As one year comes to a close and another one has just began, it’s the perfect time to appreciate and celebrate the highlights of the previous twelve months.
I am passionate about photography, particularly for weddings and engagements. Being able to do a job that I love is the best feeling in the world!
A warm thank you to all the wonderful couples who have entrusted me to photograph their “big day” – to capture the intimate, tender moments and rich emotions that abound on such happy occasions.
I feel so honoured to be invited to be a part of each of your wedding days.
I strive for my photos to reflect your love, your relationship and the things that bind you together.
The beginning of 2014 was very busy for me as I photographed twenty weddings in just four months!
After that it was time for my husband David and myself to spend almost the remainder of the year on our “holiday of a life-time”.
David had spent many hours planning, reading travel blogs and books and studying maps on the Saturdays when I was happily photographing weddings.
What an amazing trip he created! The adventure began in Mexico, and then continued on to colourful Cuba.
The major part of our journey was a six month, 25,000 mile trek across forty US states in our cute little van.
There were so many diverse landscapes to capture through the lens of my trusty camera – hot, dry deserts, rugged mountains, cavernous canyons and refreshing seascapes, plus the individual flavour of different towns and cities along the way.
I love photographing the small, subtle details that others might overlook which create uniqueness and atmosphere and bring images to life.
We enjoyed spectacular views, ate lots of great food, viewed surreal sunrises and sunsets, and watched the world go by in that relaxing way that comes with having time on your side.
Long travel always puts life into perspective. It was clear to me that there is really no-one in the world that I love more than the special person who sat beside me in that dusty van for all those months.
I missed my parents and loved ones and I did get homesick at times but it made our reunion all the more special.
During our travels we worked on our first online project together, making our very own Travel Blog. I took the photos and Dave wrote the words. It was a creative “labour of love” and the perfect way to share our experiences.
If you would like to visit our blog it’s at www.mexicotonewyork.com
After a UK stopover to visit family and friends, I stepped off the plane in Melbourne and began photographing weddings again with a fresh perspective and renewed creative energy.
I realized that there isn’t anything more important than our loved ones.
And when it comes to weddings, it isn’t just about the dress, the venue, the cake or all the trimmings – it’s about marrying your best friend and lover and having all the people you love standing right there witnessing and sharing in your love and joy as a couple.
I feel so lucky that it’s my job to capture all that love and emotion for eternity!
I wish all my clients and readers a very safe and happy New Year filled with fun adventures and lots of love!
The sun shone warmly on fragrant fields of fresh lavender as Samantha prepared for her marriage to her beloved, Winston.
The loving couple had first met in their mid teens and had been together for over thirteen years, having become engaged in a romantic setting in Bali in 2012.
Samantha had decorated the light-filled, rented house at Red Hill with her personal touches – cute signs, flowers, photographs of her Grandparents’ wedding day and paper decorations.
Samantha was visibly moved by her gift from Winston, the bridesmaids were thrilled with their framed cartoons of themselves with Samantha, and Samantha’s Mother, Father and Nonna shared tears of joy and cuddles with her, revealing the closeness of their relationship.
It was “so much fun” for Samantha getting ready on the wedding day. After a relaxing and refreshing morning swim, she was “bursting with excitement” and she felt as if she were preparing for “the biggest and best party of my life!”
Her Mother carefully buttoned her beautiful gown and happy bridesmaids attended her in knee-length, sleeveless, lemon dresses.
Samantha glowed with serene joy and calm beauty in her elegant, figure-flattering wedding gown of gossamer-fine lace, with cap sleeves and a generous, scooped neckline.
A glittering comb in her softly styled hair, a full-length veil, sparkling peep-toe shoes and pearl jewellery complemented Samantha’s gown to perfection.
Samantha’s abundant pastel bouquet had special sentimental significance – attached inside were two brooches containing photos of her Grandfathers.
Samantha and Winston chose picturesque Stillwater, Crittenden Estate, as their wedding location. Situated on the Mornington Peninsula, “it had everything we were looking for in a venue – amazing food, wine and an awesome vibe.”
The Peninsula holds special memories of carefree Summer beach holidays and relaxed, fun times with family and friends – it’s a place where the couple feel “truly happy”.
Winston and his groomsmen looked impressive in ocean blue suits, fresh white shirts and stylish, black bowties.
Whilst preparing for the wedding, Winston had felt “surreal” and had mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety. He just wanted time to pass quickly “so that it could all happen’”.
He waited expectantly in the open-air chapel for a first glimpse of Samantha walking the soft, green pathway on the arm of her proud Father.
