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Two Rivers Winery located at Denman in the Upper Hunter Valley is a lovely little winery that’s big on vast expansive views over the valley. I was lucky to be able to document the wedding of Hayley and Jhi on the hill that took in those beautiful views. Hayley had contacted me almost a year prior when they were both still living in the Northern Territory!! Hayley had said that she read my ‘Meet Christina’ page on the site and knew I would be a good fit for photographing her and fiance Jhi. Clearly with the distance involved we corresponded over emails and calls however not having a face to face meeting didn’t matter on the day. Come the 19th or September we met up at Elegance Hair and Beauty Salon in Muswellbrook and chatted on like we’d been mates for ages. ‘You’ve got to try one of their cookies” she said. Yes folks the salon had their own gourmet branded cookies! A cookie and a cuppa was a lovely morning tea as I had just come from Jhi and his crew back at Aberdeen who were happy to muck about for a few pictures early on. Utilising a large mirror in the bathroom….you’ll see.

One truly memorable moment came when Hayley met with her father for a suprise reveal after she was had gotten ready at the Remington Motel. These guys were clearly very tight and emotion coming from them in those moments was really special. Can’t say I’ve documented many of these moments but its a really lovely thing to do.

Back on the hill at Two Rivers the wind had just started to pick up…typical that! despite that though celebrant Lee Watts gave a great ceremony for Hayley and Jhi with their close family and friends watching on.

The location shots were a lot of fun, I suspected that this was the kind of shoot that they wished for. These guys weren’t for anything too staged and or should I say formal posing. We tried lots of different ideas of which you will see in the pictures but they had a great group of friends in the bridal party to keep the laughs coming. The toyota jump on the hill was a bit of a mission but we got there in the end. I feel we got a great mix of group shots along with shots of just the two of them with the time frame that we had before heading into Muswellbrook Race Club for the reception.

The reception was lovely and relaxed and heartfelt, a table with tributes to loved ones lost as well was a great feature to have them be part of the day. A key highlight after the speeches and cake cutting (cake by Alicia from Vanilla Lane….super talented) was Hayley’s dance with her dad….did they tear up the floor!!! its was like those clips you see on Youtube with the father/daughter dance at weddings….super impressive.

All in all it was a great day for these guys, so much love and laughter around and even though the upper hunter is so dry at present we managed to get a series of great shots for them for years to come. Here is what we captured. Enjoy

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Nikki and Dan’s Wedding last month was a beautiful heartfelt occasion between close family and friends at a gorgeous riverside location on the grounds of the Godolphin horse stud. Thank goodness some recent rain had greened things up a bit for the Upper Hunter. They married under a beautiful arch draped with white fabric, the children did well throughout the proceedings clinging to mum and dad, taking it all in. Everyone was so happy to see these two tie the knot as they had been together for many years. Once the formalities, the congratulations and the family photos were complete we explored around the property, mainly on the other side of the rive where I had spotted a field of pink tuffed ….weeds no doubt, that’s typical of me to see beauty in weeds. We had plenty of golden light to pose in which we captured some lovely portraits. As the sun set we headed back over to the ceremony location. The clouds were displaying lovely shades of pink and blue which I wished to capture, the lovely mountains and homestead in the background capturing the beauty of the property. Nikki, Dan and the crew were great to work with, happy to try ideas and walk to different locations for the shots…much appreciated guys. The Upper Hunter certainly has beautiful qualities, its a different scene to what I’m used to these days but I do miss it. Here is a selection of what we captured that glorious day. Enjoy

 

 

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Willow Tree is a little gem in the Upper Hunter with Graze being a prize winning restaurant with stunning decor and atmosphere. Across the road is The Plains Pantry which I have written a blog post about in the past – a great cafe and delicatessen holding many local delicacies well worth a stop too. I was so delighted when Jess and Marc contacted me to cover their intimate wedding on April 5th. A wedding at Graze is always going to be a beautiful wedding.

