Wedding bells on the beach
Two love birds overcame the fuss, dramas and escalating costs associated with organising a wedding by eloping to Waiheke in a seaplane.
UK couple Lisa Anderson and Ross Cawood regularly visit New Zealand.
They were on Waiheke Island over the summer break, having a picnic at Man O' War Vineyard one day, when they spotted the new Auckland Seaplane service coming in.
Photographer Cathy Fali says the couple had been talking about the logistics of getting married and how they could bring together Ross's family from South Africa, Lisa's family from the UK, and their friends from New Zealand and the UK.
"But they saw the seaplane and had the idea to elope so they went back to Auckland to plan it. Two weeks later they flew back to Waiheke."
Lisa and Ross, who have now gone back to the UK, wanted to get married on Onetangi Beach but, because it was a windy day, the plane could not land.
"The celebrant, Julia Fuller, and I found a spot in Oneroa where they had never been," Cathy says.
"They loved it."
The January 7 ceremony involved just five people - the couple, the celebrant, the pilot, who doubled up as the videographer and groom's witness, and photographer, who was also the bride's witness.
"It was a really happy occasion," Cathy says.
"Everyone on the beach was watching but people respected their privacy. It was really cool."
And there are no elopement regrets for the newly weds.
Ross says: "Although our very special families were not there in person they were very much in our thoughts. We listened to video and voice messages from them all after the ceremony on the beach while signing the register.
"Steve the pilot, Julia the celebrant and Cath, our photographer, were just awesome and all went very much out of their way to make the wedding very special for us including the last-minute venue change to Oneroa."