It was the wettest day Dunedin had seen in a loooong time. After absolutely stunning weather the day before, the heavens opened, and the rain arrived in epic proportions. But there was NOTHING that was going to stop the plans that one boy had that day.
My heart was beating with a mix of excitement and nerves from the moment I woke up that morning. Some sweet kiwi ingenuity was necessary to keep our gear somewhat dry, and we put on our jackets and made our way through the botanic gardens. We searched for some sneaky trees, and each found our hiding places. And then we waited. And waited. And got a little sopping wet... annnnd looked like absolute stalkers hiding in the bushes with giant cameras. But that didn't matter. It was a big day for our awesome friends, and we felt hugely privileged to be a part of it!
Is it ok to lie when there needs to be some serious convincing to get a girl out of her warm car, and get her walking through the gardens in the pooouring rain? I won't tell you the marvellous plan Ollie conjured... but after a few secret texts, and an exquisitely planned and timed phone call, Ollie managed to convince Chu that she needed to come with him. She was none the wiser about what was about to happen.
We first spotted their umbrella bobbing up and down as they walked through the pathways, and we could see Chu trying to tell Ollie over and over that he was going the wrong way! He's a pretty smooth talker though, and he got her right where he wanted her... on a beautiful bridge, nestled amongst the incredibly gorgeous colours of autumn! And then with spine-tingling romance and the all-necessary element of surprise, it all happened...
I think that's a yes!!!
Through the laughter and tears and all the hugely exciting emotions, we forgot about the rain briefly! It just got heavier and heavier though, and by then we were all pretty drenched... so we ran inside the tropical greenhouse for a couple quick celebratory photos!
Ahhhh so exciting!!!
Soooo happy for you Ollie and Chu - to capture something as incredible as a proposal was definitely a major privilege and a highlight... THANK YOU for inviting us into this incredibly beautiful and personal moment!! I'm SO glad you pulled it all off, and that we didn't accidentally sneeze or something to ruin the surprise!
We cannot WAIT to photograph your wedding next year - you are an amazing couple and we know your big day is going to be so awesome. Chu, you are going to be a gorgeous bride! Have fun planning!! :)
Meet Rhonda and Pete! They are one of those couples that just instantly put a big smile on your face when you see them with each other. They have found love, and they dedicated their lives to each other in a beautiful ceremony at Glenfalloch Gardens on the peninsula! Their day was a celebration of two hearts and two families coming together - a beautiful story of love and companionship.
But hold up, I'm getting ahead of myself... beautiful Rhonda hadn't actually arrived at her beautiful wedding at Glenfalloch Gardens yet! The guests all gathered together with a flurry of hugs, handshakes, and smiles as they all caught up with old friends and family.
A sneaky peek around the corner to see the bride on her way...
...so a very happy groom gets into position! Pete has such a great smiley face!
Rhonda just looked so beautiful, and was walked up the aisle by her lovely "bridesmaids"!
Love the way they look at each other.
For Rhonda and Pete, this day definitely wasn't just about them! They wanted photos of every single guest there with their partners and families... a celebration of all those there who support and love Rhonda and Pete! Here is just a wee collection of some of those gorgeous photos!
After the ceremony, we went off with the bridal party for a short photo shoot around gorgeous Glenfalloch.
Rhonda and Pete are incredibly affectionate, and had no qualms about getting snuggly in front of the camera! In fact, I couldn't actually stop them! I got the feeling their children didn't really appreciate this all of the time though... :)
Pete's "Best Man" (his lovely daughter, Anita!) and his two sons, Brad and Todd, made an awesome support crew for Pete. And I was waiting for Rhonda's "Bridesmaids" (her sons, James and Luke) to turn up in dresses, but alas, it didn't happen. These guys all seem to have a really nice bond, and so much respect for each other.
A sneaky wee practice of their first dance...
While I was taking the above picture, Liam took this candid shot... Rhonda and Pete looking proudly at their awesome new family!
The family gave some incredibly hilarious and heartfelt speeches, and then the party got started!
As the guests all tucked into dinner, Liam and I went running down the hill to get to the gorgeous sunset looking over Dunedin. A beautiful end to such a lovely day!
