Michelle & Gavin

Michelle and Gavin took just eight guests with them for their stunning Port Douglas destination wedding. As a wedding photographer himself, Gavin has seen a number of beautiful weddings and I always find it fascinating to watch how someone with that kind of experience, holds their own wedding.

Michelle and Gavin met at a wedding and then began seeing each other several years later! Their day was captured by Hilary Cam who did the stunning backdrop and the intimate romance of the day such justice with his captures. I don’t normally share the photographer’s booking story, but this one made me laugh and has to be told!

Hilary recalls, “Some years ago I used to contract for few wedding photographers who had more work than they could handle. Early this year I received a SMS out of the blue from such a past employer, Gavin Cato (of Gavin Cato Photography) asking how I was and if I would like to shoot a wedding in Port Douglas in August? I’ve never been to Port Douglas… my calendar was free… I eagerly accepted. Twenty minutes later my phone beeps again – another message from Gavin… I half screamed ‘no’, half whimpered ‘why’, at the terrifying job I had just accepted: “…I’ll be the groom”. I had just been the victim of classic bait and switch. So begins the adventure of photographing another wedding photographer’s big day. Gavin is meticulous with his choice of gear, a perfectionist with his photography and very particular with what poses and lenses he likes. You may have heard of or even encountered a bridezilla, but hell hath no fury like having to shoot another photographer’s wedding – especially one I’ve worked for! Fast forward a few months and we meet Michelle. She assures me this will be the easiest wedding of my career, she is gorgeous, funny and relaxed and I start to believe that I can do this… no sweat. Then Gavin quizzes me on which lenses I plan on bringing to Port Douglas and what he ‘advises’ I use… and exactly at what point… and precisely the settings to dial in… Panic resumes!”

The couple chose DnM Wedding Films to capture their day in motion, Michelle remembers, “We flew Ian from DnM up to capture the ceremony. Video is such a wonderful way to remember all the little details not necessarily captured on camera. The way in which vows were spoken, the looks in each others faces and eyes- its all very emotional and Ian did a brilliant job with the end result. We were extremely happy. ”

Michelle and Gavin chose Sea Temple Resort & Spa in Port Douglas for their destination wedding, Michelle explains. “The Sea Temple Resort were fantastic. Elise McLaren was the wedding co -ordinator there and she was just brilliant. They hosted both the ceremony and dinner for our 8 guests to perfection. Everything from the accommodation, overall service and co-ordination of this small, intimate wedding was everything I could have asked for and more. ”

Michelle remembers, “The whole day was beautiful, but I really enjoyed waking up next to Gav and going down to the beach to watch the sun rise. We then shared breakfast together by the resort’s pool. We had such a nice morning together which was really special. ”

Michelle wore red shoes underneath her Dressence gown. She explains ” I wore red Jimmy Choos which were a gift from Gav when we went to NYC the Christmas before.”

Michelle walked down the aisle to Adele’s “One & Only”.

Michelle remarks, “It was a relaxed day with an intimate ceremony that celebrated two people finding hope, support, comfort , friendship and love in each other. ”

Of the ceremony, Michelle says “I loved that we didn’t focus on the wedding- but rather the marriage. We got to work with our celebrant to design a ceremony that suited our circumstances and the way we felt about each other”

Hilary remarks, “The wedding, based around the Sea Temple Resort in Port Douglas, has everything a photographer dreams of: beaches, forest, tropical gardens and gorgeous hotel rooms. This was definitely a photographers’ wedding: there were more cameras then guests and between my kit and those of Gavin and Ian (DNM Wedding Videos) we had a crazy number of lenses, tripods and other assorted gadgets to play with. The ceremony was intimate, elegant and in a location where the forest meets the sea, it really was perfect. This wedding really was collaboration with bride and groom. We scouted locations together, the ceremony was arranged according to best light and Gavin even directed a couple of location shots himself. Together we happened across some truly perfect spots. This is the only wedding where the groom took a time-out and began to take a couple of photographs of his own bride. Also the first wedding where the Groom has pop-quizzed me on what shutter-speed, ISO, focal length and f-stop was being used.. and not just to make small talk. That’s a true photographer for you – can’t even take a break on your own wedding! ”

Of their photography, Michelle says “Hilary did a great job in taking the time to scout beautiful locations the day before the wedding and delivered some beautiful shots we will cherish forever.”

The couple dined with their eight guests at Aqua Restaurant at Sea Temple Resort and Spa Port Douglas . There was no cake, no first dance. Just loved ones celebrating a marriage. Michelle remarks, “I loved that we shared our love for degustation meals with our families.”

Congratulations on your marriage Michelle & Gavin! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Hilary Cam for sharing today’s wedding with us.