As with a lot of my lovely clients, Karla and Clint just wanted a laid back wedding with their family and friends that incorporated the stuff that makes them happy. For Karla, that was their family and their brand new home, and for Clint, it was the waterside. So they combined the two and voila, a fun, joy-filled, sunlit, water-surrounded day ensued!
We began the day at St Margaret’s chapel outside the Arts Centre in Bundall on the Gold Coast. It’s the cutest little chapel, and I love the old school feel of it – no literally, it feels like an old turn-of-the-century school. The guests all piled in and we had a beautiful intimate service that suited Karla and Clint perfectly.
After the ceremony, drinks were served in the gardens where the gorgeous cake was cut and speeches were made. It was a nice change to an evening reception and I loved being able to shoot in the afternoon light, so much nicer!!!
Location photos took place at Bum’s Bay on the Spit in Main Beach, perfect for our photos with its mix of greenery and water views (which our couple loved). Honestly nothing beats a beautiful sunny afternoon for golden hour photos. Just magnificent!
Roll on to the waterside reception. Actually, make that boat on to the waterside reception. We took a ride in Clint’s banana boat as the sun set (just magic) along the Gold Coast waterways and arrived at their home-made reception via the canal. I love a bit of something different so I was keen as!
These guys were lovely. Such fun and just nice people. My people. Awesome.
Dress and hair accessory: White Lily Couture
Flowers: Gypsy and Bloom – ahmazing!!!!!
Hair: Bella Boutique Bridal
Make-up: HL Beauty
Grooms Suit: Politix
Celebrant: Lisa Knell – Custom Ceremonies
Cake: Sugar Lily cakes
So I have been a bit busy of late, what with trying to renovate a house and clean it up for sale whilst working full time, chasing after 3 kids and playing taxi driver. It’s been hectic and I’m sorry, but hey it’s better late than never right?
I shot this fantastic, romantic and utterly brilliant Brisbane River wedding in November (where the hell did that 7 months just go!). Megan and Steve are lovely, laid back people who just wanted to get married down by the river and hang with their friends and family. So, they did just that. I was so chuffed to be able to capture this special day for them, and my god the locations down at Riverlife Kangaroo Point are awesome! Brisbane city skyline against dramatic rock faces, lush trees and the beautiful Brisbane River. What’s not to love!?
Megan wore the most amazing Theia dress covered in sequins, just stunning with a touch of vintage. #perfect I loved the little organic touches throughout the day too, with native flowers, kraft invites, and timber additions to the old boathouse reception setting. This wedding was my kind of shindig. The sort of celebration that makes me want to do my own wedding all over again so I can get dressed up and not have a satin dress or roses (yep, that’s what was trending 10 years ago), and for god’s sake not shoot on the beach with a cranky and rather underwhelming photographer! Anywho, here is the Brisbane River Wedding of Megan and Steve….
Dress: ‘Lilia’ by Theia Couture
Flowers: Flowers on the Park in Bulimba
Bride’s Shoes: Forever Soles
Hair: B Hair Bulimba
Make-up: Latonas Makeup
Groom’s Suit: Calvin Klein
Groom’s Shoes: Windsor Smith
Venue: Riverlife Kangaroo Point
Celebrant: Jamie Eastlake – Brisbane City Celebrants
Bridesmaid’s Dress: Cue
So last week we made a mad dash to NZ for a land release that we’ve been waiting for in Queenstown. We decided to take our two youngest (who will be moving to NZ with us) along to show them where we are hoping to settle so that they can feel a little less uncertain when we do move them over. My mum also jumped on the bandwagon and came along to see where we’re planning to move. It’s a big change for my parents as well so I guess actually seeing the place helps her to make sense as to why we are wanting to make such a drastic move.
We began by driving ourselves to Dunedin from Queenstown. We really felt the kids needed to see Dunedin, as it’s almost certain that’s where we will initially be based when they start school next year. The drive is spectacular. We went out through the Gibbston valley through Cromwell and then Alexandra, before going through Lawrence then on to Dunedin, or Duuuu-nee-din as the Google maps lady pronounces it (so ridiculous!). I cried. God damn it, it’s so beautiful. The kids were amazed. Mum was in a separate car (disclaimer – I was NOT driving a van through winding hills with two kids vomiting in the third row and screaming the lyrics to MUSE while she grew more and more shitty. Everybody wins this way) but was equally impressed. Win.
Dunedin was awesome. We were only there 2 nights and one full day, but we packed it in like friggin sardines. The highlight for all of us was the Otago Museum with it’s amazing butterfly rainforest (it’s truly heaven on earth, I could work there), planetarium show and fun science exhibits; and the good ‘ole Cadbury chocolate factory. So sad that they are ceasing production, but the tour will remain, which is a much needed boost for the Dunedin tourism industry. SO.MUCH.CHOCOLATE. The easter bunny is having heart palpitations and seriously considering bringing Colgate for easter.
