Ellen and Toby’s Spring New Zealand Wedding

by | Bride, Inspired Weddings, New Zealand,


Ellen & Toby

I can never quite get over New Zealand’s drop dead gorgeous landscapes, they always make the most stunning backdrop for a wedding! Ellen and Toby chose  Wanaka  for their gorgeous Spring inspired wedding and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Ellen tells their story “We met in the USA. Toby is Canadian, I am a Kiwi. We got together ultimately through mutual friends. However, we got serious quickly and we had to decide whether we a) moved to Canada (we couldn’t live in the States any longer, visas were expiring) b) moved to new Zealand or c) broke up…THANK GOD TOBY CHOSE ‘B’!!!!”

Photographs today are by Lavara O’Hanlon Photography who has captured today’s wedding (and it’s incredible location!) so beautifully!

Ellen chose a gown from Elite Bridal Wear.

Ellen and Toby were married at Holy Family Church, Wanaka . Ellen walked down the aisle to ‘Smash Into You’ by Jon Mclaughin.

One of Ellen’s fondest memories is at the end of the ceremony. “I remember my nieces giving me horse-shoes and love hearts at the end of the ceremony, I bawled my eyes out then. ”

Of their photographer, Ellen remarks “She is amazing….I’ve met Lavara a few times through a close mutual friend, so felt so comfortable with her being there on my special day. She was INCREDIBLE so professional and gave excellent direction – I have no doubt it must be hard with giddy brides and bridesmaids and a few tipsy groomsmen around! She is so special and so amazing at wedding photography. She captured so many special moments and the landscape shots…well, breathtaking!”

The couple held their wedding reception at The Venue. Ellen recalls “It was perfect. Brett and Maxine were amazing, the food was phenomenal. Perfect for everyone, a place to sit, a place to quietly mingle and  PLACE TO dance!!!!”  The wedding cake was made by Cakes of Wanaka. Ellen says ” THE CAKE! My cake was epic!”

For their first dance, Ellen recalls “I started dancing with my dad first…as it is Canadian tradition for the father to dance with the daughter first, and I guess ceremoniously hand me over to my husband! So the special song my father and I danced to was ‘My Wish’ by Rascall Flatts. Love it. Then Toby and I danced to his own song called ‘Save Me’ which he recorded for our proposal. Awesome.”

Congratulations Ellen and Toby! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Lavara O’Hanlon Photography  for sharing today’s photographs!


This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Cinematographer
  • Deborah Sim
  • Hairstylist
  • Flair Hairstyling 03 443 7727
  • Makeup Artist
  • Gena Konia
  • Ceremony Officiant
  • Father Paul Mahoney
  • Band
  • No Reason Band 03 443 4034
  • Flowers & Decor
  • Studio 54
  • Lavara says:
    June 22, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Thank you so much for the feature. The bride and groom are gorgeous and the scenery amazing.

  • Amy - Chic Vintage Brides says:
    June 22, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Yep, that’s why I moved to NZ! Wanaka was one of my favourite places when we visited….. so incredibly beautiful! Love the spring green on this wedding and M&M cake topper 🙂

  • Ann says:
    June 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    wow how can you beat that backdrop

  • Suzanne says:
    June 23, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Those backdrops look so beautiful they almost don’t look real! This makes me want to go to New Zealand EVEN MORE! Gorgeous feature!

  • Tamara Nicole says:
    June 24, 2012 at 9:16 am

    What a gorgeous place!!!! LOVE the shots:)

  • Lisa says:
    February 3, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Your wedding looks absolutely beautiful. My fiance & I are getting married in Queenstown in Sept this year. What month was your wedding & was it cold??

  • Veronica says:
    October 6, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Hi, care to share where are the exact locations of the photoshoot please? I’ll be heading to the vicinity of Tekapo 30Oct. Thanks a lot!



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