These sweethearts began their happily forever after last Friday, surrounded by loved ones and looking a picture of perfection. Courtney was glowing with happiness & simply beyond excited to get into that gorgeous dress of her's. Nikolai couldn't wipe the grin off his face all day - I know he was proud as punch to finally get to call Courtney his wife!
These two made their day uniquely their own, from Courtney surprising everyone with her wedding dress (not even her bridesmaids knew!), incorporating their love for cycling into the reception details, even Nikolai's enthusiasm for John Deere tractors making more than one appearance in the day haha!
Nikolai and Courtney have a beautiful love story, having met at an extracurricular club at the age of 14, they've been inseparable ever since. They're such a fun, friendly duo. We've been looking forward to their big day since the awesome evening we spent with them on the farm for their engagement session - these two are just a joy to photograph and we had a lot of laughs with their bridal party too! Here's my favourites from Nikolai & Courtney's stunning first day of marriage...
As always my morning is spent hanging out with the ladies, while Matt heads over to the guys. I know Courtney had been a bundle of nerves leading up to the wedding but by the time I saw her in the morning she was practically bouncing up and down in the makeup seat with excitement!
See what I mean about Courtney glowing with excitement?! She had been dreaming of this day for a long time...
Nikolai was very happy to see his bride!
And just like that they were husband and wife!
I've been making it a priority to try get a portrait of the parents at every wedding! It's a very special day for them too and I know a lot of thought and effort has gone into their outfit choices, plus what better occasion than this to get a photo together?!
While guests enjoyed their afternoon at the Croydon Lodge, the bridal party took off around town for portraits!
The whole bridal party looked incredible, but Courtney you stole the show - such a radiant, gorgeous bride as I knew you would be! That dress was just perfect and I know you loved every second of wearing it on your special day.
Courtney realised you can take the wedding out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy! Our next stop was the John Deere dealer for a couple of hilarious shots which made Nikolai even happier than he already was!
Our next stop was down by the river where we stopped for a picnic and some celebratory drinks!
Fun fact for you; I had a count up today while preparing this blog and I can confirm Nikolai and Courtney's wedding just happens to be our 100th wedding as photographers!!! That is just crazy to think, that we've been a part of 100 weddings - time sure flies when you're having fun! 🤩 And what a wedding to celebrate!
Back at the Croydon Lodge the reception room was looking beautiful with all Nikolai and Courtney's special touches...
The speeches were heartfelt and there were many laughs!
Courtney's sister, Kaitlyn, sang for the newlyweds - belting out Simply the Best, before the dance floor opened for the evening of celebration.
Congratulations again friends! We are so grateful to have you trust us with capturing your beautiful day and we've loved getting to know you both along this journey.
I hope you love the blog! There are so many more photos coming your way soon & then I cannot wait to chat wedding albums with you both soon too.xx
DRESS: Brides by Donna Rae | HAIR & MAKE-UP: Caroline (Demure Hair Design) | SUITS: Hallensteins | FLOWERS: Rebecca Solomon & Lorna Argyle | CELEBRANT: Beverley Knapp | VENUE: Croydon Heartland Hotel | CAKE: Thelma Williams & Lorna Argyle | DECOR: Lorna Argyle | MUSIC: Hayley Stevenson.
What better way to celebrate New Year’s Eve than getting married?! That's what Ben & Jessica did! In an even cooler twist, this day was also Jess's birthday!!! A day of celebrations! And an important date Ben will be sure never to forget too haha! 😆
We were honoured to spend our New Year's Eve day with this beautifully chilled out duo and their families on the McLees family farm. Ben & Jessica had their first look in front of the original Dunluce barn, tied the knot in the backyard and even did their first dance up on the hill where Ben proposed to Jess.
If you're looking for a timeless country wedding, look no further! Jessica's styling was on point, from her gorgeous wedding dress, the ceremony set up right through to hand stamping out hundreds of confetti hearts from dried leaves! This girl had thought of every last detail and it showed. I'm so excited to share this blog with you after a week off, it's been fun for me reliving Ben & Jessica's beautiful day and I know all those involved will feel the same way seeing these photos...
While the girls got ready at the farmhouse, Jessica's dogs Pip & Charlie were never far away keeping an eye on things.
Jess's mum Lynette had sewn wedding bandanas for not just Pip & Charlie, but all Jess's working dogs too! You'll see them later on in the blog running around at the ceremony! 😉
Just a stone's throw away Ben was getting ready at their house for the day ahead...
Love that tie!
Choosing to do a first look, meant Ben and Jess could chill out with their bridal party all together for a couple of hours before the ceremony, get portraits done and then spend the afternoon after the ceremony with their guests. This barn is very special to the McLees family, so it was the perfect backdrop for their emotional first look.
What you may not immediately notice is that Mike, Jess's dad, had stencilled Ben & Jess's wedding date on the wall inside his very clean barn as a wee surprise for them. That's going to be a pretty neat reminder every time they walk in there now!
