Chris and Stacey are my kind of people. Stacey, particularly, is just a touch of crazy (the good crazy, not the creepy crazy) and is always ready with a laugh and boy the day sure did have plenty of laughs! Chris is super easy going and totally dotes on Stacey, who, in turn thinks the world of him. On Saturday they got married and it was quite possibly one of the most relaxed and happy wedding days that we've been privileged to be part of!
I also stole some shoes.
Stacey got ready at her childhood home, surrounded by some of her closest friends. One of whom was Lyndy Lu, who is not only a good friend but also did a gorgeous job of Stacey's hair. Turns out that Lyndy has a pair of shoes that look remarkably like a pair that I have at home, and they were sitting right at the door innocently waiting for their rightful owner. But instead I came along.
You can imagine Lyndy's horror upon realising that her shoes were no longer at the door when she wanted to leave. No. It seemed that the photographer had stolen them. Why would the photographer do something like this? I couldn't tell you, and I didn't even realise that I was wearing them for several hours, even through wet wet grass. Once they were fairly well drenched I was told about the stolen shoes, looked down and INDEED they were not my shoes at all! There was much laughing, and most of it was not my own.
None of this took away from the fact that Stacey was absolutely radiant and, apart from the shoe incident, the day went without a single hitch. Beautiful makeup by Deirdre at Locks and Lashes, and gorgeous flowers by Andrea Prince.
While his gifted cufflinks might say that he'd 'rather be hunting', I can assure you that Chris was fully keen to spend this special day marrying the girl of his dreams!
Stacey and Chris opted to do most of their portraits before the wedding. We suggested that Old St Mary's Convent would be the perfect place for it, as the weather was looking pretty iffy and the colours there right now are super amazing!
Stacey, you surely are a gorgeous bride!
There was no holding this bridal party back, they sure were a boatload of fun!
Then onto Drylands for the ceremony. I love me a Nana hug!
This is possibly one of the most precious images of the day.
And then it was time to head off in the HELICOPTER! As if this day wasn't already special enough, we managed to sneak away with Stacey and Chris for a little while and find a couple of epic locations for a few more photos.
This, right here, is proof that Stacey and I get on just fine. I know someone's mother once said not to pull faces lest the wind change and it stay like that. Thankfully my mother never said that, so I think I'm safe.
This old cob cottage was in the middle of nowhere. It was totally asking us to land and take some photos with it!
Then we found a pretty saddle and left Stacey and Chris to hang out together while we flew around them. You would never have guessed that these two weren't trained models, the way they just owned that hill and made the images both romantic and magical. Well done guys!
Then back to Drylands to continue the celebration. Mary Parker makes the most beautiful wedding cakes. Check out this little icing doggie, modelled after Chris and Stacey's dog Duke.
Chris and Stacey have shared many adventures together hunting, so it was perfectly fitting for them to have planned the table centrepieces around this theme!
I think these would have to be the most epic wedding bands I've ever seen! And they were designed by Chris and Stacey themselves! Pretty darn fantastic if you ask me!
So this brings our wedding season to a close. Chris and Stacey, it was a real treat to share the day with you and capture those special moments for you. We wish you all the very best in life, and may you have many more amazing adventures together!
And Lyndy, I'm sorry about the shoes.
If you're looking for two people perfectly suited to each other, then look no further! Aimee is welcoming and friendly and Hayden is probably one of the most genuine guys around. On Saturday Aimee and Hayden became husband and wife and we were the lucky ones to get to be there and photograph their beautiful day.
Aimee and Hayden's home is filled with all sorts of fantastic, funky artwork and knickknacks, it was the perfect place to start the wedding day!
There was no lack of smiles, and the odd excited shriek of "I'm getting MARRIED!" The bridesmaids also took it upon themselves to declare that they, too, were the ones getting married, just to add to the sense of hilarity in the room.
