Jessica Jones Photography :: Wedding Blog

Friday, 12 February, 2016
Posted by Jessica at 2:16 am

Caroline and Simon's story started in a bar in Scotland, over 5 years ago.  It was late at night, like, really late.  Caroline's friend told her she should go and dance with that tall Scotsman over there.  Fuelled with a bit of Dutch courage, she approached Simon, having no idea that the man in front of her was the very man she would be spending the rest of her life with.  Life is funny like that.  Sometimes the most seemingly insignificant moments can actually be life changing.

Simon was smitten pretty early on.  This Kiwi girl was smart and funny and her smile lit up his life.  Somehow, even though from opposite sides of the planet, Caroline and Simon had found their perfect match.  On Saturday they started their lives together as husband and wife, promising to spend every tomorrow loving each other and supporting the other's country's rugby team - well, maybe only sort of supporting the other's rugby team...

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Caroline and the girls got ready at Locks and Lashes.  They spent the entire morning being pampered and thoroughly loving every minute of it!

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Caroline's flowers were by Bronwyn Hayes.  They were beautiful and she loved them a whole lot.  So much, in fact, that she told me several times during the day how very much she adored the flowers.  I can't say I blame her, they were pretty stunning!

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This moment, right here, was one of Caroline's favourites of the day.  As her Dad came to pick her up to take her to her wedding, he had to do a double take.  Leaning forward, squinting and smiling broadly, he exclaimed just how VERY beautiful Caroline was. 

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He walked towards her and hugged her, smiling, he walked away, scratching his head.  He turned around again, leaned forward and laughed, exclaiming again about how very beautiful she looked.  Proudest Dad reaction.  Ever.

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And boy did she look beautiful.  She really, really did.  You see, I think Caroline is more used to spending time in the paddock with her beloved horses, than being shrouded with lace, makeup and flowers.  Perhaps after rocking the glamorous so well, we might see you in front of the camera more often, Caroline?!

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Meanwhile, Paul is with the boys getting ready at Caroline's Dad's farm where the wedding ceremony will be held.

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I love Simon.  Not only because he's a great guy, but also because I love listening to him speak.  Being Scottish means you have me hanging on every word. 

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I'm also loving the rehearsal of the moment Tom needs to be ready with the hanky.

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Simon's family travelled from Scotland, this meant Simon had his loved ones near, and I had more accents to listen out for!

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Another glorious sunny Marlborough day. 

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They could barely keep their eyes off each other!

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Caroline's Dad's property has just about every species of Blue Gum Tree out there.  And they are very cool indeed.  When we were doing a bit of a scout around the property, a week or so before the wedding, we spotted these trees and casually mentioned how they would be the PERFECT spot for a wedding ceremony. 

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Thanks to Jacqui Leslie who did a fabulous job, once again, of writing a beautiful ceremony for Caroline and Simon.

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Married!

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You could spend a fair bit of time looking at this image.  Caroline and Simon's guests played along beautifully!

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When I asked Caroline how married life was treating her a day or two after the wedding, she replied that "Married life is bloody brilliant. Absolutely bloody brilliant."  And you know what?  That sums Caroline up to a tee.  She's cute and fun and OH SO enthusiastic about being married to Simon!  

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Excuse me while I gush again about the Blue Gums.

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Caroline was keen to get some shots with their 'babies' before we headed to town for the reception. 

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How's this for a pretty epic family photo?

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"You're such a good boy, such a goooooood boy," Caroline was saying to her young horse, in loving and hushed tones.

Meanwhile, "You're not a good boy," is the conversation I heard going on between Simon and his baby. 

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The babies have been separated from each other.  I hadn't gotten around to asking why, but then noticed a bit of biting going on even over the electric wire (ahem, by the 'not a good boy' horse, no less!)

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And yet, only a matter of a minute or two later, they're both standing there, grooming each other like they've been BFFs forever!  I'll be the first to admit that I have NO idea about horsey behaviour at all!  Still, they made me giggle a lot.

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Leaving the babies to work out their differences, we headed to Allan Scott where the guests had just arrived and were getting started with their celebrations.

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"I promise not to laugh when Scotland lose the rugby or get cross when you fall off your bike

We will grow old together, and be more in love than we are today."  Caroline

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"I promise to love you unconditionally through all of our adventures in life together.

