Rae and Thomas got said YES just over one week ago. Weatherwise it was a great day as we felt lucky many times. With Rae and Thomas' great planning and our organisation on the day we did everything we wanted to and more and when it started to rain it was time to go inside for the reception. Thank you Wellington for fitting the weather into our timetable....haha But lets start from the beginning. Rae and Thomas are more or less Aucklanders or lets say Thomas is and Rae is an (almost) converted. She originally comes from Wellington which is why the wedding was here. Really lovely for the local family and Rae. It was also great to see and hear that Thomas really likes Wellington....not bad for an Aucklander, huh!
Rae got ready at her sister Lynette's place. It was a sunny and warm morning and Lynette's house was bathed in sunlight which was streaming through the windows giving me some fantastic light to play with.
Rae and Thomas have a little daughter Abigail which is just over one year old. As she plays such a big part in their lives I hung her cute wee flower girl dress right next to mummy's gorgeous gown, combined with Rae's shoes the perfect tranquil look on this Saturday morning..
And the flowers. I think simplicity often adds that extra bit of elegance. This bouquet was made by Thomas's sister who is a florist in Auckland...she did a great job!
This is Lynette with her daughter Rory. Lynette is super creative and crafty and had her (at least) 2nd new idea here. In this picture Rory models the gorgeous flower head band which she thought would look lovely on Abigail. She asked me how I would attach it to the band and I said: "maybe with a bit of thread", little did I know that she had a sewing room in the next room which is where she went straight after this conversation to whip up a wonderful rose head band, with a real rose, not a fake!
Remember how I said 'Lynette's second idea of the day'? Well, the next picture shows the first one. A flag with Rae's and Thomas's initials R&T. She sew it quickly after breakfast and put it up at the flag pol of their house.
It took me a while to take this shot as the wind was quite weak at the time, not always showing me the contents of the flag. Great idea, isn't it? I hope Thomas got to see it the day after.
Rae and Thomas are also very creative which could be seen like a red line throughout the day. Thomas is a designer by trade thus did loads of their stationary type things for the day. Here the menu he designed. Very crisp and clear cut, I like it! The other little detail is the stamp which you can see. Initially he designed it in photoshop however they then took it one step further by having a real good old-fashioned stamp moulded which really gave it that 'seal' if you will. Almost like a good looking wine bottle label.
This is Abigail trying to put on her mummy's pants. Just love this shot.
and this is the gorgeous bride Raewyn. She just put on her dress, it's such an in-between natural moment which really makes this a wonderful image.
I also adore the next couple of images of Raewyn with Abi. Remember how I mentioned the lovely warm light that was streaming through the windows? These images are stunning examples how strong back and sidelight combined with some lovely people to photograph can create super-beauty. I would frame these too and hang them up in Abi's bedroom....
and time for Abi to get dressed!
Cousin Rory also got dressed in a lovely dress in the meantime and runs into the room to see Abi. Here their first look at each other, I wonder what they are thinking?!
And time for me to go and see what Thomas is up to....
ahhhh having his button hole flower put on. It was quite the project which Hugh one of his groomsman took very seriously. The way he attached it was new to me, however it looked great and it was rock solid. Thomas meant it's because he a designer too! Of course, why was I wondering?
Thomas was very involved in most things that happened on the day. I will reveal some of the very special things he thought up later on. I love this shot of them leaving the hotel room. The way his friend gives him a re-assuring pat on his back really shows how much lots of their friends were part of it..
And off we go...not the 'normal way' with a car, nope I told you Rae and Thomas are the creative sort.
You can see their transport in the background, the lovely shiny green newly painted London double-decker bus. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it as I thought: "Where is the red gone".
Tanya and Wayne Little who are the lovely owners of the bus however told me that this is a total different bus as the red one is now in Christchurch! I have to say the green looks extremely nice, so marvellous way to show of this beauty! Tanya and Wayne are a lot of fun to have around which really adds to the whole double-decker bus experience. If you want to get hold of them for your wedding or function (and believe me they are open for loads of crazy ideas!) you can find their email and phone Number here.