While I wasn't actually there, I can only imagine that there wasn't quite the same shrieking while the guys were getting ready. However, I'm sure that Hayden was equally excited, although perhaps in a more manly way.
Super smart and ready to get married!
The wedding was held at Hayden's parents' property. It's abundantly clear how much love, time and effort has gone into making their backyard into the perfect wedding venue.
And then the beautiful bride arrives, and the smiles just continue to flow.
Connor, Aimee and Hayden's gorgeous 10 year old boy, did the most wonderful reading and had more people, than might care to admit, shedding a little tear. That's one of the beautiful things about a wedding, the excuse to cry happy tears.
And looking at the expression on Aimee's face, that tear right there is one of pure happiness.
A wedding day will also produce more hugs than any other day in one's life. Good, wholesome, happy hugs. The kind of hugs that make for happy memories, and we're all about capturing happy memories!
Ollie is Aimee and Hayden's OH-SO-ADORABLE little man. I had to practise my skills of self control not to cuddle him all afternoon. Step away from the baby Jess, away from the baby!
This old house was on the property and it was all kinds of fantastic to photograph!
Aimee mentioned that her bridal party had a somewhat warped sense of humour and that they weren't so much into serious shots. She was surely right about that. We had loads of fun!
While this may seem like your everyday, ordinary guy shot, check out the photobomber in the window...
Bridesmaids around the world will be thoroughly jealous of these Converse shoes right now, no sore feet! And just LOOK at how cool!
So gorgeous Aimee! Beautiful makeup done by the lovely Grace, who was also a bridesmaid!
I actually wasn't kidding when I mentioned modelling Hayden, if this banking gig gets boring, give me a yell and I'll hook you up with some portfolio shots
Good thing the floor was still strong enough to cope with my secret happy dance. Loving this house!
Beautiful flowers by Shireen Kilpatrick.
See, how cute are they together?
Then it was time to head back to the marquee, where Aimee and Hayden's fresh and funky style came through in the decor.
Every guest had one amusing photo of themselves at their table, quite big job for Aimee and Hayden to put together, but OH so worth it when you saw the laughs it produced!
Then, just as the light began disappearing, we braved the chilly air to get some lovely soft images in the vineyard.
Reason #143 to plan an Autumn wedding, the light is gone early enough to get sparkler shots.
That brilliant pattern right there was caused by me running around them 5 times in 13 seconds. I think I should put that down in my workout diary for this week, don't you?
Aimee and Hayden, what a fun and relaxed wedding you planned! Thank you so much for including us in the laughs, we wish you and your beautiful boys all the very very best!
I don't think many a 16-year-old guy would go to their 6th form formal looking for his future wife, but there on the dance floor Chris spotted the 'hot Maori chick' that would indeed become his wife ten years later. It's been ten years of love and laughter (I'm guessing a whole lot of laughter), adventures and travel. They've become the best of friends and while they admit to being polar opposites, it's only made them stronger together.
Shana and Chris' wedding on Saturday was full of lovely soft Autumn light and happy people who have travelled from far and wide to spend this beautiful day with them.
Chris is quite the romantic and has been giving Shana special pieces of Tiffany jewellery over the years and Shana made sure that they played an important part in the day.
So beautiful Shana!
The morning of the wedding Shana received a gorgeous canvas with one of their images from the E-session and the sweetest poem on the back. You get 100 coolness points Chris!
Back in my day (cue old lady voice) the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen had to be even, and the bridesmaids were always women and the groomsmen were always men. These days there can be any number of either, and there is a growing trend of having a 'bridesmate' or 'bridesman', or even a 'groomsmaid'. These are usually a particularly good friend of either the bride or groom and have jumped ship to join the other party. Mikey was just such a bridesman, and he could straighten a wedding dress like nobody's business!
Meanwhile, Paul is with Chris and the boys as they make their way to Old St Mary's Convent where the wedding would be held.
I'm loving the cufflinks Chris!
Chris you looked so dapper!
