"That's really neat, Niklas" was what Taryn's Dad said when Niklas asked if he could marry his daughter, from the other side of the world in Germany. Within moments Taryn's Mum was also on the phone with an excited "Ohhhhh!" which obviously meant she also thought it was neat.
Niklas had always felt drawn to New Zealand, so came over to study here. Taryn was also studying law and was looking for a contact from Germany, as she's always felt drawn there. The two met, and love blossomed! Now they live in Germany and next week they'll be getting married here in New Zealand!
Deirdre from Locks and Lashes kindly let us use her property for the photos. As usual, it looked fabulous!
I don't really have state the obvious, do I? But I will.... Taryn, you are going to be the most exquisite bride!
Niklas was the most patient, obliging and kind guy. Did I mention good looking? Yes, well that too!
Niklas and Taryn remind me a lot of Paul and I. No, Paul can't put me on his back, and even if he could, I can assure you it wouldn't look anything like this! No, what I mean is how they are with each other. They have spent nearly every day together for the last couple of years - they're inseparable. They look after each other and really seem to be soul mates. What's more, Taryn is apparently an amazing cook, that's probably where the similarities stop, actually.
Niklas and Taryn, it was a joy to get to know you both. We're so excited about the wedding, and the amazing day you have planned. We'll see you soon!
In everything give thanks... It was a Bible verse long before it became an American Holiday. Thanksgiving. What a great time to remember all of the things we have to be thankful for. I'm especially thankful for my family and friends and our amazing job. Anybody who has seen us shoot knows that we love what we do. We are utterly blessed to be able to take photos of gorgeous people like Aidan and Steph. And we are incredibly grateful to all of the amazing couples that continue to hire us to capture their day for them. We've been doing this for years now, and I still pinch myself.
Steph and Aidan's day was perfection. It was filled with serious and tender moments, and loads and loads of laughs. Just my kind of day!
The bell at the end was a gift from Aidan to Steph for their wedding.
The flowers. Oh my goodness - coolness! The flowers were done by Stacey at Bellebird Design Flax Flowers & Art. They are made of flax and incredibly gorgeous. I suspect I'll be seeing a lot more of Stacey's work in the future!
The celebrant had obviously asked both Aidan and Steph what it was that they loved about each other. As she read out the different points, you could just see their faces light up. Clearly they adore each other, like really really adore each other!
Every wedding has an 'Uncle Bob'. It's the person who has a good camera and is keen as mustard to get the best shot. The 'Uncle Bob' at this wedding was a small boy. I think he'll be giving us a run for our money in a few years time!
We headed over to Steph and Aidan's old school. We spent some time hanging out by the tree that everyone carves their names into before finally graduating, yes, Steph is doing bunny ears.
Steph you are breath taking!
Generally I would be the one lying in some ridiculous position to get a shot like this, but Paul, in his drive to get the best shot every time, got there before I could.
Small girls are not always cooperative, but they are always cute!
Steph is not only beautiful, but she's also extremely creative. Go and checkout her handiwork over at G is for Giraffe.
Steph wears her watch every single day, she told me, so what better place to wear your watch than on your flowers? Also Grandma's brooch, very precious.
I love the way that Aidan adores Steph. You can tell that Steph is everything to him, she's a very lucky girl indeed!
I've never come across this game before. How small can you make your face? I think I'll be playing it, possibly by myself in random places. I reckon it will go down well...
Both the ceremony and reception were held at Marlborough Vintners Hotel.
We found some light to die for inside. happiness....
This is a photo of me showing them the photo I took of them. Even I have to read that sentence slowly to understand it.
Steph and Aidan, it was our absolute pleasure to capture your amazing wedding for you, thank you for choosing us. We hope you're loving Bali!
Back then she didn't like him.
He didn't like her, well so it seemed anyway. He kind of picked on her. And if you were to have told her at the time that she was arguing with her future husband, she probably would've scrunched up her little nose at you. After all, when you're 11 boys are yucky.
Fast forward several years and a grown up Aidan finds a grown up Steph on Facebook. It took a couple of weeks for Steph to see past the little boy she remembered and discover the man that Aidan had become. Love blossomed, and on Saturday they're getting married!
It's my job to discover who my couples are and capture that, kind of like a time capsule. It didn't take me long to discover who Steph and Aidan were. They were 100% pure fun. It's almost like they were made for each other, they're entertaining each other constantly and making it very easy for me to get to know them. I was in stitches. I like them.
I suggested they might want to pretend to be a tree. Aidan made an okay tree.
"But I want to be a bush!" He exclaims.
And now, a log.... of course.