So back to my groom and the other men in black....captured in action on their way to The English Rose. Our timeline was tight so there was no time to lose!
I told you Thomas was involved. Here you can see him directing Wayne to the New Dowse. Wayne was driving fast so Thomas had to hold tide but still managed to point out the directions..
Finally at the Dowse (well it only took about 5 mins driving which can seem ages when you're in a hurry!)
The look says everything: "Where the *eck is everyone? I told them to be on time!"
I think his heart was pounding at this stage..
And out of the Dowse his friends started to stream! Phew, we thought!
more and more arrived...lots of hugging and kissing which relaxed our groom I think
and everybody is on board so let's "1-2-3 GO!" and head to the church
The bus trip to the church was already lots of fun for everyone. It's quite a sight to see a double-decker bus full of groomed people in their best frocks and suits....many pedestrians didn't just look, they stopped walking and gazed in awe (I doubt though that Thomas or the other would have seen it, as they were far to busy chatting and having a good time)
Designer Hugh, one of the groomsmen (you know he put on Thomas's button hole flower!)
And there we are at the really pretty St Phillips church nestled into the heart of Stokes Valley.
You won't believe it but Hugh's great job of attaching Thomas' button hole flower didn't pass through the strict check of Thomas's sister (the florist, you see!)
Meanwhile some lovely girls are handing out the order of service to guests at the entrance of the church..
Abi and Thomas mum are relaxing outside in those last minutes before the ceremony..
And the moment we all waited for, the arrival of the bride!
and one second later the wind said hello too...in a dynamic overwhelming way
The ceremony was very touching and emotional with many family and guests shedding the odd tear of joy... here the view from the end of the church. The door was left open which was quite liberating
Raewyn is lighting a candle in memory of all the loved one who couldn't be here with them anymore
The minister was Heather Macdonald of St Phillips. Lovely lady!
A gorgeous image of the moment he says his vows to her and slips the ring on her finger..
And off to sign the papers...
followed by the kiss. I love the smile in his face
And time for the recessional part of the ceremony lead by the Piper John Gray who was playing "Scotland the Brave"
I didn't really show you images of Raewyn walking up the aisle. One reason was that the images are quite emotional and therefore more private I felt. The other reason was that I captured some outstanding moments of the newlyweds walking down the aisle together, which is pure gold in my eyes
First great shot: Thomas do the 'low fives' with his dad. Love it!
And absolutely love this image of the two smiling at each other and their guests with them...
This image is also telling tales of how warm their wedding was (and I'm not meaning the weather). Lots of tears of joy from their friends and family. Very heartfelt
In between group photos Raewyn and Abi had some time for some cuddles. I love the motion in these photographs, really brings the attention to Rae and her happiness. I would also frame these images, all walls of their house might be full in the end of this!
And time jump back on the bus and have some chanpagne, this time Raewyn comes along too.
Another moment in time...it shows the bus, Rae in her beautiful gown, (some great french nails) and her hand wearing her wedding ring for the first time...
By now you probably know that Rae and Thomas are doing things a little different, just the way I like it actually as I seem to attract couples like that. Wayne and Tanya drove us and the rest of the bridal party and guests to Petone to visit the iconic "La Bella Italia" Cafe, Restaurant, Retail and Wholesale. Rae and Thomas spent lots of time in Italy which really made the fall in love with the Italian way of life. Hence the idea of having photos taken there!
Excellent I thought. I have met Owner Cav. Antonio Cacace on a few occasions prior to this which makes photographing at La Bella Italia even more fun. He welcomed us as soon as we touched the door handle and swiftly offered his help. Part of my plan was to order some cappucinos with loads of lovely milk fluff....Thomas and Rae loved the idea too so whilst the coffee was being brewed I took them away into the more hidden corners of the warehouse shelves...
