hunter valley wedding photographer

MELISSA & HARRY | PORT STEPHENS WEDDING

 

Melissa & Harry’s Wedding - The Anchorage - Port Stephens

 

It all started with a piece of tropical themed fabric…


Melissa and Harry’s coastal Port Stephens wedding was the perfect mix of style and relaxed vibes.

Melissa is one talented stylist. She has been a part of the Inside Out Magazine’s Search for a stylist this year and had her work featured by Temple & Webster. When she told me she was doing her own styling for the day, I had no doubt that it wouldn’t be amazing.

A piece of fabric ignited Melissa’s vision for their tropical luxe theme and with the help of some amazing florals by Botanica Bird, Melissa and Harry steered clear of current trends and created their own style, unique to them which captured their relaxed nature and also Melissa’s killer styling skills.

It was important to Melissa and Harry that their day be relaxed and their guests could unwind, drink wine and let the good times roll.

Mel x


Venue: Anchorage Port Stephens
Styling: Melissa McMeekin
Flowers: Botanica Bird
Hair: Empire Artistries
Makeup: Steff Matheson
Celebrant: Nell Dark Jones
Bride's Dress: Atelier Pronovias
Bridesmaid's Dresses: Dotti
Groom's Suit: Joe Black
Rings & Earrings: Alison de Theleme
Chair Hire: Beavis Party
Lighting: Temple and Webster

 
 

Melissa and Harry’s Wedding was recently featured by Nouba

 
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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
Dress: Made With Love Bridal
Florals: Flowers by Lorey
Celebrant: Julie Muir
Doughnuts: Doughheads
Makeup: Inspiring Makeup Artistry

 
 

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!"


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