SOPHIE & DYLAN | NEWCASTLE WEDDING

 

Sophie & Dylan's Wedding - Newcastle Museum

 


So many people tell me they love this wedding.


They love Sophie's Made with Love Bridal dress (it has pockets!), the iconic Newcastle locations, the amazing styling, the doughnut wall and neon sign at their reception. While I love it for all of these things, I love it for so much more than that....
The love and respect that Sophie and Dylan have for each other just radiated from them all day. They weren't fazed in the slightest as it rained while we piled into the limo to head off for photos. They were just so happy to be in the moment together and soak up their first day of being a married couple.

Okay, I'm not going to lie...the doughnut wall may have also stole my heart.
 

Mel x

Some of Newcastle's finest vendors that were involved in the day:

Venue: Newcastle Museum
Styling: The Wedding Designer
Florals: Flowers by Lorey
Celebrant: Julie Muir
Doughnuts: Doughheads
Makeup: Inspiring Makeup Artistry

 
 

MATTHEW & VANESSA | HUNTER VALLEY WEDDING

 

MATTHEW & VANESSA'S WEDDING - CIRCA 1876 & THE CONVENT - HUNTER VALLEY

 
 

 

Matthew and Vanessa both work in the travel industry and together they have been to some of the most amazing places throughout the world, but it was the Hunter Valley that stole their hearts for their secret elopement. Circa 1876 and The Convent truly transforms throughout each season of the year. The soft winter light and seasonal colours provided the most glorious backdrop for their day.

It was such a pleasure to capture the honesty, emotion and intimacy of their ceremony with the only witnesses being Matthew's parents (who had travelled from the U.K) and Vanessa's Mum and Step Dad. 
 

Mel x


Venue: Circa 1876 & The Convent - Hunter Valley
Celebrant: Hitched in the Hunter - Melanie Fell Agnew
Hair & Makeup: White Hair and Makeup
Dress: Spell and the Gypsy Collective

 

JODIE & RACHELLE | HUNTER VALLEY WEDDING

 

JODIE & RACHELLE'S WEDDING - ADAM'S PEAK - HUNTER VALLEY

 
 

"Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life"


To be present at Jodie and Rachelle's wedding ceremony, where these very words held so much significance to them and their community was like nothing else I've ever experienced.
Looking around the room at their guests, most of them with a tear running down their face and hanging off each word, I had never witnessed so many people so emotionally invested and present in a ceremony.
Every single person in that room was beaming with happiness and pride for their dear friends, who had originally planned their wedding day without knowing that their marriage would ever be legally recognised. 

When I asked Rachelle and Jodie to describe to me their day in 3 words, they told me "love, booze and pride" which couldn't have been more accurate.
Following the ceremony all of the guests, including Nanna, slammed down fireball shots.  
It poured with rain all day, but this didn't dampen the spirits of their celebration, with the guests initiating an impromptu limbo contest.

This day was all about celebrating with their family and friends and having one big party. I think the images from their day tell their story much better than I can put into words. This is one I definitely will not forget.

Mel x

Venue: Adam's Peak Country Estate

Hair: Belinda Ward

Makeup: Luxe Makeup Artistry

Rachelle's suit: Red and Ruby

Jodie's gown: Grace Loves Lace

Celebrant: Hitched In The Hunter

Music: Kim Sheehy

Styling: Love and Protect

"Rachelle & Jodie" and "Pride" necklaces: Haus Of Dizzy

 

“Mel!! Our photos... we have no words! We absolutely love them. Thank you so much for being there on the most amazing day and sharing it all with us. You have captured moments in these photos that we wouldn’t have even seen. Everybody looks so happy! Thank you again for capturing our beautiful day for us to look back on for years to come. We relived it all when we sat and looked through them. Can’t wait to show everyone xxx”
— Jodie & Rachelle

MATT & MEL | HUNTER VALLEY WEDDING

 

MATT & MEL'S WEDDING - WALLALONG HOUSE - HUNTER VALLEY

 
 


I feel like I really clicked with Matt and Mel from the get-go. When we first met at their engagement session, we pretty much laughed for an hour and a half.
They shared with me their amazing engagement story — How Mel had just arrived home from the gym thinking they were heading off for a weekend of camping. Matt (who had arrived home earlier, coming straight off night shift), had decorated their bed with flowers and 'Bonfire Heart' by James Blunt (their song) was playing. Matt had laid out a dress for Mel to get changed into, along with a letter he had written describing their future and all the things he hoped they would achieve together. The letter finished with inviting Mel into the kitchen, where she found the room full of balloons and photographs of all the memories from their past that they had already made together. Mel then found one last note that said "Go outside to our present, will you marry me?", where he was waiting for Mel on one knee. 

Matt and Mel chose Wallalong House for their day, as it had a story of its own that they could share with their friends and family. I think I had to pick my jaw up off the ground a few times. Everywhere you looked there were beautiful backgrounds. The breathtaking views across the farmlands provided the perfect backdrop for the ceremony, which was held beneath the 190+ year old fig trees on the property.

Mel loves a good DIY and created the designs for their stationery, she put together the gifts for their guests, and handmade the incredible fur shawls for her bridesmaids (which were later referenced to Game of Thrones by the bridal party).

Matt and Mel truly are a special couple and that was well reflected by the loving atmosphere of their family and friends. Three of the longest tables I have ever seen were filled with their nearest and dearest (Rowlo's Ruckus, Krazy Kota's and M&M's all sorts). They were so appreciative of having so many of their loved ones join them to celebrate.

The whole marquee was in stitches after two of Mel's bridesmaids, Louise and Tess gave speeches about how they had met Mel, and shared some hilarious moments that they had experienced together, including the recount of how Matt and Mel broke the "friend zone".

Mel's Dad started his speech with a line that I won't forget;
"I am Mel's Dad. The happiest Dad."
Both Matt and Mel's Father's gave touching speeches about how proud they were of Matt and Mel, and all they have achieved professionally and together as a couple.

The whole day was just so fun and had this amazing energy, which I am so grateful to have been invited to be a part of. The bridal party and guests were so easy going and welcoming that it made me feel as though I was just one of their mates with a camera.

I often get asked what made me want to get into photographing weddings, and it's families and friends like this that inspire me with their stories and make me love what I do.

Matt and Mel are both so warm and down to earth with this amazing ability to make you feel like an old friend and are simply just all round legends! I cannot wait to see what the future holds for these two incredible humans!

Mel x


Venue: Wallalong House
Florals: Little Willow Floral Design
Hair and Make Up: Bellus - Bridal Hair and Make Up
Catering: Mason Restaurant

 


Some kind words from Mel & Matt:

"I've been putting off writing this review because I know nothing I say will be able to credit Mel with the amount she did for us on our wedding day!
She gave the job her all and we are so appreciative to have had her there sharing our day with us! We just received our photos and we have just been blown away at how absolutely perfect they are! She honestly has captured our day so flawlessly! She is truly so talented and if you are unsure of whether or not to go with Mel, do not even hesitate. It's so worth it! She is so relaxed, organised and genuinely excited leading up to the day. I don't know if it's a normal occurrence that your wedding guests contact you and tell you how much they loved your photographer!
Thank you so much Mel!
Love Mel and Matt!"


COLLABORATIVE SHOOT | HUNTER VALLEY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

 

Ethereal Styled Shoot- Hunter Valley - Stonehurst Cedar Creek

 

 I had been itching to work with Miss Adams Florist ever since we crossed paths working on a wedding last year. We both share a love for soft, floaty textures and tones, story telling images and elegant unstructured florals in natural surroundings.
Something really magical happens when you get to work alongside creatives that have the same ideas and visions as you! 

Stonehurst Cedar Creek was our pick for the venue (and one of my personal favourites!). It never fails to blow my mind going there. It is incredibly peaceful with breathtaking surrounds and is so, so different in every season. It is truly a hidden gem of a venue.

On the day of the shoot it rained (and rained) for most of the day, but Stonehurst was just as magical as ever, with fog hanging around on the mountain ranges behind, it really set a stunning scene for the day. We were lucky enough to be shown some love from their beautiful horses who came to nibble on the floral arrangements!


