Gemma and James first met at a soccer game, there were no bells and whistles, no angels singing in beautiful harmony, it was just a chance meeting. Little did Gemma know that the handsome man she just met would one day become her husband. Fast forward about a year later and they both happened to be at the same awards ceremony. James had obviously spotted Gemma and instead of going back to his friends he hung back and became very “interested” in the snacks table, which happened to be right by where Gemma was. It didn’t take long for Gemma to see James, and realising he probably needed company, went over to talk to him. Soon after James’ phone rang and Gemma overheard him say “Yeah bro, I’m talking to her now”. And the rest, as they say, is history. Somewhere between that time at the table with the cold spring rolls and now, James stole Gemma’s heart. So much so, in fact, that the two got married on Sunday at Old St Mary’s Convent surrounded by their closest friends and family. The smiles were unstoppable, the hugs abundant and the colours of Autumn made the whole day sing.
As Emily and I arrived at the Chapel Suite we were struck with how incredibly calm everything was. Don’t get me wrong, there was still the excited hustle and bustle that half a dozen ladies produce, but underneath it all was a lovely sense of calm.
Melissa was the cutest little flowergirl ever.
Meanwhile, Paul is with the boys as they get ready to come to the convent as well.
Gemma, you are just so so pretty!
Gemma has the kind of smile that you just want to preserve in a jar to let out on bleak and dreary days, because hers is the type of smile that can make it all better. You can tell how much James loves that smile every time he looks at her. He is totally besotted.
As I was perched near the front of the church and waiting for the girls to walk down the aisle, I couldn’t resist grabbing this shot of James with the light bulb. James, if ever you need an image of yourself having a good idea, go ahead and use this one.
And here they come!
As Melissa makes her way down the aisle the entire church full of people melt just a little bit.
Gemma just kept on smiling that beautiful smile of hers, in fact, she was so happy she turned to the congregation to announce “I just can’t stop smiling!”
And they’re married!
James decided to propose to Gemma during a snowy holiday with friends down in Queenstown. They were there for a week, and while the first four days were all about the snow, James had big plans for day five. He made up some excuse that the weather wasn’t good enough to go snowboarding and so instead they headed into town together. There he planned a day of luxury, with massages, a beautiful lunch and finally a surprise stop at a private hotpool with a beautiful view of the night sky and candles all prepared in advance by James. Down on one knee James admitted that there was a very good reason that this day was particularly special and he asked Gemma if she would marry him. She said yes. I sure am glad she did!
I love kids at weddings because they are so gosh-darn unpredictable. While we might have liked to have Melissa in more than one bridal party photo, she had other ideas that involved running and playing.
So we all know how much I love Autumn weddings, right? And with good reason. Colour, light and general amazingness all around.
Even if it sometimes is a little damp, it’s really no drama.
Hellooooooo pretty Convent!
This bridal party was so good looking, I think you could probably rent them out as a ready-made bridal party!
This image also contains a bride. Just sayin’.
I think it’s fair to say that James is pretty easy on the eye. A fairly nice looking fellow. A handsome lad. While I might like to lay claim at discovering him and being the first to photograph James, I have to admit that I’m really not. Turns out, in fact, that James was Cleo Magazine’s Bachelor of the Year in 2013 after they spotted him as Mr August in the fireman calendar. So ok then, he’s a good looking fireman, surely it must be all skin deep (says me, who tries hard not to jump to conclusions!) But nah-ah (you’ve got to say “nah-ah” with kind of an attitude if you want to say it right). Anyway, Nah-Ah, James has got to be one of the friendliest and most genuine guys around. This guy, right here, is the whole package.
I’d say there are three main types of images we create, completely candid, natural posed and highly posed. Generally we tend to swing towards the candid side of things, and when we do pose people we try to make it look as natural as possible. But sometimes we’re asked to branch out and try a different style, and Gemma and James’ wedding was just that. We’ve actually been seeing some pretty snazzy highly posed and carefully lit wedding images around lately so when we were asked to create something similar we jumped at the chance! Old St Mary’s convent lends itself perfectly to this style too.
The rain stopped just long enough for us to dash outside again. In case you forgot, it’s Autumn (I like to bring that up whenever possible. Autumn. Right there.
It’s still Autumn.
Then it was off to Wither Hills where an evening of fun and laughter awaited us!
Also a Haka.
It was starting to get pretty dark, but not wanting to let go of the fact that we were among vineyards, so hopped on over to the vineyard and made the most of the last smatterings of light.
We’re always on the hunt for something new and different, particularly when we photograph the same locations over and over again. I’d not seen these lights on the wall before. So here we are mixing things up again.
Then inside the snug and warm atmosphere of Wither Hills the fun started.
And the food was good. Of course.
The speeches were great.
And the MC sang a Queen song. In fact, I’m pretty sure we all sang that Queen song together.
There were several people who couldn’t make the wedding, but that didn’t mean that Gemma and James weren’t thinking about you.
Gemma and James, thank you ever so much for inviting us into your amazing day. We so very much enjoyed getting to know you both! Wishing you miles and miles of happiness!
Ceremony and Portrait Venue: Old St Mary’s Convent
Reception Venue: Essence Events, Wither Hills Winery
Minister: Doug Pa’u
Hair & Makeup: Locks & Lashes
MC: Luke Bird
Videographer: Le Films Videography
Cake: Debbie, The Cake Company
DJ: Sonic Soundz
Car: Regal Rolls Royce