Real Weddings

Melinda & Justin's Winter Wedding

Melinda and Justin's winter wedding took them back to where they met on a ski holiday in picturesque Queenstown, New Zealand.

Overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the snow-capped Remarkables, the natural beauty of both wooded forests and grassy hillsides are a breathtaking backdrop for this elegant wedding. Melinda shares their story:

"Justin and I love to travel and have made a point of drinking champagne on some of the tallest buildings while looking down at the world around us. We had sipped champagne on the Eiffel Tower and on the 128th floor of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai (the tallest building in the world). Justin continued this tradition by proposing in the Eureka Skydeck's The Edge experience, which is a glass box suspended 88 storeys above the ground. And of course champagne awaited us after my tearful acceptance.

Our wedding day was held four years exactly to the day we met. The ceremony was held on a roof top overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the snow-capped Remarkables. Our guests were rugged up in furs and blankets with heat lamps used to fend off the crispy winter air. I did not need my coat for most of the ceremony despite the temperature and was kept warm by the excitement and love I felt in that moment.

When shopping for my dress I had imagined wearing something a little out of the ordinary but found little variety offered by wedding dress designers. After much time spent searching online, trawling Pinterest or flicking through Cosmopolitan Bride I finally came across Collette Dinnigan's bridal collection and knew I had hit the jackpot. Her dresses demonstrated a classic elegance while using modern colours and materials I hadn't found in the traditional bridal stores. I fell in love with the soft skirt and delicate beading of my dress. I also loved that the style was classic but not too "bridal". I made up my mind long before I ever tried it on. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever owned.

In contrast I was very relaxed when deciding on my bridal party's attire. My bridesmaids chose their own dresses, and my bridesman and the groomsman wore tuxedos of their choice. I loved that they complimented each other without matching. My bridesmaids even picked their individual bouquets. This made the day feel elegant without being too stuffy. Our photographer, Jim Pollard, took us to forests and hillsides to capture the natural beauty of Queenstown and to immortalise our winter wedding. I will be forever thankful to my bridal party for putting up with the freezing temperatures of that forest!

I will always remember the way my wedding dress made me fell on my wedding day, and the look on my husband's face the moment he saw me wearing it. But as much as I love my wedding dress I can't bear the thought of it gathering dust in my cupboard. I hope that by selling it someone else will feel as beautiful as I did. I have decided to use some of the money to buy my husband and I a bottle of Grange to drink on our 10 year wedding anniversary."


The Collette Dinnigan wedding dress featured in this story has been sold

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