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As a wedding photographer in Newcastle, I’m always amazed and grateful for the incredible locations on my doorstep. For over 10 years I’ve been a wedding photographer in and around Newcastle and the Hunter Valley and still, I’m blown away by the beauty of this place.

From the miles of empty Newcastle beaches, to the rolling hills of the Hunter Valley vineyards. From the windswept sand dunes to the pine-tree forests. From the cozy corners of Newcastle’s cafes to the expansive farmlands and lakes… NSW is a visual happy hunting ground of world class wedding photography locations (AKA my office and playground).

Enough ranting though… the location speaks for itself! let’s talk about that time I photographed Kate Hudson’s doppleganger named Rhea and her rather romantic other half Brodie…

High school sweethearts Brodie and Rhea started out like so many modern love stories do: Boy meets girl…, boy likes girl…, boy adds girl on (insert relevant social media platform here)…, the rest is history right?

Well, regardless of how it started, it was definitely meant to be and in 2005, Brodie finally graduated from the friend zone to boyfriend material and they quickly proceeded to fall in love. They survived a year of long distance while Brodie did a stint in the UK and Rhea set her sights on finishing her degree.

Fast forward 9 years later to a warm summers night in Paris… It’s Bastille day, and our high school sweethearts have just returned from a romantic dinner. As Rhea caught up to Brodie at the hotel room door, there he stood: A smile and roses everywhere…

“You know how I’ve been having those work meetings every Monday night for a while? Well, I haven’t. I’ve been taking singing lessons.” Brodie confesses as he pulls a guitar out from under the bed. They’d been traveling around Europe for 3 weeks. “Where on earth did he get a guitar?!” she wondered. Apparently, if you want to pull off the ultimate romantic gesture, the French are a willing bunch!

Talk about playing the long game… 9 years of dating, 18 months of secret singing lessons, plus 3 weeks trekking around Europe with a ring burning a hole in your pocket?!

So Brodie sang his heart out (‘Greeneyes’ by Coldplay) and asked the one question that was 9 years in the making. Rhea of course said ‘yes’, and so they sat on the balcony of their Parisian hotel overlooking the Eiffel tower, complete with Bastille Day fireworks, feeling like the entire country of France was celebrating just for them.

Their wedding was as beautiful and authentic as their story, and in those last quiet moments before the ceremony, the love was palpable as Rhea’s family hugged her close and her father prepared to walk her down the aisle. I’ll admit, there was a sizable lump in my throat despite witnessing countless similar moments in my years as a wedding photographer.

The rain was well behaved, pausing for the wedding ceremony and photos, continuing only during the drive between location shoots. The sky was sufficiently dark and dramatic, providing a spectacular backdrop against the pale sand dunes helping to create some truly stunning scenes.

And the party… oh the PARTY! There was a LOT of dancing, a lot of laughter and tears and a whole lotta love. When I spoke to Rhea in preparation for this blog post, she laughed… “my face was so sore the next day from laughing so much”!

And from what I can gather, that’s Rhea in a nut shell. Laughing, smiling, sweet, sweet Rhea. And Brodie… Whilst you’ve succeeded in setting the bar WAY too high for the rest of us… I am so happy you are committed to the long game buddy cause you two are perfectly cast as Mr. & Mrs. Stephens!

Thank you for the absolute honour of choosing Jen (my incredible second shooting ally) and myself as your wedding photographers for your special day.

– “Green Eyes” – Coldplay

2nd wedding photographer: Jennifer Young || Stylist & Coordinator: Joni from Chasing Arrows || Dress: Melanie Ford Designs || MUA: Ashley Cashman Makeup || Hair: Hair We Are || Florist: Gillian @ Autumn Kisses ||  Antique furniture hire: This Old Love || Lighting & marquee: Beavis

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