A few months ago I got an email from Clémentine from France.
In broken english, she explained that her and her fiancé were coming to New Zealand in August, and had decided they wanted to marry here!
Their idea was to marry on one of our beautiful wild beaches, and that it would just be Clémentine, Boualem, a celebrant & me. I couldn’t think of anything more romantic than eloping to a foreign country, so I made up a little ‘one – hour – photography – elopement – special’, just for them.
We met at the gorgeous Kaimata Retreat at Papanui Inlet, bearing flowers, food and bubbles – and discussed the weather. We’d had a very rainy morning and there were clouds threatening to burst, but Clémentine & Boualem were intent that the beach wedding would go ahead! So off we went, down the dirt road to Allan’s Beach.
Clémentine chose the sensible option and wore her Chuck Taylors under her gown, and Boualem held her train as we walked through the windy sand dunes.
The ceremony was beautiful. Clémentine & Boualem had brought letters from their friends and family, wishing them well – and the celebrant read them aloud during the ceremony. I cried twice! I couldn’t understand a word of it, being in French – but it was so romantic! I’m a sucker for emotional weddings!
Clémentine & Boualem had brought sand from France, which they mixed with the sand from Allan’s beach in a bottle as part of the ceremony.
The rain held off through the ceremony and clouds started to gather as we walked back from the beach, the perfect moody backdrop to a beautiful day.
We topped off the afternoon with hot chocolate & cheese back at Kaimata, and Clémentine and Boualem lived happily ever after, taking in a few days of honeymoon before heading back to France!