Caleb & Paula met at a bar on a night when they both happened to be out with friends. She looked across the room at him, stuck her hand up and said "I'm single!". Caleb walked over and uttered a pick-up line that may or may not have been a little cheesy but luckily for Caleb he's one of those guys that could get away with it & well...it worked. As they say the rest is history!
They have a beautiful boy, Mac, who I had the pleasure of photographing not long after he was welcomed into the world. But that's not where I first came to know Paula. I went through both primary & high school with her, so it is a huge privilege all these years later to be able to document the day she married her sweetheart.
Paula has such a bubbly, easy-going nature and Caleb is the perfect match for her. So needless to say their wedding day was fun, relaxed and focused on celebrating with family & friends.
When I arrived in the morning to the girl's house, every detail had been thought of. Right down to personalised dress hangers!
The depth of colours in those roses won my vote!
And this dress! Oh my word. P E R F E C T I O N. This gorgeous gown came from Brides by Donna Rae in Invercargill.
Paula's jewel-encrusted hairpiece was to-die-for and so was her coffee mug ;)
While the girls spent the morning relaxing, the boys did much the same, minus the hair stylists & makeup artists!
Caleb was a very spoilt groom! Showered in presents including a set of personalised duck callers from the boys, a handwritten love letter from Paula along with a gold watch & an appropriate set of underwear for the day ;)
One of the things I love about shooting with my husband, Matt, is seeing the photos he's captured from parts of the day that I'm not there to see unfold. Like when Caleb dressed Mac for the big day. My heart just about exploded when I saw these images!
The boys made sure they had enough time to sneak in a quick round & cigar before heading to Como Villa.
Paula rocking her dress from the minute she stepped into it!
Two beautiful ladies! Mum & daughter.
Looking stunning in her dress, it was time for Paula to let her dad see her for the first time. Needless to say there were tears. Paula you even made it hard for me to get the shots as my eyes were tearing up! I know just how special this moment was for both of you.
The girls surprised Paula with a gift from Caleb. An engraved gold bangle!
And then it was off to get married!
There weren't many dry eyes as Paula walked down the aisle, arm-in-arm with her Dad. I think it's easy to see Caleb was blown away when he saw his bride!
This ceremony was so beautiful, with jars full of sweet peas and gypsophila lining the aisle, heartfelt readings from some very special people and the releasing of three balloons signifying Caleb, Paula & Mac beginning this new chapter in their family.
So much happiness in these images, my heart swells!
Como Villa Estate is easily in the running to be one of my favourite venues ever! The whole place was stunning & it was the perfect backdrop to start the celebrations as Mr & Mrs Hamill. Owners John & Pam were such great hosts, even making it easy for me stand up on a shed to get high enough to fit everyone in the group photo - short girl problems ;)
Como Villa's original 1865 stone house is a stunning place for photos & John told me the women's toilet is probably the most photographed toilet in the country! So we had to get photos in it obvs ;)
There is a rustic yet timeless charm to Como Villa Estate. And when I first saw the piano with the window light streaming in to an otherwise dark room I knew immediately the kind of photo I wanted to create with Paula. It's a step away from my usual bright & colourful imagery but I'm absolutely in love with the results!
Check out this awesome bridal party!!! Spending the day with this crew was such a privilege.
First stop was the Shaky Bridge in Alexandra which fitted in with this beautiful Central Otago wedding perfectly!
Paula, I just don't have the words to describe how beautiful you are!
Caleb spied this epic wood stack as we headed back to the cars. Kinda random but we snapped a couple of photos and I think this is really cute! PS: Have you worked out yet that Paula's wedding shoes are Haviana jandals! This girl did it right! ;)
Our next pit stop was a property Caleb's parents own just outside of town. The property sits on top of a hill with stunning views looking out over the tops of fruit trees and was a spectacular location for more photos!
The wedding reception was held at the Cellar Door in Alexandra which was the perfect venue for a Hamill / Mckee shin-dig!
After the cutting of the cake and a round of fantastic speeches that involved many roars of laughter and a few tears of joy, it was time to dance the night away with their loved ones!
Caleb & Paula, I don't know where to begin to thank you for letting us be part of your perfect wedding day! The day was magical, filled with so much love and it was a joy to work with you, your bridal party and your families. Thank you for the fun & laughter, thank you for thinking of every detail, thank you for being completely yourselves as we documented your day. As I edit these photos I am either smiling or trying not to get teary eyes ;)
So much love & appreciation my friends! And congratulations team HamKee! xxx
Credit to the creative team:
Dress: Brides by Donna Rae
Makeup: Harmony Skin & Beauty
Hair: Polish'd Studio
Flowers: Flowers by Kate Stone
Ceremony venue: Como Villa Estate, Boutique Winery & Museum
Celebrant: Hannah Lind
Reception venue: The Cellar Door
Cake: Sarah Philip, Alexandra
Music: Peter Cairns & Kayla Mahon
Stationery: The Avenue Design Studio