Small but very special weddings

A small wedding or an elopements is the perfect choice for some couples - how about you? There are a few elopement hotspots in Australia, Broome and Montville spring to mind. The Tweed Valley in Northern New South Wales could become one too - not so far from the eastern capital cities and with such beautiful surroundings, a range of unique accommodation possibilities and such friendly people! We often photograph small weddings and elopements at Mt Warning Rainforest Retreat on Mount Warning Road and they are all special occasions with the simplicity of the arrangements putting the emphasis right onto the couple and the reasons they want to make that bond. Here are some photos of a recent small wedding there. They didn't want us to write much about them, but I thing these few photos tell some of their story and show the love that was bubbling out of them:


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High on a hill, high on love

Time has blown us into a new year and now I need to catch up on some blogging and other fun things. Here are a few photos from one of the most emotional weddings we have ever been part of. Kerry and Brie celebrated having been together for 15 years, by finally marrying surrounded by family and close friends on a hilltop farm in the Byron Hinterland. They've been through a lot together and you could certainly feel the enduring love these two have for each other and for everyone they share their lives with. A very relaxed reception party with all their friends followed on at the Wrens Rest at Minyon Falls. Here are just a few of our favourites from the day:

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A creekside wedding at Amazing Wollumbin Palms Retreat

It was on a very hot November day that Jackie and Greg had their intimate wedding at Wollumbin Palms Retreat under the magnificent Mount Warning. Twelve of their closest family joined them for the ceremony conducted by the lovely Lucille Brace. Jackie and Greg didn't hesitate when we suggested the creek for their personal photos. We wished we could have jumped in there with them! Just for fun, here are some favourite photos in reverse order to the flow.

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Second love with Thai style

Deborah and Clive are so lucky to have friends with such a beautiful home in the mountains! The drizzling rain gently fell on Silk Pavilions that day and the Thai styled pavilions were perfect for their preparations and for the ceremony. Debbie looked amazing in her coffee coloured lace gown and her daughter and sister were the elegant bridesmaids. After the wedding the clouds lifted a little to show everyone the stunning views and allow us to go for a stroll with Debbie and Clive through the beautiful grounds looking for those sweet spots.

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Perri's entries for the QEPPA awards

wedding gallery
portrait galleryOn a hillside galleryShelter near midginbil hill galleryCurrumbin beach wedding galleryfather of the bride gallery

I'm having a bit of a play here, with a new type of gallery for my blog. You can click on each image to view a larger version of it. Out of these 6 I'm entering 4 in the Queensland Epson Professional Photography Awards. Wish me luck. Whatever happens its a great learning experience with feedback from highly regarded judges who are professional photographers in the category you enter.

Midginbil Magic

Way back in September (yes I am a bit behind in our blogging!), we once again had the very enjoyable experience of a Midginbil Hill wedding. Hannah and Scott (aka Elwoberto) live in Sydney but love this area and it was the perfect halfway point between Sydney and Townsville where many of their family and guests came from. The weather gods smiled on them, with conditions dry enough for them to have their beautiful ceremony under the fig-tree high on the hill, but with enough clouds to keep their photographers happy - we love that diffused light! At the beginning of their ceremony, Hannah and Scott released a golden balloon in memory of Hannah’s father who is no longer with them. And, that was just the beginning for the tears that flowed at this wedding, including from the celebrant, Debbie, who is an old family friend. After the ceremony, Hannah and Scott were happy to spend some time going for a wander with us in tow and I think the photos we captured show the love and deep friendship that flows between these two. What do you think?

































On the hill at Mavises Kitchen

Petrina and Jeremy let us know that they wanted an intimate and informal wedding that celebrated their family especially their two gorgeous girls. They were surrounded by beautifully supportive friends and family that helped create just that, and we hope our photographs reflect that. Petrina and the girls got ready at Ecoasis, near Uki in the Tweed Valley, then travelled in her brothers gorgeous restored old Holden to Mavis’s Kitchen where the ceremony was held in the open air, surrounded by the amazing ranges including Mount Warning. The reception was then held in the restaurant that Petrina said had inspired them to finally get married, with that famous Mavis’s Kitchen ambience and hospitality. A beautiful day from beginning to end!

