When a wedding photographer gets married, you just know it’s going to be a super special occasion. Jamie truly knew what was important to her and James when they planned their day, and what vibe they wanted for their wedding, describing it as modern & relaxed. Captured by Emma Hampton Photography (and then edited by Jamie under her own photography business Luminous Moments), the pair looked so loved up & so happy to be sharing their day with their nearest & dearest. And if you’re planning your own wedding, be sure to read to the end for some amazing advice from the couple! Jamie tells us about their love story, and about their luminous & relaxed wedding day…
We met on hinge! I remember thinking “OMG this guy looks like he would tick every box!” James apparently thought the same thing. We had our first date at a Japanese restaurant where we stayed until the restaurant owners had to ask us to leave. We decided to get ice cream afterward so we could carry on our first date. And that’s when we had our first kiss. From then on in, it was game over for me. I was head over heels!
James wanted to propose in front of my parents in New Zealand. He had purchased tickets to meet me over there for my 30th birthday and was going to surprise me by arriving the day before. However, COVID got in the way and changed his plans completely! We had a 2-night stay booked at the Four Seasons Hotel for both of our 30th birthdays (we are a month apart). We had booked a massage for the afternoon we arrived. James snuck out of his massage room about 10 minutes into it to set up the room. He text me to say he would meet me in the room as he had a migraine and wasn’t feeling great (I believed him!!). When I got up there, there was a screenshot of when we matched on hinge on the door, and a note that read “9:54 pm Tuesday the 19th March: This is where it all began for us. Come in and take a walk-through our past to see where we are now”. (I remember having to read this note on the door about 3 times in to let it sink in!). I opened the door to see a walkway full of flower petals, candles, and pictures of us with notes on them all in chronological order. The walkway led me to him where he was standing there with the ring. It was so thoughtful and private. I loved that it was just us, nobody else around. We then went back through the walkway of images together and read them all. I seriously was so blown away by all the effort he went to.
James and I did yoga & meditation together as the sun was rising with Karen Emerson, in the comfort of our master bedroom. It was seriously the best thing we did! It truly set the scene for our wedding day as we both went into it so relaxed and present in every single moment of the day. We highly recommend setting a time to do this together on the morning of your wedding.
James wore a tailored suit made by P. Johnson Tailors. This was his one and only request for the entire wedding (bless him). He has a very athletic body with larger thighs, broader shoulders, and bigger arms. So finding an off-the-rack suit was going to be difficult.
I chose to wear the Martina Liana 1137 dress. I always wanted a low back, a big train, and to feel like a little bit of a princess. This dress seriously made me feel so special!
We chose to get married at Seacliff House in Gerringong, NSW. It was seriously the best decision we made! We wanted to make sure everything was in one place so nobody had to drive anywhere. I also wanted our close family and friends to experience this special moment with us over more than just 1 day, so we stayed 3 nights at Seacliff. We also wanted to be close to the water and away from crowds of random people. Seacliff was private and had views of the rolling hills and the ocean in the background. So all in all, this stunning venue ticked every single box for us.
The entire week it said it was going to rain on our wedding day (with a 95% chance at one point). However, it only lightly rained in the morning and stopped by 7 am. It was cloudy all morning and literally as I was about to walk down the aisle, the sun shone through the clouds. It was pretty amazing.
We asked our mum’s to be our witnesses. We also asked our gorgeous nephews, Kayden and Levi to be our little ring bearers. James remembers seeing Levi walk out of the house to walk down the aisle and waved the pillow around in the air like it was a toy! Ha! Thank goodness those rings were tied on tightly! We used my mum and dad’s ring pillow to also carry our rings down the aisle.
Prior to me walking down the aisle, I had a pre-recorded message for James which said “to my forever favourite, it’s finally our moment. We’ve worked so hard to get here, so I hope we can enjoy every second of this moment together. I can’t wait to be your wife.” At this moment, James’s eyes welled up as he started to shed some tears. I’m so glad I made this special little recording!
My dad walked me down the aisle to “Blessings” by Hollow Coves. I remember walking down the aisle to James and ONLY seeing him. I totally forget that we had guests there. It was such a nice feeling because we just locked eyes the whole time with these big cheesy grins on our faces.