I promise to always listen to your pony stories and happily support the All Blacks"  Simon

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Let the laughter and speeches begin!

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I loved the toast for the youngest and oldest attending the wedding.  Caroline's Nana had just turned 90 only days before the wedding, and found herself somewhat of a reluctant VIP!

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Caroline and Simon, you guys are great.  Thanks for your unending enthusiasm, and outright happiness.  Thanks for agreeing to sit on the ground in your kilt Simon, even though it proved rather challenging!  Thanks Caroline for really revelling in every single happy moment.  We were over the moon to be part of your day!



Vendor Shoutout:

Celebrant: Jacqui Leslie

Flowers: Bronwyn Hayes

Hair & Makeup: Locks & Lashes

Dress: Essence of Australia

Kilt: Haddo Highland Wear

Cake: Sweet Creations

Reception & Catering: Allan Scott

Music: A Minor Thing

Leave a comment for: Caroline and Simon - Married!

Wednesday, 10 February, 2016
Posted by Jessica at 1:15 am

It's awkward to sneak a box containing an engagement ring into a casual walk at the beach.  Unless you wear a jacket.  But then it's also awkward to explain why you're wearing a jacket on your walk, on a warm day.  That's ok, because it didn't take long for Tom to get on one knee, pull out the box and declare his wish to spend the rest of his life with Clare.  Without hesitation Clare admitted she too was keen to marry Tom, and so the plans for this amazing wedding were underway!

We already knew Tom, as he had been best man at Kevin and Brooke's wedding a few years back.  It's always a pretty big compliment for people to willingly put themselves in front of your camera a second time, especially for their wedding!  And what a spectacular day it was!  Woodend Garden put on a feast of visual pleasantness, friends and family smiled and hugged like there was no tomorrow and Tom and Clare got thoroughly married. 

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Speaking of high compliments, it's hard to find a statement of love stronger than this one.

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The girls got ready at Marlborough Vintners Hotel, where they would later have the reception.  Clare was determined that she and the girls would be comfortable during the day, and so stuck to flat shoes from the start.  This would be a decision that would be popular later, especially when we got to the riverbank!  Clare is one smart woman!

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Clare not only makes for a BEAUTIFUL bride, but she's also a real sweetheart.    Lucky Tom, indeed!

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Meanwhile, Paul was with the boys while they got ready.  And Daisy.  Daisy has a certain presence about her, sweet as honey, but also very determined to have the ball thrown for her.  Thankyouverymuch.

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The boys will often go to the ceremony location well before the guests arrive, in order to welcome everyone.

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And the steady stream of friends and family arrive.

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Some of Clare's family came all the way from the UK.  And they brought their kids.  Very, VERY cute kids.

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This is Mabel.  Mabel didn't have to say a word, but with that face, and that hair, she thoroughly stole the show.

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Loving the knitted slippers.

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And then they arrived.  And if you're looking to arrive in the height of coolness, look no further than an old VW.

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The thing I love about adding little people to the bridal party line-up, is their complete and utter unpredictability.  I think Mabel felt it was a waste of perfectly good flower petals to just go throwing them willy nilly all over the grass like that.  So it makes sense to sit down, right there, in the grass, during the processional, and pick them up again. 

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This did mean that there was loads of time for us to get plenty of processional images.  Good thing the song was plenty long enough.

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Tom and Clare thoroughly adore each other.  Even a blind man could see it.  In those little in-between moments when they weren't expected to be 'romantic', you'd spot Tom sneaking a kiss, or a 'I'm going to be spending the rest of my life with you' kind of smile.  Kind of like this one.

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Watching the guests at a wedding is often just as magical as the couple themselves.

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I loved Clare's choice of colour palate!  The blues and the pinks were just divine!

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The bridesmaids were of the highest calibre, I have to say.  Never afraid to just jump in and help at any moment.  I told them many times that they did good bridesmaiding.  Great bridesmaiding, in fact.

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Don't tell the florist about this one, ok?  This one was totally the boys' idea.  Just sayin'.

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"You can't sit with us" faces.   