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A Country Wedding

Last month we had the very great pleasure of photographing Wahleena and Andy’s wedding at Midginbil Hill. I don’t think we’ve ever met a couple who laughed so much and it wasn’t just them, their besties and all their friends and family had such a laid-back and fun time. We even tried something a bit different - the group photo in a long line that we then turned into this little planet image. The wedding was held at Crams Farm under a spreading camphor laurel, with Mount Warning watching over us all. Afterwards we went in two 4WDs up to the giant fig tree. Wahleena had hoped for some photos with cows, but instead we got horses. As photographers we think horses are more photogenic than cows and they seemed to love the attention. Andy and Wal very kindly invited us to stay on an join the reception in the barn and it was wonderful to hear all the stories and once again realise how special it is to at last find the one you love and want to spend your life with. Our warmest wishes to them both and all their family and friends. Perri really enjoyed editing their images and reliving such a warm and wonderful wedding. Here are some of our favourites.

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A wedding between the storms

In the middle of a week of dramatic storms, Jessica and John had their long-awaited wedding at Midginbil Hill in the Tweed Valley hinterland. Jess had been dreaming and picturing for months the ceremony and celebrations under the spreading Lone Fig high on the hill. But the weather was against them and heavy rain and constant thunder washed that plan away. Their friends and family rallied together to make the barn where the reception was to be held ready for the ceremony instead. Tears of disappointment, of joy, of pride, of love and of laughter - it was an emotional roller coaster of a day. What shone through to us was how much this couple adore each other and how much this wedding was a true expression of that love.
As photographers, the weather was a challenge at times and a total gift at others. We especially loved the dramatic light and bruising clouds while we were at Cram’s Farm with John and Jess on the jetty. Moments later we were safe in our cars while a tropical style deluge rained down again.
We hope you get the sense of this very special day through this selection of images:

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Under the figtree at Midginbil Hill

It’s not hard to see why the giant fig-tree at Midginbil Hill is such a popular place to hold a wedding ceremony - you are surrounded by a 360 degree panorama of the Tweed Valley, Mount Warning and the Nightcap Ranges. Last month we were there with Jessica and Angus and their families and friends, for a very sweet and heartfelt ceremony and celebration. We loved the Jessica’s mexican embroidered wedding dress, the tattooed vicar and how much everyone was blown away by the amazing views. The weather was sweet and sunny and matched the mood. Here are a few of our favourites:

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A spring wedding at Mavis's Kitchen

On a sunny spring day under the watch of Mount Warning, Kathy and Rob finally tied the knot, 10 years after Rob proposed and 20 years after they first got together. The three boys who came along in the meantime had a great time running around the beautiful and very natural grounds of Mavis’s Kitchen with their cousins and friends, while Kathy and Brooke (who is one of the sweetest most supportive bridesmaids ever) got ready at the Log Cabin there. The proprietors Peter and Charlie are always warm and friendly hosts and the ceremony, the canapés and reception dinner just flowed, giving Kathy and Rob exactly the relaxing joyful celebration they’d be hoping to create. Our warm wishes to the whole family!

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Erin and Jace at Wollumbin Palms

Last Saturday a break in the weather allowed Erin and Jace (from down Newcastle way) to get married in the sunshine - on the second shortest day of the year. Te ceremony was simple but very moving and was followed by a short but enjoyable portrait session. Their favourite images (and ours) were taken down by the creek with that stunning afternoon glow. The venue, Wollumbin Palms, on Mount Warning Road, is the perfect venue for a private ceremony or elopement and Erin and Jace stayed on at one of the very luxurious lodges. It was the first time we’d met the celebrant, Elizabeth Lord, and she did a beautiful job! Thanks again to Phil and Casey who looked after us all.