We wanted our ceremony to be loving but also light-hearted. Before reading our own personal vows, we wrote some “I do’s” to each other. So I would say “James, do you promise to love me even if I drop crumbs on the floor” and James would have to say “I DO” to each of my requests. We had about 8 each. It was fun, and had all the guests laughing!
During our personal vows to each other, James accidentally said that he couldn’t wait for me to be his husband… I looked at him with a funny look and said “Husband???” and then I heard all the guests just crack up in laughter! (Our amazing guests, ignored it and let James carry on, until I said something!).
During the ceremony, both James and I remember zoning out of what our celebrant was saying and just looking at each other, hand in hand, with these big smiles. Both of us were so caught up in the moment, it was so special!
As a wedding photographer myself, I was really lucky to know what came first to what came last. So I found the whole process rather simple and fun. My favourite part was writing our personal vows to each other. It was such a special thing to write and it bought up so many emotions just writing it.
I was very lucky. I am a wedding photographer myself, so I was very picky about who I chose to photograph our wedding. I chose Emma Hampton Photography (who was also one of my mentors when I first started doing wedding photography). We worked together as a team at my wedding. She took all of our stunning images, and I edited them myself under my business (Luminous Moments). Emma was a perfect fit for us. She was so calm and relaxed and takes some absolutely stunning photos, so I had to have her!
As we were doing our portrait photos at the back of the property, we saw one big heavy cloud of rain coming from over the hills. It only very lightly rained on our guests for about 2 minutes, but it never rained on us. Instead, we had a big rainbow that shone right above us. It was incredible and I felt like it was our grandparents telling us they were here with us.
I chose to have silk flowers for my, and my bridesmaids’, bouquets and dried flowers on the arch and on the table arrangements. Flowers for me were something I could not justify spending thousands of dollars on. I actually enjoyed sourcing the flowers at wholesale and putting them together with family about a month out from the wedding. It also meant no stress trying to do it the week of! I then sold ALL my flowers afterward and made most of that money back.
During our portrait photos, we were able to take the golf cart down the back of the property. However, because it has been raining a couple of days beforehand we got the damn thing stuck in the mud! We had to get our uncles to come and save the thing, ha!
I DIY’d all the details! From the flowers to the table arrangements, signs, name cards, and menus. I actually had lots of fun putting these together and drew inspiration from Pinterest. Having all our family and friends who were staying on the property with us, help us set up our reception venue the day before. It was chaos with 22 people in there. But it was so damn special to see ALL of them getting their hands dirty and helping set everything up. It was such an amazing feeling! We both felt so loved at that moment.
Besides our photographer, Henry Clive Bar and Garnish Catering were absolutely incredible! All we had to do on our wedding day was turn up. They knew what they were doing, where they had to be, etc. It was so nice to have them as they just knew exactly what they were doing! I also at one point saw them moving chairs from outside to inside (which was not their job, but it just showed how much they go out of their way to make sure you have a special day and you don’t have to do anything). They were also both so great with communication leading into the wedding. They would take all of my phone calls, no matter what time of day!
We chose to do our first dance to the same song James’s parents did their first dance to. We made it a surprise for them and it was so cute seeing their faces as the music started. The song was “What a wonderful world” by Louis Armstrong.
Our advice for other couples would be don’t worry about the little things. Who cares if you’re missing knives and forks? Who cares if your cake falls over the day before? Who cares if your signage is in the wrong place? None of it matters. And I bet you, none of your guests will notice.
Also, I understand that guests are there to celebrate with you, but also remember that you are there to celebrate this day with you both. Take some time for just yourselves. Make your portrait session longer than just 30 minutes, eat dinner together and dance on the dance floor together. Before you walk into the reception together, stand back and say to each other “OMG, all these people are here for us”. Take in that moment together.
Turn ALL your phone notifications off. You don’t need it, and you certainly don’t need to be answering anyone on your wedding day. If you have to reply to people, give that job to someone in your wedding party. Cover up all the clocks, you don’t need to know the time. You just need to relax and trust that your vendors and wedding party will have you ready and in the next place, on time.
And remember that the two of you set the scene for the day. If you’re stressed, your guests will feel it. But if you’re relaxed and carefree, your guests will be too. This is your day and your moment, so enjoy it all!
A little something from James – The thing I remember most is everyone just being so happy for us and being there to celebrate our day. It was so special having all of our families and friends there for the whole weekend. Everyone got on so well and had such a fun time.