It’s a well-known adage that rain is ‘good luck’ on your wedding day. (Secretly, I kind of think people only say that to keep the bride from going COMPLETELY BONKERS) However, there is some truth to it. A little bit of rain, and beautiful soft lighting, and glorious moody clouds, behind a sublime cliff, with breathtaking waves SMASHING IN THE BACKGROUND!! Is, yeah, pretty lucky. At least for the photographer!

When I think of Sam and Wayne, I think of the rolling laughter and bubbling excitement emanating from the cabins in the hours before the ceremony. Everyone was completely aware of the continuous wetting rain soaking everything in sight – including the outdoor clifftop ceremony location at Short Point in Merimbula. They were totally aware that it would most likely be raining throughout the wedding. Totally aware, but it didn’t seem to dampen their spirits in the least.

I heard another good adage once. ‘Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.’

If this is true, then I am 100% sure that Sam and Wayne’s marriage will be every bit as joyful as the laughter in the cabins. And every bit as sublime as the waves breaking on the cliffs.

 

Congratulations Samantha and Wayne!

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bda

Being born and raised on a sheep ranch in rural Idaho, getting to shoot a small town, country wedding is just about as good as it gets. Especially in a town as picturesque as Tumut, NSW. Give me a river bend ceremony, sheep corral and bandstand photoshoot, and a showground reception and I am one happy girl.

 

Throw in a couple as cruisy and gorgeous as Alyssa and Brady, and you end up with one special day.

 

Despite the midday heat, friends and family gathered merrily under the gums where the waters of the Tumut and Goobarragandra rivers met. The ceremony was casual and full of love. The guests clapped and cheered as they collectively announced the pair husband and wife.

 

The reception was held in the pavilion at the Tumut showgrounds – the location where they had met, many years earlier. The temperatures eased as evening fell, but it wasn’t long until things started heating up as festivities carried the group back out onto the dance floor!

 

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bda

Autumn weddings are the best! There’s a crispness in the air, beautiful golden light, and a feeling of change all around you. A feeling that one chapter is closing and another is on the cusp of revealing itself. What better time could one choose to begin their married life?

Rachel and Jason chose an absolute stunner of a day! They were married on the picturesque headland at Bermagui in front of an intimate gathering of friends and family. The wind eased, the sun shone, people laughed and shared congratulations on a perfect afternoon. It was the kind of afternoon you hope could stand still.

But not even we could slow the Earth’s rotation to enjoy the company longer – we were racing the clock to get down to Cuttagee for a few photos in the setting evening light!

…and we couldn’t have timed it better.

As sunset turned to dusk and darkness, we arrived at the always impeccable Mimosa Winery to begin the celebrations in earnest!

 

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bda

It’s surprising how endearing a childhood story about popping an inflated bag of dog poo on the washing line can be.

 

When you meet a couple for the first time, it speaks volumes about how the photos are going to turn out. What is their style? Are they intense? Or laid back? Will I gel with the couple? Or is this going to be mildly torturous for all of us?

From the very beginning, Amanda and Anwar were as gracious and friendly as anyone I’ve had the pleasure to work with in this business. Our first meeting gave me a small window into their personalities – Amanda was sweet and genuine. But I hadn’t gotten a bead on Anwar yet. As with most grooms, he’d been mostly silent as Amanda explained the day. But he lit up when she mentioned that he had a specific photo he’d like to take. It happened to be a Star Wars inspired photo.

I knew I was going to like this guy.

On their wedding Amanda and Anwar went out of their way at every turn to make me feel as welcomed and included as any guest. The day was a beauty. The ceremony was touching. The portrait session was tender and loving. Then the speeches came…

…and I didn’t stop laughing for 45 minutes. Witty and sentimental, the couple’s loved ones extolled their virtues, shared their memories, and childhood hilarity.

This couple was as sweet as the boundless lolly and dessert tables they’d baked by hand, and loved by the guests just as much!

 

Congratulations Amanda and Anwar! May the force be with you, always.

 

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bda

As if from a Banjo Paterson Poem, this wedding was as indelibly and uniquely Australian as it gets.

The scene was set deep in the Snowy Mountains off a windy dirt track where the Snowy and Pinch rivers collide. As we crested a ridge and stopped before the long descent into the valley, we took a moment to stretch our legs. Not far from the dusty road, a small herd of wild brumbies grazed quietly among the gums. (actual wild  frickin’ brumbies!!)

Nicole and I arrived to a buzz of activity in the campsite – horses to be saddled, children to be washed after a day’s play in the dust, and a dress to be donned…  ….in a horse float.

Yes, it had been cleaned. And cleaned well. But it takes out top standing as the most unique dressing room I’ve ever photographed.

Then it was time.

Guests assembled at the edge of the riverbank and were seated on hay bales facing a wide, old gum tree. The air broke with the crack of a whip from the bush. Another whip answered from the opposite side as two cowboys rode into view. They dismounted and tied their horses to the fence spanning the altar.

Another crack broke the silence, as this time two young women – Dave’s daughters – emerged from the haze on the hillside and rode, leading their father, Dave, across the cool waters of the Pinch River to the ceremony.

Moments later, Nicole entered riding atop a beautiful old carriage pulled by a sturdy draft horse.

Their ceremony was uniquely them. Their ‘I dos’ were punctuated by more Wild Brumby (the schnapps this time) and the promise to return each year to that location for an anniversary drink.

Dave, a bush poet, read aloud some newly penned verses in his vows.

The ring bearer was their beloved late horse, Willy, who presented the rings on his horseshoe hanging from the tree trunk.

But more importantly than any planned detail, was the happiness that radiated from these two romantic souls.

Rather than any formal dinner service, Nicole and Dave wanted to keep the celebrations as casual and enjoyable as possible, and encouraged everyone to throw something onto the barbie and mingle. Emus and kookaburras watched from the trees. A billy was set over the campfire.

As the evening progressed, Gary Jones and the Poddy Dodgers took the stage (the bed of a large truck) and lit up the night with their awesome country stylings.

The dancing and music echoed through the bush until just before the first lights of dawn.

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bda