Moments before they are to meet in the little chapel and promise the rest of their lives to each other.
And this is the moment where all of the nerves and pre-wedding jitters melt away as Shana is led to her groom. So gorgeous!
Sitting quietly at the side of the chapel was the remembrance table, covered with a very special tablecloth belonging to Chris' Grandma and placed on top were the photos of some of the special people who couldn't be there on the day. It's such a nice way of remembering and including these loved ones.
Caiza was the cuuuuuuutest little ring bearer!
As everyone was leaving the chapel, Shana's Dad picked up his guitar and led everyone out with his wonderful guitar playing. Very, very cool!
If there's one thing I like it's Autumn, and Autumn at Old St Mary's Convent would have to take the cake. The light and colours are just amazing!
One of the Shana and Chris' favourite photos from their E-session was the one when I decided to ruin Paul's lovely photo by jumping through it and photobombing it. While I realise that my job description is to be mostly behind the camera, sometimes I just can't help myself. Chris and Shana share my somewhat warped sense of humour and specifically requested that I photobomb them once more. Scary staring photographer, that's me!
How's this for a good looking bunch?
This is one of my favourite shots of the whole day. This group did crazy happy REALLY well!
I'm loving the shorter days for the sake of the light at weddings. In high summer 6pm still looks much like the middle of the day, whereas Autumn gives us this at 6pm. I'm a fan!
So lovely together!
Then we move on to Wither Hills where the place is set up beautifully and they are enthusiastically welcomed back by their friends and family.
Beautiful cake by Chris' Aunty Jude.
We steal them away for just a few minutes to make the most of that last glimmer of light outside.
Chris and Shana thank you for inviting us to spend the day capturing your beautiful wedding! We wish you guys all the very best for oodles and oodles of years to come!
Ceremony & Portraits Venue: Old St Mary's Convent
Reception Venue: Wither Hills Winery
Celebrant: Philly Angus
Florist: Jo Ching - Blooming Creations
Hair & Makeup: Beyond the Fringe
Cars: Red Mustangs - Theresa Daly and Steve Day
Suits: Sergios (Christchurch)
Cake: Aunty Jude
DJ: Glenn Kirby - Marlborough Light Entertainment
Invites: Anna Coulbeck - Only by Invite
I had high hopes for Kate and John's wedding, so high that there's pretty much no oxygen at that altitude. I told Kate that from the start and I knew she would pull it off too You see, Kate's been with us for a good chunk of our weddings for the last two years. She's been our ever patient assistant, carrying bags, fetching ladders and shooting a third angle during special moments. She's been the quiet voice whispering "lens cap" and thus saving me from yet another senior moment. But today was all about her and John, today she was the princess and everyone would dote on her.
The wedding was just what I had expected. It was full of love and laughter, beautiful people, great cars and a HELICOPTER! Great job Kate, you done good. Real good!
The day started at Locks and Lashes, where Deirdre made a very pretty woman look crazy beautiful.
Kate, you are stunningly beautiful!
Check out Nina's amazing flowers. This is how it's done!
Amy took the prize for super cute flowergirl.
One of my favourite moments of a wedding day is when Dad sees his little girl as a bride for the first time. Definite heart melt moment right there!
Meanwhile in the boy's camp, Cody and Logan were getting all primed for their important task as page boys.
It's quite fitting that John and Kate have some super awesome cars at their wedding, after all, cars are how they got together in the first place! Some of you will remember the story from their E-session, about how John bought Kate a stock car when she needed one, while they were still only friends. He just plum bought her one. If that's not one way to win a girl over, I'm not sure what is!
John is such a warm guy, super easy to be around and always willing to share a smile.
Anybody who hugs a special lady known as 'Gran' like this gets extra coolness points. Yes siree!
Kate decided she'd have a cool vehicle of her own to arrive to the ceremony in. A HELICOPTER. That's just how she rolls.
What an entrance!
