After days of rain it was almost as if by magic that Friday came out warm and dry for Christine & Michael's wedding day in Te Anau. And when Michael saw his bride walk down the aisle towards him I don't think any amount of rain could have wiped the smile off his face anyway. The whole day was relaxed and fun - a reflection of Christine and Michael themselves.
When Christine first met with me she voiced her wish to get ready at the home farm in Dipton and explained why it had such meaning to her and the family to be there in the morning. I knew it would all work - Christine and her mum carefully planned plenty of time in the morning for everything including the travel. And in hindsight I think it made for a beautifully intimate morning for Christine and her family.
Christine's jewellery and details were absolutely stunning, but additionally meaningful. The blue garter has been in her Mum's family for generations. The embroidered handkerchief is from Mekka (bridesmaid) when Christine was a bridesmaid for her. A special photo of Christine's late brother Richard was tied to her bouquet. And this gorgeous heirloom brooch belonged to Christine's nana.
Looking fabulous ladies!
There wasn't a dry eye in the house when Christine walked out in that gorgeous gown from House of Kavina!
This photo below encapsulates the atmosphere of the whole morning getting ready in Dipton. The Bell family home was filled with relaxed laughter and joy.
While I hung out with the girls in Dipton, Matt spent the morning with the guys. Michael got ready at their home just out of Te Anau.
I'm told Michael isn't great at being on time - the other side of that tag says 'don't be late' 😆. He wasn't.
Christine and Michael chose Lake Henry at Ivon Wilson Park to have their ceremony. The sheltered lake was a picture perfect backdrop.
The look on Michael's face was priceless as he saw his girl walking towards him.
Christine & Michael's awesome celebrant, Sharyn, was brilliant at setting the tone for a fun, happy and beautiful ceremony.
Christine and Michael had written each other letters & during the ceremony placed them into this wooden box - to be opened and read on their 10th wedding anniversary. I love this idea!!! To think of all the adventures the next ten years hold for them and also the quiet anticipation of having to wait all those years to read the letters.
And with a kiss it was all official!
Mr & Mrs England's first official adventure as husband and wife was a flight up to Jackson's Peak for photos. As a photographer it's always a treat to get to fly away to remote places to take photos but I do also love how it gives my couples a chance to breathe and enjoy a quiet moment together. Christine and Michael brought along a bottle of wine & drank in the stunning views of the place they call home.
Time flies when you're up on the mountain. (It turns out so do veils 😉 not long after we landed Christine's veil took off in the wind - but in it's defence it was fairly windy up on the ridge & thankfully the veil was not an heirloom). It honestly felt like we were up there for 5 minutes when in reality it was more like 30!
This black and white image might just be my FAVOURITE image of the day! 😍 I had the idea of this shot in my mind and when we landed in the helicopter I knew we were in the perfect location. I love the wind in the tussocks, I love the mood of it in black & white and then that kiss! Woah!
Back on the ground in Te Anau we met the bridal party and took off round the lake to a few spots for photos. Aside from being fantastically photogenic this bridal party were also a lot of fun to hang out with!
And we can't finish the portraits without featuring these epic Ford GT's! They're possibly my favourite weddings cars yet and I know Matt was quite excited about them. I just wish you could hear how awesome they sounded as well!
Christine and Michael had their wedding reception at The Te Anau Club and this is where the celebrations turned into a true party.
The speeches were hilarious and heart-warming...but mainly hilarious!
The cake was awesome!
In case you're wondering what's going on here - bridesmaids Grace and Mekka organised an epic slice of entertainment with their speech which involved making Christine and Michael take off their shoes, swap a shoe each and sit back to back while Grace asked them a series of questions (such as 'Who was the first to say I love you?', 'Who buys the best presents?', 'Who is the better driver?'). Christine and Michael had to answer by holding up either their own shoe or the other person's. Needless to say this game had everyone laughing!
And here we have the classic bouquet toss! 😂
It turns out Michael & Christine are quite the dancers - starting the night with an incredible first dance.
Christine and Michael thank you both so much for allowing us to be a part of your wedding day! Not just because it was a beautiful day and we loved photographing it all, but because you and your families have such big hearts and it was a privilege to be surrounded by so much love and joy.
Congratulations again Mr & Mrs England, we wish you a lifetime of love and adventures together. I hope you enjoy the blog & I look forward to showing you more photos soon! xx
The awesome wedding vendors:
Dress: House of Kavina
Makeup: Brooke Mead
Hair: Hair Razor, Winton
Flowers: Florist Debie Dickie-Lee
Ceremony venue: Ivon Wilson Park
Celebrant: Sharyn Payne
Venue & Catering: The Club
Cake: A team effort by the Mum's + Raewyn Harrison (icing) + Taylor Made Cakes (cake topper)
Music: Neil Chilton