Rhonda and Pete, thank you so much for inviting us into your wonderful wedding!! It was just all so beautiful, and the way you love each was just so lovely to capture! There are SO many more images to show you! All the very, very best for your life together!
Central Otago has to be one of the greatest, most beautiful places on earth! And Michelle and Jason's Lauderdale wedding was up there with the most perfectly planned weddings on earth! It was filled to the brim with gorgeous rustic flair - the details, the venue, the landscapes - it was perfection. We had it all with the weather - from thick fog, to burning hot sun, to moody clouds, to very light spots of rain, to a still & mild evening... it all just added to the Central Otago flavour!
Michelle and Jason's wedding was one I was looking forward to hugely from the minute I met them at their hilarious, muddy engagement shoot
. I knew their wedding was going to be fun and relaxed, but also immaculately thought out and beautifully classy. They are an awesome pair, whose deep love and commitment made this a very special day.
Everything took place within minutes of each other between the two tiny historic towns of Lauder and Becks. I love this rugged slice of NZ... you just seem to walk back in time, into an open-countryside full of history and unbelievable landscapes.
And there we met some very awesome people!
After the boys got that out of their system, it was time to head back and get ready.
Ahhhh, the smell of brand new leather shoes...
Michelle's wedding day gift to Jason was an engraved Leatherman - 1 John 4:19 - "We love because he first loved us".
Lauder isn't a very big place, so right next door, behind a big fence, Michelle was getting all made up beautifully by the lovely Lynda...
...Leesa was going for the comfy casual look in the polarfleece onesie... and some people were sneaking oysters they weren't meant to be eating yet...
Michelle, you are beautiful. Those eyes... amazing!
Measured to perfection...
Tucked amongst the barren mountains and dusty roads lies an exquisite and private wedding venue in the heart of Central. We were blown away by how amazing Lauderdale
is... a raw, rustic and different venue for guests to experience, possibilities for photographs everywhere you looked, and gorgeous stone ruins as the back drop to the ceremony.
Last minute touch ups for the groomsmen!
They look at each with so much pride, so much love, so much happiness.
Big ups to this band who did an incredible job of the music... spine tingling goodness...
I'm always jealous of the gorgeous dresses that girls get to wear to weddings! I have to wear reasonably practical dresses given the running around I do... but I doooo love checking them all out! The dresses that is, not the girls...
'Uncle Bob' is a term thrown around jokingly amongst professional photographers to describe particular guests who are keen-bean photographers and go to any lengths to try to get the best shot. Michelle's Uncle Bob (literally!) became the butt of the jokes during the family photographs... he was very elusive and kept missing the photos he was meant to be in... then what do you know, I turn around and there is he is taking my spot on the ladder!! :P
Meanwhile, the new Mr and Mrs Gorton kept having these gorgeous little moments that they thought no one was watching...
Oh boys. Love it.
The guests played lawn games and strolled around the gorgeous Lauderdale property while we were away doing photos with the bridal party!
Liam is my ring shot man. He does them at every wedding. Never before has he been nick-named 'Frodo' from the whole bridal party and the drivers before though! I guess carrying the gold rings up and into the rocks kinda gave him that vibe tho... :)
Back to Lauderdale
, where the guests had found their tables, and were admiring all the incredible
handmade decorations that Michelle had poured her heart and soul into!
Taking a bow... and rightly so! The reception venue looked sooooo amazing!
Wow... Jason and Michelle... THANK YOU! It was truly a privilege to be part of your day! You were both just so relaxed and fun... and your love for each other is so obvious and awesome. We wish you all the very best for your life together... I have no doubt it will be full of fun and laughter! xoxox
PS. If anyone else thinks Lauderdale looks like a perfect place to get married... get in touch with us too! We want to go back! xx
I'm not afraid to admit that I ate far too many Easter eggs over the past week. And come on, be honest... you probably did too.
It was Easter Monday a year ago. An awesome day that changed Julie and Geoff's lives for the better. Julie stumbled across a very awkward and nervous Geoff, who was trying desperately to distract her from the fact that he was in the middle of hiding something in her drawers. Suspicious of what he was doing, Julie naturally pushed the matter until he finally gave in and let her look. She found a sneaky Easter egg... but wait... there's more! Inside the egg was a beautiful ring... and all of a sudden Geoff was on his knee proposing, despite the fact that his romantic proposal didn't go exactly as planned!
