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WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIOS OPEN DURING COVID-19 - Many couples don’t want to wait. They are planning to get married in the very near future, eloping, or rushing a small ceremony with their photographer, some close friends, and family but dispensing with or postponing the reception party. 

View WPJA photo stories from smaller weddings - WedElope | Choose love, not fear!

Christchurch, New Zealand wedding image of The bride still in the limo looking at the reflected groom

St. Christophers Church, Christchurch, New Zealand Elopement Photographer | The bride is still in the limo looking at the reflected groom
Image Location: 
St Christopher's church, Christchurch New Zealand

Leaving the church glowing with excitement to finally be married!

On March 23, 2020, at 1 pm, Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand would be moving into a level 4 lockdown situation to curb the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown was a strict shelter-in-place. No one was to leave their homes for any reason other than medical and food provisions. Driving out of the area was prohibited and set to continue for at least one month with extensions not only possible but likely.

Raoul and Ariana had their wedding date set for April 11 and had already changed plans multiple times to fit in with the changing COVID-19 regulations but this would make their wedding impossible. So, with less than 60 hours until the full lockdown came into effect, they decided to drop everything and just get married! The biggest hurdle was involving their extended family. Both the bride and groom's parents do not live locally and had to travel to Christchurch for the wedding. Raoul's parents and sister left in the middle of the night and drove for 7 hours overnight to arrive in Christchurch on the morning of March 24. 

Raoul and Ariana were married on March 24 at St. Christopher's Church in Christchurch with their wedding party, parents, and siblings in attendance. Ariana got ready at her bridesmaid's house and there wasn't a lot of time or space to prepare. The best light was in the laundry room! Regardless, we had a whole 'load' of fun.

Usually, they would have packed the church with guests but the mood was still joyful and emotional. With the bridal party standing at a one-meter distance from each other and hand sanitizer available for everyone it was a memorable occasion. They finished with a low key BBQ and plan to hold a larger celebration at a later date. Both extended families had to leave soon after for the long return trips to ensure that they would be able to reach their homes before the lockdown started on March 25.

The best part of this? Being able to spend the 2-month New Zealand lockdown together as husband and wife and a great story to tell any future grandkids.