He had her Dad's blessing, he had the ring, now it was just a matter of finding exactly the right time and place to ask Catherine to be his wife. Cue Christmas time in Edinburg, Scotland. Add one Castle and a giant fully lit Christmas tree and you have the perfect situation for a romantic proposal. There on one knee Colin declared his love, presented the ring and asked Catherine to marry him. She said yes.
On Saturday Catherine and Colin were married at the beautiful Wither Hills Winery here in Blenheim (which, incidentally the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge lunched at only a couple of days before). Lucky Wither Hills, to be hosting TWO gorgeous Catherines in only 48 hours!
Stunning flowers by Flowertime, I love the inclusion of the wee thistle. Hints of Scotland were all through the ceremony and celebration, it was fantastic to see it in the flowers as well.
Catherine got ready at her Grandmother's house, and I quickly spotted this gorgeous chair. Apparently it was Catherine's favourite chair when visiting her Grandma, she called it the 'Queen' chair. I loved the chair, I also loved the shoes (like, REALLY loved the shoes) so I figured they'd go together perfectly!
Meet little Eilidh, (pronounced 'Ai lee'). Another piece of Scotland, and OH MY GOODNESS what a cute little thing she is!
Catherine's Dad had taken the ladies here, there and everywhere in order to find the perfect wedding dress. However, he himself had not seen the chosen dress until this very moment. The room was full of emotion and the pride that Catherine's parents felt in their daughter was evident to all. These are the moments that fuel my love for weddings.
Catherine, you are beautiful inside and out!
Meanwhile, Colin's Mum helps him with the final touches of his traditional Scottish outfit.
While I knew there were more than a few styles of tartan, I had no idea just how varied they actually were! A quick Google search on tartan presented me with a never ending display of patterns, no wonder each family can have their own tartan!
Arriving at Wither Hills Winery.
Inside the Barrel Room was the perfect location for Colin and Catherine's ceremony, as the bad weather that Metservice has been promising for all this time actually decided to arrive!
As if being warm and dry wasn't enough, the Barrel Room also looks like THIS!
After shooting weddings for more than 6 years I thought I had come across just about every wedding reading possible. From Corinthians to The Owl And The Pussy Cat and everything in between. But Colin and Catherine presented me with 'The Love Monkey'. I think it was originally either a cartoon, or a book, it talks about a monkey called 'Love Monkey', who carried with him his perfect heart and set out across the world to find another Monkey to share it with....
"Standing before him, as radiant and as beautiful as the sunshine, was his Dream Monkey.
At first he cold not speak. But then, from somewhere deep inside himself, he found a voice.
"I have travelled the world over to find you, and to give you my heart," he said.
"But now that I am finally with you, I see how foolish I have been.
You are so beautiful, so perfect. And my heart that was once smooth, so bright and so new is now not something that I could even bring myself to show you," and he turned to go.
"Let me see it,? said Dream Monkey. She took his heart and held it up to the light.
"Nothing to me is more beautiful. Every fissure tells a story. Every blemish makes you more real. All my life I have been waiting for a heart like this; a heart that speaks the truth."
"Come here," she said. "I have something for you too."
In her hand was a tiny golden heart. It was as worn and as scratched as Love Monkey?s own
?and it was the most precious thing that he had ever seen.
Love Monkey put his arms around her and they held each other for a long, long time.
"I shall treasure this heart for as long as I live," said Dream Monkey, running her fingers over its ridged and dimpled surface.
Then they looked into each other?s eyes and, feeling the joy of truth in their souls for the first time, they began to laugh."
And then they were married!
And the guests, from the youngest to the oldest, all brought them the same genuine smiles and happiness that seemed to match their own.
Charlotte brought yet another dimension of cuteness to the day!
While the guests enjoyed each other's company, we took Colin and Catherine to Brayshaw Park.
Catherine, who is ever ready with a smile and a laugh, couldn't help but photobomb Colin's shot. I couldn't help but leave it in...