We also managed to drive around to all the areas we have been stalking online for months to see where we would like to live. One of the most important things in our move is where our daughter will be able to attend dance classes. Dance is a MASSIVE part of her little life, and we want to continue to support that, (I mean, this kids dances everywhere > not kidding I have photographic evidence) so it’s become a huge deciding factor in where we live. Our youngest son can play footy anywhere (although just a different game, that will be interesting. More to come on that front). Anyway, we found a little shop in the city where the locals buy their dance gear and I met the owner and a lady with daughters who dance. They were so helpful and friendly. In fact, that’s what stood out to us the most. Dunedin is super friendly. Everyone says hi. They are willing to help. They seem happy. That’s a great thing. Queenstown not so much, but we’ll talk about that later…..
So off to Queenstown we went. We made our way back around the southern way, through Gore (who knew it was the trout fishing and country music capital of NZ?) and Lumsden up to Kingston at the bottom of Lake Wakatipu. Wide open spaces filled with farmland and cattle of every description, rolling green hills and ragged brown escarpments which finally gave way to the crystal blue-green waters of Lake Wakatipu and the joy inducing Remarkables mountain range. My heart.
Upon driving toward Frankton (on the outskirts of Queenstown) we drove into the area where we were hoping to secure a piece of land on Saturday. Immediately my mum understood. It’s spectacular. You can’t beat it. The place is like something out of a fairytale. Check out Hanley’s Farm to see where our dream house would be. Also search Dalefield to see where I would go if I had a few million to spare. Warning: may induce desire to move to NZ.
So we spent the next day doing the tourist thing in Queenstown. We took a scenic cruise over to Walter Peak Farm on the TSS Earnslaw steam ship, we rode the Skyline Gondola up to the top of Ben Lomond and had some luge rides and we had fush and chups on the shore of Lake Wakatipu. It was lovely. Holidays are excellent.
Then came sale day. So the list of people registered and invited by the developer was long. I mean, f*&king LONG. We found out were were #520 on the list of registered people and there were 75 sections (lots of land in NZ speak) available. To say I was being optimistic was accurate. The hit rate on the last few releases was only 20-30% though so anything was possible. NOT THIS TIME. It was packed. It was disappointing. It seemed like mates of the real estate agents and builders had just signed up to snatch up the land available, and as they called out the names one by one, hope were dashed. Three hours later, it was all over. They got to #180 on the list and announced they had sold out. Peoples faces were a mix of shock, disappointment, anger. One lady Kev my husband had spoken to was #184.Hate to have been her. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. To be honest as the week progressed we found that although Queenstown is so beautiful it makes you want to burst, the demand for property and the cost of living there has made the inhabitants not a lot of fun. People there are stressed. They have a housing problem, traffic is horrendous (yes, I was shocked too, but 40 mins for a 15 minute drive is not what we’re looking for), and the cost of a takeaway Chinese meal was $60 where it should be more like $25. No one was happy (except the people who owned the accomodation place where we stayed – I highly recommend Manata Lodge!).
It was a wake up call. Would we be happy in Queenstown if we couldn’t afford to live there? Could we work full time (because the cost would be so high that I’d have to quit photography and get a full time job somewhere) and get the kids to and from school and dance in a new town where we knew nobody and no-one seemed friendly? Would we even have the time or money to be able to live, to do things on a Sunday? TO GO SKIING? Why bother if you can’t? I mean, what’s the point? Quality of life is imperative. We decided Dunedin is a better fit for us.
NEK MINUTE: I receive an email from another land development I signed up for last year. It’s in a lovely area of Queenstown. They are releasing more land next week. FFS, we just let Queenstown go and decided on Dunedin. What the hell are you playing at universe?
SO. Here we are. Things are uncertain. Dunedin is looking the goods. We love the old houses there. We have met a lovely couple who are willing to help us settle in. Stay tuned for all the hair whitening and umming and ahhing. Grab a drink. It’s going to be interesting.
Anyway, here is our trip in pictures. The last day and a half of our holiday was spent visiting Arrowtown (oh god I’d love to shoot there), wineries and at the local indoor pool (which has waterslides!). Enjoy.
SO what’s with the lion in the photos? Leo is our travel lion. He comes on holidays with us and we take photos of his adventures. Just in case you were wondering what all the weird pictures of a small stuffed lion were about.
I have decided to include photos from both my camera and my iphone in here. The iphone takes a surprisingly good image in the right circumstances 🙂
Emma’s NZ Pics
Emma is our 8 yr old. She loves to take photos and decided to take our Olympus TG4 for a spin. Here are her best shots. I absolutely love the first one. Possibly my favourite from our entire trip. I also snuck one into the main post. See if you can pick it.
