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This Bride + Groom Arrived to Their Mountaintop Elopement in a Helicopter

Reason number 1,416 why you should hire a videographer for your wedding comes courtesy of this beautiful Bride and Groom: “Since most of our family and friends wouldn’t be able to attend, we agreed that having a beautiful video of our wedding day to share was a priority.” And thanks to Sunshine Weddings – Film & Photo, they got the video — and the wedding — of their dreams! See every magic moment from their special day now in The Vault!

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From The Bride and Groom…Q: Tell us about yourselves. How did you meet? How did you get engaged?
A: (Jackson) Outside of my regular career in finance, I follow my lifelong passion for music. I met Maridith at a very old, very small church in Houston where I sang on Sundays. After many a hot summer Sunday catching each other for quick chats after the service, I finally asked her out. Several years and an overseas secondment later, I asked her to be my wife. Through her devoted love of travel, we have explored so many breathtaking parts of the world, and our wedding in Queenstown was definitely no exception.

Q: Tell us about any DIY or personal elements included in your wedding.
A: (Maridith) The gorgeous backdrop of Stoneridge Estate and Cecil Peak didn’t need much as far as decor, but with Jackson’s love of music, we had to include a little something special. By luck we found an amazing cellist, Tomas Hurnik, willing to travel from Christchurch for the day to play the most beautiful Bach suites. His music filled the tiny chapel and added the perfect personal touch to our ceremony.

Q. What did you envision your wedding being prior to planning?
A: (Maridith) While I’d always loved the idea of running away together, a destination wedding on the other side of the world wasn’t something Jackson (very much a traditionalist) had ever really considered. But once we started cultivating the idea of a “weddingmoon” to celebrate our marriage and his growing love for travel, it was full steam ahead! An intimate church ceremony, where we could both enjoy the day and really focus on the commitment we were making to each other was what we ultimately envisioned. Having lived for a while in Australia and always regretting not making it over to New Zealand, it didn’t take long to decide it would be the perfect place to begin married life and indulge in a honeymoon adventure.

Q: What was the inspiration behind the day?
A: (Maridith) In two words, relaxed and happy. We both wanted our wedding day to be one that we could look back on and remember all the little details and what we were feeling in those moments, creating a day that was relaxed leading up to the ceremony and that let every happy moment sink in. Having the amazing Minetta at The Wedding Company to organize all the vendors and details certainly helped to make that happen!

Q: Tell us about your choice of wedding location.
A: (Maridith & Jackson) That part was easy–once deciding on New Zealand as our destination, it essentially came down to “where do Melissa and Scott from Sunshine Wedding Films travel?” Since most of our family and friends wouldn’t be able to attend, we agreed that having a beautiful video of our wedding day to share was a priority. We came across Melissa and Scott’s films in researching elopement style weddings and fell absolutely in love with their work. From there, Queenstown and the magnificent views from The Chapel by the Lake at Stoneridge Estate was where we finally landed. Queenstown weather certainly delivered on the day, and we came back with a fantastic film and stunning photos that truly captured the best moments from the day.

Q: Tell us about your flowers, your gown etc.
A: (Maridith) I had the most gorgeous bridal bouquet done by Sarah at The Flower Room, Queenstown. The pale pink peonies mixed with peach roses and freesia were perfection. She also did my lovely bridesmaid Claire’s bouquet and a precious halo for her sweet daughter and our flower girl, Chloé. My dress was actually a round two selection! Breaking the cardinal rule of wedding dresses, I fell in love with another Tadashi Shoji dress after purchasing the first. The delicate lace and keyhole back of the second were exactly what I’d envisioned.

Q: Favourite memories of the day.
A: (Maridith & Jackson) We had so many memorable moments from the day! One of our favorite memories was getting to celebrate with a dozen friends who literally traveled to the ends of the earth to support and celebrate with us. We’re eternally grateful. The heli ride to Cecil Peak with pristine views of Lake Wakatipu after our ceremony is definitely another moment we’ll always cherish.

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Photography: Sunshine Weddings - Film & Photo | Cinematography: Sunshine Weddings - Film & Photo | Event Planning: The Wedding Company | Floral Design: The Flower Room | Wedding Dress: Tadashi Shoji | Ceremony Venue: Chapel By The Lake | Reception Venue: Cecil Peak, Queenstown | Hair + Makeup: Crew Stylists Of Hair | Bridal Boutique: BHLDN | Cellist: Tomas Hurnik | Helicopter: Heliworks

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This New Zealand Engagement Shoot is a Virtual Beach Vacation

Grab your bikini and put on your sunnies, because this New Zealand engagement shoot from Celine Chhuon Photography is almost as good as a beach vacation. The black sand beach, the white sand dunes, the dramatic cliffs, and that wild and gorgeous moth vine bouquet add up to create some seriously breathtaking photos. Escape to all the pretty in The Vault!


