One of the most epic weddings we've EVER photographed. A 3 day festival, complete with multiple bands, 10 bridesmaids & 10 groomsmen, and one amazing couple. Over 200 photos in this blog post alone!! Enjoy. We certainly did.
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One of the things we strive for, in our photography, is to capture each of our wedding days in a way that reflects the bride & groom.
So when we’re shooting urban glamour weddings… we shoot in a style that suits the couple, and the feel of the occasion.
And when we’re chilling out at the beach, on the beautiful Coromandel, photographing Rach & Trent’s epic, three day, festival wedding… we shoot like this.
The first we heard about this wedding was when our long-time photography assistant / honorary little sister Holly asked whether she could use some gear to shoot her friend Rach’s wedding. “Sure” we said, no worries.
“Oh yeah – I’m also a bridesmaid. Not quite sure how that’s supposed to work!”
We really wanted Holly to be able to enjoy being a bridesmaid, and didn’t have anything booked this weekend, so we gave Rach a call and pulled a few strings. Next thing we know, we’re packing the car for Waikawau Bay in the Coromandel.
If there was ever an occasion that was made possible by the help of a huge amount of people… this was it. In some way, everyone pitched in – and the result was one of the most amazing weddings we’ve seen. At the same time, it managed to be completely low key & cruisy, while also being on a huge scale – 3 days, 200 guests, and plenty of fun.
Amber was shooting at the girls place getting ready (here at the reception venue), while I headed around to chill with the guys. We’ll mix them up in the blog post though – it’s cool seeing what the guys were up to at the same time as the girls… you can see who has the easier job!
The teepee had the most incredible soft light – keep an eye out for the girls shots in there later in the post…
Not only did one of Rach’s bridesmaids – Shari – make the dress, but she sewed Rach into it, too!
Eventually, the guys needed to start getting ready, too.
Rach’s 10 bridesmaids were stunning. It was weird actually getting nice photos of Holly. She’s quite often in front of the lens on a wedding day when we need to check the light in any given spot… but it always comes with the requisite crazy facials too. We have a pretty good collection of those ones!
See – told you the teepee had amazing light! I love this shot of Rach, I think the wind caught the material at the back & you can see it swirling in the background of the shot.
Rach & her mum had time for some last minute words of wisdom in the teepee before the ceremony.
At the boys place, the guests were beginning to arrive – as this was the pickup point for an … unconventional … shuttle up to the ceremony area!
At this point I phoned Amber… thinking that it’s pretty close to ceremony time, and wondering how they were going. We had a fairly tight time schedule post-ceremony, and it was all hinging on things running like clockwork.
“We’re already here” – she told me.
“Over the road at the neighbours place. I can see you.”
And sure enough – there they were. Not only did the neighbours place provide a bit of concealment from the last waiting guests, but also had lovely light coming through the trees.
Trent was telling me his granddad has had this Morris Minor in the family for years – his pride & joy. Granddad mentioned that he had made a few test runs up the track to the ceremony (it was all grass, and pretty steep) – and no worries.
So we were confident we’d see Rach arrive at the top of the hill.
Now – about the ceremony location. It was incredible.
Here’s a view from the air (more on that later) … they stood on the platform, perched on a clifftop, looking out over the sea. How amazing is this.
When we headed out to scope things on Thursday afternoon, we noticed that when you were standing right at the edge of the platform (where Rach & Trent would be), you could see right down into the bay. But from back by the guests (where we’d need to shoot from) – you didn’t get the same feel.
That was when we noticed the roof.
Considering Holly was a bridesmaid, that ruled her out. At 110 kgs, I wasn’t a good candidate either. So we volunteered Amber. She wasn’t too keen on the notion of being stuck on a rooftop, on a clifftop… but it was totally worth it. Here she is, waiting for the ceremony to begin.
As the cars arrived, and the ceremony began, the sound of Mike’s guitar began to ring out over the speakers – the plan was he would play a Ben Harper song, and begin singing once Rach walked up the aisle.
What no-one knew (including Rach, and the bridesmaids) – was that Trent actually had the microphone, singing his bride-to-be up the aisle. Cue tears from pretty much everyone.
After the ceremony, we whisked Rach & Trent away for a few photos.
Just down from the ceremony was a field with a private beach, which is where the second day of celebrations would take place. The beach there was stunning – so we headed down & made the most of it.
Now – skipping back a bit – the aerial shot of the ceremony platform. Yes – there was a helicopter. We didn’t have much time with it, so we needed to meticulously plan our approach. First up – a quick shot from the air of the beach they were already on…
Then we landed, and Rach & Trent hopped in for a ride back to their reception.
On the way, we hovered near the ceremony platform – and Amber shot this from there.
There’s no cooler way to make your entrance into the reception. Especially when all the guests are all gathered out front in waiting – so that once Rach & Trent touched down, they ran over to the group and made it into the big group photo – which we shot from the chopper.
Running along with the theme of everything needing to run like clockwork (which it totally had, too!) – we had about 8 minutes before the sun would dip behind the hills… so a tiny window of perfect backlight.
We grabbed the whole bridal party and wandered over the road into the sand dunes. Poor Trent was getting a beer, only to have Rach screaming over the road “TRENT! TRENT! RUN! WE’RE LOSING THE LIGHT!’ – haha. Luckily he’s a fast runner.
We walked back across the road, and into the party
It was perfect weather – the outdoor setup worked amazingly. Once it was dark enough for all the lights in the trees to shine out – it looked even more incredible.
The theme of people pitching in & helping out was again evident – entertainment, food, the bar – everything was organized by family, friends, bridesmaids. So cool. It was obvious to us that Rach & Trent must be amazingly loved & super cool people, to have SO MANY people willing to help them out. It speaks volumes.
Remember the beautiful private beach that we did the location photos? Well – Rach & Trent’s families surprised them by setting up a tent right above the water (totally kitted out with every comfort) … we managed to sneak a shot in during our photoshoot. So this is the view they had to wake up to the day after the wedding.
Yes – there’s a day two. Actually, there was a day three as well, but we headed home after shooting the second evening.
Thankfully for the many nursing hangovers, things didn’t get underway until late afternoon – the setup was in the field above the private beach… an incredible setting to kick back, have a BBQ, and vibe out to some mellow tunes.
They had a full on set list, with a bunch of musicians / bands / DJ’s lined up to keep the crowd going.
Whew. I think that’s the biggest blog post, ever.
Rach & Trent – you guys were amazing. Thank you both for having us along to share a part in celebrating your epic wedding.
We hope y’all like this little glimpse of their day. Leave us a comment below – and come check out our Perspectives Photo + Cinema Facebook Page – where you will stay updated with all our latest stuff.
Until next time,
Amber, Isaac, & Holly.
- Isaac de Reus
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