The Dream Maker, Dream Wedding Competition

The first time that I heard Conor’s s distinct Irish accent was on the radio. Conor had just been told that he and his fiancé Louise were one of five couples chosen for the Dream Maker, Dream Wedding Competition. To say the least, Conor was very excited. The competition was promoted on-air by Nelson’s More FM with the collaboration of fifty local businesses kindly donating their time, products and services for a total wedding prize that Conor and Lousie eventually won.

Conor and Louise really wanted to get married on the golden sands at Little Kaiterteri in front of family and friends, unfortunately the weather had different ideas. So (Plan B) the wet weather option came into action and the venue was changed to Kimi Ora. Karen from, “Perfect Style” did an amazing job at short notice with making the ceremony room look amazing with driftwood, flowers and candles. It was a gorgeous ceremony officiated by Nelson Wedding Celebrant Ange Pearson from the Wedding Whisperer. No amount of rain was going to dampen this special day.

So how did an Irish boy end up with a Kiwi girl, let’s find out…

About three years ago Conor and Louise met on a very small island situated on the South West Coast of Ireland. They were both working in hospitality on the island when Conor first laid eyes on Louise, it was love at first sight. After talking for a while, Conor knew right there and then that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Louise.

Wedding ceremony at Kimi Ora in Kaiterteri

Conor’s two sisters (pictured) traveled all the way from Ireland to be part of the wedding.

Bouquet from Perfect Style in Motueka

Bride and groom getting married at Kimi Ora in Kaiterteri

After living in Ireland for a couple of years, Conor and Louise made the decision to move to New Zealand and start a new life together. Unfortunately, they would have moved sooner, but sadly, Conor’s father passed away. They both stayed in Ireland a little longer to be with family during a really hard time. Conor wrote, “Without Louise by my side, I don’t know if I would have got through it all, she is my rock and she was so amazing to me and my family, I will never forget it”.

Louise had not been home with her family for a few years, so they decided that she would come back to New Zealand for Christmas as a surprise to her family. Conor planned to follow Louise two months later after his Great Dane (Bazz) had the necessary vaccinations to also travel to NZ.

Conor wrote: “Those two months apart were one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. We promised each other that we would never be apart again, so while I was in Ireland getting ready for the move I saved all the money that I could and bought Louise a beautiful engagement ring”.

Groom places the wedding ring on brides finger at Kimi Ora in Kaiterteri

After arriving in Nelson, Conor began planning how and when he was going to propose to Louise, he wanted it to be perfect and very special. So Conor planned to celebrate Louise’s birthday at the historic French and British settlement of Akaroa. On the evening of Louise’s birthday they went for a walk along the shoreline and sat down on a small pier to watch the sunset. Conor and Louise were taking photos of themselves, laughing and joking when Conor took the camera from Louise and kissed her.

Conor wrote, “I took her by both hands, got down on one knee and told her how much I loved her, I then asked her if she would make me the happiest guy in the world and I asked her to marry me.
She said, YES, so I gave out the biggest yelp of joy, which I think that everyone at Akaroa must have heard. Louise started to cry and we then called her family in NZ and mine in Ireland and told them of our wonderful news”.

It cost a lot of money for Conor and Louise to move to NZ, especially with the extra costs bringing Bazz out. When Conor heard on More FM that they were looking for entrants to win a dream wedding, he rushed home and emailed More FM right away. After assisting with initially organising the Radio promotion with More FM, I was absolutely delighted to hear that Conor and Louise had won. And here we are now, celebrating their marriage with family and friends from all around the world.

There is something really special about a dove release on your wedding day.

They say that there is always a silver lining and there certainly was today. Just after the ceremony finished the rain stopped and Conor & Louise were absolutely delighted to have  beautiful wedding photos taken on Little Kaiterteri Beach by Nelson Wedding Photography. This is a very special place to them and I can understand why.

Bride and groom in caddilac vintage wedding car

The light was so amazing we had to stop for a few photos on the road up to Kimi Ora, which was surrounded with lush green trees.

