They went camping in Australia, just the two of them. It could have just been any old camping trip, but Peter had a plan. He told her to go sit up on that rock and be very quiet, she may just see a platypus. Libby loves platypuses (platypi?) and so she sat, and she waited. Peter snuck away and when he returned he was holding a small white box. Inside the box was the most perfect diamond ring which he had designed especially for Libby, and there and then he got down on one knee and asked Libby to be his wife. She said yes.
Peter and Libby's day was perfection. Brimming with gorgeous details and beautiful friends and family, but most of all it was about their love. It's the kind of love even a blind man could see. The kind of love that had me hiding behind my camera in tears. Several times.
Libby's Mum and Dad have spent countless hours preparing the gardens, the marquee, the signs and the details to have their daughter's wedding at their home. A labour of love I'm sure.
Meanwhile Paul is with the guys as they get ready for the big day.
Tie pins with everyone's initials, and the GPS co ordinates of the wedding ceremony. It would be hard to be cooler than that.
Tying a tie seems to be quite tricky. I must say, I'm glad I'm a girl because I think it would drive me crazy if I had to wear a tie! Here the groomsmen get a lesson from Peter on how to tie a tie.
Some were able to pull it off fairly well. Others clearly need more lessons.
Libby is beautiful. Insanely beautiful. Fairy tale beautiful. Part Snow White, part Anne of Green Gables.
Gorgeous hair and makeup by the ladies at Locks and Lashes.
The boys had arrived outside and so the ladies hid inside and waited for their turn to come out.
And then it was time.
Peter watches as his beautiful bride arrives, reminding me of the Anne of Green Gables reading which Libby had selected for the ceremony. Once again. So perfect.
"But it was a happy and beautiful bride who came down the old, homespun-carpeted stairs that September noon--the first bride of Green Gables, slender and shining-eyed, in the mist of her maiden veil, with her arms full of roses. Gilbert, waiting for her in the hall below, looked up at her with adoring eyes. She was his at last, this evasive, long-sought Anne, won after years of patient waiting. It was to him she was coming in the sweet surrender of the bride. Was he worthy of her? Could he make her as happy as he hoped? If he failed her--if he could not measure up to her standard of manhood--then, as she held out her hand, their eyes met and all doubt was swept away in a glad certainty. They belonged to each other; and, no matter what life might hold for them, it could never alter that. Their happiness was in each other's keeping and both were unafraid." Anne's House of Dreams.
And just like that, they're married.
You couldn't find a more respectable bunch of young people. Most of them were originally friends from University. Not being highly educated myself, I was a little bit worried about showing myself up in front of this group of seriously smart people. Thankfully nobody asked me about theories, atoms, parts of speech or times tables. Phew!
Then we took some time with just Libby and Peter. It's lovely when we can steal our couples away for a few minutes before the reception.
Over the little lake on her parents property. How gorgeous!
Check out Nina's amazing work! Thank you Pink Poppie!
Peter grew up in Papua New Guinea, although originally a Kiwi. He's gone on to be part of some pretty amazing things. For example, right now, he's part of a team working on a way to grow cartilage for knees. I know, right? Way awesome.
Libby clearly knows how wonderful he is, but says he still manages to surprise her with how fantastic he is on a pretty regular basis.
But don't be fooled into thinking that Libby is just a pretty face! She's a ballet and highland dancer, she's been into many sports, worked in a refugee centre, helped people overseas as well as having a colossal amount of academic achievements in law school and is working towards becoming a lawyer. As her Dad put it, this girl is the complete package.
Together, they make an incredible team.
Then it was time to go back to the party. The Waghorns know how to have a wedding, that's for sure!
The speeches were something else. It was clear that these two young people had the most loving parents, amazing role models and beautiful families. They're the kind of family that you want to go see at Christmas, and pretend that you're part of them too.
The rain was gently falling and it was dark outside. Not the kind of night you would generally think of ice cream. However, when Mr Whippy was mentioned there was almost a stampede. 150 people turned into 10 year old children, eyes aglow and smiles beaming. It was magic.
Like a perfect fairytale, there was a kiss and there was dancing. Beautiful dancing.
