET LA PIPE / Blessing Ceremony Venue WANAKA STATION PARK / Blessing Reception Venue SPICE ROOM, WANAKA / Ceremony Venue MATUKITUKI VALLEY, MT ASPIRING / Reception Venue BISTRO GENTIL, WANAKA / Dress Designer COLLETTE DINNIGAN / Shoes SHOES OF PREY / Jewellery SWAROVSKI / Hair GINGER MEGGS / Make up EMILY PLUM MAKE-UP / Grooms Attire HUGO BOSS / Planner & Stylist ONE FINE DAY / Caterer SELF CATERED FROM GIBBSTON VALLEY CHEESERIE / Celebrant KATHRYN ORMAND / Music DANNY FAIRLEY & MARTINE HARDING

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