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"You can sit with us" faces.  (they assured me that I could, in fact, sit with them whenever I wanted)

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This is when we spotted this statue in the gardens, and I told Tom and Clare to go stand there and blend in, so we can't tell which one is the statue.  (just so you know, the actual statue is the one in the middle)

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I'm not sure I've ever seen a windscreen that opens in the front like this.  I remember when I was a child, and we owned a combi similar to this, and the ventilation was terrible.  It was hot.  No air conditioning.  And most definitely NOT a cool kid vehicle, way back in the day.  I wonder though, if we just had a windscreen to open like this one, would my memories be more favourable?  Or would we have just been attacked by a whoooooole lot of fast moving bugs?

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It was not only the bridesmaids that took their duties seriously, the groomsmen also did good groomsmaning.

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Paul spotted this field just before the riverbank and was super keen to go explore. 

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This spot was epic, for sure!

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And Clare and Tom rocked it in an epic manner.

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Clare was even mostly fine about the bugs that kept crawling into the fabric of her dress.  There was a decent collection throughout the day.  I wonder if instead of shooing them out, we should have just named them and kept them as pets?

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And then onto MVH where we were reunited with the wedding guests who were ready to party the night away.

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We've done a couple hundred wedding cakes now, but this would have to be the first time anyone has ever taken to their cake with a hammer.  And then hit it so hard the top later explodes into a delicious rainbow of M&Ms. 

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Ahem.  Onto the floor.  Best cake story ever.

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You don't have to have a prepared dance, if you're not that way inclined.  Just look lovingly at each other and sway.  Honestly.  The entire room will melt. 

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As we were about to say our goodbyes, we had already kind of decided not to drag Tom and Clare out of their reception (the light was a bit average, and we'd already done LOADS of photos of them) then the sky just started glowing.  All other plans went out the door as I made a bee line for Clare, and begged to get them outside, JUST ONE MORE TIME.  I think it was a good call.

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Tom and Clare, you guys rocked your wedding day.  The way you looked at each other, the smiles, the fun and just genuine gosh-darn niceness of you guys made us feel warm and happy.  Thank you for sharing your day.  Enjoy your life together!



Vendor Shoutout:

Ceremony Venue: Woodend Gardens

Reception Venue: MVH

Celebrant: Prue Muschamp

Flowers: The Flower Box

Hair: Rachel Gibbons

Makeup: Monique, X'foliate Beauty Salon

Cake: Debbie Giles

Music: Acoustic Boomtown

Leave a comment for: Clare and Tom - Married!

Wednesday, 03 February, 2016
Posted by Jessica at 6:33 pm

Sarah made the first move.  They both readily admit it.  You see, Sarah and Nick had already been friends for quite some time.  Just friends.  Until that one day in the car when Nick was resting his hand on the gear stick, and Sarah reached over and put her hand on top of his.   Nick's eyes widened.  It was done.  Move made.  Without that first small but significant move that changed their relationship, perhaps you wouldn't be sitting in your seat right now, looking at their wedding photos.  That one simple move changed things, and now we all get to luxuriate in, dote on, and thoroughly adore every detail of their amazing day.  On behalf of wedding lovers worldwide, I thank you Sarah.  And judging by Nick's face all day long on Saturday, Nick thanks you also.

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It was always going to be an amazing day, there was never any doubt about that, I loved Sarah and Nick from the first time we met.  However, could I have anticipated the love, laughter, tears and easy peasy light?  No.  No, I couldn't. 

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Sarah and Nick made full use of The Old Barn.  Getting ready there, having the ceremony and reception all in one place meant that things stayed super chilled.

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Amazing airbrush makeup done by Sarah East and flawless hair by Rachel Gibbons.

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I can't even tell you how many pictures of this little girl I'm NOT sharing, because this preview would be over run by her cuteness.  Issie stole the show with her beautiful eyes, and her princess/flower-girl aura.

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The veil.  Oh the veil.  Now, you guys know I love veils, because when else in life can you legitimately wear a veil?  This one is beautiful AND special.  Scroll on, I'll tell you all about it a little later.

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Sarah you're beautiful regardless, but on this, your wedding day, you became somewhat of an epic-beauty.

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So rewind an hour or two, and Paul is with the boys while they get ready.  Note the plane cufflinks.  Perfectly apt as Nick is an International Pilot.  More cool points, right there.

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Even though I wasn't there to take this photo, I still want to take some sort of credit for it because it's really rather adorable!

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In order to keep the wedding flowing with the guests, and not to have to leave them after the ceremony, Nick and Sarah decided to do their photos first.