Catherine and Colin actually met while at University in Scotland, they were both studying maps. Clearly there is more to mapping than I had ever thought. In fact, Catherine has done so much studying that she is now a Doctor! Not the kind of Doctor who can help you in a medical emergency (unless it involves maps, perhaps) but a Doctor in the field of mapping. I think it might be kind of like Google Maps, but for the council, but don't quote me on that. All I know is that they are both incredibly smart, and should never get lost in a city.
There are those amazing shoes again...
And here I am, once again touting my love for Autumn. And you really can't blame me when you see colour like this, can you?
Sarah and Jordan came half way around the world to be bridesmaid and best man. Fabulous friends.
And then it was time to start the reception. Perfect opportunity to bring out the bagpipes!
Look at how she looks at her new husband! Not an ill word, or old story was spoken about Colin in any of the speeches, and Catherine told me later that was because he's genuinely such a nice guy, there was no dirt to pull up on him!
Catherine insisted that children were going to be welcomed into their wedding day, from getting ready to the dance floor, there was cuteness all around us!
Excuse me while I just pick up my melted heart off the floor. These two were adorable!
Colin and Catherine, my new BFFs, you are both super people and we wish you guys all the happiness in the world! Thanks for choosing us to capture your day and have a great trip back over to Scotland!
Instant friends. I'm not even talking about Catherine and Colin, I'm talking about US and Catherine and Colin. For starters Colin has the COOLEST Scottish accent and dimples, (DIMPLES!) Catherine is gorgeous and friendly and bubbly. They're both funny and smart. I'm sold. I'm totally signing up as their new BFF.
So on Saturday my new BFFs are getting married! We're going to be there and capture their amazing day! Woooohooo!
Colin first laid eyes on Catherine when they were both at University in Scotland. She had travelled over there to study, having no idea that her husband-to-be would be in the classroom when she arrived.
Scotland intrigues me, it seems like it would be such a magical place filled with gorgeous accents, kilts, Irn-Bru (a drink more popular than Coke apparently!) and a Loch Ness Monster (which Colin assures me is probably not real....) I would still love to go there just to make sure. The more interesting people I meet, the longer my bucket list becomes.
Oh Catherine, Saturday is going to be amazing and you are going to be a stunning bride!
While Catherine is smart (like, I'm not kidding here, REALLY smart, PHD and Masters kind of smart) she can not work out a way to win pea knuckle against Colin.
But she seems to have come to terms with that!
Colin and Catherine, I can't even tell you how excited I am about your wedding. Hurry up and come Saturday!!
Today's blog post starts with Alice in Wonderland fancying Postman Pat. Bet you didn't see that coming! Alice spotted Pat, and his cat (who was incidentally a soft toy on a lead) and thought he was really quite cute. Molly and Brock were at a dress up party, in their mid teens. Since then years have passed, Alice managed to win Pat over completely and on Saturday they became husband and wife.
Molly and Brock's wedding was intimate and lovely, surrounded by their closest friends and family they shared hugs and smiles and a dash of confetti. And we got to capture their memories.
Molly's wedding day started at her Mum's house, filled with a healthy bustle of activity and excitement. With her gorgeous dress tucked away in the cupboard with a 'NO PEEKING' sign on it, she could be sure that her walk down the aisle would be the first time anyone had a look at it!
You know you're marrying a great catch when you get a handmade album with some of your happiest memories in it, and blank pages waiting for the memories you're yet to make together.
Molly, you are utterly stunning!
Gorgeous flowers by Flowertime.
Meanwhile, Brock is getting ready at their house. Complete with a purple polka dotted bow tie. Yes siree, coolness right there.
Brock is the oldest of four brothers. I love this moment Paul's captured here between brothers.
All Summer long we've had our weddings threatened by rain, and not once has the rain really come. Molly and Brock's garden wedding was no exception. All week Metservice was messing with us, promising us rain (and then not rain, and then rain....) But come the wedding day it was beautiful and still and sunny!
Moments before his bride arrives and you just can't doubt Brock's excitement!
And there she is!
