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Gaya & Patrick | The Turpentine Tree Wedding

A few months ago, I happily stumbled upon the beautiful Gaya and Pat, whose wedding would become one of the most heartfelt days I’ve documented. As the day progressed, the genuine happiness their guests had for them became undeniably obvious. Many family and friends spoke proudly of the unbridled kindness, generosity and enthusiasm these two had for life. Moreover, it didn’t take long to notice how everyone simply adored Gaya’s irresistibly infectious sense of humour and laughter. You cannot help but be buoyed by this beautiful woman’s fierce love for life and the people around her, especially the deep-seated affection she had for her parents and her new family. 

Gaya had wanted their day to be completely fuss-free, one big party for their beloved families and best friends: the focus was for everyone to be well fed, generously watered and to simply have a wonderful time. An enormous marquee was set up over at the gorgeous grounds of The Turpentine Tree to set the scene for a festival style wedding: food and drinks were flowing, live music tinkling in the background, people chattering excitedly in every corner, bubbling pans of fresh paella passing through the room, a warm balmy breeze falling gently into the evening. 

There are certain weddings that are simply too joyful that they never quite leave you: I hope these images express the sheer gorgeousness that characterised this day and the happiness we have for these two beautiful spirits. 

 

Ceremony held at the wonderful St Gregory’s Church

Afternoon festivities and reception at the utterly gorgeous grounds of The Turpentine Tree

Cinematography by the delightful Light Noise Films

Make up by the wonderful Jo Candelaria

Hair Styling by talented Gemma Nichols

Bridal Gown by Maggie Sottero

Jewellery and rings from Etsy

Bridal bouquets by The Flower Room 

Gaya and her bridesmaids got ready in the morning at Bilpin Springs Lodge

Live Music in the afternoon by One Two Wedding band

Reception Dancefloor music by DJ Trey

Lauren & Olly | Blue Mountains Wedding

There’s just something about autumnal country weddings that is impossibly charming. Set in the tiny village of Berambing tucked in the Blue Mountains, Lauren and Olly celebrated with their nearest and dearest at the gorgeous Chapel Hill Retreat. We spent the late afternoon exploring the awe-inspiring rolling hills framing the property before stumbling on a glorious carpet of red and golden autumnal leaves. It was late May in Sydney which was a divinely beautiful time to just be still and take it all in before Winter slowly took over: crisp, fresh mountain air, gentle slivers of sunlight dancing across the falling leaves, honestly it was pure Mother Nature magic.

In the past year I had known them, it was hard not to notice what an exceptional young woman Lauren was. Not only was she extremely wise in her outlook in life particularly for someone in their early 20s: she carried herself with this wonderful quiet confidence. There was an ever-present humility and great love she had for her family and friends and this was so clear on the wedding day as she spent most it ensuring that everybody was warm and well looked after. Her calm nature meant everybody simply assumed the usually jovial and cheerful Olly would be the emotional one at the ceremony.

What nobody would anticipate was how everything unfolded as Lauren walked through the doors. Perhaps it was sheaths of golden light streaming through the 200 year old church windows, the faces of her loved ones smiling back at her or a combination of Olly beaming joyfully and the overall enormity of the day that dawned on her. In that moment, Olly was positively glowing with the biggest, happiest grin while the normally composed Lauren was holding back a few tears along with the rest of the room. It is moments like these that make us fall completely back in love with what we do. Decorations and aesthetics bring the styling aspect to life but ultimately, they are literally things: it is the undercurrent of genuine emotion and unguarded sentiment that are honestly what you will recall in your old age and tell your grandchildren in the years to come.

Ceremony held at St John’s Anglican, Wilberforce
Reception at the beautiful Chapel Hill Retreat, Berambing
Hair and make up by the wonderful Rose Mossman from My Addiction Make up
Bridal Gown by Elizabeth De Varga
Rings by James Allen and Kavalri, with earrings by Samantha Wills
Bridesmaid dresses by For Her and for Him
Florals by Lovely Bridal Blooms
Wedding Cake by Meredith Long
Shoes by Windsor Smith and Spurr
Stationary by Olly Hills 

Ash & John | Hunter Valley Wedding

This post is probably one of the more difficult ones I’ve put together, namely because it’s impossible to do the beautiful Fiona Kerr and her wonderful family proper justice.

No bride should really ever have to plan her wedding and watch a parent battle a rare cancer that turned aggressive overnight, but this was what Ash did this year. This girl is probably one of the most spectacular women I’ve ever come across and the army of friends and family who swarmed her and John with unrelenting love and support was testament to the sincere and spirited humans these two were.    

Ash first wrote in a year ago, incredibly excited for the festival style country wedding, complete with teepees and alpacas scheduled to take place in Spring. The plans started to fall into place and hearing the flurry of excitement over our various email exchanges was so incredibly lovely.

One winter morning, we received an email about Ash’s mother who had been undergoing cancer treatment the past year. Fiona’s condition had taken a sharp decline the past month and doctors were unsure if she would be able to make the wedding which was 3 months away. A small, intimate ceremony was hurriedly put together to ensure Fiona would be able to witness her youngest daughter wed the big love of her life. The plan at the time was to hold the Spring wedding afterwards, with the hope Fiona would be well to celebrate alongside their wider circle of family and friends.