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But just because you get to see your bride before the ceremony, doesn't mean you get out of the nervous wait.

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We popped across the road to The Pepper Tree, where the beautiful gardens and amazing house fit Sarah and Nick's theme just perfectly!

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This was the moment I told them to be scared of the pretend mouse.  I'm not exactly sure what it was they were imagining, to be honest!

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Ok, so here's the thing.  Someone mentioned to me about having your wedding portraits done before the ceremony, and not wearing your wedding ring.  Yeah, I suppose that's somewhat untraditional.  But, if we're splitting hairs here, being chased by a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex on your wedding day could also be considered unconventional.  But sometimes these things have to be done.  If I'm being honest here, I would have to admit that I had zero to do with this image.  It was Nick that was keen to be chased by a T-Rex, and Paul that brought it all about.

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Just to prove, though, that I can leave the boys with Paul and actually get a decent serious guy shot.

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So check out those incredible flowers by Rock 'n' Rosie down in Kaikoura.  Show stopping, that's for sure!

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There was much to love about The Pepper Tree.  Not the least of which are the doves checking us out.

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Just in case you've missed the bouquet thus far....

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Ok, so it's time for the story of the veil.  It's a goodie.

So Nick's Great Grandmother was getting married, (way back in the day, obviously), and her Aunty didn't have money to buy an amazing wedding gift.  Instead, she went into an Irish Convent and was taught by the nuns now to stitch an amazing lace veil.  So she did just that.  Little did she know that 108 years later, generations on, Sarah and Nick would be enjoying that very same veil.  Pretty cool, ey?

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Time was marching on, and having had a sufficient play at The Pepper Tree, we dashed back over the road before most of the guests arrived for the wedding.

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We were so grateful for the overcast day, sometimes January can be a bit warm and when you're all sitting outside, well, clouds are nice.  Not to worry though, Sarah had a bucket of parasols at the ready for guests in case it was hot!  See, she thought of everything!

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We love having Emily with us at ceremonies!  It means we can get that third, and sometimes most interesting, angle.

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We had planned to sneak Sarah and Nick outside during the beautiful late evening light, however knowing that we weren't in for spectacular skies later, we stole them out a bit earlier and took five minutes in the vineyard.

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I know that I seem excited about every wedding, and you must wonder if I'm actually, truly, that happy to be part of them.  Well, I guess I could explain it like this.  You know when you have a baby, and that baby is absolutely the cutest baby in the world?  At that moment, there isn't another baby as cute as this one.  You'd even put money on it.  You actually feel sorry for other parents whose babies are not like yours.  Then you're going to have another baby, and you worry that somehow this new baby won't be as cute.  But somehow it is.  Your heart just grows.  I think that's how it is with weddings.  Sure, every wedding comes with challenges (just like babies), and I don't want to sound disingenuous.  However we do truly throw ourselves into the lives of our couples for the time we are with them. So, yes, every wedding is beautiful.  Different, challenging, emotional, stunning.  We are privileged to be part of them.

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Back inside The Old Barn and it was time for dinner and speeches.  As if I didn't already like Sarah and Nick enough, the speeches had me just that little bit more besotted.

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Every detail was thought of, right down to the specially brewed and themed beer!

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Then, out of the blue, Nick and his boys broke out into song for Sarah.  Win.

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Nick and Sarah, you stole our hearts when we first met you.  Being part of your special day with your families was a real treat, and we thank you for your warmth, and for being so gosh-darn-good at putting on a wedding.



Vendor Shoutout:

Venue: The Old Barn

Portrait Venue: The Pepper Tree

Celebrant: Julie Marshall

Flowers: Rock 'n' Rosie

Hair: Rachel Gibbons

Makeup: Aria Beauty by Sarah

Cake: Granny's Sweet Tooth

Catering: The Quest Catering Company

Music: Anneka Waters

Hire for Wedding Styling: Cressy Lane (Christchurch)

Leave a comment for: Sarah and Nick - Married

Thursday, 21 January, 2016
Posted by Jessica at 4:50 am

They knew each other as kids, but lost touch over the years as their families lived in different countries.  Fast forward a fair few years.  Cue Facebook.  Friendship was reinstated and soon romance blossomed.  Oh Facebook, you know we have a swag of romances to thank you for so far, not the least of which is Danielle and Caleb's.  

