Stacy & David

Tarureka Estate – sneak peeks

One of the biggest compliments we can receive is being asked to photograph the sibling of a previous bride or groom.

A few weeks ago we had the privilege of photographing Stacy & David’s wedding at Tarureka Estate? in Featherston.

After photographing Stacy’s brother’s wedding 2 years ago, we knew their family would be kind, welcoming, and plenty of fun.

We weren’t wrong.

I’m 2 weeks late delivering a sneak peek, so here’s 15 of them!

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Nella & Talia

Remember Nella & Talia?

If you remember the invitation, it was a cocktail affair at the stunning Massey Tea Gardens. But there’ll be some traditional Samoan dancing, they told us. There’ll be plenty of singing and dancing, they said. Oh, and Samoan people *love* the attention of the camera, they also mentioned.

And Nella & Talia weren’t wrong. What followed was one of the most amazing wedding celebrations we’ve ever witnessed.

Nella was also the Featured Bride over at Astra Bridal so check that out too!

Have a listen to this song as you browse the images, all will become clear later in the post!

[audio:http://wedo.net.nz/wp-content/uploads/04.-Donna-Summer-Last-Dance.mp3|titles=Last-Dance|artists=Donna-Summer]

Nella and her bridesmaids & flower girls begun the morning getting prepared at their house, Bon Jovi playing in the background. Being a huge Bon Jovi fan Aneta felt right at home!

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Meanwhile Talia and the boys had spent the morning putting the finishing touches in place at the venues and generally chilling out. Oh, and laying out all their gear quite nicely for me!

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The Soundshell at the Botanic Gardens provided the perfect venue for a wedding amidst the beauty of the green trees and surrounded by almost 200 guests.

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Taking the opportunity we scooted into the Gardens for some fun times and bridal party portraits.

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And the we ventured to the Tea Gardens at the Massey Museum Building (Tokomaru) for the reception and the rest of the day’s festivities.

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After the laughter and tears of the speeches and traditional Samoan dancing Joosy Froot kicked off the rest of the evening.

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And then it happened. The most amazing part of the day. Amidst the chaos, laughter and dancing Nella reluctantly took the microphone and sang the most amazing rendition of “Last Dance” I’ve ever heard. Ah-mazing.

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Not to be outdone, Talia then followed with his karaoke rendition of Elvis.

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And then it continued. the wildest, craziest dancefloor I’ve ever been a part of.

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Nella & Talia, thank you.

Hannah & James

We do love your photography!” said the email from Hannah, confirming our presence at their wedding.

You may notice something missing from this wedding. The timeless, emotive, classic black&white shots that normally punctuate any wedding coverage are missing. It’s all colour.

But the day was so full of fun, so full of laughter, and so full of beautiful light, that it seems wrong to show these in anything but.

Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys & Girls, I present to you – in full technicolour – Hannah & James!

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We started at Is Bliss on Taranaki St in Wellington, where Hannah and her 5 bridesmaids – yes, 5, all sisters and cousins! – spent the morning enjoying being pampered. This is always a really important part to our day: we get to meet the bridesmaids and the bride’s family and spend some relaxed time with them.

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And we then swung by The Boatshed to check on the morning’s preparations. Looking pretty amazing, I thought!

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Back at Hannah’s house the bridal preparations continued.

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Sacred Heart Cathdedral (in Thorndon) was absolutely packed to the brim with guests, I’ve never seen people stretched to the last rows of pews. Hannah & James are certainly well loved!

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Yes, that is indeed an iPad Father Tim is wielding.

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We then disappeared for an hour or so across Wellington to the grounds of the Government House. What a privilege it was being able to photograph inside these very restricted and private grounds (unfortunately there’s a number of images we’re prevented from displaying – just trust me, they’re good!)

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There were some really cool photos taken about now that we’re not permitted to show, that look like the following:
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Except a bit better.

But here’s a couple more we can show:

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Despite running 15mins late and being locked inside the Government House grounds (not a bad place, but let’s be honest – we had somewhere more important to be!) we made it back to the Boat Shed on Wellington’s waterfront, looking splendid in the late evening sunshine.

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As with all awesome weddings, a surprise or two simply adds to the day. Hannah’s bridal party performed a small musical piece, reminiscent of their childhood performances.

Sing along with me now:

Bottoms up! We’re all in town, Hannah,
You look gorgeous in your wedding gown.
Husband James – watch a catch!
As a couple, they’re a perfect match.

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Oh, you know that embedded song you’ve been playing whilst browsing these photos? As their first dance song, it was beautiful. Made even better by James’ brother behind the microphone.

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The Photobooth made an appearance, complementing the pumping dancefloor.

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But you know what struck me most about this wedding? Hannah’s smiles. There’s barely a moment during the entire day when she wasn’t beaming with happiness. Go ahead, have a look again, count them. And that’s not all of the photos, oh no. Hannah mentioned to us after the wedding how much she enjoyed the day – how she was able to sit back, take it all in and enjoy it. And that’s what we love to see most of all. Happiness. It’s here in abundance.

Hannah & James, We Do love you!

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Natalie & Brett

“Does Jeff dress like a girl at home?” – It’s looking likely.

“Will my ass get fatter with this full-cream milk?” – Signs point to No.

I was playing with the Magic 8 ball we found lying on the counter whilst we waited for our morning coffees.

“Will you be our wedding photographer?”

I shook the ball. Reply hazy, try again it said.

“No, I’m being serious – will you be our wedding photographer?”

I looked at Natalie. She’s not serious very often, but she certainly was now.

Fast forward 12+months and I’m sitting in her sister’s kitchen on a wet January morning whilst Jaime Leigh is doing her thing with Nat’s makeup and Right Said Fred is playing on the stereo.

