Charlie messaged me back in November last year looking to lock in this date, explaining that a low key, relaxed wedding with time to spend with guests were what him and his now wife wanted for their wedding. He went on to tell me how pretty much everything they had left to organize had or was to be arrange though family, friends and friends of family to bring the day together and it turned out to be such a credit to the community of relationships they have built together as a couple and how much love their community have for them both.
All the extra touches came together to build an incredible day.
To lend them the availability to spend more time with their guests, a first look was on the cards. Zoe had her Aunty up the road with a beautiful home and property that has seen a few weddings over the years and some consideration to possibly opening it to be a venue in time. I arrived early and swung by the place and was greeted with such hospitality, big warm friendly smiles and a stunningly serene location. While the first look and portraits went underway, there was a handy pool room for the bridal party to entertain themselves. The photography possibilities weren't hard to find in one of the most beautiful backyards I've seen.
I've had the privilege of working with Charlie previously, for his sisters wedding. Happy-go-lucky in nature which made seeing him filled with butterflies and nerves as he awaited his gorgeous wife to be, so magic. Zoe looked undoubtedly incredible, absolutely love the understated style and it works so beautifully with such a gorgeous bride. We frolicked around the gardens, she was a warm and hot day but we were feeling eternally grateful that we managed to somehow dodge the rain that had been predicted all week long.
The bridal party were fantastic, easy to work with and super helpful. Making sure drinks, towels (it was hot) and laughs were plenty during our shooting time just makes everything all that much easier.
Just down the road was another beautiful spot at Zoe's parents place with lush grass and pretty trees lending to a picturesque ceremony scene. It was set to rain for the ceremony, however mostly overcast with a late afternoon ceremony blessed us with mostly gorgeous soft light- photography heart was happy. Some short yet sweet vows and a happy couple departed down the isle and headed for refreshments with big hugs from their guests that could make it. Live streaming has become the new norm at ceremonies and their much loved Australian guests had their own streaming view set up.
Such a great party kicked off, fun games galore and phot booths. My favorite, which I haven't seen before- a game could the "Drop in" where you put a chip in and it would decide what shot you would have...vodka...water...bailee's...not only that- the shots were in ice shaped shot glasses! How cool is that!
Zoe and Charlie bought out their young German Shepherd for photos...much to my surprise she gave us the photo we wanted right on cue, which is a tough thing for the goodest of dogs to do on a wedding day. It was a splendid afternoon of good food, good drink and good banter, everyone was so relaxed and enjoying themselves.
We were hoping for either sunset or rain for some fun creatives to finish the day off, I waited and waited- not wanting to go home and see rain too early. After a while we decided that it wasn't going to come until I got back to Rotorua and that we could just pretend it only rained in Rotorua (which is exactly how it went, haha!) but I thought I would set up the flash and grab a fun shot against the back of the shed before departing- good fun!
Thank you charlie and zoe for having me
It was an absolute pleasure to have you both, to document another Murrell wedding and the food was absolutely delicious! Look forward to sharing your full gallery with you soon