New Zealand Heli-Wedding in Fjiordland National Park

Time for S + S’s second day of adventure; a New Zealand heli-wedding! If you haven’t checked out Day 1 of their Milford Sound elopement, be sure to check that out- it really sets the tone for this day!

We left off with the three of us parting ways for the night. S + S stayed at Milford Sound Lodge and I made the long drive back to Te Anau (truly- if you want to elope in Milford Sound, which you do, you must stay at the Milford Lodge). The weather in Fjiordland National Park is extreeeemely variable, so we wound up moving some things around due to weather, which meant I was set to drive the winding and dark roads back to Fjiordlands at something wild like 4am to make our sunrise flight time. I, and this is true, did not see another car for the entire drive. I did think I saw a kiwi, lost my mind a little, but it turned out just to be a weka.

We also got super lucky with timing, because the tunnel to reach the airport was undergoing construction and was set to be closed until 7am every night *except* the night I needed to use it.

We met at the tiny airport, all of us stoked out of our minds for S + S’s New Zealand heli-wedding. The day before we had explored the beaches of the sound, and that day? We were going to fly over it and land on the iconic Mitre Peak, the dominant and perfect mountain that is the centerpiece for so many photos of Milford Sound. To be totally honest, I had been so preoccupied with planning, logistics, and shuffling that hadn’t really been able to fully take in the amazing thing we were about to do. On a personal note- My logo, my tattoo, my most favorite place in the world… I was about to fly over it with a couple and land on that most perfect peak. It was hard to wrap my head around. And to get to do it with a couple who was as equally in love with this place as me? Ya’ll, it was honest and true magic.

We sat with our pilot and chatted for a little while- a could had settled on Mitre Peak and we couldn’t take off till the cloud moved (note! This will become important later). But move she did and we piled into the helicopter. We all looked at each other, grins plastered on our face as the helicopter gently lifted off the tarmac, and the ground fell away. Water beaded and streaked across the windshield as we rose up up up and then the sun hit the side of our helicopter. As we flew toward Mitre Peak my eyes welled up. I think we were all a little teary.

Milford Helicopters landed on the footstool of Mitre Peak, we all jumped out of the helicopter with walkie talkies I hand, and watched as our helicopter took off and shrank into the distance. Then. Turned and took in the absolute incredible sunrise cloud inversion. S + S had a stunning cloud inversion during their formal ceremony in Washinging, so to have it *again?* Awestruck. We all looked at each other in the silence, laughing and hugging. The off-the-charts stoke was 100% shared by us all. We took our time taking it in, then settled in to taking some pics. S + S shared a first dance to Taylor Swifts Lover, we all cried, then had a dance party to The Man… on the tip of Mitre Peak in Fjiordland National park, at the bottom of the world.

But no New Zealand Heli-Wedding is complete without a bit of adventure. Mitre Peak is interesting because you can see the airport from where we were hanging out. So when we were good to go, we could just radio our pilot and he would come get us. But as luck would have it, as we had our fun another cloud rolled in and… settled on the peak. And remember the whole “the helicopter can’t land in a cloud thing?” Yeah.

So we wound up hanging out on that peak for an extra two hours, waiting for the clouds to clear. Sam had the quote of the day which was “This brings a new meaning to peak existence- we are on a peak, and we just exist here now!” But the clouds did eventually clear and we were retrieved by our helicopter. We did a flight over the sound before returning to the airport.

And ya’ll? The whole day was incredible. I will never, ever forget this New Zealand heli-wedding. S + S? Thank you for the trust and the incredible adventure.

Want to learn more about eloping in New Zealand? Check out my blog post on how to elope in New Zealand.

view packages + pricing

— Ryan + Styhiln

Ready to have your own adventure of a lifetime?
I'm Aimée Flynn, Southwest based adventure wedding and elopement photographer, mega nerd, former therapist, and taker of the epic pics. But don't think I'm here just to take pretty photos (though there will be pretty photos a-plenty) I’m here to guide you through every step of your elope elopement experience; I’m your location scouter, gatherer of all in info, formal wear wrangler, & hype committee. 

I’m also a storyteller. Your storyteller. And while I'm here for the epic, magazine-cover-worthy, totally bananas moments, I'm also here (and to be totally honest, live for) those goofy, silly, unexpected moments that adventure always seems to bring. I'm here to tell your story in the honest and epic fashion it deserves.
Hey friend, I'm so stoked  you're here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *