Writer’s block. Not because I have nothing to say (let’s be honest…when do I everrrr have nothing to say?!!!). No, sometimes its just finding the absolute right words to describe how you feel about something, or someone.
April was a big month for my family and I. An amazingggggg month. It’ll be hard to beat. Ever!
My Dad turned 60. My Uncle joined us from England much to Dad’s surprise. I went on a grand road trip with 2 amazing girls. Doug and I became husband and wife. We had a beautifully relaxing honeymoon and I attended the Heather Waraska Seminar in Queenstown which lead me straight back to my road trip buddies.
On Dad’s 59th birthday, Mum, my sister and myself discussed a surprise birthday party for Dad’s 60th birthday. We had a year to plan.
We threw a couple of ideas around, but the main point was to A. Keep him out of the loop. and B. Get his brother, (my Uncle John) over from England for both his party and our wedding.
Fast forward to 1 month before Dad’s party.
“Heather, you said you were going to throw me a party for my birthday?!” …”Uh, yeah… Dad, sorry things have been so hectic with the wedding”… as I divert my eyes awkwardly away… I’m the worst liar in the world!
Well, even though my nosey parker Dad who continued to ask and ask and ask… My Uncle surprised Dad in Hanmer Springs that morning and he came home to the surprise dinner party for 40 people! Great Success!
Below you see a joyous Brother/Husband/Dad/Poppa! It’s the happiest I think I’ve ever seen Dad. Life couldn’t get much better!… … or could it?
Soon after the a successful 60th Birthday Party, I left Wedding preparations, Christchurch (and my husband to be) behind for a week and headed to Queenstown to pick up my 2 favourite Canadian’s! And we headed South into the windy, bitter, coldness of The Catlins for a road trip.
Diving into unknown territory, we drove to the most Southern point of the South Island. Slope Point. Went on a mission to find seal lions. Battled gale force winds and rain along a beach. Slept by the Forbidden Forest (no wait that’s from Harry Potter) it was called…(thinking) Petrified Forest (Yes!!! thats the one!) because a hostel turned us away at 10 at night. There was no cell phone reception (which is a very good idea, if you want me to relax) and our party hats were on!
A certain person (me) who only packed for summer (call me a dill and I’ll answer!). Needless to say I had to BUY shoes because jandels wasn’t going to cut it. And borrow oodles amounts of hoodies from my friends. They are from Canada…they know how to dress warmly!
Meet Jill. She’s new to the blog, but not new to my life. She is my other Canadian friend (you’ve met Jules on the right) who Doug and I met on our travels in South America. A matter of days before we commenced our roadie, Jill arrived from Canada to spend a year here in NZ. YES! Now I have both of them just a car ride away! Stoked!
It’s a little shameful sometimes that I, a born and bred Kiwi has never been to some of the prettiest places in the South Island when I’ve travelled the world. As Jules once put it, she’s showing me around my own country! Thanks buddy!
We visited Cathedral Caves. B-E-A-UTIFUL.
We discovered the Lost Gypsy Gallery. And Jill got excited by the moving metal whale.
Filled with bits and bods, gizmos and gadgets. Random things thrown together to create AWESOMENESS!!! (I know I use explanation marks more than I use toilet paper, but it just gives that extra emphasis of awesome! <—-case in point)
Oh South Island. I love you.
We spent a couple of nights in Surat Bay (where we did our gale force wind, beach walk to look for sea lions…only to discover they were in the next bay over! Aw Mannnnn!)
Anyway, on our adventures we came across a delectable little place called TEA POT LAND! How can you not fall in love with Tea Pot Land?!!! Tea Pots of all shapes, sizes and colours.
And as the moody weather followed us, we visited Nugget Point.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I like to jump. Good thing I found friends that like to jump too. We all have our signature jump, but it took a bit of team work to finally get some decent shots. Top left for example. The first. Jill has a wee problem getting off the ground at the same time as Jules and I for the most part… but in the end (finally), she caught the memo and we conquered!
The roadie came to a close, I came home with a cold, but onwards and up to an epic Hen’s night (thanks to my sister). And the final touches on the wedding prep.
I made the order of service cards. Twice. Information changed, so lucky me, I got to print and cut out a further 80 cards. I was still smiling. (Perhaps that was because I was drinking cointreau and listening to Aqua at the time though.) hehe.
It was finally here. Jess and Paul of Jessica Jones Photography were our photographer’s.