Caleb's family has been special to us for quite some time now.  Here comes the part that makes me officially old.  Caleb and his siblings are friends with my kids, and have been regulars at our house for several years.  There.  I said it.  I'm old enough to be Caleb's Mum.  I guess this day was going to come at some stage.  Well, I couldn't think of a more wonderful couple for me to feel old about.

We haven't known Dani quite as long, but her soft nature and her pretty smile has sure been a welcome addition to every get together.  Dani and Caleb were married at Pollard Park on Sunday, surrounded by the big beautiful trees and loved ones who did a lot of smiling and hugging.  It was truly beautiful.

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Dani and the girls got ready right here at our place, which made this feel even more like a family wedding!  Georgia, one of our very talented daughters, was in charge of doing everyone's hair. 

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To say that Dani is simply pretty would be like saying the sun is fairly warm.  Somehow, it's just not enough.  She lights up a room just by walking into it.  Think young Katie Holmes, mixed with Snow White, and you're kind of, sort of, most of the way there. 

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Megan Thompson, another young friend, made her debut as the wedding makeup artist.  I have to say, between her and Georgia, the beauty department was well and truly looked after!  

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Oh, and those blooms there?  Well that's 100% Pink Poppie goodness.  Nina, you totally make my world go round.

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Dani and Caleb had planned their ceremony for later in the day, which meant that there was plenty of time to do a first look and bridal party portraits before the ceremony!

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I told them to look at me like I was the cutest little baby ever.  I'm not convinced they thought I was.

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Here's a little behind the scenes look at how we get this certain look.  Emily knows how to rock the veil draping, while staying out of the shot entirely.  It's one of her many hidden talents, and why we keep her around.

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Oh, and she also has 'awkward third wheel' skills. 

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This day was very much about relationships.  Not only Dani and Caleb's, but also their families.  This is Dani's sister Hannah.  Nearly two years apart and they've spent pretty much their entire lives together sharing adventures.  Sisters are good like that.

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And so here we find ourselves in Pollard Park, where very soon the two will become husband and wife, and their new adventure begins!

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Caleb's Grandad was a very special last minute guest, who delighted everyone by making the trip down from the North Island to be at the wedding.

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This is the moment the two Dads came to pray for the young couple.  Happy, heart melting moment, right there.

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And just like that, they have become Mr and Mrs Bryant!

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And this is where the payoff for the pre-ceremony and first look photos all come about!  No need to whip these guys away from their guests, no siree, we head straight into the reception.

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Pretty well the entire wedding was planned and executed by family, and the cake?  Well that was entirely Caleb's doing.  That is one talented young man right there!

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Dani and Caleb, welcome to married life.  Thank you for planning such a gorgeous day, and letting us be part of it.  It's been a joy to watch you grow together, and we look forward to sharing the next adventures with you as your lives together unfold.



Vendor Shoutout:

Celebrant: Tony Ross

Flowers: Nina, Pink Poppie Designer Florist

Hair: Georgia Jones

Makeup: Megan Thompson

Ceremony Location: Pollard Park
Leave a comment for: Danielle and Caleb - Married

Wednesday, 20 January, 2016
Posted by Jessica at 1:42 am

This is the love story of a girl called Jess and a boy called Craig.  Two people madly in love.  Two people who were perfect for each other from the moment they met.  You see, Craig is a builder and house removalist, and Jess is a gibstopper.  It was just meant to be.  She is the icing to his cake, the sunshine to his fishing and the chiller for his beer - metaphorically speaking, of course.  Craig adores Jess.  You can just tell in the way he looks at her, the way he takes her hand and the way he gets lost in her smile. 

They promised their lives to each other on Saturday.  Their wedding was full of huge smiles, sunshine (and more sunshine), haybales, sunflowers and friends and family who came from far and wide to this amazing farm to celebrate the marriage of Jess and Craig.  And celebrate they did.

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Jess' day started with her 'something blue'.  Her toenails, which matched the old carpet like it was designed to be photographed together. 

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Saturday the 16th of January.  We always have a bit of a booking rush on dates for January and February every year.  It's just how it is, people love to get married in Summer, it seems.  What made this date a bit interesting for us is that 3 Jessicas enquired for the same date.  Curious. 

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The cars were quite a feature at this wedding.  As were the kids.  Oh boy, wait until you see them!

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Super awesome wedding shoes, right?!

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Everybody needs a super supportive gaggle of bridesmaids when you're wanting to get into your wedding dress!

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Just look at how stunning a bride Jess is!

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A mother and daughter photo on Mum's Ducati.  Awesome points.  Right there.

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Just in case you're wondering, yes, this is very softly focussed.  And that's what I like about this image.  So don't worry about getting your spectacles checked.

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I love having Emily with me when we're with the girls getting ready.  She has a real way with little ones.  It's always a treat downloading her images and finding little gems like this.

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Meanwhile, Paul is hanging with the boys as they get themselves, and the little people, ready for the wedding.

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Jess and Craig have two little boys, Keagan and Reilly.  Two little boys, full of beans and general boyishness - just as you'd expect.  You'll be seeing quite a bit of them during this post, because, well, it was their day too.  Plus they are cute.  Really, really cute.

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This is Baxter, Jess and Craig's dog.  Paul told me he's very keen on having his ball thrown for him, and somewhat relentless about asking for another turn.

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Waiting for the bride to arrive.  The official gate opener.

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Jess' boys.

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Every wedding is different.  Although what happens at weddings generally follows the same patterns, many of the same promises are made and people laugh, cry and party. Still, every wedding comes with it's own vibe.  Unique to each couple, and each family.  Jess and Craig's wedding venue, Jess' Dad's farm, couldn't have been more perfect for their vibe.  Casual, fun and entirely unpretentious.

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Look at how they look at one another!

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When you have kids you can forget about your personal space bubble. 

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One great thing about having your wedding on a farm is that sometimes you get uninvited guests.  While this dragonfly looks like a decorative fashion enhancement, it was 100% real.

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We popped away to a friend's property nearby to make the most of the beautiful native trees.

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Before heading back to the farm to rejoin the party, we made a quick detour to Rabbit Island. 

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That moment when you tell the bridal party to dance. 

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Jess put truckloads of love and energy into the decorations and marquee set up.  Total win, right there!

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Craig and Jess' wedding proves just how much their friends and family adore them.  Almost every aspect of the wedding was done by loved ones.  From the cars to the food and the flowers.  So special.

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Jess has to be one of the most easy going and casual brides we've had.  Friendly, fun and not even a little bit worried about her white dress.

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Craig is handsome, rugged and thoroughly cool.  Cool without trying to be, if you know what I mean.  It's the kind of cool the city folk are trying to attain to.  I'm not even entirely sure he realises it, he just carries on doing man stuff - like building and moving houses.

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The good thing about having a wedding on the farm is that kids find plenty to do.  Sure, they're not going to go home clean, but they may have caught an eel or built a dam in the creek.

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Jess and Craig, thank you for all the laughs.  Thank you for making us feel so welcome and for putting on such a splendid day! 



Vendor Shoutout:

Celebrant: Cathy Knight

Flowers: Kate Bradley

Hair: Tonic (Richmond)

Makeup: Aimee

Cake: Chantal Gibson

Catering & Behind the Scenes: Both Families - too many to name!

Flower Girls Skirts and Adjusting Bridesmaid Dresses: Nana

Ceremony Music: Ingrid Nurse

DJ: Sarah, Leading Entertainment (Nelson)

Leave a comment for: Jess and Craig - Married, Nelson

Thursday, 14 January, 2016
Posted by Jessica at 4:57 am

I adore you.  Adore.  It somehow seems more than to simply love someone.  Perhaps that's why Mitch uses that phrase to tell Elle how he feels about her.  I adore you.  So special, so perfect, that Elle even had it tattooed on her arm to remind herself of the fact.

Elle and Mitch's wedding day was every bit as amazing as we had expected.  Full of sunshine and smiles, they promised to be together for the rest of their lives.  And we got to capture it.  Lucky us!  

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The dress remained a secret, not only from Mitch, but also to friends, family and the bridesmaids!  It's been months of guessing for everyone, and during the hours before the wedding, it remained safely hidden in Mum and Dad's room.  Until the big reveal.

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Being a hair and makeup artist herself, Elle was not short of talented friends to complete the perfect bridal look.

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Some dates become special when you attach something epic like a wedding to it.  Some dates become even MORE epic then they already are.  Saturday was Elle's birthday as well as her wedding day!  Check out the amazing ring given to Elle by her parents. 

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Oh, and just in case you were wondering - there are some VERY cute small people at this wedding.

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Small people who know exactly what to do when they see a camera!

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And who take their job as flower girls, very, very seriously.  Turns out you can never rehearse walking down the aisle too many times.

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Seriously beautiful.

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And then it was time for the big reveal.  I think it's fair to say that the bridesmaids approve!

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Meanwhile, Paul went and found the boys as they were finishing up getting ready.

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Sometimes, on hot days, you need to get as close to the cool as possible!

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The wedding was held at the beautiful Woodend Gardens. 

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Big breath.  One little foot in front of the other.  This is where all of those practise runs pay off.

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If ever there was a groom that wholeheartedly approved of his bride, it would be this one. 

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"Today I have loved you for 1648 days."  Elle.

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And then they were married!

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This was the moment that everyone gathered around Elle and sang Happy Birthday.  Good thing it actually was her birthday, otherwise this entire moment would have been somewhat awkward!

Thinking about having your anniversary and your birthday on the same day means that your husband only has one date to remember, which makes things a fair bit easier for him.  However, if he forgets that one date, things could get so much harder, very very quickly.

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Summer weddings can be warm.  Very warm.  And bright.  Not to worry though, open shade to the rescue!

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The combination of open shade and groovy dancing makes good photos, right?

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Nina from Pink Poppie has been talking about this wedding for months.  Before I had even met Elle and Mitch, Nina was telling me all about how gorgeous they were and what a BEAUTIFUL day it was going to be. 

Having been given somewhat free reign on the bouquets, Nina kept them unstructured and natural with soft pretty colours.  To be honest, I've never met a Pink Poppie bouquet that I haven't liked...

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Is it just me, or does anyone else think that this is a rather above average looking bridal party?

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Oh, and then there was that moment when the boys thought this might be a fun idea.

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I think they only played that game once.

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Mitch moved to Blenheim, at about the age when it's actually more normal for young attractive fellows to move OUT of Blenheim (so I'm told by some very reliable sources!)  Elle heard about Mitch before she ever met him, and was pretty keen to meet him.  She also admits that she liked Mitch first.  But exactly who made the first move was entirely open to debate.  Not to worry though, the pretty girl certainly got the guy!  See?  Moving to Blenheim can be a very, VERY good idea!

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I can't tell you why, exactly, but this particular image was very high on the 'must haves' of the day for certain members of the bridal party.  It's not every day you get to ride on a concrete lion, is it?

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A little stop at the riverbank, where more trees provided us with our much loved open shade!

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Elle didn't have a veil, so the next best thing was her overskirt.  Turns out it worked just as well!

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Ahhhh the old Montana/Brancot building!  How I've longed to do another wedding here! 

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And inside looks soooooooo pretty!  Especially when Nina has her way!

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Check out this unique 'guest book', created by Elle's brother and sister-in-law.  Very, very cool indeed!

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When Nana asks for a picture of her five grandchildren, it seems only fair that she is part of that photo - don't you think?

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Elle and Mitch, your day was as stunning as the two of you.  Full of so many laughs and lovely people.  Thank you for letting us be part of it!



Vendor Shoutout:

Ceremony Venue: Woodend Gardens

Flowers: Nina, Pink Poppie Designer Florist

Makeup: Farnoosh Zehtab

Celebrant: Coralie Holdaway

Cake: Debbie Giles

Photobooth: The Lucky Booth

Dress: Karen Willis Holmes

Catering: BV Gourmet

Music: Sonic Sounds

Leave a comment for: Elle and Mitchell – Married

Tuesday, 12 January, 2016
Posted by Jessica at 9:46 pm

I called it a couple crush. I know it sounds weird, and honestly, I've photographed hundreds of couples and I never knew that such a thing even existed. That was until last week. I knew I liked Sarah and Anton, it's not hard to like them. Let's be honest. But I didn't realise that as the day progressed, I'd fall in love with them. It wasn't just me being a weirdo either (although I'm used to that) I saw some staff at Monaco shedding a tear at touching moments during the day. Even the band, who were only there from the speeches onwards, commented on them. So you know I'm not making this up. It's a real thing. If ever there was reason to have a couple crush, Sarah and Anton are that reason.

