Gracehill Vinyard Wedding | Andrea and Douglas

I'm finally finding time to sit down and go through photos for the year now that I'm winding down and getting ready to have baby snuggles. I'm thinking of all the photographers in the wedding industry who are gearing up for their busy time of year.  And I'm realising I never posted any of the photos I wanted to share from LAST seasons weddings that I did second shooting for. Joanna Walker had me along to a few of her weddings, and it was awesome and a real privilege working next to her.

Here is the first wedding I joined her on - a long day with a traditional Malaysian tea ceremony first thing in the morning and then a Western ceremony at Gracehill Vineyard in the afternoon.  I photographed the groom getting ready in his parents tiny apartment. I always love this part of the day with all the anticipation and the friendly joking of the groomsmen. And I LOVED the Malaysian tea ceremony portion where the groom and groomsmen went to the brides parents house and were challenged to complete heaps of crazy games, then serve tea to all the relatives with lots of tears and laughter throughout. Then to the Grooms parents house where they served tea again to all of HIS family.  At Gracehill Vineyard they had a touching ceremony, a beautiful sunset, more games, lots of touching speeches and a pretty amazing first dance.  And I was only going to choose my favourite ten or so images that I took on the day, but I just don't know how to narrow it down when there are SO many from this absolutely HUGE day.

Wanaka wedding adventure | Amanda and Owen | Rippon Vineyard

I went to a friends wedding. Without the kids.  I spent two nights away from them. It's the first time I've ever spent a night away from them. The wedding was in Wanaka, so we flew over the amazing southern scenery, drove over the crown range, found our apartments, got ready for the wedding, joined the rest of the guests to watch the ceremony and watched the helicopter fly off to epic photography locations. I drunk lots of beer and had an awesome time. I took my camera because I couldn't not bring it. It's really really rare that I get to visit places like this. So here are a lot of scenery photos and photos of my friends AND some photos of the most amazing bride and groom. Thank you to Simon Darby for letting me pop out for a few minutes to get a few shots of Owen and Amanda (and letting me use his lens). And then some next day hangover photos and skating and climbing and more scenery and then it snowed on our way back to Queenstown! I probably wasn't dressed for snow.

Lao wedding ceremony | Anoukoun and Emma | Auckland

I arrived at Anoukoun's parents house on a most beautiful hot sunny morning. There were guests arriving and decorations being completed and food being displayed and Emma, the bride, getting ready right next to all the activity giving instructions and trying to remain calm. She retreated to a bedroom for the final getting-ready phase while Anoukoun (Arnie), the groom, hung out with all the arriving guests. Then the most amazing Lao ceremony ritual ensued. 

 The men (and anyone else who wanted to) made their way to the top of the driveway. The groom and his attendant held a lovely parasol umbrella, a bouquet of flowers and candles which were lit, and the convoy made their way down the driveway towards the house amongst hollering and whooping, laughing and cheering! Then when the procession reached the front steps leading to the house, Arnie had his feet washed by his little sister, then they were stopped by relatives who made them all drink whiskey before granting them permission to enter (in between more friendly cheering and laughing). Once finally inside EVERYONE squeeezed into the lounge (spilling out onto the deck) where the traditional ceremony would take place. Emma was led from her room into the ceremony to sit next to Arnie. And the ceremony began. There was chanting, candle-lighting, rice throwing, egg eating, string money gift tying and more whiskey. It was awesome. And after all that there was delicious food, more whiskey shots, and speeches. I managed to sneak the bride and groom away from all the guests for five minutes to get some photos of them on their own. In the driveway. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed the day!