As their eyes met, the first thing that went through Winston’s mind was, “Wow! She looks amazing!” And he thought, “How lucky I am that this is the girl I am marrying!”
Samantha, smiling broadly, thought that Winston looked “dashingly handsome”!
Together they stood beneath the leafy wedding arch, under the dome of a sapphire blue sky, and with a clear view of the mirrored tranquility of the silver lake.
Every word of their heart-felt, loving vows had special meaning for them as they had written the words themselves. Speaking the sacred words, surrounded by closest family and friends, is a special memory which Samantha and Winston will cherish forever.
Radiating an aura of joy, the happy couple walked the “aisle” as husband and wife to the instrumental version of “A Thousand Years”, played live.
Guests sipped drinks and joined in games on the lawn while Samantha and Winston had portraits taken in the dappled shade of sun-kissed willows and amongst the cool green foliage and gum trees on the white winding road.
The couple’s attempts at riding a vintage bike in formal wedding attire, with tin cans rattling behind, provided lots of fun, laughter and several ‘”takes” to perfect.
It was delightful to capture Samantha and Winston’s natural rapport and loving expressions in their eyes, smiles and body language.
Samantha’s individual touch was evident in the Reception area with tables decorated in vintage style, incorporating hessian, wood, bunting, personalized signs and a variety of fresh flowers.
There was no special theme, just “having things in our day that we really liked.”
After fine food, entertaining speeches, and cutting of the cake, it was time for the symbolic first dance to the song, “Let’s Stay Together”, by Al Green.
On the decking, in the balmy evening air, guests made a circle around the newlyweds and watched as they danced with eyes only for each other, soaking up the emotion. Soon after, the dance floor was rocking!
As night fell and the lights glowed golden, the sweet sounds of music, celebration and laughter could be heard from afar.
“Happily Ever After” definitely started on Samantha and Winston’s magical wedding day!
Would you like to see Sam and Winston’s engagement portraits click HERE.
Sam and Winston’s Wedding Team:
First dates are memorable occasions which are truly unique and meaningful for every couple.
In 2002, Erin and Ty experienced their own very special first date – a home-cooked, (by Mum), candle-lit, Schnitzel dinner in Ty’s bedroom, eaten from the table he had made in Woodwork!
It was certainly a success and now, several years later, the loving couple were preparing to become husband and wife.
Erin felt “relaxed, content, loved and excited” at the thought of seeing Ty.
Smiling broadly and with sparkling eyes, Erin was carefully buttoned into the sculptured, figure-flattering bodice of fine, sheer-edged lace.
A full, filmy peplum softly skimmed her silk-smooth skirt and train. Sleeveless and with plunging v necklines front and back, the gown was cool and classy.
A dainty, fascinator veil was seductively placed over Erin’s forehead and her softly swept-back hair.
On her wrist, Erin wore the Tiffany pearl bracelet that Ty had given her when he nervously and shyly proposed two years earlier, in December 2012. Ty loved her excited reaction to his proposal. He also presented Erin with a sparkling, solitaire diamond ring which he specially chose for her himself.
Erin glowed with serene beauty and calm elegance. Her four bridesmaids who wore retro-styled, knee-length dresses of the palest pastel shades of blue, pink, lemon and green.
Funky pastel oval rings, (thank-you gifts from Erin to her attentive bridesmaids), and perfect posies of delicate, shell pink roses, enhanced the subtle colour scheme.
Ty and his groomsmen shared pre-wedding camaraderie as they donned their flattering blue suit coats, crisp white shirts and “cheeky” blue, polka dot bowties.
“Relaxed and ready to go”, Ty was honoured to wear his late Father’s watch as a very special memento.
Erin and Ty found their “perfect wedding venue” at Train Trak Winery in the picturesque Yarra Valley, north-east of Melbourne.
They wanted a barn-style wedding and loved the rustic colours and textures in the cellar “chapel”, (with its amazing view), and Zonzo Restaurant, surrounded by patchwork fields, lush vineyards, panoramic views, luxurious lawns and green vistas.
“The venue had so much character that we didn’t want to add too much decoration that would take your eye away from the space.”
Metal, low wooden beams, corrugated iron and weathered wood were enhanced by Erin’s selection of invitations, green and white flowers, vases of tin and terracotta, and “touches” of hessian, twine, wire, blackboard and chalk.
On first seeing Ty in the chapel, Erin “felt warmth and a smile” come across her face.
“I had been so excited to see him all morning and so looking forward to standing with all our family and friends, holding his hand.”
Ty felt excited and content and proudly admired Erin looking “beautiful and free”.
