BLAIRE & KHAN - Waihi Beach winter wedding


We are mostly Hawke's Bay wedding photographers, but for that reason, we love the chance for a good old-fashioned roadie to discover new creative spaces for wedding photography and to tell different stories. It's especially cool (literally and figuratively!) when the roadie is to Waihi Beach right bang smack in the middle of winter. Our bride, Blaire, has been hanging out there with her family in their quintessential Kiwi bach since she was a kid and has so many happy memories, she and fiancé, Khan, decided to make some more there. They both love the beach when the summer crowds have gone and the little coastal settlement is enveloped in moody storms and the stillness in between.

Blaire and Khan met at high school. Guys were totally off her radar...except for just the one. Kahn played a risky hand and asked Blaire out a week before she flew to the other side of the world. Fortunately, she came back and eventually reminded Kahn of his promised date. 11 years later to the day, they tied the knot in between passing storms at Flatwhite Cafe, right beside the crashing waves of Waihi Beach - a place steeped in memories for both of them.

Winter weddings need a bit of advance planning to make the most of available light. That was part of the reason we decided on a 'First Look' for Khan and Blaire. Although they were initially hesitant to break with tradition, it worked out brilliantly because they had more time with their guests and the couple said it also took away all the pre-wedding nerves. We picked a part of the beach that was private and had special memories and spied on Khan and Blaire with our long lenses while they shared a really awesome moment in time together on their wedding day.

Andrew and I had spent some time the day before exploring the landscape around Waihi Beach and loved the contrast between the wide open rugged beachscape and the close, lush native bush in the nearby Karangahake Gorge. A once-busy colonial gold mining hub, it is now filled with historical remnants that added something almost other-wordly to Khan and Blaire's images.

Yup, as you can see, it rained. But it was winter. We rolled with it. In fact, I think it added some drama and emotion to the day. It was Blaire and Khan against the elements and that's sort of what married life is like. I asked them later how they found the whole experience being in front of our cameras all day. Was it what they expected?

Khan: "Yes and more, especially having two photographers to capture every moment. What I didn't expect was being so relaxed around you guys as we both usually hate having our photo taken. Meeting up with you in person in Napier was one of the best things we could have done."

Flatwhite Cafe is right on the beach and the gorgeous interior makes it a really cool location for a wedding. Because the capacity was only 80 people, Blaire and Khan had to make some really hard decisions around the guest list. But sitting at the head table looking at all of their very close friends and family talking and laughing was, ultimately, the highlight. Along with getting married (of course!) and...strangely enough...going home at the end of a massive and exhausting day!

Blaire and Khan weren't planning on sharing their images, so we're chuffed that they loved them so much they gave us the green light. It's a privilege to get to be a part of the biggest day of a person's life and even more of one to be able to share that experience with others. So thanks, guys!


Photographers: Eva Bradley & Andrew Caldwell (with a dash of Liz Caldwell) 

Venue: Flatwhite Cafe, Waihi Beach & Karangahake Gorge

Dress: Alma J Bridal Boutique / Suits: Hallenstein Brothers
Hair/Makeup: Belles and Brides, Hamilton
Catering: Flatwhite Cafe
Rings: Michael Hill Jewellers
Flowers: Where the Wild Things Grow - Waihi