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After many years, we had finally found a place where we wanted to get married…. 

Whilst we were staying in Queenstown, we had visited Wanaka (about 40 miles away) and decided that we would like to marry in the Southern Alps. With the help of Minetta from the Wedding Company (www.theweddingcompany.co.nz), Vicki managed to arrange an amazing Kiwi style “Gretna Green” trip in a couple of weeks - It was all rather romantic eloping at our age…

We left El Vagabond in Waikawa Marina, left the boys in Kennels in Picton and drove to Wanaka where we had booked into the boutique Wanaka Alpine Lodge for 2 nights.

The only problematic detail of the whole event was Roger’s “stag night” as he was a long way from all his drinking buddies. On the strict understanding that she was called Bob for the evening and grinned when being slapped on the back and ‘man hugged’ Vicki was seconded for the job… 

The following day, the cracking chef did us proud with a gourmet breakfast before we went off on a morning hike up to the top of Mount Iron… as you do on your Wedding Day – The mountain resembles an iron (hence the name) and is a remnant of past glaciation.

As you can see, Vicki totally adopted the NZ  "Boots & Shorts" sense of fashion...

After this exertion, it was time for Vicki to go and have her hair and make-up done in Town and for the groom to go to the Pub with our host, Ian.

The weather was a bit iffy according to the forecasts which we had been studying avidly for the previous week but the day was gorgeous and, although the wind got up a bit, we didn’t have to change the time and at 5.45pm our Taxi arrived at the Lodge’s private heli-pad.

With a bit of help and one quick shove, we were safely aboard a 6 passenger Squirrel Helicopter. This took off with us, our Photographer and our Marriage Celebrant and headed over the top of Lake Wanaka to Coromandel Peak on Mt. Roy in the Mount Aspiring National Park for our wedding service.

{Coromandel Peak is an airy ridge covered in thick golden tussock offering spectacular panoramic views across the islands of Lake Wanaka up to the shimmering peak of Mt. Aspiring/Tititea (New Zealand’s highest mountain outside the Mount Cook region) as well as the surrounding mountains and glaciers.}

The service went very smoothly until we got to our vows and both of us promptly had a fit of the giggles. It was pretty much impossible to stand on the Mountain and be serious – particularly as the Celebrant (a lovely lady) looked a bit like a hobbit…


Luckily, we recovered sufficiently to complete the service with the Photographer and the Helicopter Pilot acting as our witnesses. It was a great touch signing the certificate on the helicopter nose but the groom wasn’t holding the paper firmly enough and disaster was only just averted by the quick moving Pilot managing to run to the edge of the cliff just before the Wedding Certificate was about to disappear….

Officially, Mr & Mrs Mortimer  - at last !!! Hopefully, Roger won’t forget any anniversaries as our actual Wedding Date was 11.12.13….

We spent another half hour or so ambling around the mountain whilst our Photographer took lots of beautiful photographs  - he was a real professional and had Vicki hitching up her dress trying to climb on to different peaks in her high heels. (bearing in mind these were her first heels in over 7 years)…

Then it was back in the Helicopter for the flight back home and more photographs...

This was followed by a very special Dinner at a Restaurant in Wanaka.

After waiting for so many years, it was a truly spectacular way to get married and, although we would have loved to have had our friends and family there with us, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.


The following day, we drove up to Rakaia Gorge where we had booked into another luxury venue for our 1 night honeymoon (www.quickenberry.co.nz

We had a lovely evening being totally spoilt with our own personal Chef cooking just for us. Robert has won various awards so we felt truly special having his talents all to ourselves.

We returned to Picton, collected the boys from the kennels and adjusted to life back on board. They were not overly impressed with us and we have promised them no more kennels for a while…

We did, however, have to explain to them what had been going on which gave Vicki another chance to prance around in her new frock...

So, life is back to normal. We have got used to eating boat grub again after the recent luxuries and are enjoying our Honeymoon sailing around a great cruising area on a rather nice yacht called “El Vagabond”…