This wedding, constructed in a week and attended by a handful of family and close friends, became one of the most important things we’ve ever documented: photographing our exquisite Ash exchanging vows with John, the joining of the Kerr and Romeo families, but most importantly, recording the legacy of a mother, so full of determination and fight in her to ensure she would be there for her daughter on the day. 

A few weeks before the scheduled Spring wedding, Fiona Kerr peacefully passed away following an eighteen month battle with a rare cancer. She was at home, surrounded by her beloved family, remembered as an incredible friend and teacher, inspiring mother to her two daughters and wonderful wife to Derek.

The wedding arrived and the kaleidoscope of lights and explosion of colours was everything a heartfelt, spirited festival style day should be, highlighted by John’s dad singing ‘That’s Amore’ ad lib and Ash’s dad taking the stage to ‘Wish you were here’ and ‘Heart of Gold’ in remembrance of Fiona. The solemn moments inevitably surfaced – and they were allowed to do so - along with profound joy, unabated love, camaraderie, heartbreak and raw grief all being deeply felt at the same time.

Ash, in describing Fiona: “My mum was known for her wicked sense of humour, stubborn Scottish sentiment and strong will but mostly for being kind, accepting and a wonderful human being. One time when John and I had only been dating a year but she sent him a birthday card and a bottle of alcohol. The card said "HOLY CRAP - I didn't realise you were that old" (John being 8 years my senior…!) and on the inside she had written "I've told Derek he shouldn't speak to people like that :) Happy Birthday John". The card sets off me off in tears every time because it embodies her humour, cheekiness and also her ability to include someone who had just joined our little clan like that.  

She enjoyed good company, her dogs, dancing with a drink of cheap bubbly in her hand, and board games. She especially loved fairy lights - her house was covered in them. The teepee would've been a dream come true for her, so it's been heartbreaking that she didn't get to see it. She taught me my strong morals and values from a young age (possibly through a strong use of good old fashioned Scottish Guilt) and she also taught me how to play Scrabble like a pro.

As a director of a Pre-School my mum also dedicated her whole life to working with children. Her favourites were the difficult and naughty ones, she thought they were much more fun and was determined to enrich their lives and fix their behavioural issues. She wanted to help people when they needed it the most - at a young, vulnerable age where one person's actions could impact their entire lives.”

It’s been an enormous year for Ash and John: photographing their story will always have this profound place in our hearts and this post is lovingly dedicated to Fiona. We only hope that these images help her and incredibly brave family in preserving those memories. 

  • Ash’s hair and make up by Melissa Calleja from I Do Hair and Makeup
  • Florals and styling by the bride, with flowers sourced from Nati & Sons
  • Ceremonies officiated by Adam Rodriguez
  • Bridal Gown by BHLDN, Top by Jenny Yoo, Skirt by Catherine Deane, Shoes by Bared
  • Bridesmaid Jumpsuit and Gowns by ASOS and City Chic
  • Groom and groomsmen suits by Oxford
  • Catering by Fratelli Pulcinella
  • Wedding Cake by Clare and Jean
  • Music by Dan Romeo, Alvin Ash and Neel Shukla 

The Cancer Council worked tirelessly with the Kerr family throughout this period. If you would like to make a small donation, you can do so here. Most importantly, remember Fiona and her loving, fiercely determined spirit as she was truly wonderful in every possible way.

Karen & Daniel | The Boathouse Wedding

When two people are so clearly crazily in love  - even after 10+ years together - it’s such a pleasure to document their day and to be honest, not be completely moved by the adoring affection they held for one another. One of the most exciting parts of wrapping up a wedding is racing home that night to review the images and I don’t think I’ve seen so many smiley happy faces beaming back with so much love from the screen. 

Karen and Daniel met back in high school during a netball match and have been inseparable since then. Karen is one of those undeniably likeable personalities, always carrying the most gorgeous of smiles laced with a brimful of effervescent joy which is balanced out by Daniel’s perpetually calm and easygoing energy.

Which is why Daniel’s reaction to Karen walking down the aisle with her dad Greg was really one of the most beautiful things to witness (scroll down further to have a look). This wonderful pair held a very private, intimate ceremony at Manly followed by an exquisite feast at the gorgeous Boathouse Shelly Beach, where the wonderful interiors with splashes of foam green, blue and white reflected their love of the ocean and beachside living.

Karen and Daniel’s ceremony was held at Little Manly Point with reception at The Boathouse Shelly Beach.
Make up by the wonderful Make up by IVD
Hair by the talented Jo Noonan
Florals and Styling by Petals and Leaves
Bridal Gown by Luv Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses by Dotti
Groom and groomsmen suits by Peppers Formal Wear
Ceremony was officiated by Tina Larssen Hoffman
Entertainment Impression DJs

Amy & Billy | South Coast Wedding

One of the greatest joys of this work is photographing people we carry a very big genuine affection for. Amy and Billy both possess such a good-natured ability to put everyone around them at ease and their welcoming and warm disposition set the tone for a truly gorgeous wedding day down