On Saturday we photographed Melissa & Kieran's beautiful love for each other. Melissa & Kieran are two of the most amazing, genuine, caring people we've ever met and we're pretty darn chuffed to call them our friends!
Melissa & Kieran's wedding day on Saturday was a celebration of love, family and all the important things about a marriage. But Mel & Kieran's marriage actually began on the 14th of November when they chose to have a small, special ceremony so that Kieran's dad Mark, could witness their marriage. It could have been easy to gloss over the hard stuff about Mel & Kieran's story, to share just their beautiful wedding photos - but weddings & marriage are not just about the pretty things, the dress or the photos - a wedding is about honouring what is important to you both, celebrating your love and cherishing each other and those who support you. So it is with Mel & Kieran's blessing that I write these words from my heart. ❤️️
For over a year Mel & I had kept in touch as plans came together for the 4th of February, but when I hadn't heard from Mel for a couple of months I knew something wasn't right and when she told me that Mark had been diagnosed with cancer and was losing the battle, my heart sank. Mel and Kieran did everything in their power, along with their families, to bring together a beautiful wedding day for Mark. One thing that was out of everyone's control that day though was the fact that Mel's dad Brett was away on a fishing trip, out of cellphone range & totally oblivious to the fact the wedding had suddenly been brought forward! Thankfully Brett made it back into cellphone range and home just hours before the ceremony. And in a beautiful gesture, both dads signed the marriage papers as witnesses.
Sadly just days later Mark passed away.
Melissa & Kieran still wanted to share their marriage with all their friends and family, to enjoy the fun of a wedding day in happier circumstances. So the plans for the 4th of February went ahead. Naturally the day had some sad undertones, but more than anything it was the epic celebration for Melissa & Kieran that everyone wanted. Family and friends cheered on these two, knowing that they have an amazing life ahead of them and that their marriage is built on the foundations of two incredibly beautiful families.
I'm so happy to share Melissa & Kieran's blog with you - filled to the brim with fun, love & happiness!
I love shooting details - not just because details are pretty, but because they are all significant. Old and new, borrowed and blue. Melissa incorporated a number of family heirlooms into her details that have very special meaning to her.
The girls spent the morning hanging out at Mel's, doing hair & makeup, sipping glasses of bubbly and laughing at each other's jokes. And if you know Mel, you know she has the cutest giggle!
Mel had thought of every detail, right down to gold foil 'tattoos' for the girls!
Kieran and the guys spent the morning putting the finishing touches on the venue, adding a few last minute paragraphs to the speeches and setting up outdoor games for guests.
Melissa got these beautiful cufflinks for Kieran. A special touch, as Mark was a policeman.
The guys finished preparations with a quick whisky before the ceremony!
The Croydon Lodge was transformed into a state of beauty for the ceremony with white chairs leading the way down the aisle to an archway covered in beautiful blooms. But nothing was more captivating than when the bride walked in looking stunning beyond words. And nervous...just look at the grip she's got on Dad's hand there!
Janine Byar's ceremony was filled with laughter, celebration and some of the most interesting vows we've heard in a while. But I guess it's not often you get to say your vows again after just 3 months of marriage! "I vow to pause the Playstation when you are talking to me", "I promise to make sure there is always bacon & eggs in the house".
Melissa & Kieran cut their cake as part of their ceremony. How awesome are those cake-toppers?!
Introducing Mr & Mrs Wishart - again 😉.
After family photos, while guests drifted between the bar, the garden and playing games of giant Jenga; the bridal party headed to Mandeville for portrait time! Mandeville has a special place in Mel's heart and the family cribs were the perfect sheltered spot for photos.
You two are just gorgeous!
And that is possibly the best 'veil fluff' in the history of Heidi Horton Photography!
Then we were hitting the road back to Gore for one last stop before it was time to get the party started.
Everything looked beautiful in the reception room at the Croydon Lodge, right down to the cute 'spread the love' wedding favour jars of honey. 😍
And those centrepiece bird cages filled with flowers & fairy lights, from Joyce at Lily Jackson's...OMG!
Okay I'm pretty much obsessed with all of Melissa & Kieran's detailing - these table names are the coolest idea ever!!! Photos of them both at the age of each table number! ❤️️
The speeches were both hilarious and heartfelt.
And as the band started, it was time for the first dance. Which actually just might have been their first dance as husband and wife. Anyway it was a good one, before the end of the song everyone was up dancing!
As the band played on and guests had a blast getting in on the photo-booth action, we stole Melissa & Kieran outside for one last photo with the L-O-V-E sign...
Which then turned into just one more photo...This one taken by the super talented Jamie (groomsman, MC and photographer's third shooter! 😉)
Mel & Kieran - we love you guys! It has been an honour beyond words to be a part of this journey with you. A journey that should be fun, love-filled, amazing. And yet I know it hasn't been only that, it's also been heart-breakingly hard. You two are so strong, you did everyone proud and both days were amazing & special in their own way. ❤️️
Congratulations again friends, we look forward to seeing where your marriage takes you & to always sharing our anniversary weekend with you both! xx
The awesome wedding creatives....
Venue: Heartland Hotel Croydon
Hair: Cassie & Charlotte from Scape
Makeup: Kristin from Inner Balance massage therapy
Dress: Brides by Donna Rae
Suits: McKnight & Brown
Flowers: Lily Jackson's Flower Co
Celebrant: Janine Byars
Cake: Jude from Taylor Made Cakes
Stationery: Carmel from The Avenue Design Studio
Prop hire: Marquee & Party Hire Invercargill