The excitement in our household is palpable. I write this as my husband sits on a plane over the Pacific to check out property in Queenstown, New Zealand. This is something we’ve been dreaming about and planning for a long time, 4 years in fact. You see, the first time I visited New Zealand I felt a shift in myself. It’s not something I can explain easily, only to say it’s my spiritual home. I’ve never felt more at ease and filled with love than when I’m in Queenstown, or anywhere on the South Island I’ve been so far. I left a piece of myself there. It’s not something I planned, but it happened all the same. My husband loves it there too. If you know me personally you know I’m not an avid crier. This place though, makes me cry like a baby. It’s ridiculous actually, that a location has such an effect on someone emotionally. But it’s undeniable. I freaking love it.
Moving on. So things started to happen. When we took our children over for a holiday in 2013 we started talking about what it would be like to move there permanently. It was more a musing at the time, but it has slowly grown into a need.
So, we made the decision to move our family over to New Zealand. There is much still undecided, but that’s the beauty of it. Friends think we’re insane. I’m constantly getting questions like, “Why do you want to move over there?” “It’s too cold!”, “Where will you go?”, “Are you from there?” and the highly loaded “When are you going?”. The answers to these are:
- Because we love it, and why not? You only live once right? Follow your dreams
- I love the cold, I’m not coping in this heat and humidity. Overheating in 30 degree heat after 30 minutes outside is not my idea of a good time. The hot weather can EAD
- Queenstown is my true love, but Dunedin is looking the goods for our family unit as a whole, and it’s a pretty awesome place
- Nope, we don’t know a soul in New Zealand, but I’m looking forward to meeting new people and welcoming family and friends on holidays!
- After this school year, and before the next. No hard and fast plans yet
Of course the big question is will I move my business over to NZ? YES! Absolutely! I couldn’t not shoot weddings in that place. I’m so excited I could burst! Hit me up with your crazy NZ wedding plans people!
So as this massive exciting year builds I’m going to document it in images and words. The journey towards moving over, the excitement and upheaval of leaving our home in Australia and arriving in a foreign place, and the challenges of settling into life in New Zealand. This is the first personal project I’ve embarked on since becoming a professional photographer in 2012. I guess I haven’t done one before because there was nothing that really grabbed hold of me and said ‘YOU MUST DO THIS’. Until now. So here is my pledge. I will capture the highs, the lows and everything in between. It’s not going to be perfect, but then nothing is. Not a thing. Everything will be shot on a Nikon D750 with a 35mm lens. All landscape. I promise to blog our adventures regularly, so you’re gonna find a mix of work and personal stuff here for the rest of the year and possibly into the future.
WE ARE MOVING TO NEW ZEALAND! Wooohooooooo! Welcome to our journey.
When I met Craig and Sarah a few years ago I knew I was the one to shoot their beautiful Peppers Salt Resort Kingscliff wedding right away. I love these guys. They are fun, laid back and love a bit of vintage class. Northern NSW weddings are always beautiful. There’s an energy that permeates through the whole area that raises your vibration the minute you leave the hustle of the Gold Coast and enter the magical bubble that encapsulates the entire region. So I guess I was looking forward to it 🙂
Despite the warnings of rain and thunderstorms our spirits were high (probably as a result of aforementioned awesome energy field). The boys got ready at the resort while the ladies made their preparations in Pottsville (another gem of a place, visit there!) before being escorted by two stunning silver mocha Rolls Royce Silver Cloud cars to the ceremony back at the resort.
Sarah and Craig opted for a mix of both coastal and rural location photos so after the formalities we drove down to Cabarita headland which provided a gorgeous stormy setting (no sand though, yes!) with waves crashing against the rocks and beautiful grey skies. We followed that with some fun roadside pics (how could we not with those divine cars!) and cane field lushness before heading back to the elegant reception at Peppers ballroom. Sarah just loves peonies, so she had them feature in almost all her floral arrangements throughout the day, and weren’t they just stunning! Shout out to the most excellent Kate at Opium Wedding Flowers for her hard work sourcing and arranging some of the most beautiful flowers I have had the pleasure of photographing.
The night featured many things. Laughs, drinks, man-bonding, buffet deliciousness, weird finger print placement on the guest register and some killer dance floor moves. The rain finally set in, which was perfect timing (and we were incredibly lucky it held off that long) as the night ended with a quick night photo, and a kiss.
Here is the wedding of Sarah and Craig.
Flowers: Opium Wedding Flowers
Dress: Anna Campbell Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Hair: Wavelength Hair Studio
Make-up: Ashlee McKinnon
Cars: A Special Occasion
Engagement Ring: Royal Diamonds
Wedding Rings: Michael Hill
Cake: Delicious by Sara
Celebrant: Lisa Knell