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Elopements Real Weddings


With the ever-changing scenery framed with snow capped mountains at Jacks Retreat, Queenstown — The Lovers Elopement Co brought to life the intimate wedding Petra & Paul’s hearts were set on.

A wedding draped in elegance, Petra & Paul awestruck by the sight of their futures before them, a moment frozen in time. In her Chaos and Harmony Shoes vows were spoken, “Thank you for choosing me..”

Champagne popped and bubbles were poured, while cheers rose up to the sun celebrating the love of Petra & Paul. Lavish Grazing crafting an intimate and unforgettable food experience for the couple and their family to enjoy together.

From the tops of the snow drenched mountains above to the blissful green valleys below, Dawn Thompson Photography and Woven Images faithfully captured their magical day.

How did you meet and how long have you been together?

We meet 5 years ago when Petra was house hunting and came across Paul’s home that he was renting out. Petra didn’t take the room, but we kept in contact. A year passed, and then we went on our first date to a cafe. This soon turned into more dates, and then Petra gate crashed a boys trip to Queenstown (she was invited by Paul halfway through the boys trip). This is where we decided to be a couple was when we were in Queenstown. It was where we fell in love with each other.

How would you describe each other?

Paul-  I would describe Paul as a driven, successful, passionate, humble man and also a loving, caring man who has a really big heart, and when he cares about someone, you defiantly know about it. He will do anything for his family, no matter what.

Petra- She is a very stunning & Kind, Caring, big heart, wear your heart on your sleeve, passionate & a beautiful mother to our daughter.


We really enjoy each other’s company after 5 years we just still can’t get enough of each other, we love to chat to each other haha we are always talking. We are always down for a good time and love a good whisky together and a good game of beer pong, even if Petra is always winning, haha. We both compliment each other’s personality and just work.  We both are very competitive people but do it with a whole lot of fun and laughter. We love to be silly with each other. Always ready to explore the world together. Supporting each other’s dreams and encouraging and supporting each other through the good and the bad times, we have each other’s back.  We are a very family people and adore our beautiful daughter Porscha. But we always make time for each other and just love being parents too.

Tell us a little bit about the proposal and your engagement?

We visited Queenstown and Petra decided to take Paul up Queenstown hill. Paul then finally found a spot on the top of Queenstown hill. Once Petra had finally stopped taking selfies of herself and Paul could get her attention and catch his breath, he then got down on one leg and proposed to Petra.

Tell us about your wedding style. What influenced your planning for the day?

We just wanted it to be very personal and immediate family only with one friend, each very close and intimate and meaningful to us. We had been through a tough year already with our daughter being in Starship Hospital in Auckland and fighting for her life and then coming out of that into covid we just wanted to get married and be a family after our daughter went through a tough time. We loved the backdrop that we already had around us, the mountains and Queenstown with the snow – that’s just us. We love Winter and getting up the mountain skiing and snowboarding, so that was perfect for us. Petra always wanted a white petal Else to walk down and then just a beautiful big white Bosque of flowers and helicopter to the top of the mountains that was just truly her. It was stunning everything that we could have imagined and more. The weather put on a stunning day for us too. We then had our reception back at Waitomo boutique lodge, and that was stunning and meant a lot to the bride as that’s her family farm.

Why did you choose your destination?

Paul love’s his architectural designs, so when you fly out of Queenstown, we sore this beautiful home and Petra said, let’s get married there, and it just so happened to be that we could be married there, so we’re very grateful.

What was your favourite moment from the day?

We loved it all was so special and meaningful to us to have everyone there, but definitely, our favourite part of the day was getting married and flying up into the mountains together. When we were in the snow and looking out to all of the mountains before us, with the sunset on our face, we just felt so complete and happy together, just didn’t want that moment or the day to end.

Then when we had our reception back at Waitomo boutique lodge my family farm Petra got my daddy-daughter dance that was one of her favourite moments at that time.

What does marriage mean to you?

I think because our wedding was so personal and we both wrote our vowels to each other. It just means so much to us. We wanted to express that marriage is a journey, and it’s not a destination, but if you both know that and you work together, you communicate and talk good or bad, then we feel like we can concur anything. There is more to marriage than what we know, but that’s okay. We don’t have to know everything cause that’s just life, and that’s why we have each other as we are on this journey together, and why not have fun with it and enjoy it together. It’s about being a team and not having too high expectations for each other but yet working together on each other’s others goals and talking, expressing your feelings and whatever’s on your mind, but just not giving up and realizing why you found each other in the first place, why you feel in love but with no expectation.

Advice for other couples planning a wedding?

Have fun, just do you because the day goes so fast, so really just focus on why you are there and each other…

Do you have a favourite quote or piece of your vows you would like to share?

”Thank you for choosing me…”


Wedding Planning + Styling: The Lovers Elopement Co. | Photographer: Dawn Thomson Photography | Videographer: Woven Images | Florist: The Vase | Hair + MakeUp: Shannon Kay Makeup Artist | Celebrant: Your Big Day | Catering: Lavish Grazing | Furniture Hire: Waitomo Boutique Lodge | Reception Venue: Waitomo Boutique Lodge | Ceremony Venue: Jacks Retreat | Bridal Gown: AstraBridal | Bridal Shoes: BlakChaos | Bridesmaids Dresses: Styled by Smith | Rings: Michael Hill | Groom’s Suits: Barkers | Groom’s Shoes: Barkers | Groomsmen’s Suits: Barkers | Flower Girl: Astra Bridal | Cake: Night Owl

We are excited to have The Lovers Elopement Co as part of our exclusive Wild Hearts Vendor Collection. Check out more of their stunning elopements here and follow them on Instagram @theloverselopementco.

For an insight into The Lovers Elopement Co, head over to our Brand Series Volume 1, which features two of the Lovers’ creatives, Dawn and Gypsy.

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