This time I'm sitting in Berlin with a nice glass of red accompanied by some potato salad ready to tell you about Liz and Luke's big day just over one week ago (which seems almost surreal considering that I swapped the beautiful NZ summer for some knee-deep snow during the last week!) Liz and Luke met a few years ago during a music festival. Music has always been a big part of them and their relationship which is just a great thing as it's so important to share similar tastes.
However, what was especially striking for me was seeing them with their families. Everyone did something to contribute and make the day as special as it was. Grandma and aunty did some absolutely outstanding flower arrangements for the tables and for the reception room deco. For that they didn't just go out to buy flowers....no, they planned for Liz's big day many months ago and grew most of the flowers and plants for the day. Thus the rehearsal was already full of life at the Ohariu Farm. The entire venue was buzzing with life as everyone was doing something somewhere....flowers, table settings, lights and of course the actual rehearsal of the ceremony which happened outside. This atmosphere really made me look forward to their big day and how right that was!
My photography is all about catching those many details. Often I start capturing before people can even see that I'm already there. Liz and Luke's day was very tranquil and romantic. Even the weather reflected that as it was windstill for most of the day (more to that later!) and warm and muggy overcast....which was really yummy to photograph in as nobody was freezing cold without their cardi or too hot as you often feel when the summer sun hits you, thus simply yummy weather for most of the day.
Liz and Luke hired Ohariu Farm stunning cottage which is nestled into the trees of the valley...almost hard to find if they wouldn't have thought to add the odd arrow you can just see below....
then you drive around and get to this gorgeous path leading to the cottage
It was so inviting that I went straight in to capture more of those amazing details...like the shoes...hmmm
and the flowers....Liz had a very pretty colour scheme of ice blue and orange...very nice combination!
And the dress (and Kelsey's dress....Kelsey was the cute flower girl you'll see later on) hung elegantly off the curtain rail. I just love how the natural backlight gives wraps the dress with an angelic glow. This also starts a little story about ironing...
I know the last image of the dresses was very nice but it still doesn't match the look when worn by the right person....here the wee flower girl Kelsey being dressed by Liz
whilst the bridesmaids had a great time...
And the finishing touch with the silver shoes....pretty!
The following image was another of those valuable details. Liz's dad arrived ready to take her daughter down the aisle. He looked very smart in his suit and then when chatting around he told me that his cufflinks were a family heirloom from way back. It showed the family crest which you can see embossed into the golden cufflink....a very nice touch of detail I thought!
And once Kelsey and the bridesmaid's were dressed and ready it was time for Liz to put her gown on. It's just the most amazing experience for a bride to put her dress on on the day of her wedding....you can really see this happiness written all over Liz' face...and look at little Kelsey gazing in awe! What a moment in time...hmmmm
Liz was thinking that there were some wrinkles in the dress that needed to be removed! "Yes, ok." everyone said and off they went into the kitchen to get the iron ready.
Well, it was ready pretty quickly. An extremely steam-friendly iron that just wanted to get onto her dress.....uhmmmm...maybe we call mum first they thought!
The perfect time to catch Liz trying to tame the iron!
Well, they decided to better have mum do it! Mum however really enjoyed ironing whilst the gown was worn.....which caused loads of laughs by onlookers including mum, not as many from Liz though...not sure why?!
And Liz' finishing touch entrusted to her own hands...
It was great to have Liz' family and bridesmaids around prior to the ceremony. It was very relaxing and provided some great moments to spend with each other..here Liz with her dad in the gardens outside the cottage..
Whilst Kelsey was eagerly practising the walk down the aisle...
And back into the cottage for some fantastic laughs with her bridesmaids....
I love the following image of Liz and her sister Rachel...just beautiful
Another image of Liz I love. The really cute thing of the day was how her family and friends told me about Liz.
Liz and her many faces. This image below shows one of them.
Her dad told me she has more than 10 different faces, let's see how many I caught...
this is the reason for her look...
and 1-2-3 time for the reception at the glorious Ohariu Farm setting...
And this is when the vivacious wind started....thankfully they secured their marriage papers securely with a candle..
I put a little collage of their ceremony together which was just idyllic
The ceremony was great. The celebrant told you a lot about marriage and real life in a way that made you understand the importance of the bond you are about to commit but also with the right amount of laughs which make it more than enjoyable
I told you it was funny too...
The next images are about their kiss... I love the body language in both of the timelapsy images..
and the walk down the aisle as Mr & Mrs!!!
And here everyone looking great at the same time
so let's get away for a bit to take some photos of the newly weds...here right in between group photos
And here one of her many faces again walking down to the sheds with me..
I love this shot. It's just lush and full of joy
and the colour mix and life is gorgeous. The leaves on the ground combined with the orange pashminas remind me of autumn..hmmm
I also love the following series of shots which couldn't be more naturally expressing how much they enjoy each others company...
This shot was Liz' request....haha. I do find it funny and quite her touch...
The next ones are also very relaxed shots...hmmmm
And then we went back to join the others and I thought what about those cufflinks boys? "Well" Luke said, "They are Monster cufflinks!"
This shows how I got they cufflinks aligned this way....it all about some good cuddles....boys love them too, right?
so time to check out the shed....really nice colours that just matched their entire scheme. Combined with a fun party to be with makes me a really happy woman!
now it was time for some really nice individual shots. If you wonder how to say Thank You to your bridal party, why not give them a framed portrait of them as a memory of your special day. It's a very popular choice of many of my couples as it's always great to have a really nice image of yourself....
and back to the woolshed with it's rolling hills..
The reception brought more nice things along. One great idea was the guest tree which kind of replaced the guest book. Liz and Luke framed this handdrawn picture of a tree and placed a pot with finger paints in front of it.
First I thought: "What the h***?" But then it doomed me after looking at it a little closer. What you can see on this images as bright colourful dots are the thumbprints of everyone who was there on the day. Above the thumbprints they added their names.....isn't it just a fantastic idea? So special that I'd want to put something like this up my wall as a memory, no doubt!
Liz and Luke had their Christmas a little earlier! Could prezzies possible look any better? NAH!
Here a little reception collage with some of the most special moments..
The weather totally changed during the reception when the stream of golden sunset light invited us back outside during the reception. And I mean us as literally the entire reception party went outside for a lovely glass of bubbly to enjoy the sunset. As this was the first time of direct sun in the day I took my chance to take some more shots of Liz and Luke..
I just love this image too, Liz and Luke couldn't be more relaxed and happy and little Kelsey just adds to the picture with her super-cuteness...
The first dance..
What I haven't told you yet is that Liz is a photographer herself in her last year of studies. As much as it is an honour to be chosen as her wedding photographer it can also be a challenge in the way of being able to surprise her with the visual memories of the day. So let's hope she likes what she just saw!
Comments welcome as usual.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas from Berlin.