Hannah was a vet nurse at the local clinic when Mike took his sick dog in one day to be treated. Hannah, a fellow animal lover, took a shine to the dog and to Mike. Mike wrote Hannah a card thanking her for caring for his dog and asked her on a date. As the saying goes the rest is history! And last Friday Hannah & Mike said their vows in front of their family & friends - celebrating a day of happiness & a lifetime of love ahead.
I've had the pleasure of getting to know Hannah & Mike well over the last year, beginning when I took family portraits of them and their two beautiful daughters. It was about this time that Hannah & Mike mentioned they were going to set a date for their wedding and that they wanted us as their photographers! Now this awesome, down-to-earth couple feel like friends we've known for years and over the last week it's been so wonderful meeting their families too!
With Mike being a pilot I knew there would be helicopters involved in the wedding. In fact we flew the whole day from one epic location to the next! (I know Matt is one very happy second-shooter because he hardly ever gets any chopper rides on wedding days! 😄). Hannah and Mike chose to have a first look & do their portraits before the ceremony so that they could just chill out after the ceremony and head straight to their reception & the party. It made for an incredibly relaxed, social day and I'm always a happy photographer when I know my couple are soaking up all the happiness and celebrations of the day without having any worries or time pressures.
Hannah and the girls spent the morning at Awatere Cottage and the guys were in Waikaia. Hannah & Mike had their ceremony at Piano Flat with a view of the river and valley behind them 😍 and their reception at the hall in Waikaia. The whole day was picture perfect!
While I spent the morning with the ladies, Matt was in Waikaia with the guys. Aside from Mike being the only one who could tie a tie 😜, it sounded like they had a cruisy morning getting ready and having a few celebratory beverages.
How awesome is Mike's watch?! A wedding present from Hannah.
We flew up to a hut in the hills for Hannah & Mike's 'first look' and portraits. These two enjoy the bush, countryside and hunting so I think their choice of backdrop for photos (in fact the backdrops of the whole day!) was pretty darn special and meaningful.
Hannah was so nervous about what Mike would think of her dress. From that smile I think it's fair to say Mike was stoked to see his beautiful bride!
Hannah & Mike's bridal party were so much fun to hang out with. From Jess's jokes to Tony hobbling about on a broken foot - there was plenty of laughter and yarns!
So beautiful Hannah!
Piano Flat looking splendid as guests watched Hannah fly in for the ceremony.
I love that archway!
Megan did a beautiful ceremony and soon Hannah & Mike were officially Mr & Mrs Thom!
The Waikaia hall was barely recognisable. It had been transformed into a wedding wonderland with awesome decorations carrying on the hunting & bush theme.
From cutting the cake to hilarious and heart-warming speeches, the evening air was filled with applause and laughter.
Mike & Hannah danced to Ed Sheeran's Perfect - their first dance as husband and wife, made complete with their beautiful daughters joining them on the dancefloor. ❤️
And I know Hannah has been excited to see this last image! When we chatted about photos for the wedding day, an after dark portrait was something Hannah was really keen on creating. We snuck away between songs to create a bit of magic outside. This is a blend of two images we shot with sparklers and some off-camera flash. ❤️
When I look at this image I see the gorgeous moment and the magic, and then I also laugh - because there's actually four people in this shot...Ariel is hiding under her Mum's dress because she wanted to come along for the photo, and Matt is kneeling in the grass a few metres behind Mike and Hannah holding the flash! 😂
Hannah & Mike, congratulations friends on a beautiful wedding day filled with joy, love and all those good things! We had an incredible day celebrating with you both, your families and your friends. Thank you so so much for choosing us as your wedding photographers. I am already so excited for how amazing your wedding album is going to look with all these joy-filled images!
Wishing you a lifetime of love and adventures together! xxx
The awesome wedding vendors...
Wedding dress: Brides by Donna Rae // Suits: Hallensteins // Hair: Crystal & Leigh from Scape Hair & Medi Spa // Make-up: Laura Braithwaite Flowers: Forever Flowers // Celebrant: Megan Mckenzie Wedding Celebrant // Reception venue: Waikaia Recreation Centre // Catering: Jason Bucklar & the Waikaia Playgroup // Cake: Latisha McMurray // DJ: Dave Alex Radu.