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A beautiful beach wedding at Currumbin

Nicola and Paul came all the way from Plymouth in the UK to get married on the Gold Coast with family who live here now as well as Paul’s son, Jack, and Nicola’s sister, Michelle, who also flew out for the wedding. They had their hearts set on a beach wedding at Currumbin with blue skies and white puffy clouds over the greeny-blue ocean. It was raining up until the day before the wedding so they were so thrilled that they were given everything they were hoping for and more. As photographers we loved the dramatic skies that developed just after the ceremony. They chose us as photographers for our story-telling abilities and were over-the-moon with the images as stand alone photos as well as the slideshow that we set to their chosen music. They had a beautiful lunchtime reception at the Elephant Rock Cafe - which we heartily recommend as a venue for a small wedding or for a meal any time. Hope you can feel some of the love, appreciation and joy that was flowing around on the day through the images below.

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An elopement at Amazing Wollumbin Palms

Just before Christmas, we photographed Lizzie and Sean’s elopement which they had at Amazing Wollumbin Palms. If you ever want a complete getaway or a very small wedding, this is the place! Even though it was raining close by, the clouds held together and we were able to catch some lovely moments at the ceremony, then down by the creek with its great stone stacks and then at Mavis’s Kitchen where Lizzie and Sean had lunch with their family. They are a lovely couple and we wish them every happiness!

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A softly coloured wedding

Last month we shot our first wedding at Mavis’s Kitchen. It is a wonderful venue for both ceremonies on the hill and feasts at the restaurant, so we’re glad we’ve broken that drought! Mount Warning stayed clear of cloud all afternoon and the cloud cover made for soft light and some drama in the sky, which was a good match for Rosie’s beautiful vintage dress and the soft range of colours of the bridesmaids dresses and the protea bouquets. Rosie and Jay then had some fun with us down by the river (the Tweed) before joining their guests for the reception. My favourite photo - hard to pick, but maybe the one with the balloons on the combi?

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Local with a 50's twist

Last month we had the pleasure of shooting a real local wedding! Simone and Dennis are from Murwillumbah and went to Mount Saint Pat’s, as its known here. They had a full Catholic mass (a first for us) at Mount Saint Patricks church. Not a lot of light but it made for some stunning moments. For the photo sessions afterwards we went to Murwillumbah’s levy wall with its great wildlife mural (the lyre-birds seemed fascinated by the proceedings) then back to Bray Park where Simone grew up. A small park and the bridge over Dunbible Creek were meaningful backdrops for all that loving! Dennis was quite in love with the Dodge that they had for the day too. We then went to the Hitchens garden where the golden tabebuyas were flowering. It looked like we might get a storm, but it seems it was only there to make a great dramatic sky for the final photos. Then back to the reception at Greenhills on Tweed where Rebecca did a wonderful job as wedding decorator and coordinator. Our warmest wishes to both Simone and Dennis - they were a really sweet couple to photograph.


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Lotus garden wedding at Byron

Last weekend we had the pleasure of photographing Danni and Ollie’s wedding which was held at the stunning Byron @ Byron resort. The ceremony, conducted by the lovely Chiquita Mitchell, of lifecelebration was held in the Lotus garden which turned out to be a beautiful setting with the light filtering through the trees. Many of the photos were taken on the boardwalks that thread through the resort’s very natural and intact tea-tree wetland. Danni and Ollie live in Townsville and their family and friends flew in from all over the country to be there. They are a truly sweet couple and we were happy to be part of such a beautiful celebration of their love. (And as I always say) here are a few of our favourite photos from the day:

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A hill-top wedding shoot

Last month we met up with Barney and Sarah whose wedding we photographed back in April. The wet weather back then prevented us from accessing a beautiful hill-top that is part of Midginbil Hill and the giant fig-tree where they had hoped to hold the wedding. We met up with Barney and Sarah at Silk Pavilions at Mt. Burrell to take some extra photos with the amazing outlook there. We then made it to the fig-tree just before sunset and were able to capture some beautiful images through a combination of the fading light and our portable flash lighting. They are really happy with the results. Here are a few of our favourites:

