The beauty of our elopement was there was no theme. No time constraints, no schedule—just us, our love and all things spontaneous. We wanted our wedding to reflect our love and the incredible country we chose. Wild, unexpected, and unique. We got just that. This once-in-a-lifetime experience couldn’t have been more genuine and magical.

Lauren and Melissa traveled from Fort Worth, Texas, to elope in Auckland, New Zealand, after a 10-month-long engagement. They both proposed to each other, and Lauren proposed first. They exchanged vows on Piha Beach and their first dance was to “I Belong To You” by Brandi Carlile.

What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?

Lauren: Do whatever feels authentically you! Always remember, it’s your wedding day. Don’t do anything for anyone but you and your partner. You only get this time once, it goes by so quickly. Enjoy every second.

Melissa: Do not make it a priority to please everyone else. You and yours should always come first.

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Texas couple elopes to LGBTQ+ friendly New Zealand and their warm, moody beach wedding photos are to die for two brides white lace dress red hair black suit bow tie

Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding

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Photographer: Dawn Photo

Ceremony Venue: Auckland District Court

Reception Venue: Piha Beach

Attire: Madison JamesJ. Crew

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