Libby and Peter, words aren't really adequate to say how grateful we are to have been chosen to capture your day. We wish you guys many many years of happiness. We're so thrilled to have been a little piece of your story.
Flowers: Nina, Pink Poppie Designer Florist
Hair & Makeup: Deirdre & Mary Jane, Locks & Lashes
Celebrant: John Craighead
Wedding Dress: Karen Willis Holmes
Bridesmaid's Dresses: Alfred Sung
Catering: BV Gourmet
Dessert: Mr Whippy
Music: The Groove Collective, Nelson
Libby stood there all cute and pretty with her dotty dress and red cardi, and I smiled. I smiled because I knew as soon as I saw her that this was going to be a magical shoot. Then, as soon as Peter walked around the corner, I was totally hooked on them. These guys are the real deal. It's the way they look at each other, even when the camera isn't pointed at them. The way they smile and REALLY mean it. The amount of happiness bubbling out of them. They're getting married on Saturday, and we're going to be there and we can't WAIT!
Thank you Deirdre and Mary Jane for your gorgeous work on the hair and makeup! You guys rock!
This is their mean faces. Peter looks frightening enough, but Libby still just looks cute.
The meanness didn't last long!
Libby and Peter, you can't even imagine how much I am looking forward to Saturday. It's going to be all kinds of awesome! See you soon!
We were still on a high from Sam and Jane's amazing wedding the day before and we had a couple of hours to kill before our plane left to take us back home. So what better way to pass the time than to go exploring in the big city with a bride and groom?
We're small town folk, as I mentioned before, so it was super interesting watching the city folk in action. In order to get in the zone, we practised our city faces in the mirror before we left. How's this for 'Don't mess with me?!'
The funniest thing about the whole experience is that although we must have passed hundreds of people, almost no one even acknowledged the fact that Jane was wearing a wedding dress! We even went shopping at Farmers and hardly got a second look. It makes me wonder what is NORMAL in the big city?
No one seemed to worry about the guy with a trolley and Tourette's syndrome, or the guy stealing ashtrays and foraging for a drink in the bin and then just pouring it all over the pavement, so a girl in a wedding dress buying pink fluffy jandles? Meh.
Before he met Jane, Sam didn't even drink coffee, but since she introduced him to it, he's become somewhat of a coffee connoisseur. And so, no stroll through town is complete without a stop at the Memphis Belle Coffee House. Arguably the best coffee in Wellington, so I'm told. It was extremely good coffee, just for the record!
Jane and awesome stuff seem to have a way of finding each other. Check out the groovy glasses!
And then it was off to the parking building. Turns out big city parking can look cool.
Sam and Jane, you guys are all that and more. We're so thrilled to call you our friends! Can't wait to show you all of the rest of the photos!
A thousand smiles and even more happy dances, and that was just me. Sam and Jane's day was amazing and beautiful and I can already tell that I'm going to annoy myself with how often I say the words "GORGEOUS" or "BEAUTIFUL" during this blog post.
Jane is an amazingly talented photographer in Wellington, Photography By Jane makes seriously cute images! So when she first started making noises that she wanted us to photograph her wedding I was a little bit nervous and just a touch unsure as to why she would want us to travel from little old Blenheim! We almost never travel, due to having a young family at home, but HOW can you turn down another photographer? How HUGE an honour is that to even be asked? So we packed up our gear and headed to the BIG CITY.
We're such small town folk. I guess you just get used to the way things are in a small town. People say "Hello" when they pass you on the street. Everyone looks kind of familiar, and you always have to be on your best behaviour because you always recognise someone. Not so in the big city. Everyone seems like they're in a rush. It's fascinating! But anyway, I digress!
This post is all about an insanely talented couple on a beautiful day, getting married. And we were there, and I'm so so grateful that we were!
It was the kind of wedding where Grandma Audrey would bake three dozen scones for the guests. I like that kind of wedding. I also like Grandma Audrey.
It was a wedding held in Jane and Sam's backyard. But this was no ordinary backyard wedding! This was the most beautifully decorated area I think I've ever seen. Painstakingly, over many months, Jane has been collecting treasures to make her vision come to life.
Things that the rest of us would never think to put together, or even add to a wedding day, it all looked amazing. And somehow I can't help but show too many images! I'm all proud of them, almost like I created all of this myself. Yet we were merely capturing it.