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Wedding advice

I was just looking at a sweet wedding in South Africa:
and I love the advice from the bride, Kirsten, as a lot of it is similar to what we say to brides:
- Don’t leave anything until the last minute
- Some things won’t go according to plan – BIG DEAL!
- Start planning well in advance, this will help you save on costs and be more organised
- Just relax!
- Don’t be afraid to delegate. I’m one of those people who wanted to do everything myself, but I had to learn to trust other people
- Remember that it’s your wedding and incorporate elements that are special to you as a couple
- Stick to your guns even if nobody understands your ideas
- Have loads of fun and savour every moment of your planning experience
- Make family members like your mother & mother-in-law part of the planning experience even if you don’t share the same ideas
- Invest in a professional photographer"

We especially agree with that last one!

A wedding high on Mt. Burrell

Barney and Sarah had long been planning to have their wedding on the beautiful hilltop under the old fig tree at Midginbil Hill on the south-western side of the Tweed Valley. The week of showery weather persisted up to the morning of the wedding, making the track up to the hill very difficult, so they moved to Plan B, to hold the wedding at nearby Crams’ Farm, overlooking the dam and Mount Warning. But it was too muddy and far from shelter there, so Sue and John from Silk Pavilions very flexibly allowed them to move the ceremony there, where Sarah and her family were staying. We were all rewarded with clear weather around us and stunning clouds and sun rays on the Border Ranges in the distance. The wedding was beautiful and was followed by a great reception and some wild dancing at the barn at Midginbil Hill. Our wedding present to Sarah and Barney was to offer them another photo session up by the fig tree when the weather improves. Stay posted!

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Sonia and Jorge get married!

Last month we photographed such a warm and romantic wedding. Sonia and Jorge were childhood sweethearts, but now, in there late 30’s, they have finally joined their lives together and are moving to Argentina! They had a farm wedding at Hosanna at Stokers Siding for their Australian friends. This was followed 3 weeks later by a family wedding in Italy. Here are some of our favourites from the day at Stokers Siding.

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Sita and Gareth's wedding at Hosanna

Sita and Gareth put so much love, sweat and tears into their wedding day and were rewarded with a truly beautiful day. The threatening rain held off, they were surrounded and supported by such loving friends and family and there was even a bit of the sunset colour and glow that had been so important to Sita, while planning and dreaming of her wedding and her photos. We all really enjoyed ourselves at the dam - look out for the guys on the diving board!

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North Coast wedding for Edwina and Blake

Edwina and Blake’s long connections to the Byron - Mullumbimby hinterland drew them up from Sydney together with their friends and families to hold and celebrate their wedding at the Kohinur Hall in Main Arm. It was an immense pleasure to be part of such a beautiful day, capturing the love that seemed to be flowing in every direction as well as the great party atmosphere - set to a fantastic soundtrack. Their guests also got a kick out of the Nimbin Magic Bus which picked them up in Byron and took them on a magical mystery tour up the winding Main Arm Road. Here are some of our favourites from the day!

A country wedding

The other major highlight in May was the wedding of Melissa and Ashleigh Cruden at the Little Brown Church at Jimboomba. The light in the church set a wonderfully romantic atmosphere and its size made it a very intimate event. We then moved to a racing stable at Biddadabba for photos with the horses and the lovely afternoon light - such a wonderful arrangement after the wet and grey morning and very fitting as they met while working at a racing stable. We wish them years of joy together!

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A wedding below Mount Warning

Last month, we had the special pleasure of photographing Cara and Josh’s joyful and love-filled wedding held on Mount Warning Road (near to the place where Josh proposed.) There were so many special elements to this wedding: the orange fairy flower-girls, the smudging ceremony, the warming of the rings, the white horses... so we have put in some of our favourite pictures here that aren’t on the main website.

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