One of the things Kate loves about John is the way he smiles at her, and this, right here, is that very smile frozen for her to look back on when their hair is grey, their faces are old and wrinkled and neither of them have their drivers licenses anymore. I bet the smile will be exactly the same. When their youth and beauty fade away they'll still have each other, that's what they promised on this beautiful wedding day.
Lovely ceremony at Drylands Restaurant.
Just moments before I took this photo I was up the ladder with my iPhone, just to keep Kate guessing. She's been to so many weddings before, but she's never seen me take the group photo with an iPhone! Somewhat surprisingly, the iPhone photo wasn't half bad! This shot, however, was the real deal.
And then we were off!
Our first stop was to Brayshaw Park where 'Dennis' is kept. Dennis is the fire engine that John's Grandad drove back in the day. This super cool machine was in use from 1955 to 1986. Seriously cool.
Steven and Georgia completed this bridal party and made it a whoooooole lot of fun!
Pretty, even when crazy.
John and Steven are twins, John being older only by 8 minutes. I bet that 8 minutes of maturity has been claimed more than once over the years!
So gorgeous together!
I don't know how they managed to do it, but even the weather was perfect. We've been waiting ALL SEASON for this exact combination of conditions, slightly cloudy, warm but not too windy. Ding ding! We win!
Quite possibly my favourite shot of the day, this moment of pure happiness and fun is just a peek at how Kate and John are with each other. Real cute.
Then back at Drylands for a fun reception. I especially enjoyed it because we were both photographers AND guests, and so we not only got to enjoy Deitmar's amazing food, we got to boogie with the Chilli Dogs. But more on that later.
Check out the cake that Nana made. Wowzers!
Beautiful place settings, table numbers and all sorts of pretty things made by Leanne from Vanilla Hayes.
Ok, so this might have been us on the dance floor even after most of the guests had left. When you've got the Chilli Dogs playing, you can't leave too early!
Chilli Dogs being seriously cool.
Kate and John, what an amazing day we got to share with you! Thank you so so much for inviting us along for the ride! We wish you both loads and loads of years of happiness!
I can't tell you exactly what made Ashlynn and Mike's wedding just that little bit more special. It could have had something to do with how exceptionally beautiful Ashlynn was, or how cute Mike was, or the way that everything flowed together with such perfection. The weather was great, the venues amazing, but even more than that, the love was very, very real. The amount of joy in not only Ashlynn and Mike, but also their attendants and guests was palpable. I wanted to be able to pop it in a bottle and bring it home and share it around. It was the broad smiles, the constant stream of jokes, genuine hugs and the loudest applause I've heard at a reception that had us not wanting to leave at the end of the night.
Our day started at Locks and Lashes where these three girls were OH so excited about being flowergirls, and who can blame them? I've only ever been a flower girl once and it's still a very treasured memory. It's almost like you're a princess for a day.
I already knew that Ashlynn was going to be crazy gorgeous, but when you combine that kind of good looks with Deirdre's amazing talents, things can get out of hand. Way pretty.
The guys spent the whole day laughing and having a really great time. Paul had no issues getting them to play for the camera at all!
The wedding was held at the gorgeous Upton Oaks. A private and amazingly pretty garden lovingly created by Dave and Sue Monahan.
Mike's family is from Auckland and this is their first time visiting Blenheim. I couldn't be prouder of the amazing weather we put on for them. And it didn't even rain once.
Noah gets a whole big picture to himself. Not only because he's super cute, but also because he followed us around just aching to have his photo taken all day long. Quietly, right there whenever he had the chance, not saying anything but letting us know that 'hey, if you're bored, I'm right here and I'm cute!' So he made it into a lot of photos. And you can see why.
But the stars of the show were undoubtedly Ashlynn and Mike whose natural way with each other made the whole day just glide by.
Check out this super fun bridal party!
Ashlynn had a second dress. A SECOND DRESS! Talk about stroke of genius! Wedding dresses aren't built to be comfortable. I mean, you're not going to pop one on when you're going for a run. So how great an idea is it to have another, more comfortable, dress to dance the night away in?