Steph was what is known in our household as one of ballet's "big girls". When my girls were four and five and at ballet, Steph was everything they wanted to grow up to be. Steph was a "big girl". Steph was all kinds of awesome. Funny now that my girls are the "big girls" at 14 and 15. How time flies!
We had our E Session at Rarangi as it is special to both of them. To Aidan because he used to live there as a kid. And to Steph because her Nana used to live there.
A romantic stroll along the water's edge? Not likely.
This is "Lover's log". We had to go and have photos there. But romantic photos? Not so much.
This seat has been donated in the memory of Steph's grandparents, Fran and John Wilks. What a beautiful thing to remember someone with.
Steph and Aidan, Saturday is going to be an absolute blast if our E Session is anything to go by! Bring it on!
They were casual acquaintances, and hadn't seen each other in years. Then she popped up out of the blue, and although all she wanted was a house to rent, his offer for a coffee date was accepted. In no time at all they were best of friends and planning to leave South Africa to start their lives together in New Zealand.
Chantal mentioned that she loves the wide open spaces, and the beautiful New Zealand landscape. So we followed the light and the sky to some gorgeous spots.
I wish I could show this one to you HUGE, then you'd see the full impact. I think it would make an amazing canvas!
I gasped when I saw Chantal's engagement ring. It's absolute perfection, I've never seen another one like it. Turns out that most engagement rings look like that in South Africa. You see, you learn something new every day!
Chantal, you are gorgeous!
This is the second Ian I have photographed in a month. And although that might not be astounding in itself, how about the fact that they've both just become Chartered Accountants and they both live in Christchurch? Seems to be a strange coincidence... (clearly small things amuse me).
Ian and Chantal are the kind of people I wish lived in little old Blenheim. I think we'd be great friends. We just chat chat chatted away. That's the thing I love about this job, constantly meeting new and interesting people. People experiencing one of the happiest times in their lives, and I get to take pictures of them. What's not to love?
Chantal and Ian - you guys are great. We can't wait to shoot your wedding next month! See you soon!
It was the kind of day that the birds seemed to sing just that little bit louder. The weather was perfect and the whole property was buzzing with excitement. I never doubted that this was going to be a very special wedding, but the beautiful moments contained in this one day are simply far too many to share in this humble blog post. So you'll just have to imagine even more beauty than this. If you can.
Getting ready in her childhood home is something precious to any girl.
And her mother.
This brooch that belonged to Grandma has been worn by all of the women in Kat's family.
Meanwhile Paul was over with the boys, and caught some very special moments himself.
Kat and Josh were getting married at the St Michael's Church in Waimea. It's the kind of church that made us go "Ooooooooo" when we first turned up to do a quick scout. The possibilities made us talk extra fast. Well, it made me talk extra fast.
Inside and the wait for the girls has begun.
Any moment now....
And there she is!
I wasn't close enough to hear exactly what Dad said as he gave Kat away. But I love the expressions!
The vows were so incredibly heartfelt, so sincere, I don't think there was a dry eye in the church.
Sometimes you get the perfect mix of location, light and gorgeous people. Ding ding ding! We have a winner! I was busy trying not to do my happy dance.
Josh and Kat had organised a double decker bus to take themselves and their guests back to Kat's parent's property where the reception would be held in the most beautifully decorated marquee that you ever did see!
Sometimes it's a good idea to shoot in the general direction that everyone else is shooting in.
But sometimes it can be worthwhile turning around and seeing what is going on behind you. Sometimes that is actually the shot that you want.
And every so often, you need to look where no one else is looking. Sometimes that's where you'll find a story more powerful than anything else.
Josh spent the whole day grinning. He seemed so absolutely over the moon with Kat. It was almost like he had won the lotto, but better.
And WOW who can blame him for feeling like the luckiest guy alive?
Josh and Kat had chosen a really fantastic bridal party. They were helpful, funny and fully present. Well done guys!
You guys are so gorgeous, I can barely stand it.
Kat's Mum and Dad have spent countless hours getting their property ready to host the celebration. It was immaculate.
You guys are so fab, you even make the (ahem boring) traditional pose (for Grandma) look like something fresh out of a magazine. You've made both me (and Grandma) very happy.
Josh and Kat, you had the most spectacularly beautiful day, and we are so grateful to have been able to be part of it. Thank you. We can't wait to show you all of the rest of the beautifulness!
There's never a dull moment with Natalie, she's always smiling and laughing and today was certainly no exception. Today she was going to marry Sean and her smile was as radiant as ever. Surrounded by their closest friends and family, Natalie and Sean boarded a boat in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds and vowed their lives to each other.