On arrival It was all very casual and relaxed, Jess and Marc were busy putting the final touches for the ceremony and the table decorations inside. There was a general feeling of excitement about the day’s events especially from their  girls as they were finally officially going to be sisters…how lovely. Marc and family got ready in the cottage next door which had a dark paint throughout which make for beautifully moody images. The kids were keeping occupied watching tv. This room had great wallpaper, it was a great opportunity to get a candid pic…all part of documenting the happenings of the day. Jess’s room was back in the Graze grounds, these rooms have stunning pressed metal bedheads. We took the opportunity to photograph Jess’s crew, the kids, her maid of honor and Jess and her parents.

The ceremony was really moving.Marc despite seeing Jess throughout the morning was quite emotional in seeing Jess in her lovely wedding gown.  They had written their own vows to each other incorporating a few funny moments during their time dating and incorporated family with readings and advice for marriage. The ceremony followed with  many hugs, tears….a couple by me which is a rarity and some gifts.

The locations we had were fantastic. Between the grounds of Graze, the lovely red brick wall at Plains Pantry, and the paddock that I had scouted up the hill with its views over the valley we weren’t short of good photo opportunities. It was great to work with this crew, have a laugh and try different ideas. I absolutely love what we captures that day and thank you to Marc and Jess for asking me to be part of their day.  It was just wonderful, here is what we captured. Enjoy

 

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Moonan Brook Cottage is a fairly new wedding venue on offer in the Upper Hunter. I attended its first open day…back in the days when I was a local and was able to see this place in full wedding glory. So when Chloe contacted me to book her date I was super excited to be able to document a wedding there. To be quite honest I was a bit worried about how much greenery we would have to use on the day. As I was driving to the venue seeing the harsh drought the Hunter had been going through was a bit depressing. I thought this is going to be a dry looking shoot. Amazingly though as I approached the cottage there were areas of green throughout the grounds.

Chloe and her crew were nice and chilled out on arrival which is always a good start and they did a great job helping me out with detail shots throughout the morning……cheques are in the mail girls hahaha.

Sam and the boys came just before the ceremony for some getting ready shots and we certainly had some laughs with being a bit silly. Sam hates getting photos done as many grooms do but his mates and his boys did well getting him giggling and enjoying the experience. The rain started softly coming down just as the ceremony was going to kick off but it didn’t cause too much drama, it was only light. The ceremony was lovely and heartfelt with their kids being part of the proceedings, it was really special. The rain continued into our location time but I hardly noticed cause the fun and laughs we had with the whole party was fantastic. These guys were happy to pose cheekily and try many crazy things for great photos. Can’t ask for a better group of people to work with than these guys.

All in all it was a really great day for all. They had done the venue up with great detail and it was wonderful to be able to kick of my experiences shooting here, hope to get another opportunity in the future. So without further ado here is the visual story of Chloe and Sam’s Wedding day. Enjoy

 

 

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It was the first wedding of the year for me, a January wedding and by gosh was it a scorching summer we had this year. Claire and Ben had arranged to have an intimate wedding of close family and some friends at the cottage they had hired at the Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard in Pokolbin. It was a beautiful setting for their special day, the cottage itself was a lovely backdrop but to have the views of the vineyards around them as well was absolutely beautiful.

These guys requested to do a first look, which is something I don’t often get asked to do. I can see why some people do this though. It’s nice just to have a moment with the person your about to marry and share the butterfly feelings together and have that moment of reaction to seeing each other dressed up that’s just for them to share…….well and the photographer hiding in the corner documenting the moment but pretending she’s not there.

Lee Watts conducted the ceremony outside for the most part… it was an 11am wedding. After the signing she made the smart decision to move everyone back inside in the air conditioning before we all melted which was appreciated by all. Its always a joy to do weddings with Lee, I highly recommend her.

The location time for this wedding was the quickest I’ve done, probably only 20-25 minutes and for good reason but we managed to get a good array of shots for them without being out in the elements too long. After their location shoot they headed off to join family and friends at Hunters Quarters, a stunning restaurant just down the road from Audreys and a perfect venue for the number of guests they had. It was a perfect day for Claire and Ben, they said they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Congratulations to you both.

 

 

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