From Celine Chhuon PhotographyThis engagement shoot took place on the beautiful black sand beach of Bethells in New Zealand, we set to shoot early morning which provided us with this wonderful fog surrounding the rocks.

Bethells beach is the epitome of the natural beauty of New Zealand, it is not only surrounded by the ocean but also rocks, caves, white sand dunes and freshwater streams. Maddie and Theo wanted to incorporate this organic beauty into the details such as shells, salt and fern (National symbol), and Sarah the florist created this gorgeous wild bouquet with Moth vines.

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Photography: Celine Chhuon Photography | Floral Design: Horrobin And Hodge | Wedding Dress: A La Robe | Stationery + Calligraphy: Nice Plume | Venue: Bethells Beach | Film Processing: Carmencita Film Lab

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10 Pretty Things We Love About: Sunshine Weddings – Film & Photo

We’re happy people, we like happy films.” And with that, I knew I was going to really like Sunshine Weddings – Film & Photo. I eagerly dived in to learn more about this husband and wife dynamic duo who capture weddings all around Queenstown, New Zealand. They’ve got all the right info on where to get inspired and how to choose that wedding videographer that best tells your story. See it all below – and head over to their profile to see some of their best work!

1. How did you get into wedding films?

It’s been many years now! Scott started way back in the day with large bulky video cameras and long (pretty dull) documentary edits. A wedding photographer friend of his suggested he should look at wedding videography as at that time there was no one local doing it. He had been a professional skydiver and was looking for a new direction after a bad crash. I have a background in publishing with a design degree and studied photography so it made sense that after we met and married I joined the team. It’s been evolving ever since.

2. What’s your personal motto, or a phrase that inspires you creatively?

Making people smile.

3. Can you describe your aesthetic in three words?

Individual: The biggest thing for us is that every film should reflect the couple’s individual personalities. We don’t work to formulas and never start with preconceived ideas about how it should be. Rather the filming, editing, audio, music and even colour grade will be informed by what we know of the couple and the wedding day itself.

Happy: We’re happy people, we like happy films. That doesn’t mean that’s all they’re about, wedding days are layered events with a huge range of emotion involved so there will possibly be parts in there that will bring a tear to the eye too. However every wedding we have been to is overwhelmingly a happy affair so we want people to simply feel good after watching one of our films.

Real: It can be a challenge to make films that remain about a couple and not about the filmmaker or editor. We film real people, not actors or models so it’s not always about the most beautiful shot or a tricky filming technique but simply capturing and telling the story in an authentic, honest way. Being able to do this really comes down to the relationship and trust we have with couples so this is an important part of the process.

4. What are three things you can’t live without?

1. Family: Our daughter is about to turn three and is getting more interesting and funnier every day (and louder).
2. Good wine and conversation at the end of a long day.
3. Laughter.

5. Where do you find inspiration?

In wide open spaces and time to let the mind wander, think randomly and be open to whatever comes along.

6. What’s your favorite social media platform?

We’re a bit late to it but are getting a little addicted to Instagram. Clients have been loving an extra 15sec Instagram teaser clip and we will be doing wedding photography as well as films for summer 2015-2016 so we are looking forward to putting some new work up.

7. What is a film detail that often gets overlooked, that you wish got more attention in the planning process?

Time. And by that I mean a couple allowing more time on the day to relax and experience the moment. As filmmakers it’s the spontaneous, candid moments we want to capture. And these don’t happen when a stressed couple is running from place to place following a ridiculously tight schedule! It’s your wedding day, stop and enjoy it and we’ll get those moments on film.

8. What do you think is the most important question a client can ask, when deciding who to hire for their wedding’s filmmaker?

Who does your editing? Whether it’s an in-house editor with strong studio interaction and a consistent style or freelancers. Good post production takes a long time and especially for large, busy studios it’s often necessary to outsource editing from a business perspective. However it’s such an integral, creative part of the process. If the editor is a person you develop a relationship with before the day, who gets to know you, films on the day, so knows every moment captured, talks to your friends and family, experiences the atmosphere and emotion of the wedding and sees from first hand experience what you’re all about, it will make for a more personal film. Editing and post-production is where all the puzzle pieces come together and the story starts. Scott edits all our films and when working on a wedding film we both critique throughout the process and ask 1. Does this reflect the couple and 2. Is this a “Sunshine” film.

9. What’s been your proudest professional accomplishment as a wedding filmmaker?

Spending up to 20 hours on a wedding day and travelling home with Scott knowing that we still like each other and respect each others work.

10. When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?

Going on family adventures, beach trips, mountain biking, making stuff, good wine and conversation, cooking… We’re incredibly lucky that we live in a peaceful, beautiful part of the world and have the freedom to do these things.

See some of Sunshine Weddings – Film & Photo’s best clips here!

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Photography: Sunshine Weddings - Film & Photo | Videography: Sunshine Weddings - Film & Photo | Calligraphy: Lauren

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here