Gorgeous flowers by Nina at Pink Poppie.
Natalie is a complete natural in front of the camera. She's one of these rare beauties that knows exactly what to do when a lens is pointed at her. I've been told by her family that she's had that skill since she was a little girl.
Neither Sean nor Natalie had attendants, no bridesmaids or groomsmen. Natalie said that Sean's Dad would be as close to a bestman as you could get. Apparently these two are great friends.
And there was certainly no lack of friends!
This medal, tied to the flowers, belonged to Natalie's Grandma. It was blessed by the Pope and Grandma wore it pinned to her clothes every single day, that's how special it was. And now it belongs to Natalie, and it's a part of her wedding day. Beautiful.
Sean and Natalie decided to see each other before the ceremony. I love this series of images!
Seriously, Natalie, you are freakishly good at this!
This is a very special pocket watch given to Max, Natalie's son, by Sean. I love little things like this, because, quite honestly, the little things are the big things. Sean, you're a great guy.
And this is Max. Perfectly adorable! He's a real credit to you Natalie. It's rare to find a boy who is so open, friendly and a joy to be around.
Waiting for the bride to arrive. A large percentage of the guests came from England to be here for this very day. By the end of the day my 'inside voice' sounded like a character from Coronation St. I like to listen to accents and wish I could do them!
How is this for an amazing setting to get married in? We were hugely blessed to have the rain hold off for us. It was spitting and threatening to rain all day, but when it came time for the ceremony it was absolutely perfect.
Max read out a poem which had everybody saying "Awwwwwwww" a lot. I heard it behind me in stereo. It's times like this that I wish I were a videographer. Trouble is, I'm rubbish at video, so I'll just stick to photos.
Natalie and Sean wrote each other love letters about what this day meant to them. They've kept them sealed and put them in this bottle, to be opened in ten years. What a magnificent idea!
The guests approve.
This is Theo. Gorgeousness right there. Apparently I was funny!
Then some portraits on the shore.
What a handsome couple!
Sean was wonderful and patient while we had fun with the portraits. In fact, he even admitted not minding them so much. Thata boy Sean! That's how it's done!
Captain Natalie. Ah yes. Why not!
When we arrived back on land, Natalie had one more spot lined up for us to shoot. Blue boatsheds! Yusss!
The reception was held at the Waikawa Boating Club in keeping with the nautical theme.
Bradley Guy is an absolutely brilliant young piper. He even had everybody clapping along and really getting into it. Well done Bradley!
Another formation of Australia. I promise I didn't set it up like that!
A cheese cake. A cake made of cheese. With little mice on the top. How completely perfect!
Sean and Natalie, what a wonderful day! Thank you so very much for inviting us to share it with you. I can't wait to show you the rest of the photos!
Celebrant: Carol Taylor
Flowers: Pink Poppie Designer Florist
Dress: Jane Yeh
Boat: Beachcomber Fun Cruises
Catering: The Quest Catering Co
Reception Venue: Waikawa Boating Club
Cheese Cake: Canterbury Cheesemongers
Karl and Francesca met while they were at school. They were friends at first, and then, like all good love stories, things progressed from there after about a year or so. True blue high school sweethearts!
Karl has a thing for planes. I asked him, as we were driving to Omaka Aero club if he just liked them or actually worked with them. "I just like them," he said. A friendly slap from Francesca reminded him to finish the story. "He's a pilot," she said.
Why is it that pilots get extra cool points? I mean, if he had said he was a bus driver, I'd still like him just as much. However he flies planes, and that's just super cool. I'm such a girl sometimes.
Karl had managed to get us access to this beautiful beast, an old Chinese war plane, which he actually does know how to fly. Not that you'd get Francesca doing loops with him, she said.
Francesca is as sweet as she is beautiful, and that's really saying something. She tells me that she's been a blog watcher since 2008 (gasp!) and that she had always planned for us to photograph their wedding, well before they were engaged.
Then we headed off to Rarangi, where the light had me making all sorts of girly squealing noises.
Francesca, you are perfection!
Rarangi is special to Karl and Francesca as they spent many hours here when they were teenagers. On a visit back to Blenheim last year Karl surprised her with a proposal, on this very spot. Well, we think it was this very spot. After some discussion, we decided to assume this was the very log he proposed on.
She said yes.
I've been to Rarangi many, many times. I have never seen it as beautiful as this. The colour, the stillness of the air, just the right amount of mist and a gorgeous couple. It was the perfect end to a perfect shoot.
Francesca and Karl, you guys are absolutely great. Thanks so much for taking the extra time to play with the light and have some fun with me. Can't wait til March!