Elephant Hill, Hawkes Bay wedding photos – Hayden & Hayley’s sneak peek!
Happy New Year!
It has been a busy Christmas / NY for us… and we’ve just arrived back from the gorgeous Hawkes Bay (suitably sunburnt, curse that never-ending sunshine!) – where we photographed Hayden & Hayley’s wedding on New Years’ Eve.
We arrived at the boys’ place in the morning to find a bizarre fog had rolled in off the sea, and visibility was basically nil.
It was also COLD! Hayden was a bit worried about it hanging around all day… but by the time we were leaving to head off to shoot the girls prep, it had already cleared up somewhat.
The fog did make for some great misty backgrounds..
We then headed about 200m down the road, where Hayley & her bridesmaid Bonnie were super relaxed – possibly the most we’ve seen! Which was great – we just floated about, taking everything in.
Hayley did her own makeup (and a perfect job, too!)..
And had a beautiful short wedding dress, all the way from New York.
Just before we headed off, we noticed some cool light coming down into the room from the skylight above.. it was crazy hot standing under it… but Hayley pulled it off effortlessly. Stunning.
It was time to race up to Elephant Hill winery, where the guests had gathered, and the ceremony was about to take place.
Amber scrambled upstairs to a perfect balcony vantage point, and I tucked down in my usual spot towards the front of the aisle – for shots like this:
Ahh, Hawkes Bay. How pretty you are.
After the ceremony, we headed out with the bridal party for some photos around the area. We found a beautiful tree lined driveway…
Conveniently, the driveway was also lined with lovely soft, swishy grass. Of course it was – this is the Hawkes Bay – everything oozes prettiness & is maddeningly perfect, everywhere you look. At least we didn’t have a shortage of potential spots to use!
I love the bokeh in this next shot: (For our non-photographer readers, that’s the name for the blotchy stuff in the trees behind them where the lens is out-of-focus)
Hayden & Hayley were keen to get some shots involving an old barn.
Cue location scouting that morning, and 5 doorknocks at various neighbouring properties as we tried to determine who was responsible for giving us permission to shoot in there! But a huge thanks to the lady who not only let us use the barn, but also put the horses into the stable & came down to check we were all OK 🙂
Aren’t they all a gorgeous bunch!
We finished up the shoot down at the beach, opposite Elephant Hill.
I was very restrained.. and took photos.. instead of skimming stones. But they are perfect for skimming.
It’s never a bad time to get some more practice in for the first dance!
One of the curses of being a photographer is the inability to walk past gorgeous light (especially with a bride & groom in tow) and not take photos. I had even said we were finished. Oops. But then there was this solitary tree – right by the cars.
Back at the reception, Hayden’s dad (who was MC) introduced something that I just love – a bottle of wine which he had bought them, in a sealed box, with a slot on top. The guests could write on little pieces of paper, post them into the box, and it would then remain sealed until their first wedding anniversary – at which time they could open the box, enjoy the wine, and remember their wedding day with the little momentos from the guests. Awesome idea!! (and probably now, duly stolen).
Elephant Hill is fantastic inside – and the colour scheme of the tables worked perfectly with the decor.
I love listening to speeches at a wedding – and capturing the reactions..
I also love that Hayden & Hayley spent most of their evening away from the bridal table, talking to their guests.
We were lucky enough to have sampled the food at Elephant Hill late last year, when we were down doing some location checking – and it is AMAZING. The food at the wedding was fantastic – although looking at the photos, I wish now that I’d gone with the fish & just stolen some of Amber’s beef, so that I could’ve had both!!
As the daylight began to fade, the lights came on – and the venue really came into it’s own.
To get this shot, I was holding the camera just millimetres above the surface of the water… with my arms dipping in. It was only later that I heard the pool had been freshly topped up with sulpheric acid, and to stay away from it. Oops. Still – a good angle is a good angle!
Indoors, there was a lovely firepit surrounded by couches, where you could kick back & quietly relax.
The fading light also meant that there was the chance of a sunset… we had been keeping a close eye on the skies, and weren’t disappointed! Luckily, the sunset also coincided with a 5 minute gap in the evening schedule, and we whisked Hayden & Hayley out for a few shots:
Once back inside, it was a few more speeches, and then the first dance.
And this, is one of my favourite shots of day.
Credit is entirely due to Amber – who had to walk a few hundred metres through the vineyard in pitch blackness, to get around a creek, over a bridge, and to the other side of the infinity pool – so she could get the reflection looking back.
I was in the far corner (to camera left) with the video light – giving them a bit of a spotlight. This was right at the end of the dance – I love that you can see all the guests looking on.
Continuing on the relfections theme… shortly afterwards, I took this shot with the reflection in the glass panel on the edge of the deck. It was a mixture of crouching down to get the right angle for the reflection, while at the same time trying to hold the light in my other hand as high as possible. Luckily, it was dark – so hopefully no-one could see how stupid I looked!
Then the party really got underway..
Just before we left, we finished up with a last couple of shots down in the wine cellar – a lovely romantic finish to a gorgeous day.
Congratulations to you both, on a fantastic wedding – what a perfect way to start off 2011!
No excuses for ever forgetting your anniversary, either!
We had a great time with you – thanks for having us along to share a part in your day 🙂
Isaac & Amber.
- Isaac de Reus
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