Once the bridal party joined us in the yards for some portraits, we jumped in the utes and headed up the hill for more!
We had such a fun, relaxed afternoon with this crew - thank you for making us so welcome! Before long it was time to get "our photo" for the studio wall and then head back down the hill to get these two married!
See what I mean about this gorgeous ceremony set up?!
Mike and Lynette walked Jess down the aisle and all Jess's dogs also were part of the moment too as she walked in and then kept watch during the ceremony.
With a few formal photos, it was onto the next relaxed part of the day - spending time with their loved ones & celebrating that newlywedded bliss. Oh and cutting a gorgeous cake!
We did steal Ben & Jess away for just a little while before letting them unwind into the evening. These two wanted to do their first dance on top of the hill where they got engaged, so that's what they did. The day had been windy, but it was fair howling up the top of the farm - which only produced a lot of laughs as Ben & Jess tried to execute some dance moves without being blown away!
Congratulations again Ben & Jess! Matt and I wish you every happiness in your marriage and we hope you had the best wedding day. It was a pleasure to be a part of it, meet your families and friends and document the celebration.
Bring on more photos soon and your wedding album! xx
DRESS: Two Sisters The Label | SUITS: Hallensteins | MAKE-UP: Beautiful Bride Dunedin | HAIR: Tracey Eunson (cousin) | FLOWERS: Aleisha Renee Everlasting Flowers | CELEBRANT: Rachel Williams | TIES, RING BOX & BRIDE'S JEWELLRY: Whistle & Pop | PERSONALISED GLASSES: Hunting 4 Art | CAKE: Heather Decadent Produce.
It was more than two years ago that Snow & Anna got in touch with me about their wedding. And a lot has happened in those two years. But not once throughout the planning of their day, even with a change of venue, did Snow or Anna let anything distract from the heart of just wanting to be husband and wife. And it reflected in their beautifully relaxed wedding last Friday!
Their son Hudson featured in their first look at home, then we took off up the hill to look back out over Riversdale and were treated to moody skies & great lighting. Those moody skies turned to rain for the ceremony but that didn't stop these two from smiling throughout either. And in classic Southland weather fashion, once they'd tied the knot the rain eased off & it turned out beautiful again for the rest of the evening!
Snow & Anna's classic, laidback and country styling of their wedding was just beautiful. From Anna's grandmother's pearls, Snow's personalised cufflinks to the timeless navy & lace bridesmaid dresses - every detail was picture perfect. And celebrating with their loved ones was what the whole day was all about! It was an honour to be your photographers Mr & Mrs Holden - here's some of my favourites from your beautiful day...
Stunning Anna! Your dress was pure elegance.
Snow and the guys got ready just around the road and I really loved the relaxed suit look Snow and his groomsman Polly went with. And how cute is Hudson in those wee suspenders?!
How cool are these first look portraits with Hudson seeing Anna for the first time all morning!
So cute!!! From their first look in the backyard, we headed up the hill to be treated to a gorgeous view looking back over the valley!
I know I'm biased, especially after having our last two weddings here, but I reckon Riversdale is a pretty epic place to get married!!! We've got it all - beautiful views, unique venues and you can do wedding photos on a country road without having to worry about traffic!
Once portraits were done, those moody skies decided to unleash a bit of rain - making Snow & Anna's ceremony short and efficient! But these two and their guests didn't let a little rain dampen their spirits!
And five minutes after the ceremony the sun was back out shining!
A 5pm ceremony in gardens just down the road from home gave them the chance to enjoy bubbly with their guests after the ceremony, as everyone dried off, then as their guests made their way over to the reception at the transformed local Rugby clubrooms - this good looking crew had time for a few laps in the cars before arriving themselves! Dinner was served and everyone got comfortable for an evening of celebration.
Speeches were informal and the whole evening was very relaxed which suited Snow and Anna perfectly. Just before their first dance Snow and Anna popped away with us to enjoy a few minutes to themselves. I always think this is a nice wee touch to a wedding day because often couples don't get much time to themselves to just soak it all up!
Then it was back to the party for a night of dancing and continuing the celebrations! From what I heard it was a late one for some haha!
Congratulations Snow and Anna! I hope you've enjoyed reliving your first day of marriage through these photos. There are so many more to come!
We've loved getting to know you both better over this journey to your wedding day and I've been blown away with your planning skills! Your day was perfection and I loved how chilled out it was! Matt and I wish you a lifetime of happiness together.x
DRESS: Brides by Donna Rae | MAKE-UP & HAIR: Friends of the bride, Nicola Butcher & Tara Lowe | FLOWERS: Alice Blacktopp | CELEBRANT: Joy Ramsay | CEREMONY VENUE: The Hurley's | CATERING: Churchy's | RECEPTION VENUE: Riversdale Rugby Clubrooms | CAKE: Friend of the bride, Tracey.