As Erin walked the aisle to stand with Ty, selected loved ones each presented her with a flower for her bouquet. In a moment of exquisite beauty and symbolism, Ty offered the final flower to Erin and her Mum lovingly secured the blooms together with string.
Another sacred and special moment for Ty and Erin was speaking their vows. Illuminated by the Summer sun, the couple’s love and unity shone for all to see.
Erin felt “safe and comfortable” as she and Ty shared their tender first kiss as husband and wife.
They beamed with happiness, walking the “aisle” together to the song, “How long I Love You” by Ellie Goulding.
Train Trak Winery provided a stunning rustic backdrop for Erin and Ty’s couple portraits.
Rich and varied scenery enhanced and highlighted the tenderness, joy and intimacy of Erin and Ty’s relationship – capturing “our kind of love”.
Ty says he was initially attracted by Erin’s appearance, but he soon discovered “her beautiful nature, her smile, her patience, her thoughtfulness and the way she cares for others.” Her kindness is a trait he particularly admires.
Erin, initially intrigued by Ty’s sense of fun and humour, loves his “wittiness, cheeky character, thoughtfulness, his determination to provide for his family and me and the way he shows his love for me.” His witty comments and attempts at singing and dancing always make her laugh!
At Zonzo, the Reception venue, the happy couple and their guests enjoyed traditional Italian cuisine of pizza and slow-cooked roast and the custom of “shared table”, bringing family and friends together.
Reflecting on their special day, Ty was very happy to have his Pop attend the Wedding and to have a “good chat” with him.
Erin loved the time spent being photographed with Ty, the speeches and being surrounded by, and dancing with, “all the most important people in my life.”
Cutting the cake and sealing their wish with a passionate kiss, Erin and Ty look forward to many happy times together as husband and wife and to making those wishes come true!
Erin and Ty’s Wedding Team:
Simone and Lasath wanted a “modern wedding, filled with colours and styles that they liked” and truly reflecting their unique personalities and values. The impressive Immaculate Conception Church in Hawthorn was a significant choice for the ceremony as it was Simone’s Grandmother’s parish church and both of Simone’s sisters had been married there – a growing family tradition.
The Reception venue, Circa, The Prince Deck in vibrant, bayside St Kilda, impressed them with its spaciousness, serene swimming pool and the way the light filtered softly through the ornate metal window screens.
Early on the Wedding day, Lasath and his team dressed with extra special care, anticipating the exciting time to come. Immaculately groomed in suits of cool blue with vivid buttonholes of fiery red and cream, they appeared confident and relaxed as they set off for the ceremony.
Meanwhile, Simone was enjoying her time with the bridesmaids and donning the beautiful Mimma Priolo gown that had been specially designed for her.
“Mimma understood exactly what I wanted and we discussed materials and options”.
The Italian lace in white, bright pink and blue-green which embraced Simone’s well-fitted bodice, cascaded daintily over a waltz-length, gathered, tulle skirt, and formed the basis of the Wedding colour scheme – warm sunset colours of orange, peach, watermelon, flamingo and coral enhanced by cool, muted teals and misty blues. The feather-light tulle overlay added a sense of mystery and softness to the blue-green beneath.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I love colour so it was always going to be a bit of a colour explosion!”
Simone was a picture of beauty, grace and elegance, with her thick, dark hair softly styled into a chignon at the back.
With her bridesmaids beside her adorned in shades of coral and watermelon, and her abundant bouquet of full-petalled roses in tones of flame red, hot pink and orange, Simone basked in the warmth of joy and colour. The girls’ dresses had been bought “from all over the world” – New York, Sri Lanka and Melbourne, so Simone was pleased and relieved that everything matched!
Waiting in the bluestone Church in Hawthorn, Lasath, his groomsmen and wedding guests glanced in anticipation at the Gothic arched doorway for a first glimpse of Simone on the arm of her proud Father.
Illuminated by golden sunbeams, Father and daughter paused, savouring the moment, then walked the long red carpet towards the Altar. There, Simone and Lasath exchanged their sacred vows.
A particularly emotional moment for Lasath, in addition to seeing his beautiful bride, was the Priest announcing the couple as Mr. and Mrs. Kahingala.
“It signified that we were finally married and we could start this new chapter together.”
Simone felt so excited that they were married but was particularly impressed by how handsome Lasath looked in his suit!
After the Priest’s blessing, Simone and Lasath walked the aisle together to the emotional strains of Norma Casta Diva by Vincenzo Bellini. Their love and happiness was palpable as they gazed into each other’s eyes.
Nearby Hawthorn Railway Station provided a unique location for capturing the elation of the newlyweds and the bridal party through the camera lens.
Their “first chapter” had begun in 2011 when they met. Lasath was intrigued by Simone’s beauty, and the fact that she was outgoing and an interesting conversationalist.
Simone noticed Lasath’s confidence, and that he was outgoing, friendly and good-looking.
Their first date was a tapas dinner at Lulo Restaurant on Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn.
In October 2012 they became engaged, when Lasath took Simone for a luxurious weekend away at the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld, at the foot of the Grampians in Victoria’s Western District. Simone had discovered the “secret” proposal in advance -a receipt for the ring in the car and her Father telling her Lasath had asked for his permission.
She decided to “keep quiet” and let it all unfold. The suspense became intense when Lasath still hadn’t proposed even during the special “degustation dinner” – a sensual sampling of delicacies over several hours. Finally, on the Sunday, he proposed at the lush MacKenzie Waterfalls with a black diamond and white gold commitment ring. Later, the couple bought sapphires and had the engagement ring made in Sri Lanka.
Simone and Lasath have a lot in common – they can “sit down and discuss politics, philosophy, go dancing, travel and have lots of adventures together.”
Lasath describes himself as the humorous one. He loves amusing Simone with funny Sri Lankan English phrases to get out of domestic duties! Mutual caring, sharing and kindness are character traits that they both value.
It is a Sri Lankan tradition to be led to the Wedding venue or ceremony by Kandyan (region of Sri Lanka), drummers and dancers. The colourfully dressed drummer chanted blessings in Sinhalese, (Sri Lankan language). Two male dancers in striking costumes danced their way from the entrance hall of Circa, The Prince, to the wedding cake, finishing off with backflips!
Relaxed and happy, dining at tables overflowing with luxurious bunches of vivid blooms and fine food, dancing and having fun with family and friends, Simone and Lasath have created unique Wedding memories that I am sure will bring joy forever.
Simone and Lasath’s Wedding Team:
Embracing under the entwining branches of leafy trees, Samantha and Winston smile broadly with love, joy and happiness.
Completely at ease and gazing tenderly into each other’s eyes, they radiate a positive, uplifting energy which enhances and brightens their surroundings.
The sparkling, diamond-studded Engagement ring that they chose together, reflects and radiates their light and love.
Samantha and Winston’s shared life path began in earnest thirteen years earlier when they “caught each other’s eye” at a house party.
Samantha, aged fifteen and Winston, aged seventeen, quickly became inseparable as they had so much in common – they had attended the same secondary school and Winston had also been friends with some of Samantha’s friend’s older brothers.
After six months of close friendship, their love blossomed.
In early Spring, 2000, Winston invited Samantha to a first date – dinner at a local restaurant.
“….after dinner he walked me home – it was a long walk!”
The relationship had rapidly progressed to a new level!
The harmony of their togetherness is strengthened by the admiration, respect and attention they freely give to each other.
“We are both easygoing and support each other to achieve anything we want in life.
Winston appreciates that Samantha is “warm, thoughtful and outgoing.”
He loves her beaming smile and her contagious laugh.
“She makes me smile and she understands me”.
Samantha loves “how respectful and generous Winston is with both our families and friends. He is a true gentleman!”
“Winston is the most genuine person I know….kind, considerate and someone I can trust”.
Samantha and Winston have grown together in love from the teenage years to adulthood and share many interests and passions – travelling to new places, wining and dining, football and other sporting events, the gym, time with family and friends, just being with each other and enjoying life to the fullest!
Shared experiences and new adventures keep their relationship dynamic and fresh.
Amazingly, Winston was still able to surprise Samantha with a proposal of marriage and Samantha was able to surprise him in return by the length of time it took for her to say, “Yes!”
On September 1st, 2012, Samantha and Winston dined in a beautiful French restaurant in Bali.
After cocktails and dinner, and just before dessert, Winston invited Samantha to walk with him down a lantern-lit path towards the gazebo, surrounded by fertile rice paddies and tranquil lily ponds.
The romantic scene was set and the timing was perfect.
At first Samantha was “lost for words” when Winston, on bended knee, asked her to be his wife.
The loving couple “were overwhelmed with excitement and joy” after Samantha recovered from the initial surprise and finally accepted.
The exotic Bali proposal, rich in atmosphere and powerful emotions, is one of Samantha and Winston’s favourite memories.
In any location – the park, the City or the beach – Samantha and Winston bring love, happiness, optimism and a sense of playfulness.
Cocooned in the softness, security and warmth of a “blanket of love”, the cosy couple look forward to their Wedding day and the many wonderful adventures awaiting them.
Thank you Samantha and Winston for allowing me to capture your engagement portraits…. Stay tuned for their wedding photos!