When I first jumped on the wedding photography band wagon. Jess was the first photographer I wanted to meet. So I drove to Blenheim one day a couple of years ago to simply, have coffee with her. (Crazy I know!… She thought so too). She thought I was a little nutty (fair call), but then realised I’m harmless and actually quite a nice person. :)
Doug and I weren’t engaged at the time, but I asked Jess if she’d ever travel to Christchurch for a wedding and if she’d do my wedding one day? While she was thinking of ways to gently let down the crazy, non-engaged girl. Doug and I went to India, got engaged and Jess was my first port of call. Her availability determined our wedding date.
And so here we are, April 15th 2011. The day of our wedding, with Jess and Paul as our photographers. I so kindly said to Jess half an hour before the ceremony “I bet you didn’t think 2 years ago when we met, that you’d be here doing our wedding”. No she didn’t. But I’m pretty persuasive, aren’t I Jess?! hehe.
And the below images you will see exactly why I HAD to have them. My gratitude will never be fully expressed for Jess and Paul’s incredible job, it goes too deep. I just hope they know they bring a lot of joy to the world. And I hope to make my future brides feel the way I did when I received all our wedding images back.
We had our ceremony and reception at Trents Vineyard in Templeton, Christchurch.
We had a first look before the ceremony. Doug and I snuck round the back where nobody could see us and I snuck up behind Doug while he waited nervously. Check out the rest of the photo’s on Jess’ blog.
My dress was made by my Mother in-law Marie-Louise. Another person that will be impossible to show the entirety of my gratitude. Words just don’t cut it, she’d have to see into the sunflower, butterfly and rainbow ridden happiness of my soul. She did such an amazing job. (Refer back to writers block at the beginning of the blog).
And after 3 hours of photos, thus commenced the reception and the PARTYYYYY!
And what a night it was. I know that your wedding day is meant to be the best day of your life. or at least one of. But it really truly was. I have literally never been so happy in my entire life. To be sitting in room with some of the very BEST people in the world who were all there for US. It was just so incredible.
And comes a wedding, comes wedding GIFTS! Yay!
Does anyone remember that I have a mug fetish? Ok, I think I can officially call myself a collector (not that I realised this until the other week). This was a wedding gift from my road trip buddies. Hand made by Jule’s Dad, straight out of Canada. I think my heart skipped a beat when I opened it. It’s a pretty special gift.
And as if I wasn’t having enough fun already, with family and friends gone home it was time for Doug and I to skip away for some R n R on our honeymoon. Doug organised everything. I didn’t know a thing. Boy did he do a good job. He took me to this remote little Bach with a SPECTACULAR view in the Queen Charlotte Sounds. A place I’d never been and now I’m only too eager to go back to!
The perfect place to chill out. Read. Take some photos. Watch a movie. Watch the sunset. Have an outdoor bath. And just generally relax.
Oh and not to mention, the perfect place to have quite a few wines! :)
Silly goose, I forgot my tripod, but I still managed to capture the magic of the night on a 30 second exposure.
But wait! There’s more!
Doug had booked TWO places, the next one was in Appleby near Richmond (Nelson). A little closer to civilisation. This Eco lodge was stunning.
And with civilisation, this gave me a chance to pick up some art supplies and try my hand at painting.
As the sun set on our honeymoon and the best, BEST ever 3 weeks of my life here in New Zealand. It hadn’t set on the adventures.
A mere 2 weeks later, we were back in Queenstown, back with Jill and Jules and ready for some more adventures. What brought us here this time (not that an excuse is ever needed), was New York Wedding and Fashion Photographer, Heather Waraska. The seminar was held in Queenstown and I was there like lightning!
The seminar gave us a chance to do some shooting as well which was fantastic, as well as the chance to catch up with my friend Kim. (Kimberley Cheyne Photography) Because lets face it, she’s pretty cool! :)
Back to the adventures of the QT…
These are real letter boxes. A whole line of them, all different. There was a computer box, microwave, coffee machine etc etc etc. I love fun things like this!
A day trip to Wanaka was in order with a stop at Cardrona Hotel for a pint!
Lake Wanaka. YOU.ARE.BEAUITFUL! How had I never been here? Once again, shameful! Tut, tut.
Everytime I visit Queenstown (which on average is every couple of months over this last year), Jules shows me something, or somewhere new. It’s fantastic. This has got to be my favourite to date. Bob’s Cove.
Life on cloud 9 was exactly that… I was on a cloud. Even if I cut my finger, it felt magical.
Now it’s back into the wonders of life like, dishes. And…laundry. (I’m thinking of buying a dishwasher and calling it Rosie…like the Jetson’s).
And I’m happy to be back in business with my 2011/2012 Wedding Calender slowly filling up. Very exciting.
Onwards and up with the rest of what’s turning out to be a marvellous year. Thanks to everyone for ALL the support over the last few months and generally making life a peach.
Love Heather xxx
“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight”