Weddings - Your Day, Your Way!

Today I am going to write from the heart, and I'm going to talk about doing weddings your way. One thing I can't stress enough to future couples is the importance of doing a wedding your own way. 

Too often people get caught up in the commercialisation of weddings, and worried about pleasing everyone. 

Well I say, don't.

A wedding is the celebration of YOUR love story. The only two people you need to please are yourselves. 

If someone is pushing you to have a church wedding, but your dream is an intimate ceremony in a forest, then do it. 

If someone is pushing you into traditions and formalities, but you are more 'jandals on a beach' kind of couple, then embrace it. A wedding day should be a direct representation of your inner most self. 

Don't want to wear a white dress? Don't wear one! 

If you are a bride, and your bestie is a guy, have him in your bridal party. The tradition of the 'identical' bridal party only started in ancient times to scare off and confuse potential kidnappers and evil spirits as they wouldn't be able to identify the bride and groom. 

If you want to elope, go for it! Have a party later on. 

What I want to say is that you shouldn't be scared to break tradition, you shouldn't be worried about others thoughts and feelings - this is your love story! 

Some of my favourite weddings have been 'non-traditional' - one bride got married at the top of a playground and made all her guests slide down the slide in celebration. She even arrived by (kids) train! 

As always, I can't leave you without an image. Here is a shot from a wedding that reperesented what it means to be family, a community, and to be full of love. 

Wedding Day tips - A Bride's Emergency Kit

You've made it, it's your wedding day, and the last thing you want is a disaster. But never fear, there are 1000s of resources out there to help you prepare, and now you have one more! 

I've put together a pinterest board for you to browse and it pretty much covers everything. I'll list some essentials below and attach an image with some examples. 

View my pinterest board for a bridal emergency kit here. 

A few essentials across every list were:
Face Wipes
Bobby Pins
Cotton Buds
Pain Killers
Clear Nail Polish (For stocking runs)
Sewing Kit  

There are heaps of cool ways to package this up too. A cute little bag will usually do the trick. 
Bridesmaids and Maids of honour can win themselves huge brownie points by making an emergency kit for their brides. 

My favourite locations in Invercargill

Today I wanted to write from my soul, so I thought I would chat to you guys about some of my favourite locations to shoot in in our wonderful little city!

Queens Park is a huge favourite, and with good reason. I've never had a dissapointing shoot in Queens Park. It has multiple spots for shooting and they are all equally beautiful. My absolute favourites are the blossoms, the trees behind the playground, and the little path of the main entrance!

Another favourite place to shoot at is out at Oreti Beach. The sand dunes, the long expansive shore line and the beauty of the waves makes for breathtaking photos. I can't get enough of shooting out there, I can't imagine ever tiring of it!

The water tower,, Sandy Point, The Cabbage Tree, and Hawthorne gardens are also some locations I love. There are so many other little spots in our beautiful city that I can't wait to explore too! 

Some vendors I have personally worked with.

I thought today I would talk to you about some of my favourite vendors around Southland, and include some tips that can help you with your wedding planning, and I thought it would be a good idea to order the list to mimic a wedding timeline!

So in that regard, let's start with getting ready! I have had the pleasure of working with Allure Hair Design, who is run by the very talented Kimberly!

I've also had the pleasure of working with Steph from Steph Mac Make-up Artist on a number of projects. Steph oozes talent and that definitely shows with her work!

For florists, I have worked with Karen from Windsor Florist, who is located in Windsor here in Invercargill.

I've also been lucky enough to work with Joyce from Lilly Jackson's in Gore, who provided the florals for a Vow Renewal that was donated and put together by various Southland Vendors. 

I've photographed quite a few private venues (Parent's land, farms, etc), but I have shot at The Cabbage tree for a number of events here in Southland, and it is certainly a good choice. It provides a beautiful backdrop for your ceremony, spots for family photos, spots for your bride and groom portraits, and is just a stone's throw away from the beautiful Oreti Beach. They are a good choice for an all in one venue. 

I've also had the pleasure of shooting some stunning Central Otago Weddings. I shot at the stunning Orchard Garden's in Alexandra last season, and I can't begin to describe the beauty of that place - it's much better to show you. Again, a fantastic option for an all in one venue. 

I hope you found this list helpful and informative with some of the decisions you are making with your wedding planning. The more vendors I work with, the more my knowledge expands and the more helpful I can be to my future couples, so I am hoping to do at least one of these a season. 









A Queensberry Wedding Album

A Queensberry album is breathtakingly beautiful in a way that I've never seen replicated by anything else. Everything is an incredibly high quality, and they help take your beautiful wedding images to the next level. This album isn't just for you, it's a family heirloom. This treasure will last long enough to show your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren. I think it's amazing that we live in a generation where we can show our grandkids all those details we spent hours picking. 

But firstly, let me allow you to fall in love with these beauties. It comes in a beautiful keepsake box, and comes wrapped in a velvet bag. First you have your choice of album covers. My favourite is white leather, it just screams luxury. Embossing is included and it's an amazing little touch. 

