One of the best things about being a wedding photographer is getting to share in the excitement that builds from when you first meet a couple beginning to imagine their wedding day to the time they are spinning on the dance floor as husband and wife.
We totally caught Gemma's buzz, especially when she showed us a photograph of the beautiful Rue De Seine dress she planned to wear and the matching white and gold dresses for her two beautiful little daughters to wear when they accompanied Mummy down the aisle at Ormlie Lodge homestead in Hawke's Bay.
Gemma and Andrew chose Ormlie Lodge for their wedding venue partly because it meant one beautiful location from getting ready right through to the ceremony and reception but also because it just felt right for them from the moment they first walked in.
The other love-at-first sight thing was Gemma's dress. Fate seems to bring brides together with their dresses in the same way it does husbands and wives. "I had pretty much decided on another very traditional, full-lace, fitted dress but my friend convinced me to drop into Rue De Seine on the way to the airport. I only tried it on for two minutes before I had to leave. The gold headpiece is also from them. Abby Schofield and Suzanne Hardy pulled everything together with amazing hair and makeup. We had such a great morning with them.
One of the decisions Andrew and Gemma made with Michelle was to have their photos taken before the wedding so they could enjoy time with their guests later. When we do a 'first look' we always like to make it as special and intimate as possible. It's not the traditional way of doing things but Gemma said it made for one of the highlights. "It felt so precious being just us with no one watching but the camera. We could both feel our hearts beating out of our chests," said Gemma.
And since it's a big day for everyone, not just the bride and groom, Michelle made sure the parents had a special reveal as well. "It was very emotional and beautiful seeing our parents first and having that moment together with them."
Rain caused a change of plan on the fly for the creative session and ceremony location but weddings don't always follow a script and fortunately we're used to going with the flow.
"Michelle and Rebekah were incredible. They were so positive, fun and made everything easy - nothing was an issue. I loved Michelle's excitement and Rebekah was amazing with the boys, she was here, there and everywhere," said Gemma.
Michelle also made sure there was some candid time for Mum and Dad to catch up with Maddie (2) and Sammie (1), since the day was about officially launching their family, after all.
"Blowing bubbles and playing on the balcony while Michelle took photos calmed us all down and was such a special time."
Gemma and Andrew's ceremony took place in the grand ballroom due to the change in weather and the space was then miraculously transformed by the Ormlie Lodge team for the reception. "It was huge effort on their part. Jess Fargher at Ormlie was amazing and wanted it to be prefect for us. It meant so much to her, which we could tell."