"You nervous?" Paul asks me in the car as we leave Blenheim. "Nah." I respond confidently. "You?" I ask. "Not, really."
I felt like something must be wrong for me not to want to run the other direction just before a wedding. Usually I have to duck off to the loo several times before I leave the house, just from sheer nerves. You'd think I'd be used to it by now. I guess I was just taking the drive into consideration, because as we drove through Nelson it hit me. Boof!
"Nervous now!" I exclaimed. "Good." Paul responds, quietly panicking to himself as well.
Once we turn up though, everything changes. It's the same every week. You'd think I'd learn. Belinda was positively radiant. Her girls were fluttering about getting beautiful and the day was perfect. Just perfect. And the nerves? What nerves? I couldn't be happier.
Paul usually starts his day with the guys getting ready. I love seeing the other side of the story after all is said and done. I'm so grateful that he spends the time here, so I can spend my time capturing the girls and all the prettiness.
Belinda inspects the bridesmaids. These dresses were super cute.
When I first met Belinda she came with her Mum, Helen. I wanted to keep her right away. She's got to be one of the most enthusiastic and onto it Mother-of-the-brides that I've ever met.
Belinda was amazing. She had planned the day to go perfectly, and it did. It was as amazing as she was.
I love this. Paul captured the processional beautifully. My photos were good, but Paul's were spectacular. Look at how happy they are!
Another one of Paul's shots. Look at how adoringly Dene is looking at Belinda. This photo sums the whole day up. One moment. Perfection.
The ceremony was held at this adorable little church in Nelson. Bishopdale Chapel, you are my new best friend. Cuteness extreme!
You think they're happy to be married?
I love this one, look at all of the people enjoying that moment.
And this one.
Belinda is the sweetest thing. She really is as pretty on the inside as the outside. It was my lucky day!
We headed to her parents place for some photos. I'm fairly sure Helen was not expecting me to shoot on the front doorstep, but with light as pretty as this, how could I not?
If anyone asks you, the colour of those dresses can be called taupe. I had never heard of it before our prewedding meeting, but once it was explained to me I felt empowered. Then, when the neighbour asked me 'what is the colour of those dresses?" I could confidently answer her, as if I had known about the colour taupe all my life.
Meet Claud. He and his friends were the wedding cars. I. Want. One.
Then off to Whitebridge Vineyard where the reception was to be held. Not before I stole them away into the vineyards for a few final pictures.
Dene is such a great guy. PERFECTLY suited to Belinda. You can just see they belong together. Both of them are easy going and a joy to be around.
This shot was more an accident than anything. But don't tell anyone. That's the veil giving that soft hazy glow.
Then, just out of nowhere Belinda's veil flew vertically up in the air. I knew that was a shot I wanted, so I lay down in front of the girls chatting waiting for the next gust of wind. I knew I looked strange. It would have been a great shot. If the wind had played along. But it didn't, which was a shame really. In the meantime, so as not to look like a complete Womble, I got some shots. And actually, I kind of like it.
The marque and details looked amazing.
The bling took my breath away....
And Dene and Belinda lived happily ever after....
Thanks guys for an amazing way to spend our Saturday. Didn't we have fun? We're so thrilled to have spent your amazing day with you! We wish you all the very best in your future together.
Celebrant: Charles Tyrrell
Makeup: Rebecca Wilson
Flowers: Willow Floral Design
Dress: Collette Dinnigan
Venue: Whitebridge Vineyard
Cake: Blinc Catering
Two weeks, three days and 11 hours. That's how long I've been missing you so far, Mum. I knew you were going to be leaving us, and I thought I was prepared. But I wasn't. I want to call you up and tell you how things went after you died, and then I remember that I can't. I'm fairly sure you don't get internet access where you are in Heaven, but just in case you can, this blog post is for you.
Your funeral was amazing, Mum. You would have been so proud of all of us eight kids, we all stood together and supported each other. It was a good thing you had so many of us, sharing the pain lightened the load.
We arranged 70 coloured helium balloons, one for each of your years, and we let them go as your coffin was lowered. I wish I had thought to tell you a couple of weeks ago that I was planning on doing that. You would have loved the colours.
Afterwards there were plenty of laughs. Not even a funeral could dampen our sense of fun with each other. You would have loved to have this photo of all of us, this doesn't happen often enough. Seems wrong to have a family photo without you in it though. I guess I'll just have to get used to it.
Now everyone has gone back home. Life is getting back to normal. But still I miss you. I'm holding onto those verses that talk about there being a time for everything, a time to laugh and a time to cry. I just figure this is the time to cry and that happiness shouldn't be too far down the track again.
Oh, and one more thing. I have your old bible. I know it was your most treasured possession. It's all loved and worn, written in, underlined and cried on. I love it. Thank you.
So we're all moving on, I guess, just as you'd want us to. I still wish that things were so different and that you were still here, but that doesn't seem to help anything.
So one final time, as I used to say when I would tuck you in at night "Love you much and mucher, Goodnight Ma".
It was no secret that I was desperately looking forward to Emma and Paul's wedding. I knew that they would look gorgeous, even if they chose to wear sacks and shave their heads bald. Thankfully they chose to wear wedding clothes, and so, as I expected, they took everyone's breath away.
It was the perfect day for a beach wedding, hot and still and the sky was giving us all sorts of awesome.
Emma had been given a brooch that belonged to her grandmother. It was lovingly added to the bouquet, which was a great idea, if I do say so myself, seeings it was my idea. I'm not just a pretty face you know.
Emma you were a beautiful, beautiful bride.
Phoenix was as cute as a button!
Arriving in style in a black cab from the Black Cab Company.
Paul is thrilled that his bride has arrived.
How is this for a perfect day to have a beach wedding? See, I told you the sky was awesome!
Beautiful reactions from the family.
Happy to be Mr and Mrs? Yes, I dare say so!
This was Emma's Mum's idea. Oooooooh how I wish I'd thought of it first!
Emma's brother had created this structure for the wedding. So cool!
This. Right here. Perfection.
Paul and Emma were so happy and relaxed, the day was just perfect!
A quick stop at the apple orchard.
And driving back to the reception we came to a screeching halt, Emma spied this awesome spot. Well spotted girl!
Then off to the Wharfside for the reception.
The theme was vintage, and the details were simply gorgeous.
I would most certainly echo the Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Quinn! What a spectacular day, we thoroughly enjoyed every minute with you guys. We'll see you soon! xx
Celebrant: Angel Pearson
Makeup: Emillie MacRitchie
Flowers: Fields Designer Florist, Richmond
Dress: Bernadette Thomas
Venue: Wharfside Restaurant and Bar, Mapua
Cake: Chocolate Velvet
Cars: The Black Cab Company
Pip and Dave exude the kind of style I only wish I had. Where I flap and squeal and scrunch my face into all sorts of unhuman expressions, Pip and Dave smile kindly, introduce sincerely, stand tall and beautifully and are so darn stylish.
When Pip was showing us around their grounds the day before the wedding, I knew that this was going to be one of those weddings, you know, the ones where anywhere you point the camera at would be beautiful. Pip had everything perfectly planned, I knew that all we had to do was turn up, shoot and enjoy.
Paul was with the guys while they got ready. Everything about this wedding was of a beautiful quality, even the light. How did they manage that? I have no idea.
Pip smiled all day long.
Pip's Dad's reaction to seeing his little girl as a bride. Gotta love it.
And what a beautiful bride she is!
Could Dave look more pleased with his bride? I don't think so!
This is the most 'approving sister' look I've ever seen.
I love how the girls were wearing white too. So perfect!
Then off to get some portraits in the gardens.
This is Bruno, their baby. He was wearing a special black and white bandana for the occasion. So so cute.
Then there was a mini airshow organised by Pip's dad. I kid you not! Especially for Pip and Dave. So awesome!
It was the perfect day for a garden party. Warm and still and full of beautiful happy people. Yup, my kind of day!
Dave's Mum and Dad created this garden over the last ten years. It's been a real labour of love, and it's absolutely beautiful! The perfect place for a garden party!
Pip and Dave, thank you so very much for being a ray of sunshine in my week. You are a beautiful couple and I can't wait to show you the rest of the photos!
Celebrant: Peter Minson, Nativity
Hair & Makeup: Deirdre, Locks & Lashes
Dress: Kate Dowman
Caterer: Janet Enright and Vicki Young - Bon Vivant
Marquee: Karen Solomon, Hirepool Blenheim
It's been the most amazing journey, being with Mum these last nine months since her diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease. Watching her fade from a fit and healthy 70 year old, to holding her hand in the early hours of Tuesday morning when she finally took her last breath. It has been the most harrowing journey, and we're so blessed to have been able to share it with my precious Mum.
Tomorrow we say our final farewell to Mum, surrounded by family and friends, who have been nothing but fantastic during a gruelling week. I love you guys!
Thanks to everyone who has been patient with us as you wait for your photos or an email from us. We'll be back up and running real soon. We've also got some AMAZING weddings to blog when I get back home as well.
In the meantime, here's me and my gorgeous Mum last month.
Bye Mum, Love you. Miss you already xx
My life is weird right now. So this post will be more brief than most, I'm sorry. But rest assured, when things become less weird, I'll be posting many more photos from Saturday's wedding! I'll share more at the bottom of this blog about my weird life, but first onto Grant and Libby's beautiful day!
I gasped when I saw Libby's shoes. I love them with every single atom in my body.
This is Caitlin. She's four and full of all the fun and wonder that little girls of that age have.
The wedding was held at Libby's parents place, Blue Ridge Estate. The day was as perfect as the immaculate property. What a perfect place for a wedding!
Libby decided to make the grapevines her 'aisle', so that the first person to see her was Grant. Caitlin walked like a perfect princess most of the way down, and then, suddenly, at the last few meters she shot away and straight into Grant's welcoming arms.
This was the moment she arrived at the end of the aisle, meeting Grant with the biggest and most true hug a little girl can give.
Libby and Mia followed soon after. Half way down the aisle, Mia decided to stop and have a little jig to the music. Impromptu dancing, always good!
Looking through her Daddy's knees as her parents get married. Such a beautiful little thing Mia is!
Grant and Libby are so cute together! Libby spent most of the day giggling. She's bright and bubbly and, amazingly enough, the third person in a row I've photographed that works with kids!
Love! You just know I love those shoes!
I love this old cottage, so many interesting places to take photos!
Back at Drylands for the reception, and the speeches were successful in drawing the desired responses!
Particularly special, Grants ring belonged to his Dad before him.
Celebrant: Terry Terrill
Hair: Beyond the Fringe, Redwood
Dress: 102 Design, Ashburton
Reception: Drylands Restaurant
I didn't go home after the wedding on Saturday. Instead I came to sit by my dear Mum, who is in her final stages of Motor Neurone Disease. My sister had let me know that things were getting pretty serious, and perhaps it might be a good idea to come out sooner rather than later. I haven't left her since. As each hour passes, she slips further away from us. The whole thing is surreal, peaceful, painful but most of all, well, just plain old weird. Thankfully we've been able to keep her at home. She's comfortable and peaceful, for someone who is dying, I guess. As we sit and hold her hand, we wonder if each breath is her last. We tell her we're with her, and we sit. And we wait.
This is new territory for me. I've never lost a parent before. Come on, everyone dies, and even though it can't be fun, plenty of people have coped with it. That's what I thought, before I was the one loosing a parent. Now that it's me going through it, it's harrowing. Then I feel bad about feeling sorry for myself, because this part is all about Mum. Then I look at her, I see peace. I know she's ready to meet the God she has loved and followed for the last 34 years. I know that it will all be over soon, and she will be perfectly happy. But in the meantime, we sit. And we wait.
I'm so spoiled, you know. I didn't realise this planet could grow so many lovely people, and that so many of them would find themselves hiring me as their photographer. Next weekend Paul and Emma get married, and they belong to the group of lovely people I speak of.
This is Phoenix and Finlay. I told them to sit nice and close, and even cuddle. This is exactly the reaction I was expecting. boy GERMS!
Phoenix belongs to Emma. I have no idea how she stays looking this young. I even asked her about her skincare regime. For real.
Finlay belongs to Paul. Some seriously amazing genes going on there.
I offered to take them home with me, maybe I could keep them? But they seemed happy to stay in their own family. Ah well.
Look at them. Just look at how beautiful they are. As someone on facebook said - it looks like I picked them out of catalogue.
Emma is a preschool teacher. It takes a special kind of person to do a job like that.
I don't really need to point out how pretty this wedding is going to be, do I?
This is Ayla, Emma's doggie. She didn't want to be left out.
I was a little worried about the weather, I really should just learn to let it go. Couldn't have been better.
Beautiful, beautiful people.
Emma and Paul are getting married on the beach. Oh yeah!!
Paul and Emma - I can't wait for next weekend. It's going to be beyond gorgeous. See you soon!