A Stewart Island wedding with incredible community spirit
We left footsteps in the sand alongside kiwi tracks, on a beach that few people will ever have the privilege of walking on. And honestly every moment of this day was as incredible as that.
When I first met Mat and Glenda they told me their wedding would be all about community, and their most precious people sharing a place that is so important to them. It felt like every one of the island’s 400 residents had a part to play. From accommodation, to catering, decor to transport, this was a day of people coming together to play their part and contribute to Glenda and Mat’s marriage.
As we flew over the mountains I offered to take a video on my phone for the Darlings and they accepted, but then reminded me to take a moment to enjoy the helicopter ride as well. And this sums these two up so well – they are generous, giving, kind and wonderful humans. I’ve never seen a groom look at his bride the way Mat did when he first saw Glenda in her dress. It was a moment of pure overwhelming joy and my gosh it was special to witness.
There are too many moments to mention them all – whizzing across the water to the sanctuary of Ulva Island, running through the sand while wekas tried to eat my shoes and Glenda’s dress, the stunning kaimoana – blue cod, mussels, chowder and salmon – and an epic party to finish the day.
So brace yourself for a blog that’ll show you how much love these two shared on the most relaxed day in the most incredible location.
Every part of this wedding was personalised. These rings were etched with the landscape of Rakiura Stewart Island.
The most emotional first look I’ve been part of; the way they looked at each other was amazing.
Are you badass enough to get an engraved Leatherman on your wedding day? Glenda is!
Before the ceremony we took a 15-minute flight across to an area called “The Gutter”. It’s a remote area not easily accessed, and the beach was criss-crossed with kiwi tracks. What a spot for a picnic.
Little people, huge landscape.
If you’re wondering whether you need a flower man for your ceremony, I think we all know the answer.
Then it was time for a boat ride over to ecosanctuary Ulva Island, where the wildlife runs around your feet and nibbles on your shoes.
Back on the main island, Glenda and Mat had the community coming together to put on an incredible meal. We dined on fresh, beautifully cooked kaimoana – blue cod, mussels, salmon and so much more!
Glenda and Mat – thank you for sharing your wonderful day with me. It’s one I’ll remember for a long time!
I am a Christchurch wedding photographer but travel throughout the South Island, mainly to photograph Clyde, Wanaka, Queenstown, Nelson and Invercargill weddings. Let’s chat about your dream photos!