Well Travelled Wanaka

Wanaka in September... Is there a more gorgeous time of year to visit this lakeside city? We found Wanaka to be dreamier than we'd imagined with its kind-hearted people, warm fires and snow capped peaks. Some of us even went so far as to deem it 'Heaven on Earth'. Clearly the locals agree with us, for the Wanaka tourism board even signs off their emails “…the world's first lifestyle reserve”. We couldn't have summed up the atmosphere better ourselves, and we don't think it will take much more to convince you that Wanaka really is the ideal destination for the glamorous yet relaxed wedding of your dreams.

Because it was the site of our very first Well Travelled Bride adventure, we'll always hold a soft spot for Wanaka in our hearts. But we don't think it was just our sentimental natures that endeared us to the city. The natural beauty of the wild landscape was complimented by venues and experiences that lent the perfect touch of luxury and adventure. Oh, and did we mention Wanaka is home to some of the world's best Pinot Noir?

We thought we'd take a behind-the-scenes look back today at a few of the Wanaka moments we will never forget...

The vendors we collaborated with for our Wanaka guide were spectacular and matched up to our highest standards of quality and professionalism, completely spoiling us for all future adventures to come. Photographer Julia Trotti flew out from Sydney Australia to meet us in New Zealand and captured the beauty of our Wanaka wedding with more elegance that we could have imagined. Local photographer John Bozinov also lent his creative talent to the team and we were reminded everyday how lucky we were to have him along!

Our model Alex Pole proved herself a stunning bride, and our Well Travelled dream team of Kelsey Genna, David Palfreyman and Yvette Edwards all outdid themselves in creating moments that outshone the sparkling snow.

The locations on offer in Wanaka were too tantalizing to resist, so we jam packed our ten days trotting all over the city and photographing everything we could find! Our wedding ceremony took place in the mountains of Lake Wanaka. However, the mountain we chose, Mt. Fogg, was only accessible by helicopter, so our bride and groom buckled their seat belts over their wedding attire and enjoyed the ride of a lifetime before saying their vows. Once on the mountain, they stood together under the expansive heavens, with 360 degree views in every direction of the startlingly gorgeous lake around them.

Once we'd put in a week's worth of hard work styling and shooting, we rewarded ourselves by hiring a four wheel drive car from Wai Car Hire. After being on our feet for hours on end, it was so luxurious to pile into a car and just adventure together - taking in all the scenic views we could find!

We also slipped in time for exclusive wine tastings in the evenings when the day's work was done and our Well Travelled team could simply sit back, sip world-famous Pinot Noir and reminisce over the highlights of the day. Rippon, Archangel and Aurum were among the best we sampled, but the options were endless! It takes a village to make a wedding, and we know more than anyone how wonderful it is to be able to enjoy the little moments in between all the big ones.

On the last day of our trip, we dressed up our bride and groom and headed up to Treble Cone, one of New Zealand's finest ski fields. We have a longstanding tradition of dressing up on our final day of work, so the porcelain slopes couldn't stop us from breaking out the wedding gown and suit! Being able to take in a few last looks at the New Zealand landscape before heading home was exactly what we needed, and it ignited the fire for our next trip - an adventure we couldn't plan quickly enough!

All in all, our trip to Wanaka was unbelievable, and we are so grateful to the Wanaka Tourism Board for hosting us and making our stay in this luxurious city so memorable!

Kelsey Genna