I don't know how many times I heard people saying "It's about time!" at their wedding, but after over ten years of being together, these high school sweethearts commited their lives to one another on the 8th of March. It was an incredible day - full of fun and laughter and craziness. We began with the boys, who were slowly working off their wedding day breki, and just cruising before they had to think about getting into suits.
Even though it was overcast... sunglasses with built in moustaches were essential!
Over at the girls', everything was coming together perfectly...
How beautiful is Julie's dress?!?!
Julie was absolutely flawless... so amazingly elegant, and a beautiful person inside and out.
Julie and Geoff had both bought matching sunglasses for their bridal parties. I think they were a hit... no one wanted to take them off all day!
Time to head to the ceremony... in big American Dodge Rams!
The ceremony was held at beautiful First Church in Dunedin. It's a stunning, impressive church... but fill it with a big bunch of wonderful friends and family, and a gorgeous bridal party... and it just gets even better!
All those pre-wedding nerves were worth it for this moment...
Sealed with a kiss... they become husband and wifey!
And they couldn't be more happy about it!
Spitting rain?! Pfffft... get out in it anyway! A little rain never hurt anyone....
I highly commend Julie and Geoff on their choice of bridal party! Not only were they a pretty good looking bunch... they made sure they laughed their way through the day...
From beginning to end, Julie and Geoff's day was FUN. They didn't take life too seriously, and had a ball all day. We loved every second of shooting these guys and gals!
What a guy...
Geoff and Julie are an awesome couple. Even though I only got to know them through a couple of pre-wedding meetings, they were just so cruisy to work with, and totally trusted us to do our thing!
Under their suit jackets and waistcoats, these dapper looking guys were hiding...
And just so you know, we did do lots of beautiful, mostly normal shots too!
Sweet moves bro.
It's awesome when the bridal party all know each other well already! Julie's two beautiful sisters and gorgeous cousins were obviously all very close. But the guys were close too. Like, really close. The holding hands, hugging, sitting on knees type of close. I guess that is what all being high school friends does to you!
Time to head back to enjoy the rest of the party happening at the Dunedin Art Gallery!
And the guests welcomed them back pretty enthusiastically...
I had tears rolling down my cheeks from laughter during their speeches! A full reenactment of the proposal by the guys who always have Geoff's back...
... and some sweet 'Afternoon Delight' singing, with audience participation too! ;)
The dancing was beautiful and romantic...
... well, some of it was romantic!
We stayed until late in the evening and set up a photo booth for the guests while the d-floor was still raging!! It's an awesome way to get guests into photos when they wouldn't normally... and they looooved it! Here is just a wee selection of the antics...
Julie and Geoff, it was truly SUCH a pleasure to photograph your awesome day! Thank you for trusting us to capture the most special day of your life... we hope you love the photos! Can't wait to show you more! It was so hard to choose a few for the blog! We hope your lives together as husband and wife are more awesome than you could have ever imagined! XOXO
It's amazing when love is so visible that you see it in every look, every touch, every moment. Richard and Victoria's love for each other is just that. Completely visible. They spent their whole wedding day (and I presume the large majority of their whole relationship!) just exchanging cute wee glances, smiling ecstatically at each other, and pulling each other close. Despite being together for years, it was as if they had just
fallen head over heels in love!
Richard and Victoria came down from Auckland for their beautiful big day at Grandview Gardens
! Dunedin turned on another tropical day, and everything at Grandview was just set up to perfection! A beautiful venue for a wonderful couple, and their family and friends, to celebrate a deep and awesome commitment.
Our day began at the ceremony, with the excited guests arriving by the bus load... and Richard getting lots of hugs and squishy kisses on his cheeks from relatives!
Victoria and her support crew all arrived in style... in a car that, in the past, has transported the Queen and Nelson Mandela no less! Royal treatment for a beautiful bride...