The cover sheet not only helps protect the images, it looks amazing. You'll feel like a superstar seeing your name in print. 

We work together to select the images in the album, and I will always give my advice where it is needed and wanted, but ulitimately, this album is about your love story, your family, and your legacy. 

It's about telling the story of your day for not only you to relive, but to show those that weren't there. It's looking back and seeing how beautiful your nana looked at your wedding long after she leaves you. 

Queensberry have a number of pre-selected lay-outs that we can use, and I'll work on the flow and lay-out of the album - but if you want some images to be swapped around on the page so your favourite is the feature - that's fine too.

If you want to see these amazing keepsakes in person, contact me and we can arrange that. But I can't promise that you won't want one for yourself. 

The album pages are all beautifully matted, to protect your images and promote longevity. You have a choice of papers, but my favourite are the art papers. 

Invest in your own history, because you deserve to be immortalised in the most beautiful way, and so does your love story.

Exist in photos, and make sure your family does too. 

Wedding Traditions - From weird, to wonderful!

A couple of years ago, we were required to research Wedding Traditions for our first ever wedding assignment at Polytech. Recently, I found the little book that I made, and had a good read about why we have certain traditions in Weddings today, even if the symblosym behind them is a thing of the past. I often see brides asking about why we do the things we do at modern weddings. So I thought I would share with you where our modern wedding traditions came from. 

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue.

This tradition started in England. Something old symbolised continuity; often a piece of lace, a grandmothers scarf, or and old piece of jewellery. Something new symbolised hope for the future, and could be anything from a new piece of clothing, to the wedding band itself. Something borrowed symbolised future happiness, and was often provided by a married friend of the bride. Something blue dates back to ancient times when blue was the colour of purity, and often both bride and groom wore a blue band around the bottom of their wedding attire. 

The White Dress

Prior to the 16th Century, white gowns were uncommon. Many brides simply wore their best dress. It wasn't until 1499 that a white dress began to symbolise virginity and purity, and became part of the European Wedding Culture. Prior to that , blue was the colour that symbolised purity. In 1840, Queen Victoria wore white to marry Prince Albert, and cemented the trend of the white dress that we still see today. 

The Veil

It is unclear where the tradition of the veil orginated from, but there are several theories. One is that it is a relic of the days when the groom would capture a woman of his choosing, throw a blanket over her head, and cart her off. Another is that during the days of arranged marriages, the brides face was covered until the groom was committed to her at marriage, so it would be too late to run off it he didn't like the look of her. One final theory is that the veil was worn to protect the bride from evil spirits that may be floating around her on her wedding day. In modern times, it has come to stand as the ultimate symbol of purity, and often the brides father will lift the veil once she reaches the altar. 

The Ring Finger

A bride's rings are traditionally worn on the third finger of her left hand. There are two main theories surrounding this, although no precise evidence is known. The first, dating back to the 17th century, is that during a Christian Wedding the priest arrived at the fourth finger (counting the thumb), after touching the three fingers on the left hand, in the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit. The second is that the ring finger contains the 'vena amoris' (Also known by it's colloquial term, "The love vein"), that runs directly to the heart. 

Cake Cutting

The joint cake cutting symbolises the couples unity in life, their shared future, and their new life together as one. 

Bride to the Left

During the Ceremony, the Bride stands to the left, and the Groom to the right. This originates from the days when a Groom would capture his Bride by kidnapping her. If the Groom had to fight off other suitors, he would hold his Bride to be with his left hand, allowing his right hand free to use his sword. 

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen originate from Roman law that demanded ten witnesses be present at a wedding, in order to dupe evil spirits who were believed to attend marriages with the view of causing mischief and disharmony. The Bridesmaids and Groomsmen all dressed in identical clothing to the Bride and Groom, so that the evil spirits wouldn't know who was getting married. 


In ancient times, a Bride was given a real horseshoe, and she was to carry it around on her wrist. It symbolised good luck, but only if the horseshoe was worn upwards, otherwise the luck would tip out. 

The Honeymoon

Following the abduction (the wedding), the Groom would put himself and his new bride into hiding, hence the honeymoon, so by the time the Brides family found them, she would already be pregnant. 

The bouquet

This tradition has a variety of origins, with two main themes remaining heavy. Some suggest that originally, a bouquet was carried to ward off evil spirits, and was primarily made up of garlic and herbs. A second theory is that brides continued the bouquet tradition to mask body odour. In ancient times, bathing was infrequent, so brides had to do something to help mask the smell, hence the bouquet. Today the bouquet has evolved into something that can express everlasting love and luck, can symbolise your culture or cultural heritiage, or simply a stunning way to express personal preference. 

And that's it! Are there any traditions I have left out? Leave me a comment if you know of any weird or wonderful traditions that I have missed, and where it originates from. 

Information sourced from