Now I get to tell you how I buzzed through nine hours of shooting with the energy and enthusiasm of a small dog. I'm thinking it might have something to do with the fact that I've thrown out processed foods and instead I'm consuming enormous amounts of vegetables and good-for-you type foods. What I'm really hoping it does is help me loose weight, along with the running club I've been doing (don't laugh, I still can't run longer than several minutes!) and for that I'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I'm finding a whole new level of energy that has nothing to do with the protein bars and lollies that used to be ever present. I'm hoping this will be a long term lifestyle change, and nothing like that time I spent two years paying for a gym membership I hardly touched. I know you know what I'm talking about!
These people are not, however, applauding me, they are just some of the beautifully excited people I was telling you about earlier! Ashlynn and Mike had a cheering squad all day, and Drylands is the perfect place to cheer!
Leanne from Vanilla Hayes strikes again and creates some gorgeous touches that made the wedding even more beautiful.
Then we snuck them out into the beautiful light and my camera was doing it's very own happy dance. Check out how differently Paul and I see the same scene. Same people, same time but two very different images. I'm always going for closer, cute and personality filled images...
And Paul is always seeing the grand scene and manages to capture angles and vistas that would look drop dead amazing on a giant canvas.
Noah was at the door when we arrived back to Drylands. Of course.
This one makes me a little bit misty eyed. I think someone must have been cutting onion somewhere.
Ashlynn and Mike, what a great day! It was an absolute joy to be part of it and witness how much you love each other and how much your friends and family love you both too. Thank you, thank you! It was super cool!
PS. I was given some of Dietmar's amazing Gelato. I ate it. Don't tell my trainer.
Ceremony Venue: Upton Oaks
Reception Venue: Drylands Restaurant
Celebrant: Carol Taylor
Flowers: Mayflower Studio Florist
Hair & Makeup: Locks & Lashes
Dress: Astra Bridal
Cake: Hayley Foote
DJ: Glenn Kirby
Wedding sign, seating plan, table numbers, candy buffet signs and stickers, etc.: Leanne, Vanilla Hayes
It wasn't that they were happy about the fact that the All Blacks lost their chance at winning the World Cup, that part was sad for sure. The smiles had more to do with the fact that this night, 5 years ago in England, two Kiwis who were just friends found that in fact they could be so much more. So, while all of the rest of the Kiwis were sporting their sad faces, Tom and Sarah were anything but sad because this is where their love story began.
Five years later and this well travelled, much adventured couple are getting married at Sarah's parents beautiful property, Cranbrook, right here in Blenheim. With the theme of 'A long Italian lunch', this was one amazing day filled with friends and family and loads of laughs.
Sarah is not only beautiful, but also highly organised. I guess this comes from being a lawyer! Everything was perfectly in hand and timed to perfection!
Gorgeous jewellery by Stephanie Browne.
Check out the beautiful gown by Lisa Gowing in Australia.
And here is Tom, our superbly handsome and adoring groom!
Tom loves Sarah's strange and wonderful sense of humour, he loves how organised she is and how Friday is her favourite day of the week because it's cleaning day. He loves her honesty and loves how he feels when he's by her side.
So, SO happy to be married!
The most important part of the day for Tom and Sarah, apart from marrying each other of course, was their guests. From the very first conversation I had with Sarah on the phone, it was all about spending their day with their loved ones. Friends and family at a wedding are such a special and important part of the day. There are so few times in life when we all get together, old and young, from all over the world and celebrate life and love. This is exactly why we focus SO MUCH on your loved ones during the day, sure it's about the marriage first and foremost, but it's also about the people you love and sharing that day with them. And speaking from personal experience, you never know what is around the corner for anyone, so thoroughly enjoy your friends and family while they are close by.
Cranbrook is so gorgeous, and while the guests enjoyed each other's company, we took the bridal party for a little walk to get a few portraits.
