Queenstown Elopement Heli Wedding Photographer クイーンズタウン結婚式 | Mariah, the bride, and her groom standing on top of a cliff overlooking lake Wanaka in an epic Queenstown setting.
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Cliff & Mariah | Queenstown Elopement Journey

Meeting Across Miles

In a world dominated by screens and social media, Cliff and Mariah’s love story began with a casual mention by a mutual friend and culminated into a beautiful Queenstown elopement. A simple “Merry Christmas” post in 2017 marked the turning point. Despite the distance—Cliff in the Philippines and Mariah in Norway—their connection deepened through shared goals and maturity. This is an elopement wedding story that will melt your hearts away!

From Airport to Dinner Date

Their first in-person meeting at the airport was nothing short of surreal. Cliff found Mariah even more stunning in person, while Mariah, expecting a taller Cliff, couldn’t help but notice his slim physique. Being stress from long travels and a late-night pizza dinner made for a slightly awkward but memorable first date. Eventually, this set the tone for the unique journey they were about to embark on.

Serious Commitments and Cross-Continental Bonds

Before their initial meeting in August 2018, both sensed a long-term connection through deep conversations about their future aspirations. Mariah altering her travel plans to align with Cliff’s schedule in 2018 and his month-long visit to Norway in 2019 solidified their commitment. With shared values and a willingness to relocate, they decided to build careers and start a family in Australia.

A Proposal, Patience, and Public Beaches

The engagement unfolded with Cliff’s patient planning and a humorous twist. Months of playfully hinting at a proposal in two years left Mariah unsuspecting. The picturesque Gold Coast setting was scrapped for a public beach proposal, followed by dinner with her family. The prolonged secrecy led to amusing family speculation about a potential rejection. This step paved the way for this Queenstown elopement.

Empathy, Emotion, and Shared Faith

What binds Cliff and Mariah is their shared empathy, emotional depth, and faith. They find solace in understanding others’ struggles, shedding tears at emotional moments, and cherishing their common Christian values. Mariah admires Cliff’s non-judgmental acceptance, while he appreciates her patience and intellectual challenges.

Shared Goals, Deep Talks, and a Successful Relationship

Their success as a couple stems from aligning their life goals—financial, career, spiritual—and working towards them daily. Prior to committing, they performed “background checks” to ensure compatibility. Keeping intimate details private and resolving issues together reinforces their bond.

Bringing Out the Best

Mariah’s supportive nature encourages Cliff to pursue his goals, while her acceptance and intellectual challenges bring out the best in her. For Mariah, Cliff’s patience and understanding create calmness, making him a pillar in her life.

A Future of Homeownership and Adventures

Their future plans involve owning a home and indulging in travel, with the dream of an early retirement. As Christians, marriage symbolizes their commitment blessed by God and a declaration to the world.

Unforgettable Moments and Humorous Anecdotes

From seeking permission for a trip in the Philippines to braving sickness in Barcelona, their journey is sprinkled with special moments. Jokes about Cliff’s height add a touch of humor, making their love story uniquely theirs.

The Queenstown Elopement

Their love culminated in a breathtaking Queenstown elopement, surrounded by the scenic beauty of New Zealand. With Andy Bell as the celebrant, Josh and Ayaka of Nomad Weddings capturing the moments, Ikuko Miyata enhancing their beauty, Steph of Orange Blossom Designs providing stunning flowers, and HeliWorks making it unforgettable from the skies, Cliff and Mariah celebrated the union of two souls deeply in love.

Getting ready

First Look

Ceremony at Mt Creighton

Elopement Photoshoot at Lake Luna