Real Weddings

Sinead + Chris \\ Captured by Kate Roberge Photography

Bound by the wind above the dreamscape mountains of Queenstown, Sinead + Chris made their vows in an intimate elopement with only their celebrant Philippa Thomas Celebrant, photographer Kate Roberge and videographer Eureka Films. These two souls intertwined with an unspoken knowingness and a love, (and a lot of laughter) that drew them together. 

What started as a second chance at love, with not only her future soulmate but also learning to love herself. Sinead travelled from Perth to elope in one of the most incredible destinations in New Zealand. We chatted to the couple about their wild love story and new journey into married life together.

Check out all the magic from their Queenstown Elopement below. 

“And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.” 
― Kiersten White, The Chaos of Stars

The Love Story \\ How did you meet and how long have you been together? 

Some things you should know – I swear a lot and Chris and I have some running jokes between us. All in good fun of course! Something else you should know ..I’ve also been married before and well, sometimes things work out for the better.

I’ve always said that when I got married the first time it just felt like the next step in life, a dress-up party and “the right thing to do” I think I even copied some of my vows off Pinterest. (I had met him at 14 and were together right through until 6 months or so after I met Chris (don’t worry I had the courage to end what I had before starting anything with Chris).  We did, however, get together pretty quickly and kept it a secret for a little bit, becoming Facebook official 3 months later. I then moved in a month or two after that. We both live in our home in Healesville (country Victoria- Yarra Valley, Australia) with our two dogs, cat and horse which is up the road. We have renovated (haven’t finished) the house and in Chris’s words, his house was only a house until I came along and then it became a home because we made it our own together.

When I read “The art of marriage- Wilford a Peterson” I realised what I have now is the definition of marriage with Chris. I didn’t think I would get married again and felt like it was almost “tainted” for me. I realised that being with Chris was a choice, and that choice was the best decision i made four years ago. Not only do I feel like he is the right partner for me, he has made me the right partner for him. Not taking him for granted, establishing a relationship in which independence is equal and dependence is mutual this took some time for me, Chris gave me some tough love and taught me it is the little things that make big love and to live in the moment. Another verse I related to what the one about the roots of the trees remaining as one when the tree has been stripped of its blossoms.

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

Chris and I went on a holiday with our good friend for 2 weeks to Bali. We had booked a few nights at nusa Lembongan on our own. Prior to this I didn’t realise but i had almost ruined it ..three times hahah classic female!  I had seen a tarot reader that had said to me not to make the same mistakes ..as a joke I literally said to chris oh well better hold the ring buddy! I had no idea! I also had said I didn’t like rose gold.. I don’t know what i was thinking – I actually love it and my rings today are exactly rose gold (there’s also another story about the rings..) thirdly he was trying to get me to go out on the canoe in the water to do it and i jut flat out refused going in the water …he had to come up with a different plan… the devils tears at sunset. At this point i had carried the ring around in my own back pack the entire day! 

After me trying to ruin it a bunch of times it was the most perfect moment. Even if he did Choke up and not get the actual words out! He bought a stunt ring that I actually got very attached to in the end so we had the gold melted down and used in my wedding band. I had previously fallen in love with Alexis Russell rings on Instagram and the kite diamonds so Chris knew I probably wanted to pick it together…also there was no chance of him purchasing something that big and me not realising… I run the finances haha So yes my diamond engagement ring is a salt and pepper kite diamond from the Alexis Russell and my wedding band is a little story some people might not agree with but Chris and I thought F*ck it! We used my diamonds out of my wedding band from my previous marriage along with the gold from my stunt ring. Ralf fisch in the basin created the perfect shaped ring to complement the engagement A little joke chris carried for years “You already have a diamond ring, you don’t need another” came true lol and saved us a bunch of money. Chris has a black zirconium ring also made by Ralf Fisch.

Why the red dress?

Well it was going to be black for a long time and chris in burgundy then we decided I look better in burgundy (and we had already found a perfect black suit for chris).  After a dress mishap, and having no dress 6 weeks out from the elopement…(can’t really get into it to protect the online company) the dress became more red than i had hoped for but Vivienne at love affair, sydney road melbourne came to the rescue. After walking down sydney road trying to find a very specific dress (long sleeve and burgundy) i started to give up. I walked in and said i just need a black long sleeve gown for an elopement. She just about slapped me and said no way not black! After telling her the long winded story about why I didn’t have a dress and what i wanted, she filled me with confidence and told me i would be leaving with a dress that fit me and was what i wanted. She measured me up and ordered the dress, even putting the sleeves on it. 3 weeks later i got it and it was almost perfect. I was recommended a dress maker Louise in Kilsyth who put some finishing touches and took it in for me. I loved it but it wasn’t my dream dress, until we decided to change the neckline 4 days out from the elopement hahaha and Louise perfected it. It ended up being my dream dress for $550 all up including the alteration costs!!

Why did you choose your destination and what influenced your planning for the day?

From the start we always spoke about getting married on the top of a mountain in Norway or Finland and that being the dream…mainly because we had bulk watched Vikings (haha) obviously the tight ass in chris settled with NZ… what we didn’t realise is that eloping in NZ on the top of a mountain was actually a thing!

Eloping was always on the cards but the hard part was keeping it a secret, no doubt I would have but.. Sinead as we know loves to share everything!!! …everything….. so in the end we had a wedding and well no one was invited (haha). It was pure bliss just being the two of us.

Favourite detail from the day?

Sinead: My flowers! They were just stunning! shout out to my girl Steph! She is amazing for so many reasons! Steph asked me what i was after and I replied with just do your thing, you’re in this business for a reason, do what you love doing and create…. the outcome was unreal! 

Chris: our outfits 

Side note: because Kate picked up my flowers for me I didn’t get to meet Steph on the day. We then went and visited her (her partner eric and jet her sausage dog) in Glenorchy a few days later. Safe to say we’ve made a new friend out of our elopement! She showed us around and we’ve stayed in touch since. Such an epic human! we love her! 


Advice for couples planning a wedding:

YOU DO YOU! F*&K tradition and pleasing others. This is your day, to show each other your love for one another. A beautiful friend gave me this advice after her wedding and after wanting to wake up next to her man, the morning of her own wedding. If you wanna elope just do it! If you wanna have a gigantic wedding just do it. If you wanna wear pink or black or something outrageous ..do it! Everyone will get over it (the fact they weren’t invited or didn’t get to see the big moment) eventually, but if you get married the way others want you to – that regret sticks with you for life.

|| CREDITS ||

Photographer: Kate Roberge Photography | Videographer: Eureka Films  |Florist: Orange Blossom Designs | Ceremony Venue: The Remarkables via Heliworks | Reception:Dinner reservation at out Kinross | Celebrant: Philippa Thomas Celebrant | Rings: Wedding rings by Ralf Fisch Jewellery | Engagement Ring by Alexis Russell  | Transport: Heli Tours | Bridal gown: Love Affair Clothing | Alterations by Louise Sinclair | Brides jacket: Unreal Fur  https://unrealfur.com.au/ | Hair: Beautiful Bridal Hair  | Make up: Eve Makeup Artistry | Hairpiece: Orange Blossom Designs | Suit: YD | Bow tie: Declic | Shoes: Windsor Smith

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