There ceremony was held in Burnlea Gardens, it was the perfect surroundings for such a perfect day.
"Molly, I take you to be my best friend, faithful partner, and my one true love. I can't promise you that I won't mess up or forget things but I can promise you that I will always put your happiness first to always be honest and support you in any way. To take you in my arms when you need to be held, listen when you need to talk, and appreciate how lucky I am to have you every day. You have helped me become the person that I am today and I could never thank you enough. Molly, I love you more than anything and I know we will have an amazing life together."
"....Brock, you are my sunshine, my wonderful, fabulous, gorgeous sunshine, and I promise more than anything, that I will spend the rest of my days simply trying to make you insanely happy as you make me. I love you."
And then they were married, and all rejoiced! And check out the seriously cute kiddies among the guests!
Time to play!
I know I say this every year, but I LOVE AUTUMN! If I could pick my favourite month to photograph in, I think it would be April. The quality of the light is soft, the colours are stunning, and twilight is nice and early which means we get to play during the best part of the day!
And when you have a couple this gorgeous, I'm in my happy place!
The fun thing about photographing somewhere new is that there's something different around every corner!
I like that I have the power to make people do silly things. I think I like that a little too much!
Molly and Brock hired Minis for their wedding cars. I think that's epically cool. My first car was a green Mini called Grumpy. This was back before Minis were cool. I missed being cool by only TWO DECADES. So so close.
I love a groom who is happy to pose with the bouquet.
Then, because Molly planned a brilliant wedding with a fabulous timeline, we had time to stop at Pollard Park on the way to the reception.
Molly loves trees, which is great because I also love trees. And Autumn. Win win!
It was time to head back to Mum's place for the reception dinner. It was intimate and cozy and friendly.
And there was confetti. I like confetti too!
Molly and Brock, thank you so much for having us share in your beautiful day. We wish you loads of love and happiness for years and years and years!
Meet Molly and Brock, young, fresh faced and thoroughly adorable. They met at school and Molly was quick to admit that she fancied him first. Clearly those strikingly beautiful eyes and amazing red hair won him over soon enough because come next week these two lovebirds will be married!
We started our session at Rarangi just as the beautiful light hit. Rarangi + Beautiful light = happy.
Molly has just recently started her job here in Blenheim as a nurse, and so this is the beautiful face you'll be seeing as you wake up from anaesthesia. Not a bad view!
My life is made that much easier with such a good looking trendy young couple. Not like myself. To prove this point I will admit to wearing my gym shirt inside out at Crossfit tonight. While I might want to think it's a new trend and I'm just that cool, that's just not how it is.
Molly and Brock, next week is going to be epic. I for one cannot WAIT to be part of your special day! See you soon!
Mel and Pete are the kind of couple you get along with instantly. Fun, friendly and full of smiles, their wedding day was a beautiful reflection of who they are. The sun shone on what was without doubt one of the happiest days of their lives, so far. Throw in a floatplane adventure and the fact that I discovered Marmite and I think you can see that this day was a special one indeed!
Mel and the girls got ready at her parents home in Picton. Because Mel and Pete wanted to spend as much time as possible with the guests they decided to have their portraits done before the ceremony. The catch was that the bridal party didn't know exactly where we were going, or how we were going to get there.
I absolutely adore old wedding photos!
Mel, you are absolutely stunning!
Before we headed off on our adventure we wanted a bit of a special place for Mel and Pete to see each other privately for the first time. Those first looks, whether they be at the ceremony or somewhere else, are always so special!
We asked about going inside the old Edwin Fox Museum which worked out beautifully!
And then it was time to set off on our adventure! Does anyone remember McGyver? The man who would singlehandedly save the world with a pocketknife, some wire a bit of gunpowder and a whole bunch of knowhow? Well I felt like we were about to embark on a McGyverish adventure! Thankfully there were no bad guys or explosives, as it was a wedding after all, but the floatplane was pretty epic.
The Sounds are very special to both Pete and Mel, so it made perfect sense to have their photos done there. We headed out to Ship's Cove, which is just about as far out as you can go before you're out in the open sea. It was a favourite with Captain Cook some two hundred odd years ago, which really added several extra coolness points.
