A while back I posted some information about using the T.S.S. Earnslaw (the old steamship that sails the waters of Lake Wakatipu, A.K.A. The Lady of the Lake) as a wedding venue.Â Since then I have received an information pack from Real Journeys with prices and info on both the Earnslaw and Walter Peak Station (the old homestead and high country station that the Earnslaw sails to).
It is (ahem) rather a lot of money it turns out to hire the Earnslaw exclusively, but it is relatively affordable to pay on a per person basis to transport your guests on the Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station.Â So you could get the groom and guests to sail over on the Earnslaw (with drinks and canapes on board if you want), bring the bride in by chopper or charter vessel, and do the ceremony and the reception all at Walter Peak Station.Â And the whole thing would be perfect for a vintage (1910s I guess, as the Earnslaw turns 100 this year) themed wedding.
The other thing I can’t help but think is that if you’re paying for a chopper to fly the bride over to Walter Peak Station anyway why not make the most of the opportunity and maybe do some bridal heli photos en route before the ceremony?Â I don’t imagine it would cost much more to fly the bridal party to the Ledge on Cecil Peak and then on to Walter Peak Station than it would to do a direct flight. A Squirrel B2 chopper seats 6 plus the pilot.Â So you could fit the bride and groom, celebrant, photographer and two groomsmen/bridesmaids in one chopper load.Â (The celebrant could presumably return to Queenstown in the empty chopper when it flies back from Walter Peak).
That way you could get all or most of the bridal party photos out of the way before the wedding so that you can relax and enjoy the rest of the day with your wedding guests.Â It would also be a great way to get some beautiful heli location wedding location photos for not much more money.Â (I will contact one of the local chopper companies to get prices for both the direct flight to Walter Peak and also the Queenstown-Cecil Peak-Walter Peak option.Â I’ll post more info here when I have it).
The other option I guess would be to get married somewhere in Queenstown and then take a beautiful evening cruise on the Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station for the reception.Â Not a bad option either!Â Right, that’s me for now.Â I’ll post more info here (estimated chopper costs etc) here as and when I have it.