Sure, they're lovely to look at.  That's obvious.  But what I can't possibly convey enough with these images (but OH how I try!) is how stunning they are on the inside.  The hugs were frequent, and generous.  The smiles, well, they were for everyone.  The speeches stopped everyone in their tracks.  And the love.  Well, that's unstoppable.  Welcome to Sarah and Anton's wedding day.  Come on in, grab a cup of tea, sit down, and let me tell you all about it.

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The day started similar to other days, but somehow this one had an air of special about it.  It was good to see the sun, as it had been threatening us with wedding-hazard-weather all week.  

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After hair and makeup was all done and dusted, tucked away in room 203, the girls finished the getting ready process!

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If you're looking for a spiffy place to get married in Nelson, take a serious peek at Monaco Resort.  Everything you could possibly need, right there, at your fingertips.  We love weddings at Monaco, there's a real sense of excitement when both the bride and groom are getting ready at the same complex. 

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That moment before you see your daughter as a bride.  Win.

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Sarah even made the jewellery for her bridesmaids gifts!  How awesome is that!

Stunning flowers by Willow Floral Design.

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Great Grandma's pearl ring.

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Meanwhile, Paul has found the boys.

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The groomsmen were actually a pretty good bunch.  Sure there was the odd naughty one (not mentioning any names of course), but they won me over well and truly when I saw the card and bottle of bubbles they sent to the bridesmaid's room. 

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I can't say much for their skills at applying sunscreen, though...

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Oh and while we're on presents, check out the amazing photo book that Sarah made for Anton.  Made up entirely of photos of the two of them, and the adventures they've already had together.

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Ceremony time.

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You could be excused for wondering why there would be an old brick on the signing table at the ceremony.  Well, let me tell you, this brick holds a whole lot of special memories.  It is a brick from Sarah's family church, demolished after the Christchurch earthquakes.

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I've seen hundreds of grooms.  Anton is the best hugger.  Ever.

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Sarah and Anton were friends long before they were anything more serious.  Having met as students at Model United Nations, learning all about diplomacy, international relations and public speaking.  Years later they were both chosen to lead a team of teenagers overseas to Europe and Asia, again with Model United Nations.  It was during this trip that they began to see each other in a different light.  Soon love blossomed.

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The wind was a bit of a bother, to be honest.  Good thing when friends have your back though!

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This was the kind of bridal party every couple need for their photos.  Happy to follow directions.  Happy to offer their own ideas.  Like this rugby photo.  I think there's some kind of rule that rugby photos must be serious?  I can't be sure, having never featured in one myself.

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This is the girl's 'you can't sit with us' faces.  I don't know about you, but when I look at this, I most definitely don't want to sit with them anymore.

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But, in all reality, they weren't at all too-cool-for-school.  This here was Paul's attempt at getting a decent photo of the boys.  It's almost right.  Other than a photobomber or two.

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Sarah - you are beautiful, even when you try to stare me down, all dramatic-like. 

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When Anton asked Sarah to marry him, it wasn't just any run-of-the-mill type proposal.  No siree.  Anton organised a birthday party for Sarah, and saw to it that family travelled to Auckland to be there with them, all done secret squirrel.  A surprise birthday party, a surprise proposal surrounded by the ones who loved them.  You can't not like this guy.    

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Sarah surely does like him, that's for sure.  So she said yes.

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"I can't remember what it feels like not to love you."  Anton

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Back at Monaco and the reception was only going to serve as proof of how much they really do like each other.

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I think you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat their parents.  And you can tell a lot about parents by how they look at their kids at times like this. 

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More heart-melting hugs.

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"You are the person I want to share absolutely everything with.  I love and I like you."  Sarah

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There's never a wrong time for a selfie stick, right?

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Sarah and Anton, thank you for inviting us to capture your wedding.  Thank you for making that wedding beautiful and amazing.  Thank you for inspiring us with how much you love each other.



Vendor Shoutout:

Venue & Catering: Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco

Celebrant: Father Simon Eccleton

Florist: Willow Floral Design (Nelson)

Hair & Makeup: About Beauty (Nelson)

Dress: Sophie Voon Bridal (Wellington)

Cake: Chocolate Velvet (Nelson)

Cars: Nelson Coach Lines

Band: Summer Sons (Nelson)

Sugar Cookies: Olivia Webb

Special Teas:  Sawtooth Kitchen

Leave a comment for: Sarah and Anton - Married - Monaco, Nelson