Mel and Pete are absolutely gorgeous together!
Beautiful flowers by their Aunty Nilla who's come all the way from the UK!
While we played the rest of the bridal party were being picked up from Picton and were heading towards us. One of the girls had guessed that perhaps we were going to minigolf. Nope, not quite!
It's always a great idea to have a couple of strong men on hand to help the ladies!
And what gorgeous ladies they are!
Actually, the guys are not too bad themselves!
And then it was time to head back with the girls to get ready for the ceremony. I told you Mel was great fun!
McGyver moment, right there. I love it!
And then we headed back to do the final touch ups while the boys were being collected from Ship's Cove. Riley, Mel and Pete's adorable and much doted on little man, was just about to get into the cutest little suit you ever did see!
This was also the moment I discovered Marmite. Everybody grabbed a spot of lunch before we headed out the door and I was handed some Marmite on toast. Now, don't judge me for not realising Marmite is actually quite yummy, I had no idea. Maybe I had only previously tried vegemite, or maybe I had never had it on Vogel's toast. But this was the day my life changed forever.
The boys made it back to the ceremony and it was time to get things started!
Did you ever see a prouder Dad?
Or a more adoring bride?
Liz Anderson took a beautiful ceremony surrounded by Mel and Pete's friends and family.
Pete's wedding ring is special indeed! It is actually his Dad's and Grandad's wedding bands melted together and designed especially for Pete. More coolness points!
I think this might just be the photo of the day! Check out how absolutely gorgeous little Riley is!
And then, because we already had our portrait session done and dusted, we were able to go straight into the reception and join the guests!
I love the cake by Katherine Overend, I think that's actually Riley on the top there!
Mel and Pete, what a fantastic day full of adventure and fun! Thank you so much for including us, taking us in your floatplane and sharing your Marmite.
Ceremony Venue: Picton Top 10 Holiday Park
Reception Venue: Port Marlborough Pavilion, Picton
First Look Location: Edwin Fox Museum, Picton
Celebrant: Liz Anderson
Flowers: Aunty Nilla Hailes (UK)
Hair: Wendy Strack
Makeup: Heidi Rothwell
Cake: Katharine Overend
Floatplane: Picton Floatplane
Pete's Ring: GWM Jewellery
Music: Steve Wilkinson / Little T
Reception Extras: Marlborough Weddings & Events
Cara heard Bruce well before she first saw him. They were both working for the same company in a little town called London (that's in England) when Cara heard the distinct sound of a Kiwi accent. His voice, playful and teasing and coming closer. Then they met, two expat Kiwis and while it wasn't love at first sight, a friendship did slowly grow. Fast forward almost 7 years, and now entirely in love, they're at Mt Fuji in Japan. Bruce's work takes him all over the world, and on this occasion Cara went with him. While it was cold and muddy, their hearts were anything but. There, on Mt Fuji, Bruce asked Cara to be his wife. Cara, who had every intention of saying yes, insisted he get down a little lower on one knee. In the mud. And so he did. And she said yes. And last week they got married at the beautiful Timara Lodge here in Blenheim. And we were able to capture the whole day for them. And I was happy.
When Cara told me she was having a Jenny Packham dress I knew it was going to be phenomenal. I was right!
The girls got ready upstairs at Lake Timara Lodge and watched as guests arrived downstairs. There's always a special sense of excitement when you can secretly watch everything come together.
Gorgeous hair and makeup by Deirdre at Locks and Lashes.
Meanwhile Paul was with the boys and Bruce was as cool as a cucumber.
He also had a surprise up his sleeve. Well, actually, it was in his pocket. Cara had joked about having the third band that went with her set of gorgeous rings. Unbeknownst to her Bruce had it ready to surprise her with during the ceremony.
And then it was time!
Surrounded by friends and family that have travelled from all over the world, in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, Cara and Bruce promised the rest of their lives to each other.