The gorgeous people who helped bring this all together:
 

Venue - Stonehurst Cedar Creek

Florals and Silk Ribbons - Miss Adams Florist

Makeup Artist  - Sabrina Dib

Model - Nicole Abbey

Gown - Tanya Anic Bridal

Invitations - Little Design Collective

 


See Sam and Rich's real Wedding at Stonehurst - Cedar Creek


 

4 TIPS FOR AMAZING WEDDING PHOTOS

 

have an engagement shoot

 

I would have to say 90% of my clients tell me they hate having their photo taken or they are nervous about being around the camera. As scary as it may seem, an engagement shoot is the perfect way to loosen up and get comfortable around the camera before your wedding day. 

The way I approach an engagement session with my couples is to create an experience and memory for them.
We generally go on a little bit of an adventure. Sometimes we go to a forest, sometimes we go to sand dunes, sometimes we climb up some cliff face and check out the view and I just happen to bring my camera along. 
This is the perfect opportunity for me to get to know my couples and listen to their stories on how they met, what their plans are, how they got engaged and it really is invaluable to have this experience with my couples and allows them to be comfortable and at ease on their wedding day which = amazing natural photos!

 
 

LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING

 

The direction of light, the type of light (sunny day vs overcast) the amount of light and the time of day you have your photographs can all change how your photographs will look. 
There can be too much light, or not enough light. Finding that sweet spot is what creates stunning wedding photographs!

One of the most important factors to consider when planning your wedding day is NATURAL LIGHT and the time of day you are planning everything.  In order to create beautiful, light images - you need to keep natural light in mind! Once the sun has set, it is impossible to create this look. Within 2 hours from sunset, something magical happens. The sun is low in the sky, the lighting is soft, and you and your partner are going to look amazing walking through that field near your wedding venue. In the middle of the day, the lighting is kinda gross. It's patchy, uneven, harsh and unflattering. Aiming to have your Bridal Portraits within 2 hours of sunset means your photos are going to be dreamy and beautiful!

When choosing a location to have your ceremony, it is good to think about what direction the sun will be facing at the time you are planning your ceremony.  Front lighting from the sun, back lighting (the sun behind you), mixed lighting (half shaded by trees and half sunny in the same frame) will  all change how your photographs will look! If at all possible, try and have your ceremony in the shade if it is a hot sunny day (your guests will thank you too!), or where the lighting is even across where the whole bridal party will be positioned.

 
 

pad out your timeline

 

Romantic, fun and candid shots take time and can't be rushed. If you are rushed and worried about the time, your 'candid' shots are probably going to look pretty stressed!

There are so many parts of day that require preparation, so its quite easy to go overtime.  You know those 100 guests you invited? That's 100 hugs and kisses and congratulations... each! These shots can be some of the most memorable! Putting a little padding into your timeline for this keeps your plans realistic and running on time.

Family photos are one of the biggest culprits for running overtime. Most generally go a little bit like this...

Ceremony has just finished, you are now married and your family and friends are gathering around for hugs and kisses. Then you move onto family photos (I will always have a family list that my couples have put together before they day, to try and reduce the chaos and to ensure I can get photos of all their nearest and dearest)
So as we start to gather all of the relatives, I call out to Uncle Bob......he was there a minute ago, but no one knows where he is. So someone is out on a man hunt, only to find Uncle Bob already hooking in at the bar. By the time Uncle Bob has made it over for the family shot there is a new search party for Aunty Barb who was also looking for Uncle Bob but is now M.I.A. Catch my drift?

Traveling to multiple photo locations, getting a car park, and getting the bridal party in and out of cars can also take more time than anticipated. Time seems to fly by 3 times as fast on wedding days! 
 

 
 

just relax and enjoy!

 

Wedding days don't always go according to plan, no matter how much you plan.
Sometimes it rains, things run late, things are forgotten. Take the day in your stride and don't get yourself down if it isn't exactly the way you imagined it in your head. The day is about you and your partner and the big love you have for each other!

Relax and don’t think about having your photo taken. Just be yourselfand you will get the best natural results. Go with the flow of the day, soak up the atmosphere and be honest with your emotions, and most importantly have fun!

 
 

Want to see some awesome weddings!
Check out the Blog!
 