Bride and grrom laughing in old vintage car

Love the old Caddy, kindly provided by the Motueka Museum.

Brides veil flys out the window of vintage wedding car

Vridesmaide been pulled by dog

This is Bazz, hold on, he’s just seen Conor & Louise!

Bride and groom with karge Grey Hound dog

Bazz is one very large Great Dane, I bet that the three of them can’t all sit on the couch together!

Bride and groom laugh in trees at Kaiterteri Beach in Nelson

The biggest highlight for us on a wedding day is seeing how happy the bride and groom are…

Bride and Groom dance on counrty road near Kaiterteri Beach

Such a gorgeous couple and so in love.

Bride and groom walk down the road at Kimi Ora in Kaiterteri

This stunning wedding dress was designed and gifted by Jill Alexander at Vintage Inspired Couture Bridal Wear.

Bridal party laughing and having fun at Kaiterteri Beach near Nelson

It was a happy time for the bridal party and extra special for Conor to have his two sisters here.

Bride and her bridesmaids hitch a ride

“Quick girls show some leg, you might get a ride”.

Bridesmaids ride on thye bonnet of a car during wedding location photos

They did….

Bride and bridesmaids ride on the bonnet of a car

Can’t forget the beautiful bride…

Good times with the people that you love are memories that last forever.

Groom sits with his dog on a rock at Little Kaiterteri

When we got to Little Kaiterteri we had 45 minutes to create some magic, which wasn’t hard. The tide was going out, the clouds looked amazing and we had the most beautiful light to work with to create stunning wedding photos that Conor and Louise will cherish forever. It’s so true when they say, a dog is a man’s best friend.

Bride with her veil flying while standing on rocks at Little Kaiterteri

You have heard it before and I’ll say it again, we love long veils.

Romantic wedding photo of bride and groom on the rocks at Little Kaiterteri

Bride and groom kiss on the rocks at Little Kaiterteri near Nelson

Chrissy took these beautiful closeup’s while I shot the panoramic view.

Bride and groom on golden rocks at Kaiterteri


LOVE this shot…

Bridsal party laugh as they walk down Kaiterteri beach

Everyone was having a ball including Bazz, this dog just wanted to run.

Groom and his dog run down Kaiterteri Beach

And run he did, with Conor barely keeping up.

Bride and groom watch the helicopter arrive at The Waters in Kina in Mapua Nelson

The second part of the prize that Nelson Wedding Photography provided for the Dream Wedding promotion was a Heli-shoot. On cue our friend Andrew from Tasman Helicopters arrived to pick us all up at The Waters in Kina. The Waters wanted some promotional video, so Andrew picked up Conor and Louise and did a flyby while we filmed a video clip.

Conor was very excited, who wouldn’t be!

Tasman Helicopters take off at The Waters in Kina with bride and groom

Tasman Helicopters picks up Nelson Wedding Photographers at The Waters

This looks like a scene out of the movie, Blue Thunder. Andrew is one cool helicopter pilot.

The scenic flight to Boulder Lake in the Kahurangi National Park took about thirty minutes.

Bride and groom arrive at Boulder Lake in the Kahurangi National Park with Nelson Wedding Photography

I always wanted to come to Boulder Lake, this certainly beats the eight hour hike in on foot, for sure.

Tasman Helicopters land on tussock grass at Boulder Lake in Kahurangi National Park near Nelson

Tasman Helicopters Eurocopter EC120 – very cool!

Bride and groom next to waterfall at Boulder Lake in Kahurangi National Park

At the back of the hut is this stunning waterfall, it was well worth waiting for the right weather to come here.

Bride and groom enjoy a picnic at Boulder Lake in Kahurangi National Park in Golden Bay

Claire and Phil from The Waters in Kina kindly provided us with a lovely picnic basket of scrummy food, including salmon, mussels and bubbly for the bride and groom. We were working, so we declined a glass (can’t have blurry pictures) and we were all really happy when Andrew said that he doesn’t drink and fly.

