Bimbadgen Estate in the Hunter Valley has always had a special place in my heart. After sampling their fantastic produce during a wine tour I signed up as a member and enjoyed receiving their care parcels for several years. I also saw one of my Motown heros Lionel Richie perform there back in 2011. So I was especially excited to return to Bimbadgen to shoot my first wedding at their restaurant, Esca.
We’re just a few days into spring, but the sunny and 31C weather forecast couldn’t have been more perfect for Miriam and Tom’s wedding at their favourite beach, Balmoral.
The day started in a more formal manner, however, with both the boys and girls getting ready in the historic surrounds of the spectacular Westin Sydney. Now, in situations like this we’re used to the girls having the better of the two rooms due to the extra space required for hair and make-up and, well, because girls. But Miriam’s room was on a completely new level. Due to a housekeeping issue this bride found herself upgraded to the Presidential Suite! The images here should give you a feel for the space but let’s just say it was larger than most people’s homes and I’m now concerned that I’ll struggle shooting in a standard sized room (not really).
Once we reluctantly vacated the hotel it was all sunshine and sunscreen through the ceremony on Rocky Point Island and photos along The Esplanade before finishing up at one of our favourite venues, the Public Dining Room.
Gee I love Filo weddings. They just seem to have the perfect mix of culture, tradition, emotion, amazing smiles, and bad ass dance moves. It could just be that the fantastic Maria and Gerald came from perfect families and happened to invite the perfect crowd, but I’m guessing that their day is pretty much par for the course for this friendly and graceful nation.
It was supposed to rain.
We don't like to think negatively on a wedding day, especially knowing from experience that the coastal weather forecast can be highly unreliable. But it was supposed to rain, as in 90% chance and a possible thunderstorm in the afternoon, as in when the outdoor ceremony was scheduled for.
So when I arrived at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel to cover Emily getting ready, I was bracing myself for a conversation with a disheartened bride who had resigned herself to the wet weather contingency plan.
I had clearly underestimated Emily.
After a winter staycation in Chippendale we kicked off another wedding season on Saturday with the effervescent Bernie and Hally. As with TV shows and soccer games there's always high expectations for the season opener as it sets the standard for the rest of the season, and let's just say these legends delivered! And I'm not even talking about the venues, the outfits or the styling of the reception. Bernie and Hally are two of the loveliest, most genuine people we've had the pleasure of working with. Their love for each other was on display the entire day and their beaming smiles and constant laughter kept everyone's spirits high. When we work with couples like this there really isn't any hard work for us to do, we simply enjoy watching the day unfold.
After more than seven years and 250+ weddings you'd think we would have seen everything. But Bella and Jono's wedding at Allview Escape in the Blue Mountains delivered two firsts for us. The first was a real milestone - our first wedding in the Blue Mountains (I'm still trying to get my head around that) while the second was seeing our first leaf shower! How good does it look especially with those gorgeous autumn colours?! More of that please!
We love a first look and it seems that the couples we work with increasingly do too as we're doing more and more of them. And what's not to love? Having the first look (and bridal party photos) before the ceremony means the photos are done and out of the way early so you don't need to leave your guests after the ceremony and can instead maximise your time with them.
First looks also mean you can use a special location that we might not be able to get to after the ceremony. Shell and Brodie's first look took place on the beach just outside Shell's parents' home where she got ready. It's a special place where they would hang out sitting on the little boat, so to include that in the images made them even more special.
Isabelle and Tim flew back from their new life in Singapore to throw a truly fantastic backyard wedding in the southern highlands town of Burrawang. I say backyard but it's more like 100 acres of farmland and as such there was plenty of space for a marquee reception and neat touches like this light-strewn driveway.
This was my last image of the night as the happy couple took a few quiet moments of respite from the pumping dancefloor to reflect on what had been a truly awesome day.