When starting this blog I vowed to never talk about the Wellington weather. It’s Wellington. Weather changes, that’s what it does. But this was a January day like no other: gloomy; unrepentant rain, sideways at times; surprisingly cold.

Yet, Nat – in the way only she can – was positive and upbeat right through the day. She also had her fantastic sisters to help with that.

… I shake my little tush on the catwalk“. Yep, today was going to be alright.

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Aneta took the opportunity to pose Nat for a few bridal portraits – we don’t generally give a lot of direction during the day, but if your bride is ready 20mins early, why not use the time?

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Meanwhile Brett and his brothers donned their smartest – including awesome custom-made shirts – at the Copthorne Hotel.

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One of my favourite central-Wellington venues, The BoatShed, looked good even under the gloom.

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Yes, they just did that – they just shook hands.

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The aforementioned rain may have scuppered our plans of visiting the Te Papa Bush City and Botanic Gardens, but we improvised with Wellington’s Old Bank Arcade (scene of that earlier coffee/magic 8 ball incident).

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Of course, why should a little bit of rain stop a bridal party intent on having a little fun. Good thing we normally bring along a few parasols – queue the best Mary Poppins impersonation in the middle of Lambton Quay. And a big thanks to the Go Wellington bus drivers who patiently waited while we took a few frames!

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Seeking further refuge, the staff at the Wellington Railway Station were amazingly accommodating. Give them a heads up, let them know what you’re doing, allow them to take a few snaps for their newsletter, and they were only happy to let a 7-strong bridal party let lose in the station. :)

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One of my favourite shots of the entire day, a 45-frame Brenizer method on the Wellington railway platform.

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Nat & Brett also took this opportunity to practice a few dance moves.

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Back at The Boat Shed, it looked amazing. Great colour scheme, with cute travel-oriented table names.

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And of course the favours featured these delectible macarons from Sky & Helene, available from Moore Wilsons Fresh.

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I realised I don’t do ring shots very often. Cue a bit of creativity.

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Bring back the garter and boquet toss I say – haven’t seen these since our own wedding 3 years ago!

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And then all that practice paid off.

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Nat & Brett weren’t the only ones in the room who knew how to dance. Something tells me these people might have been practicing too.

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It is certain.

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Meredith & James

Meredith & James. The Perfect Match.

I met Meredith at the North City Wedding Expo in January.

“Are you from Taupo?” she asked me.

“No” I replied bluntly.

Looking at her confused and disappointed face, I then thought for a couple of seconds over what she had just asked me. Realising she had actually asked “Would you travel to Taupo?” I tactfully reconsidered my response:

“Actually, hang on. I think we could work something out.”

And we did.

And it rocked.

Try listening to this piece of music whilst scrolling through the images.

[audio:http://www.melophobe.com/audio/tempertrap_disposition.mp3|titles=Sweet Disposition|artists=The Temper Trap]

Trust me, it’ll make your day. It certainly made theirs.

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At the same time James and his fellow dudes were getting ready down the road. Their family batch – beautifully positioned on the Taupo lakefront – was perfectly suited for a morning of suiting up and some quiet bubbles to calm the nerves. In a custom-tailored suit, square-tipped tie and stunning brogues James certainly looked the part.

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Meanwhile, Meredith and her beautiful bridesmaids were putting the finishing touches to their gorgeous attire and helping Meredith slip into her beautiful dress. As overheard from Meredith later in the evening: “I always said I didn’t want to be a meringue, but it’s SO MUCH FUN!”

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Only moments before the commencement of the ceremony James, Father Row and the guests had shuffled the chairs outdoors. The morning had been dull and wet. But now the sun was shining. And it was worth it.

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Away from the adoration of close family and friends we slipped around the back of the hotel for some bridal portraits. 90mins was squeezed into 45 as we quickly captured the beauty of Meredith & James and their bridal party.

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The “Lunge”…

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And then, with little time on our side and the last of the evening sun heading towards setting into the great lake, we took some of the most adorable portrait shots I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking. From shy beginnings of split-second kisses during our engagement shoot, these two couldn’t keep their hands – and lips – off each other!

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The Perfect Match. With James’ graphic design skills and Meredith’s meticulous planning, the details were stunning. The whole day went to plan, and the evening was as emotional as any reception I’ve attended.

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The evening shifted to the Hilton conservatory where my absolute favourite NZ band at this moment, Supermodel, rocked the night away and Meredith & James opened the proceedings with some wonderfully choreographed dancemoves. This should have been a sign of things to come, but we had to wait another hour or two…

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And off course, the Photobooth – with accompanying guestbook – was present. What wedding would be complete without the Photobooth?

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And then it stopped. The band ceased. The crowd gathered. And in the most amazing individual dance performance ever witnessed, James proceeded to demonstrate all those moves that wooed Meredith during that fateful evening at Boogie Wonderland. Usher’s O.M.G. will never sound the same again.

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Hilton, Taupo

Oh My God indeed.

Rahael & Brendon

It’s not typical to get married in the middle of winter, but everything about Rahael and Brendon’s wedding day was a bit unique. The cultural sensation of a sari-draped bride marrying a kilt-wearing groom. A storming and emotive groomsmen entrance teeming with Maori heritage, followed by the classic modern kiwi sound of Tiki Taane.

Prayer and faith were in abundance throughout the day. Personalised heartfelt vows flowed through to warm speeches and prayer. On a cold winter’s day in All Saints Church everyone’s heart was warmed by Rahael and Brendon’s love.

Bridesmaids gifted individually wrapped fruitcake to guests as they congratulated Rahael and Brendon before a GO Wellington bus transported them to The Pines, Houghton Bay, to continue the celebration of their marriage. The roaring fire created perfect ambiance for the drinks & canapés as the new Mr and Mrs Green mingled with their guests into the evening.

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