When my gorgeous friends Lysh & Ray told me of their plans to get married on the beach in Oakura, Northland and asked whether I would join them to photograph it, I cried a little on the inside. What a bloody treat!

I absolutely love traveling to new places to shoot, and this was hands-down one of the most epic places I have been. Lush blue water, warm summer sun and not much more than a cute wee dairy/fish & chip shop. Ray’s family have a bach up in Oakura which is about 3 hours north of Auckland and Lysh grew up in New Plymouth competing in surf life saving, so a beach wedding was kind of a no brainer. The location proved to have it’s logistical difficulties with it being quite remote (Lysh’s parents literally carted up a trailer load of things all the way from Christchurch), but they wanted everyone to be able to have a weekend away in a special place and I can tell you now, it was 100% worth it.

Lysh & Ray had their wedding at the local campground with a clear marquee on the lawn, the ceremony just down on the beach under a pohutukawa tree and the guests all staying either at the campground or within a few minutes walking distance. It was very much a DIY affair. The boys had gone out fishing on the Thursday to catch fresh fish for the wedding, the amazing cake and dessert table was ALL made by Ray’s mum, the food was sourced from all over NZ – fresh vegetables from a local grower, salmon from Tekapo, whitebait from the Westcoast – the toi tois were picked by Lysh and her mum and there were cute hand-written notes for every guest at their seats. On Friday everyone pitched in to set up before having some beers and fish & chips by the beach.

When the wedding day rolled around, the sun was shining and Lysh and Ray simply radiated happiness. It was honestly such an amazing day, filled with so much love and energy. I blurred up my lens with ‘condensation’ during the ceremony and laughed till I cried during the speeches. For photos, Ben and I had found this gorgeous flower field as we’d driven into Oakura the previous day and I knew it was the spot. The reception was unreal. The food was Teppanyaki style and my only regret is that I didn’t eat more, it was delicious! All the guests were served Sake shots while listening to speeches in under the setting sun. The first dance was both hilarious and amazing and then we were blown out of the water, yet again, by the band – White Chapel Jak. Let’s just say everyone had their party pants on.

I loved everything about this wedding. I loved the people, the place, the flowers, the food, the music, all the unique little touches and most of all, I loved the commitment that Lysh & Ray had to putting on a celebration that without-a-doubt reflected who they are and their adoration for one-another. I’m so honoured and proud to call them my friends and I hope you enjoy looking through these images x

Oh! You can also catch these guys in the latest issue of Together Journal, they sure do look good in print!

Dress: Lovers Society (from Paperswan)
Florist: Floral Stylist Co
Make-Up: Urban Bliss Makeup Artistry
Hair: Frances Healey 

Invitations: Emelia Alice Design
Signage: Forage and Spruce
Caterer: Cat Scott-Hewitt
Bar: Alfie the Caravan
Celebrant: Melanie Vezey
Band: White Chapel Jak
Marquee: NZ Marquee
Rings: Max Wilson Diamond Jewelers (using heirloom stones and gold)
Bride’s Earrings: Flash Jewellery

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