The images turned out exactly like or actually even better than I had imagined. The colours, light combined with Thomas and Rae at a very distinctive location really painted a fantastic canvas for me..
Not through the grapevines but through the lemoncello shelf! Love this shot and the fact that you can still see the produce and the large Ferrari flag in the background. This image has to be in colour to be appreciated.
and back to join the other for a chat. The good thing is although time was of the essence on the day, careful planning still allowed for some relaxed minutes and some fun chats.
Raewyn with her sisters
And the boys. Thomas with his groomsmen Hugh and Darrell who is also his brother
Time to enjoy the cappucino
Gorgeous image. Remember the "Something old, something borrowed, something blue" saying? Her "Something Blue" was represented by a little blue piece of ribbon she put close to her heart. In this image you can see it peeking out. (Being a ribbon I presume it was another of of Lynette's ideas?!) Great little details that make the difference.
And last but not least all of them together, having some good laughs..
Thank you Antonio and the rest of your team at La Bella Italia. Although we had to leave quickly I will return soon and I already know what I will have! Your clam pasta with a nice glass of white wine followed by the Tiramisu. Hmm, see you soon.
Next stop, Petone foreshore. Actually we didn't have Tanya and Wayne drive us there as it's only across the road ;-)
The light was magical during the entire day. Very soft which is something most photographers die for.
Let's show you some of the colours...yellow grasses combined with dark-grey skies are stunning
This is a wonderful series of images
And some last shots with everyone
Abi arrived :-) You can see that I'm not going to make it easy for them to decide what to put up on their walls...My suggestion, all of them!
and back to their friends and the double-decker
Taking these shots was fun as I had the whole bus take part...
And time was up to jump back on and zoom back up to The New Dowse in Lower Hutt to celebrate..
I have been to the new Dowse a few times beforehand to photograph some of their events. It's a fantastic contemporary building with loads and loads of space. We had lots of group photos taken inside the New Dowse. As Thomas and Rae are such nice people they have so many friends which they split into genders and if it wasn't for the New Dowse well lit large space with lovely white walls there would have been no way I could have captured the enormous groups in such a pleasing way. The New Dowse has got a really nice courtyard as well which Thomas and Rae used to their advantage.
Another one of their ideas was to let photographs of the last years of them and their friends dangle down. The photographs were literally showing any odd and good time they had like a tennis match 10 years ago with their mates. Thomas and his helpers went into great trouble to put these hundreds of pictures up in the morning of the wedding day. There was no way to do it earlier as it was so weather depending. If it rained it wouldn't have worked (they thought).
Well, I did mention that Wellington put on a good day for us however as soon as we arrived at the Dowse the sky opened up and hell (=rain) broke out. Obviously nobody went outdoors to take a look at the photographs at first....until I arrived! I think their friends may have thought that this display of photographs in the courtyard is probably an exhibition of the museum. Well, I made sure everyone knows that they've got to take a look. At this stage the rain was not as strong. So luckily lots of them came along ...so here the shot (love it, love it, love it) Lots of them stayed out a bit longer even with the rain getting stronger just because the photographs really pulled their memories. Fantastic idea Thomas and Rae!
You won't believe it but I have another story about yet another unique idea. Someone went around and took photographs of each and every guest before and after the ceremony. Someone then drove home to edit and print out one photograph each to place them on each place setting so that they didn't actually need a name sign and had something very personal to take home with them.
The naming of their tables was also very special and VERY photographic. They placed images of big moments of their time together at the center of each table.
Big moments meaning those real goosebump moments like: "Our first child" portrayed with a gorgeous photo of Abigail.
Then "Our first "I love you" showing a gorgeous lake side somewhere remote....
I'd like to leave it with these previous words as they really sum it all up. It was a fantastic vibrant, heartfelt, emotionally packed day.
I hope you enjoyed their story and for Thomas and Rae that they enjoyed reliving it through my captures.
Lots of love,