When she first arrived, Victoria walked through the gorgeous reception area, all set up to perfection by the wonderful Grandview staff and Jolene at Estelle Flowers
.... and her face just lit up seeing it all come together! All that planning for months and months, all the little details and different people contributing...and it all just totally worked.
It looked amazing!
After a nervous wait for the groom and the guests, Miss Victoria walked down the aisle, with Mum and Dad right by her side.
They had a lovely candle ceremony involving their parents, but the best bit was the whole bridal party and family crowding around to form a wall so the wind didn't blow out the candles! And I think that is an awesome picture of what marriage is all about... having the support of a community around you throughout your marriage, to ensure your flame doesn't weaken.
Patrick searched the other groomsmen's pockets before finding the rings! ;)
Richard vowed to continue making Victoria a cup of tea at least once a day using an egg timer to get the perfect strength, to always be chivalrous even when old and wrinkly, and to maintain a weekly romantic date night!! What a guy!!
Husband and wife!!! The wedding march music began, but quickly mixed into "Poi E" which they danced out of the aisle too! I had to turn it on while I was editing these so I could get into the groove...
After an awesome time of congratulating and mingling (and adoring the random cat who stood proudly at the front of the family photos!), we set out around Grandview with the bridal party! Sooo many awesome locations here... Jo and Wayne do such a wonderful job of upkeeping this incredibly gorgeous venue. It is a huge asset to the wedding industry in Dunedin!
Victoria and Richard proved immediately that they were so natural and beautiful in front of the camera.
Awesome big bridal party! These guys were seriously amazing and fun!
This is what you get when you tell 11 people to pretend to be trees.
Victoria's brother, Edward, and Richard's sister, Roseanne, played the part of both bridesmaids and groomsmen!
Victoria's smile is so captivating! And it didn't leave her face all day! Such a beautiful bride...
Richard and Victoria are big adventurers! They love tramping and the outdoors... and one of Richard's favourite things to do is climb trees (he nearly jumped out of the boat in the middle of the pond when I mentioned climbing a tree!) They didn't hesitate at all to get in the row boat. But the groomsmen tried it out first for a lovely little bit of bromantic time...
They were, um, really good at going around and around in circles.
Time for the bride and groom... who were much better at rowing in a straight line!
As I said, these guys love the outdoors. They had a 'native bird' theme throughout their reception details - including little birds nests that they had collected over the past few months! 'The Velveteen Rabbit' childrens book was their guest book for people to sign, and was part of their ceremony readings.
What they don't know is that when we were inside waiting for them to be introduced, I noticed them outside by themselves having this gorgeous wee moment.
I have never heard the introductions and house keeping all being rapped... but there is always a first!! Dan was a hilarious and awesome MC. He had put some serious time into prepping for his role.
Victoria and Richard, what a magical, fun day!! You guys were just perfect - it was obvious that the guests had such an awesome day, and you both just overflowed with love!! Thanks you for asking me and Liam to capture the hundreds of special moments during your day. We loved every minute! Hope married life has been amazing so far... I have no doubt it will have been! xoxoxoxo
Where, oh where, do I begin...
Rose and Andrew's wedding day in Wanaka was such a treat to be part of!! It was full of laughter, beauty, friendship, and the awesomeness that is love. Rose, as a sweet sixteen year old, got to know Andrew when he was flatting with her sister, Catherine. He then headed to Canada, but they continued to keep in touch and started their relationship on opposite sides of the world! Since then, they have grown together, loved together, and built their lives around each other.
I became friends with Rose when we were tiny little girls skipping around in pink tutus at ballet school. It has been a few years since I have seen her though... so to be asked to photograph the biggest day of her life was a major honour, and to see such a stunning bride on her wedding day was so incredible.
Before we get a peek at the bride though... meet Andrew and his boys, Daniel and Richard. It was hot in Wanaka. Like REALLY hot. And they were in full black suits... yikes! It was worth it, though. They looked awesome!
Time to head to the beautiful girls getting ready. I literally skipped a wee breath when I saw Rose, and she wasn't even in her gorgeous princess dress yet!
Green shoes!!! My favourite... (it's no secret I have a major soft spot for that colour!). And lots of lovely details...
And here she is... perfection! I was definitely excited about photographing this beauty for the day.
