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Ashlynn & Mike – Married!

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.

Vendor Shoutout

Ceremony Venue: Upton Oaks

Reception Venue: Drylands Restaurant

Celebrant: Carol Taylor

Flowers: Mayflower Studio Florist

Hair & Makeup: Locks & Lashes

Dress: Astra Bridal

Suits: Thomas’s

Cake: Hayley Foote

DJ: Glenn Kirby

Wedding sign, seating plan, table numbers, candy buffet signs and stickers, etc.: Leanne, Vanilla Hayes

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