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

It’s always a little daunting to photograph the wedding of someone in the family. If anything goes wrong, they know where you live.

But on the upside, you get to shoot and casually hang out with all the people that you love.

When I was approached to do the wedding of my husband’s cousin, Ingrid, to her Andrew I knew IMMEDIATELY it was going to be impeccably designed with a strong emphasis on simply enjoying the atmosphere of the day and the presence of (quite a large! – and occasionally raucous) family.

When she told me it was going to have Mexican decor I nearly fell off my chair with joy. One quick look around my house and you will see calaveras and serape blankets covering every available surface. I could not wait to see what they had planned.

Now, there are quite a few ways to cheese up a Mexican theme, but I knew Ingrid would knock it out of the park. And I was not disappointed! Bright pops of colorful flowers and lush fruit set off crisp white personalized papel picado. The tables were set with bright candelabras, and each place setting was marked with the facebook profile photo of each of the roughly 140 guests, leading to hilarious icebreakers and storytelling.

A beautiful afternoon spent by the lake at the Lindenderry Winery in Red Hill gave way to a sumptuous dinner and, you guessed it, a raucous boogie-fest on the dance floor long into the evening.

Congratulations Ingrid and Andrew, and thank you for letting me be a part of your unique and memorable wedding!

 

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bda

Kristina and Richard were married in an intimate garden wedding at the always gorgeous Oaklands Homestead. The wedding was brimming with woodsy rustic detailing from bullet casing boutonnieres, to native flower bouquets, and timber center pieces to name only a few. The pair had planned the afternoon around spending as much time with their guests as possible, enjoying the company and celebration. It was apparent that these close friends and family were dear to the pair’s heart and to the core of what the day meant to them. It was a beautiful afternoon full of laughter, ‘Tinaritas,’ and dancing well into the night!

 

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bda

In the wedding business, you don’t really wish for repeat customers – unless its something like this! Steph and Tim’s wedding was the first wedding I shot after moving to Australia. I still hold them in my heart for taking a chance on a newbie and having the faith in my that I wouldn’t completely ruin such a momentous occasion! I was more than thrilled to come up to the family farm in Quaama again for a few portraits of the soon to be parents!  They’re still just as friendly and bubbly as the first time  I photographed them and once again, I left feeling happy and excited for this new chapter that’s about to unfold in their lives.

 

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bda

Paige and Matt exchanged their vows above the still lake waters at Kianinny Resort in the Tathra bushland. An intimate group of friends and family (and ducks) watched from the balcony amidst the sound of birds calling out from the surrounding tree tops.

The pair completely won me over with their laid back, easy attitudes and overflowing sweetness! It really was a fun and stress free afternoon cruising around the beaches with these two lovebirds in tow.

The reception started in full swing with songs by the awesome Figmentz taking place of the birdsong and ushering in the celebration long into the evening!

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bda