And her utterly gorgeous bridesmaids, Melissa and Bridget were sooooo amazing throughout the day! They were there for Rose every step of the way... totally committed to being the most amazing friends a girl could want beside her on her wedding day.
The first peek for her family!
Everyone was so organised and prepared that we had heaps of time to kill, to ensure Rose wasn't too early for the ceremony! Happy dance for a photographer...
When I had a quick run around the back of the house to see if there was anything good to use around there, I did not expect to find this!!! LOVE it!!
Rose is such a sweetie!
Ahhhhh such a dream to photograph!!
Finally ceremony time... the guys and all the guests had been seeking any shelter they could find until this point... but the gorgeous lake-front ceremony amongst the rolling hills at Edgewater Resort
Wowed by his beautiful girl...
In an intimate wee ceremony amongst a group of about 50 special people, Rose and Andrew declared their love for each other, and their wish to spend the rest of their happy lives together...
Love the wee private moment they had after being officially made husband and wife!
All the planning for this day was for this very moment... the moment they are announced as Mr and Mrs Carson!
Happy families and friends... love it! We still haven't had all the pretty photos around the lake-front yet, so please carry on to Part II
! (You may even get to see a bride on a trampoline... just saying...)
If you feel like you are missing a large chunk of Rose and Andrew's wedding day, please head back to Part I
to see the preparations and ceremony photos!
I think this is my favourite time... when the bride and groom finally get to really talk on their big day, tell their stories from the morning, and relax in each other's company. And take in the fact that the ceremony went so fast, and they are now married!
And the bridal party get to eat, drink and relax too!
The Wanaka lake front is rather spectacular... but place an amazing couple in the mix, and it gets more meaning and more beauty.
Those eyes! Captivating.
Just before heading back to the reception, I convinced them all that the wind-swept, jumped around look was a good thing... and that the ground-height trampoline was a brilliant idea...!
I loooove the series of shots... every couple needs to have fun on their wedding day!
Childhood dreams and true love...
is an awesome venue for receptions. It is has the most gorgeous natural light, but it is sheltered when you need it to be! We loved shooting here...
Details and loveliness.
Heartfelt speeches that caused tears from laughter and from special words. They were all amazing!
Rose and Andrew, thank you so, so much!!! Your wedding day was a dream. Our greatest wish for you is that your journey of marriage will be filled with blessings and fun, and that you continue to grow closer and closer together as you start your lives as husband and wife.
And Richard, Daniel, Bridget and Melissa too - thanks for being so much fun, and for making our 'job' so easy!! We loved it! Can't wait to share more images with you xoxoox
It all began on a tropical island... the epitome of romance and summer love. Karlee's sister's wedding in Rarotonga was the catalyst for a blossoming relationship between gorgeous Karlee, and the lovely guy she met there by chance... Nick! Quite conveniently, they ended up being amongst the very last people hanging out at the wedding. Something sparked immediately between them, and they sat talking on the beach for hours and hours. Early the next morning, Nick flew back to Sydney, and Karlee back to Dunedin. Thankfully though, their story doesn't end there. Nick pursued this gorgeous girl he had met, emailing her as soon as he got home to let her know he felt a truly special connection between them. Yup, this is a case of love at first sight. Cue *happy sigh*.
They spent the next wee while moving between Sydney and Dunedin, and on one of Karlee's trips over, Nick organised a romantic surprise trip to a resort on an Island. He took her out for a dinner, and then back to his room where he had arranged for the hotel staff to leave flowers and champagne. Turns out they had forgotten, but that didn't stop Nick. He proposed with a poem that he wrote himself. That's right girls... a poem. A true romantic!
The story of Karlee and Nick's wedding day started for us the way it normally starts for all the guests - with the anticipation of the bride arriving at the ceremony! We met Nick at the beautiful Glenfalloch Gardens
- a little nervous, but excited about heading into the greatest day of his life. And having a quick quiet moment to read over his vows.
The buzz of excitement amongst the guests was awesome. There was plenty happening - people catching up with old friends, squealing about seeing Karlee, complimenting each other on their attire, and greeting Nick with big hugs and kisses, or a good nod and pat on the back. And the kids were just being kids - running around the bush walks burning energy, giggling, and enjoying being dressed up in pretty dresses and handsome shirts.