Picnic basket for bride and groom during Helicopter destination photo shoot

Stunning bouquet gifted from Karen at Perfect Style for this helishoot.


Bride and groom drink champaigne next to helicopter at Boulder Lake in the Kahurangi National Park near Nelson

It’s been about a month since these two got married, certainly still plenty of romance here.

Bride and groom kiss in long tussock grasses at Boulder Lake Kahurangi National Park withTasman Helicopters

These would have to be the biggest Tussock grasses that I have ever seen, wonder how they would transplant?

Romantic helicopter destinatin wedding photostakenat Boulder Lake KaurangiPark

Bride and groom in long tussock grasses at Boulder Lake

Vey cute couple…

Tasman Helicopters lands on Mt Olympus with bride and groom for wedding location photos

Second stop, Lord Of The Rings site, Mt Olympus.

Bride and groom walk from helicopter on Mt Olympus Lord Of The Rings movie site

When we flew in here, there was almost complete silence. We were all so amazed with the power and beauty of this place. However, I think that Chrissy was quiet because she was thinking, where was Andrew going to land? The landing area looked a lot smaller from the air.

Spectacular views of Golden Bay.

Bride ad groom stand on Mt Oympus looking out at Golden Bay

We could see Mt Egmont in the far distance, breathtaking indead!

Bride on groom on rocks on top of Mt Olympus

These two certainly weren’t worried about heights and there were some huge drop offs from these rocky outcrops.

Brides vei flysin the air on Mt Oympus during wedding location photos


Dramatic wedding photography

Stunning helicopter wedding location photos

Bride and groom walking on Mt Olympus

You can see why Peter Jackson chose Mt Olympus for filming in the first Lord Of The Rings Movie. We’re going to watch the movie again to see if we can recognise any of the areas used during filming (by the way we saw no orcs here). In fact Chrissy’s cousin Richard played an orc in the movies as well as being personal bodyguard to Frodo – pretty cool.

groom sitting on a rock atMt Olympus Kahurangi Natonal Park

This rock was a lot higher than it looks (see shot below), nice one Conor.

Groom standing on huge rockon Lord Of The Rings Site Mt Olympus

On top of the world…

Wedding rings on bouquet

The wedding rings were designed and made by Jens Hansen, now that’s very fitting considering where we were – hold onto that ring Conor.

Wedding cake from Stella Floral cakes and Bouquet from Perfect Style

As well as the beautiful bouquet from Karen at “Perfect Style”, Stella from “Flour Cake Studio”, also gifted Conor and Louise with one of her amazing wedding cakes. It was so cool we didn’t have the heart to eat it. If you are planning a wedding, we would certainly recommend Karen & Stella, they are so professional in the service that they provide to their customers, always going above and beyond expectations. Thank you guys.

Bride and groom sitting on a rock surrounded by tussock grass

Bride and groom kiss with helicopter in the back ground

View of brideand groom kissing from Mt Olympus

During our photo shoot I was constantly looking for the, “million dollar shot”, we were getting close, but not there yet. So I said to the guys, let’s head over to a different area.

Dramatic wedding photos from Mt Olympus

Found it.

Stunning wedding photography from Mt Olympus

Just after taking these photos I said to Conor, “five years ago, did you ever think that you would be having wedding photos taken on one of the Lord of the Rings sites in New Zealand”? He laughed and said, “no way”.

Between the natural sunlight and our portable lighting, not to mention a very cute couple, we created this dramatic shot, this one’s for the wall, I’m sure. After leaving Mt Olympus and arriving back at the Motueka Airport, we decided to go for a beer at The Sprig & Fern (another sponsor of the Dream Wedding Promotion). This whole promotion has been quite a journey and for us it had come to an end. When we said goodbye, Conor and Louise gave Chrissy and I a huge hug each and you know what, that mean’t more to us than anything else from the day.
Conor and Louise we wish you the very best in your future together, it’s been a real pleasure getting to know you both and we hope you enjoy the rest of your promotional prizes.

Daron and Chrissy X


View this short video clip: Heli-shoot Mt Olympus





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