What a thoroughly gorgeous couple!
We often see all kinds of fabulous ideas for table names, but we've never yet come across 'Famous Moustaches', that is, until Tom and Sarah's wedding! From Magnam PI to Einstein to The Hulk, they were all there! That is seriously cool.
Olive is Sarah's much loved doggie. She's old and lovely and although thoroughly deaf, she knows how to get noticed.
Any wedding that has a few huge bovine friends just across the fence gets extra cool points.
Such beautiful, heartfelt speeches always make the photos shine that much brighter.
Sarah and Tom, thank you both for sharing your special day with us, and what a great day it was! So many happy people, smiling and loving faces, it was a joy to be part of it!
She did the washing, some shopping, went for a 16km run and then she got married. That's just how Bronwyn rolls, super fit, organised and looks AMAZING in a 1930s Hollywood glamour wedding dress.
Bronwyn and James met in England, and here is yet another story about how an Englishman wooed and married a Kiwi girl. We've had a bit of this theme going on in the last few months! I think it must have something to do with the fabulous Kiwi accent. Or is it the English accent wooing the girls? Either way, Bronwyn and James got married at the amazingly beautiful Woollaston Estate in Nelson, with sweeping views of vineyards and Mt Arthur, it was truly breathtaking and we were thrilled to be able to capture their wedding day for them!
We met up with Bronwyn and James at Monaco Resort where they got ready and decided to see each other before heading to the wedding together.
Gorgeous flowers by Earthbloom
It's always a really special moment when bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day, whether it be walking down the aisle or during a 'first look'. There's always the butterflies in the stomach and the glistening eyes, and that's just me!
Loving this expression James!
Before we headed off to the wedding, we decided to stop for a few portraits around Monaco. There are just too many fabulous spots there to move on too quickly!
Bronwyn used to live on Rocks Rd back in the days when she lived in Nelson, and thought it was the best view in the world - so it was only fitting to stop there to grab some quick shots! Thanks to all of you who beeped your horns as you drove past too, I seem to get that a lot on wedding days. I think it must have something to do with my camera?
Loving Lenny the Black Cab! Just a little bit of London in the day!
And then it came time for the serious part. Wedding time!
Another beautiful ceremony conducted by Rachel Schepers.
There is so much that Bronwyn and James love about each other. James loves Bronwyn's accent and her fierce loyalty and devotion to her family. Bronwyn loves James' gentle, relaxed and quiet nature and the way that he challenges her to be interested in things she wouldn't normally give a second thought to.
The team at Woollaston really do know how to throw a party! This place is really gorgeous!
This is possibly my favourite image from this wedding. I'm loving how Bronwyn's Mum is just soaking up James' speech. Everyone knows how important it is to win over your loved one's mother. By the look on the faces right here I'm pretty sure James has totally succeeded!
James opted not to have a wedding ring, so instead Bronwyn bought him these amazing rose gold cufflinks. Coolest cufflinks. Ever.
Then, just as we'd hoped for, the light went all pretty and we stole them away to make the most of it. I'm fairly sure I was grinning pretty broadly about now!
Wow. Bronwyn. Gorgeous!
And James you were looking pretty spunky yourself, I must say!
Is this sculpture at Woollaston a giant kiss? I'd like to think so!
The theme of Bronwyn and James' wedding was of their opposing Rugby teams, the silver fern and the red rose. So it was only right to have a rugby ball around on the day!
Bronwyn and James, what a perfect day! Thank you both so much for allowing us to come and capture it all for you!
Celebrant: Rachel Schepers
Makeup: Jo, Art About Face (Nelson)
Dress: Circa Brides (London)
Hair Piece: 1940s original piece - Gillian Million (London)
Suit: Marc Wallace (London)
Catering: Kirsten Harrison (Nelson)
Getting Ready Venue: Grand Mercure Monaco Resort
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Woollaston Estate