Te Rina, the Queen of DIY

When I met Darin and Te Rina, I knew their wedding was going to be intimate in everyway. Important details of love, remembrance and sentimentality were the focus over details such as hair, make-up, designer suits and what-nots.

Te Rina wanted to marry the man of her dreams and Darin loves this woman so much he was as equally as passionate in seeing this day come to life. Seeing how these two work together, it was clear to see they had found the other half of themselves in each other.

Rain, hail or Covid- these two were getting married!

(One of our back up plans did entail a backyard with the dog scenario!)

But alas, we actually made it to the day with no backyards or postponements. In fact the weather was perfect after rain being predicted for some time, I think even the universe knew it had no power to stand between these two officiating their love in a ceremony filled with their nearest and dearest.

DIY'ing weddings like this can send most brides into frenzies, however Te Rina...known for her organisation skills was one of my most relaxed brides I have ever worked with....I loved all her details and planning and learnt of her to be a woman whose very connected with the natural environment and that theme followed the day.

This spot was chosen in particular by the natural arch of the trees, magic!

The Ceremony

How wonderful it was to have Te Rina's Aunt Kararaina who is an Anglican Pastor from up north, this added such a special touch to their ceremony and I particularly loved seeing our maori culture weaved through with karakia for this special couple.

Not to mention we were in company of our heavenly guest, Darin's dad who was present in many places throughout the ceremony, he also held down the marriage licence and witnessed the signing up close! Very special touches that were felt by all....the wedding was held on this date to honour Darin's fathers birthday the following day and it was beautiful to see so many of his whanau holding his presence with them.

There may or may not have been a 50$ bet on the first one to get emotional on the day and someone may or may not have lost....

Also....how good is Te Rina's birdseed confetti? It was a fun assault at the time which provided lots of laughter but also one of the best options to honour and respect the space they were using in an environmentally friendly way!

The exchanging of rings was very personal in the way Te Rina was extremely present and really took a moment to enjoy the feeling of being "wifed up" - loved how she did this

It was all pretty relaxed....

Especially having an Autumn wedding, a bit of time between ceremony and reception at Suncourt Hotel in Rotorua - perfect for guests to rest and unwind but also because- typically- weddings are during summer...so usually if you want some sunset photos you are being taken back out again during desert to catch that light...but we had it alllllll before we even entered reception! These guys could just put their feet up and relax with guests which was GREAT!

After doing hours of portraits in summer...as a photographer you can feel like everyone's getting sick of you hogging the bride and groom at this point haha!

We were so lucky that we got a soft sunset before the actual sunset time...it was windy, chilly and the lake had some real beach vibes going on! Te Rina was organised having a gorgeous green shawl for her shoulders...and as a woman after my own heart- she was right at home by the water....and it showed. Gorgeous! I think this photo of Te Rina at the lake is my favourite I've taken of a bride in over a hundred weddings! I feel her mana wahine as I look at her in this one, barefoot and adorned by golden light with her sense of steadfastness against the choppy waters...a portrait very fitting of her.

I circled around the tables at reception and got to know the guests more, oh my goodness.....so Te Rina and Darin also come from and surround themselves with people who are not only really down to earth people but also- far out! the humour! I had sore cheeks at one point from the laughter and energy!

Aroha was felt thick and strong, we had whanau meeting each other for the first time this day, whanau becoming one in unity and such honour and respect for Darin's father in the room. There really is something about a Groom who is very masculine yet who can speak from the heart in such a way that you feel the meaning and love in his words and I felt this from him again when he spoke so highly of his new wife as we were saying our goodbyes and I had to congratulate him on such a special marriage. These two hold each other in such high esteem, as they should being such beautiful down to earth people- such things can be hard to find in another these days but these two....they found it.

Special thanks to...

Darin and Te Rina for being an awesome couple to work with, you whanau and Suncourt hotel

As this wedding was mostly DIY, our wedding vendors are

Flowers : Flaxation

Cake: George's Goodies

Dress: Trade Me

Veil: Trade Me

Bridesmaid Dress: Bay Bridesmaids

Shoes: Number One

Ceremony Venue : Waipahihi Gardens

Reception Venue: Suncourt

And mostly to my bride and groom who were awesome and fed me <3