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Gemma & Caleb

I love the relaxed mood of Gemma and Caleb’s eclectic Featherston wedding. From the first look, to the walking to their ceremony together. These two did their day their way. They chose Billie Brook Photography to capture their day.

Gemma tells the story of how they met. “Caleb and I met briefly at an art gallery, a year before we started dating. Later, he went out with some mutual friends for dinner, found out I was single and promptly asked for my details. He invited me to a Japanese restaurant for dinner and it was the best date ever!”

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Gemma chose a gown from Karen Willis Holmes , remembering, “The dress was by Karen Willis Holmes and was the first dress I tried on. I couldn’t envision myself in a wedding dress at all, tried it on and was like ‘YES. OKAY. GOOD!’ It was classic, flattering and had plenty of lace. I felt like a million bucks in it.”

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Of their photographer, Gemma remembers, “Billie Brook Photography came recommended by a friend and she was absolutely wonderful. She took the time to get to know Caleb and I in the lead up to the wedding and was a really comfortable presence on the day, quietly snapping away while we all enjoyed ourselves.”

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Bride with bridesmaids in marsalaMismatched amrsala bridesmaid dresses

Forest wedding portrait

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Tarureka Estate  played host for the wedding, reception and the accommodation, the bride remarking, “We chose Tarureka Estate in Featherston, New Zealand. The grounds were beautiful with plenty of intimate nooks and crannies, and there was a homestead on site which allowed our friends and family to all be together in the lead up to the day. Our family dog, Patch, was able to hang out with us – a huge bonus! The drawcard for us was the beautiful restored barn where we dined and then danced the night away. Tarureka was such a magical venue to marry in.”

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Of their ceremony, Gemma remembers, “Caleb and I wanted to marry outside, surrounded by family and friends. We wanted things to be short and sweet, and it was! Our dear friends Kate and Mark sang ‘Sea of Love’ by Cat Power as we walked down the aisle and ‘Love on top’ by Beyonce when we signed the registry. Writing our own vows and keeping that a surprise made things especially lovely. We didn’t plan it but we had a very long kiss, one that inspired whoops from the crowd. It also left a lot of lipstick all over Caleb’s face!”

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“Our wedding  was pretty eclectic, we didn’t want to stick to a specific style so we simply chose the things we loved. It was definitely a little vintage inspired, and my Indian heritage also played a strong part. We have many wonderful creative friends who helped to make the day what it was.”

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“I’m half Indian and was lucky to have family from all over the world (particularly India and America) travel to NZ to celebrate our day with us. We had a pre-wedding Indian ceremony called a ‘mylanji’ which is a grooming ceremony for the bride and groom. It involves putting henna on the bride’s hands and (fake) shaving the groom. That was a lot of fun and was an amazing way of acquainting our Indian party with the rest of the guests. Small ceremonies also filtered into our wedding day. It was a huge honour for Caleb and I and we have so much appreciation for all the time and effort my Indian family poured into things.”

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Homemade wedding cakeOrange flowers in brass vases

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“I like to draw and one of my best friends Hannah is an amazing illustrator and designer. We collaborated and created all the stationery (invitation, signage, etc) and also tea towels, which were given to all the guests as favours. I drew the flowers and Hannah did pretty much everything else. I also drew an animal for each table setting, it’s much for fun to be at the Spotty Cat table rather than table number 8!”

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“Our favourite part of wedding planning was working with family and friends on all the little homemade elements. From a delicious fruit cake made by family friends of Caleb to introducing two friends who had never met and saying, ‘right, you two are performing at our wedding together!’ it was getting our loved ones involved that made the day so special.”

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The first dance was nerve wracking, but beautiful says Gemma. “We danced to Tunnel of Love by Wanda Jackson. Caleb and I took swing dancing lessons for weeks before hand. To be honest, it was one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the wedding. I was pretty sure I would blank out on all the moves but Caleb took the lead and I fumbled through it. It was to great work on a dance together and to save it as a surprise for friends and family.”

And the icing on the wedding cake, is this gorgeous wedding film by Blake Dunlop  of which Gemma tells, “Blake Dunlop, our videographer, was simply amazing. He had such a quiet and easy presence and captured moments from our day effortlessly. Having a record of our day is something we really treasure.”

Congratulations Gemma and Caleb! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Billie Brook Photography for sharing today’s celebration!