This is Bailey. He obviously has his mother's sense of style. a complete little hunklet (I totally made that word up, but I'm sticking with it!) Check out the piano back there! Yes. Even a piano in the backyard!
Seating for the ceremony.
Jane arranged for Paul to bring Sam one of his gifts, and while he was reading his message, Jane watched from the house window. They were ever so careful not to see each other before the ceremony!
Jane even made the button holes for the guys...
...and the bouquets! She MADE them!
Ella gets last minute nails done.
Ella loves Sylvanian Families and so Jane made them some outfits to match hers and Sam's. Of course.
Bailey wrote the most beautiful letter, he's such a cutie!
Final moments before they see each other!
You can tell how much they love each. It's in the big things, but it's also in the little things, and quite often they're the big things, aren't they? Sam is known to leave flowers on Jane's pillow, set up the tv with her favourite program and he makes her coffee every morning. This man is a keeper!
And then it's time to release the butterflies!
Home baked goodness.
Sam loves to brew his own beer, and he and a friend managed to bottle 200 beers for the wedding! How cool do they look?! So cool.
We left the guests to their afternoon tea and mingling while we popped away for some photos.
Jane, you look incredible!
Sam and Jane are crazy. Not the kind of crazy that you watch out of the corner of your eye because you're a little bit afraid, but the fun kind of crazy. That's why I like them.
After our portrait session we headed on back to where everyone was still enjoying themselves. The sun was setting and the Barbeque was getting started!
And who doesn't like a pet rat? Well....ummmmm....
Fantastic speeches, and once again Jane comes up with more handmade goodness. Prompt cards for the crowd!
The first dance was to Billie Jean, for which Sam has been famously quoted as saying it is "THE most dancible song ever!"
Groovy lighting effects as it came off the camera.
Sparklers fun. You can't not like sparklers!
Sam and Jane, you already know how much we like you and how much we enjoyed your day. We are ever so grateful that you chose us to photograph your wedding! We had an absolute blast!
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! On Sunday morning Sam and Jane got all dressed up again and we hit the town before we had to catch our flight back home. You'll need to watch out for those images they're still coming...
A weather bomb, that's what they called it. It was heading our way and it was going to hit us on Saturday. The news told us to stay indoors, away from windows and to store up water. Saturday was also Anna and Luke's wedding day. Outside. At Te Mahia. Everyone was nervous, sure we can handle bad weather, but a weather bomb? Probably not ideal! Thankfully the worst of the weather came in the night, and by the time we turned up to Te Mahia, it was all but lovely!
Everything would go ahead as planned, outside with a beautiful view of the Marlborough Sounds. We were all ever so grateful.
Paul gets the guys doing their thing.
Blake is Luke's son, and OH so cute! Being a boy, he might not want to be referred to as 'cute', but he did look dashing in his suit, that's for sure!
Just before Anna arrived down the aisle the sun peaked through the clouds and there was a delighted cheer from the crowd.
Three views of the processional. Kate, our assistant, was shooting from the balcony. I was shooting Anna and Dad as they were starting their walk towards Luke, and Paul was at the end of the aisle getting Luke's reaction.
Check out the colour of the suits! How awesome do they look! Everybody suited each other and the scenery absolutely perfectly. Beautifully planned Anna!
Pure happiness. I love it!
This group of attendants were great fun. I think I laughed all day. They were a great bunch that kept things fun and light. Luke and Anna didn't want to pick a Best Man and Chief Bridesmaid. They wanted them to know that they were all as special as each other.
Anna, you are a hottie!
And Luke, you're not too bad yourself! In fact, it was Luke's 'George Clooney good looks' that helped win Anna over!
Luke and Anna share a love for fishing, Snapper fishing, to be exact. Anna didn't realise how much she would enjoy it, until Luke introduced it to her and now it's what she loves too.
The marquee was amazingly decorated with shells and pearls and beautiful little details everywhere! The amount of work that Anna put into this day was amazing, and the whole day went without a hitch!
The rings were amazing. So amazing, in fact, that one photo will simply not do!
As the sun was setting behind the hills, and the sky put on a beautiful little show with puffy orange clouds, I simply couldn't resist luring Luke and Anna outside for a few more photos before the dancing began.