 

RACHEL & KHAWAR | PORT STEPHENS WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

 

KHAWAR & RACHEL'S WEDDING - BROUGHTONS AT THE BAY - NELSON BAY

 
 

There needs to be more people in the world like Rachel & Khawar. They are beautiful inside and out, calm, mature, loving and so kind.

Rachel and Khawar's wedding day saw their families come together for the very first time. It was Khawar’s sister and brother-in-law's first trip to Australia, and the first time Khawar had seen them in 5 years! I could tell it meant the absolute world for them to be here for such a special day. 

It was a beautiful and intimate afternoon and evening full of loved ones, running over sand dunes, and dancing the night away. 

 

 
 

Rachel and Khawar chose Broughtons At The Bay for their ceremony and reception. I fell in love with Broughtons as soon as I stepped inside. You have to see it to believe it! Full of natural light, high ceilings, tiffany chairs and white features. It’s a photographers dream!  The room was decorated simply, with rose gold accents and lush greenery. 

Rachel & Khawar involved some of their dearest loved ones to play special parts on the day. Khawar's Mother and Rachel's Mother presented the rings, and their close friends played the part of celebrant, MC and cake creator! 

 
 


 
 

"You were my yesterday, you are my today and you will be my tomorrow.”

 
 


 
 

Rachel was gifted a significant red scarf from Khawar’s mother to wear, a traditional colour for Pakistani Brides to wear on their wedding day. 

 
 


 
 

The speeches were such an honest, heartfelt and hilarious window into the lives of Rachel & Khawar. It was easy to see from the tears and cheers, and their guests hanging onto every word that they are adored by everyone around them. 

 
 


 
 

Khawar & Rachel - Thank you for such an amazing 12 months! I've loved getting to know you both and I will forever be grateful you trusted me with your engagement and wedding photos. I wish you both a lifetime of love, travel, happiness and chicken.. :) 

 
 

Khawar & Rachel's Fine Art Album


The amazing vendors who contributed:

 

Venue: Broughtons At The Bay

Celebrant: Elizabeth Murray

Film: Alex Winner

Flowers: Valley Fresh

Cake: Melissa Rentell

Makeup: Dean Blaq

Hair: Evolution Newcastle

Photobooth & DJ: Newcastle Photobooths


SAMANTHA & RICHARD | HUNTER VALLEY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Samantha & Richard's Wedding - Stonehurst Cedar Creek - Hunter Valley

 
 

I will forever be in awe of Sam & Rich's wedding day. They two of the kindest, down to earth and funniest people I've ever met!
Their day was beautiful beyond words, straight from a Pinterest board. But more importantly they have a beautiful relationship. Sam & Rich have experienced so much together already.  Rich is from Bristol in the UK and Sam from here in Australia. They met on Instagram, started dating in London where Sam was working at the time, and have travelled to almost 30 different countries together since. It's easy to see when they are together that they are soul mates, share a deep connection and respect for each other and love for nature, travel and adventure.

They DIY-ed so much of their beautiful day.. and organised most of it from another state!  Rich made the gorgeous tree stump ring holder, turned an old bathtub into the coolest esky ever,  the welcome sign was all their handy work and Sam's epic writing skills. Those bouquets? Put together by Sam herself.

Stonehurst Cedar Creek boasts a 550 acre property, vineyards, deer, horses, open paddocks, stone cottages and winding dirt roads set against a backdrop of  mountains. It was easy to see why Sam & Rich fell in love with it!

We started the day at the cottages at Stonehurst. Dark clouds were rolling overhead. The air felt thick with a mix of excitement, purpose and anticipation....
 

 
 

 


As Sam made her walk from the cottages  the rain started, making everything that bit more magical. Surrounded by Rich's family (who had flown from the UK to Australia for the first time!) Sam's family and their closest friends, they said their vows in a beautiful intimate ceremony in the Poplar Grove at Stonehurst. As they signed their marriage certificate, a huge rumble of thunder rolled overhead - perfect timing.
 

 

 
 

 
"A marriage makes two fractional lives a whole. It gives to two questioning natures a renewed reason for living. It brings a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth, and a new mystery to life" 
- Carl Sagan