Cara, you make the most beautiful bride!
And it is abundantly clear that Bruce is quite smitten with you!
And this was the moment that Bruce pulled out the extra wedding band. Priceless.
Well done my friend, very well done!
Bruce's cheeky comments were matched only by his groomsmen. He actually promised everyone an absolute grilling in his speech later in the night. While I was both a little nervous and excited for the speech, Bruce proved that he knows when to be naughty and when to be the perfect gentleman. His speech was perfection, with not a single grilling to be heard.
The bridesmaids were perfectly doting and thoroughly attentive to Cara. From touching up the lip gloss to arranging the dress whenever needed.
Deirdre's place out at Auntsfield Estate is so beautifully and ironically New Zealand that Cara and Bruce most definitely wanted to have some wedding photos done there.
Nina, could this be my favourite bouquet to date? I know it most certainly hit the spot for Cara as when she first saw it she had tears in her eyes. Totally and utterly splendid!
Bruce didn't ask for much, like most grooms he was content to do whatever the bride wanted. All he mentioned was getting some photos near a shed. I knew the perfect spot.
Looking pretty spiffy there Bruce!
Sometimes what is an absolutely stunning shot looking in one direction...
Is equally amazing, and entirely different, when you look from another direction!
While we had stolen away to go play at Auntsfield, the guests did their own playing at Timara.
Nothing like Giant Jenga to try your steady hands!
Erin, from Got It Covered in Nelson, ran the day with perfect control, ease and always a smile. Even when the timeline needed tweaking, everything ran as smooth as silk!
Then that beautiful time of day hit. You know, when the light is so dreamy and sweet you never want it to end?
During Cara's Dad's speech he shared how much Cara loved animals as a kid, having lived in various parts of the world she would befriend whatever animal was close by. Now Bruce and Cara have two dogs, and from stories I've heard I think that Cara is 'good cop' and Bruce is 'bad cop'. Apparently while the doggies know they are banned from the bed, they know that when Bruce heads off in the morning it's a free for all. It seems that the fur on his pillow gives them away every time.
Delicious looking cake by Mary Parker.
This is Paul's ring shot. If we have enough time up our sleeves we have a turn each at getting what we want for the ring shot. I couldn't decide whose I liked more, so I'm including them both. Mine managed to sneak in at the end of the post. Nothing like a bit of friendly competition!
Here are those cheeky doggies I told you about!
And then it was time for MR WHIPPY! Even a cold night couldn't stop pretty well every single person from heading out and enjoying the happiness that is Mr Whippy!
Roger Neame got everyone up and moving and thoroughly enjoying themselves!
Every Kiwi male was called up to peform the Haka. It was pretty darn hilarious!
And there you have it, the end of an absolutely magical wedding day. Thanks Cara and Bruce for having us, and we wish you both (and your doggies) many years of laughs and happiness.
Venue & Accommodation: Lake Timara Lodge
Celebrant: Ros Birnie
Onsite Planner: Erin, Got it Covered
Flowers: Nina, Pink Poppie Designer Florist
Hair & Makeup: Deirdre, Locks & Lashes
Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham
Veil Designer: Hannah Hough, United Kingdom
Evening Gown: Monique Lhuillier
Cake: Mary Parker
Catering: BV Gourmet
Other Accommodation: Olde Mill House B&B, Renwick
Bruce is cheeky, the kind of cheeky that keeps you wondering what he might say next. Cara says that even after all these years his naughty remarks still sometimes catch her off guard. But she wouldn't have it any other way. Cara is sweet as a parfait (and everybody loves parfait), she's friendly and bouncy and compliments Bruce just perfectly.
Just a couple of days before their amazing Timara Lodge wedding (seriously, that's worth coming back for!) we headed to Rarangi to get to know them a little bit, share some laughs and relax them in front of the camera.
It didn't take long to hit it off and we loved hearing their story (again, come back for the wedding blog for that one!)
Bruce and Cara, we loved getting to know you! Thanks for coming out to play! To everyone else, watch this space for one seriously amazing wedding!