We normally get to see the bride before she is in her wedding dress, and we watch on as everything comes together. But this time, seeing Karlee arriving at the ceremony was just as much of a surprise for us as it was for everyone else! And wow. Just wow. Every little bit that we saw (as she very slowly made her way out of the car!) got more and more fabulous. Karlee is just the most beautiful girl, inside and out.... and her dress?! Too stunning for words!
She also told me the bridesmaids' green shoes were her favourite thing about the whole wedding... tehe. I don't blame her really... :)
I think her Dad, Murray, was pretty proud of his little girl too...
They spoke the most beautiful words about each throughout the ceremony. Honest words that came from the heart. I just loved the way Nick adored his new wife. He described her as 'cute as a button'... small but strong, with a heart of gold that cares about everyone. Oh my, they are such a beautiful couple!
And then just to top off his romantic streak, Nick wrote a poem for his vows. Heart strings got a little tugged here once again.
Two best friends... married.
There were so many GORGEOUS little kids running around - nieces and nephews and adorable little friends!
I think I found my competition!
Please, please, pleeeease carry on to Part II of Karlee and Nick's wedding blog
... I promise it just gets better and better! Because after this we headed off to some gorgeous locations for photos and trust me, they rocked the photo shoot.
Did you miss Part I of Karlee and Nick's blog
?! Head back here
to see the beautiful ceremony at Glenfalloch Gardens!
I don't need to say much from now on. You will see how beautiful they are. How adoring they are. How they love each other to the moon and back. And how ridiculously good looking they are!
They both told me beforehand that they were petrified about the photo shoot - but I'm pretty sure they have both been models in past lives...
I am so in love with Karlee's dress!
Oh. my. goodness. Karlee is a STUNNER!!!
Cute as a button?! Yup, that is a completely accurate statement!
Back to the Chalet at Glenfalloch for the reception! Introducing Mr and Mrs Cayford!
Oh man, we loved your day so much! We left on a huge buzz... you guys were fantastic, your bridal party were all great, and you really knew how to put on a good party! Thank you so much for choosing us to be your photographers - we loved every second of it! We hope you love your photos... there are plenty more where these came from!!
Lots of love and blessings to you both as you embark on this journey of marriage! xoxoxoxo
The excitement and anticipation around Lisa and Jono's upcoming wedding was hugely contagious! Lisa's face just burst into the biggest smile when we began talking wedding plans, and it never left her. We couldn't wait to photograph their big day. I think "eeeeeeeeep" and "ohhhhhhhhhhh" and "ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!" became very common words in her vocabulary over their engagement! And that excitement and energy carried on throughout Lisa and Jono's amazing wedding day.
You may recognise this wonderful couple from a certain library engagement shoot
a few months ago! They are crazy, fun, adoring, and sincerely and deeply in love. This wedding was about new hope, new futures, new adventures together as a partnership.
Despite the hustle and bustle happening around her, Lisa was completely calm and not nervous at all. There were numerous bursts of excitement throughout the morning though!
Or was it?! Lisa and her Dad arrived at the church.... but the bridesmaid's car wasn't following. Every good wedding needs a funny story... and a car breaking down on the way to the church is a goodie! They had to be rescued by the bridal car afterwards... and finaaaaally the made it to the church safe and sound! It was kinda fun watching Jono and the guests shuffling around in their seats with nerves when she hadn't arrived after 30 minutes :)
Show time... this time!
Lisa told me the other day that she would do this all again - purely to see Jono well-up like he did when he first saw her. I love the look on his face. Pure joy.
Some fabulous music, heart-felt vows, family prayers, and so many gorgeous looks between the bride and groom made for a beautiful ceremony at St. John's Anglican Church in Roslyn.
Sealed the deal with a kiss... and then that was that... they were married!!
I love taking photos of all the hugs and kisses and congratulations... it is such a joyful, happy time! So many emotional and cheerful people!
But their day definitely didn't end there... please follow me over to Part II of their blog
, to see the gorgeous location shoot photos, and their reception at the Otago Museum!