Another gorgeous dress by Bernadette Thomas.
Then the floor was cleared and more gorgeousness happened.
Fun happened too, everybody had an absolute blast!
Including us bouncing around the dance floor. Paul (on the left there) even managed to get in on a photo!
Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL Te Mahia after sunset.
Luke and Anna, thank you so much for choosing us to capture your beautiful day for you. We had so much fun and so many laughs! We can't wait to show you the rest of the photos!
Celebrant: Bishop Richard Ellena
Flowers: Nina, Pink Poppie Designer Florist
The dark clouds threatened. But they can threaten all they like, because we love dark clouds. Nothing was going to ruin this perfect day. And perfect it was.
Francesca got ready at her childhood home. The home that her Dad built himself. The home that witnessed childhood fun and tantrums, many teenage gatherings and now it held the wedding dress of the little girl that has been dreaming about this day for years.
A gift basket arrived from Karl with flowers for not only Francesca, but each one of the bridesmaids as well. I've never come across a groom who thought to give flowers to the bridesmaids. The whole room melted from one side of the room to the other, much like a Mexican wave, there were sighs of "ahhhhh....." Karl also thought to give Francesca ballet tickets. A real act of selfless love if ever I've seen it! Girls, if you've found a guy that will take you to the ballet, hold on to him with everything you've got!
It seemed to be a day of gifts! Francesca also had a bag of gifts for each bridesmaid.
Francesca positively glowed, so much beautifulness!
Meanwhile Paul is having some fun with Karl and the boys.
Then arrived to the ceremony in style....
CHOPPPER RIDE! Thanks to Willie who works with Karl as the head pilot at Sounds Air, who flew the Ridgeair R44 Helicopter to the ceremony.
It's a hard life for Paul when he has to travel like this...
The ceremony was held at the beautiful Ryland Estate.
Complete with doves!
Cutest shoe shot ever!
There are so many aspects to a processional that are worth photographing, and given a long enough walk we can capture all sorts of aspects. The emotions the moment before...
The fairy-tale walk with Dad...
The groom, waiting for his bride to arrive...
and the proud-as-punch parents. Both Karl and Francesca's parents have been married for several decades, and still remain happily married today. What amazingly positive role models!
During the 'sign of love and peace' part of the ceremony. I love this handshake by the two Dads.
And then, just as if the day was not already uber cool enough, the Nanchang plane flew above us doing tricks.
A fantastic surprise for all!
Happy beautiful people.
Then we headed off to Locks and Lashes for some creative portrait time. Deirdre did an amazing job of the girl's hair and makeup that morning, and kindly let us come back for photos. It's a fantastic location when the weather could go either way!
Jaw dropping work by Bernadette Thomas on the dress.
Sometimes a photo can look like it's just us and the couple, but often there is a very different story happening behind the camera. For example, this is the image that I was capturing...
while this is what Paul was getting behind me. I love it!
When there was a break in the traffic of speeches and delicious food, we snuck Francesca and Karl down to the theatre for a few parting shots. Francesca has spent many hours in this theatre as a girl, and so we felt it was fitting to spend a few minutes here.
A massive thanks to Steve and Leanne from Posh Nosh for letting us sneak out while you kept their meals hot!
And finally to Karl and Francesca, I was on a high driving home from your beautiful wedding. We're so thrilled with everything about your day and wish you all the very best for your future together!
Celebrant: Fth Joe Keegan
Flowers: Mayflower Studio Florist
Hair & Makeup: Deirdre, Locks & Lashes
Dress: Bernadette Thomas
Cake: Sugar Cake Design
Catering: Posh Nosh
Cars: McKendry Ford
Music: Don Wilson
Wedding Stationery and Reception Details: Leanne, Vanilla Hayes
I'm ok about Summer. In fact, I figure the sooner we say goodbye to the summer that was (or, in fact, was NOT) the sooner we'll be able to say hello to Autumn and the amazing colours and light that delights us in March, April and May. So I'll take the fleeting warm days that are left, like this beautiful one presented below, as a bonus.
This weekend Anna will marry Luke, and come rain or shine, we're going to have a GREAT day! See you soon guys!