This insanely stunning Lake Erskine heli elopement with Victoria & Jossi Wells blew our socks off – simple, elegant romance amidst the beautiful Fiordlands, NZ. To be featured in the print issue #27 of Together Journal Magazine.
Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
Jossi – I am a professional skier, photographer & filmmaker from Wanaka NZ. I’ve spent the last 2 decades riding back to back winters competing & filmmaking in the mountains. When I’m not skiing you’ll find me on my skateboard or enjoying adventures via bicycle.
Victoria: I work in marketing in Wanaka. I love being outdoors at every opportunity. Whether it is skiing, mountaineering, mountain biking, rock climbing or spending time in the garden I love exploring my beautiful backyard and the endless adventures it provides.
How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
Jossi – We first met at our Church here in Wanaka. We followed up with a coffee date & from there on out Vic had me hook, line & sinker.
Victoria – I met Jossi about 8 months after moving to Wanaka from Colorado. Our eyes met across the room one day at our church. Eventually he asked me for a coffee. Jossi was so relaxed and sweet on that coffee date. His genuine smile had such a calming effect over me just as it does to this day.
When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
Jossi – We spent the initial 3 months building a solid friendship, climbing and skiing mountains together, meeting each other’s friends etc. After 3 months I asked Vic to be my girlfriend, after contacting her parents in Colorado for their permission first. I knew from early on that this was for real, so although not a proposal at the time, the intention was there from the outset.
Victoria: It’s funny to look back on but from the time I hugged him goodbye after that first coffee date, I had this funny feeling in me that the direction of my life had just changed forever. It was after Jossi joined me on a ski trip to Craigieburn that I knew he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
Jossi: I had just gotten back from a 3.5 month ski trip in the US & had spent time with Victoria’s family while over there. I had spoken to her father about asking his daughter’s hand in marriage & he gave me his blessing. I had a ring made for her while I was over there. So I spent 2 weeks in MIQ staring at this ring, It was hectic haha. Once home, I proposed on a ledge, at the top of a multi pitch rock climbing route in Mount Cook National Park. It was incredible. We definitely quadruple checked the rope system before abseiling down after the high we were on up there haha.
Victoria: Jossi was away for nearly four months to ski and work on a film project in the states. Because of COVID I wasn’t able to travel with him to finally meet my family together, so we navigated another season apart. When Jossi finally returned to New Zealand we went on a climbing trip at Mount Cook for his first weekend home. We were two pitches off the ground. Once I reached the top ledge, Jossi climbed up after me. He then grabbed both my hands and began the sweetest speech as his hands trembled. I didn’t realise what was happening until he dropped a knee and pulled out the ring. I have never been so surprised in my whole life. I’d no idea he was planning to propose anytime soon, which made it really special.
First look / Accomodation : Stoneridge Estate
Planning: Daisy & Moss Mountain Elopements
Videographer: Chris Maunsell
Flora: Orange Blossom Designs
Helicopter: Alpine Helicopters
Celebrant: Wayne Ward
Make Up: Annie Trengrove
Rings: Whitney Shelhamer | Perry Jewellers
Photography: Kate Alexandra