destination wedding photography

BEC + TANIA - BARN 1890, ADELAIDE

 BEC + TANIA - BARN 1890, ADELAIDE

So as I’d mentioned, I was sat on a busy train to London, I’d just been booked by Bec and Tania, and was currently getting funny looks for squealing. Yep, I was going to Adelaide. YAASSS!!

Fast forward ten months and I’d just finished a wedding on my birthday, had started the walk home along the beach. S*** was about to get very real. I think I’d packed and re-packed my suitcase and camera bag at least five times by now. My original plan was to spend the whole of the Sunday - the day before I flew out - with Rob, which I suppose I did, it just wasn’t the day we were hoping for. That night when I got home from Rachel + Ryan’s wedding, shortly after Rob had made me some dinner, we had to rush our fur baby, Moscow, to the emergency vets and the outcome was a tragic blow; we had to make the painful decision to let him go and he went for one final long sleep. The Sunday was pretty much spent crying and trying not to panic about leaving Rob on his own for the best part of three weeks.

The next day I unpacked and re-packed my things a couple more times before taking the coach to Heathrow. I arrived early, grabbed some food and coffee and checked in with Rob back home. I think we spoke via FaceTime two or three times that evening. Then the time came for me to board the enormous A380 to my connection destination of Singapore. After 18 long hours (8 of which I managed to sleep on the first flight), I was boarding my flight to Adelaide. Both flights were so good and we landed into Adelaide at 7:30 am, bang on time and fresh as a daisy (maybe a little spaced out). Bec picked me up, we drove to her and Tania’s home in the suburb of Belair in the hills of Adelaide, and after a quick shower, a change of clothes and a coffee we headed out to meet her family at a nearby Vineyard that also doubled as a Kangaroo sanctuary. We ate the most delicious meal, washed down with some fine Australian chardonnay and fed the Kangaroos -a life goal mine very much achieved!

We had a few days together before the big day; I helped the brides with some finishing touches to their table decor, we ate more amazing food, drank more amazing wine, and I spent a lot of time with their family which was super sweet - a real plus to this trip and wedding. On the Thursday and Friday I spent time exploring the city - the train ride from Belair down into the centre was so good, travelling through the hills with the view over eucalyptus trees to the sea. If any of you have thought about a trip to Australia, I would highly recommend seeing Adelaide whilst you’re there. It has a great feel to it, more like a small town, but with all the amenities of a city, and the added bonus of being surrounded by parkland, vineyards and beautiful beaches. Plus - and it’s a big one - the coffee shops and restaurants are incredible.

So down to business…

After having a very chilled evening in the home of Bec + Tania while they enjoyed a night together at the cottage on the grounds of the wedding venue, I was picked up by their very cool friend who drove us out to the venue (about 45km south of Adelaide). The girls were getting their hair and make-up on in the shade of the cottage patio; I started with some shots of the prep as I love it so much, then took myself off for a quick walk around the grounds, jumped on Insta Stories for a cheeky live video, but the reception wasn’t great and the sound kept cutting out… #FirstWorldProblems

I returned to the cottage to continue with prep, had a cuppa and chatted with the ladies as they enjoyed a drop of champers, then once they were ready we snuck off into the vineyard for their couple shoot. Doing this before the ceremony and the guests arriving was such a breath of fresh air. It gave us some real quality time together to have some fun and frolic around the vineyard, it also meant that the brides were much more chilled out come the ceremony and once that was done, they could focus on having a party with their guests. If you’re not doing the traditional thing - and I would highly recommend it to all of my couples - you will definitely have a much more relaxing time for the rest of the day.

I won’t lie, there is definitely an element of added pressure when you’re doing a destination wedding (there are so many other things to factor in that could potentially go wrong on the lead up to the day), and coupled with the fact that Bec has been a friend of mine for the last 14 years or so -- enough said. Once the guests started to take their seats and gather under the enormous eucalyptus tree where the ceremony was held, the music started, and I couldn’t help but bubble up with excitement and pride while watching them both walk down the aisle together, accompanied by Bec’s father, Tony. It was a super sweet moment for sure. The ceremony was full of love and laughter, and some really special readings from their great friend and witness, Julie, Tania’s brother, Andrew, and her eldest son, Connor. I’ll openly admit that at one point as they read their beautiful vows to one another, a few tears crept into my eyes and I was awash with emotion.

Following the ceremony there were bubbles galore, and hundreds of hugs going around. We all gathered for some family photos in front of the barn (a stunning backdrop if ever there was one), then we wandered around to the terrace for bubbles of the boozy kind and some super tasty treats prepared by the awesome catering team - trust me when I say this, the food in Oz is like nothing you get over here - PHE-NOM-ENAL!! The whole team on duty that day were absolutely exceptional and were not only giving 200% to the guests, but looked after me like I was a VIP.

Some touching speeches followed the banquet, lead by Connor - boy, that kid is a real wordsmith - then came Rupert’s turn, Bec’s incredibly funny and rascal of a brother, Bec’s parents were up next with some great stories and it all got a bit emotional again, then a few sweet and heartfelt words from Tania’s youngest son, Rhett. I wish I was better at remembering people’s name, but I have to give a huge shout out and major props to the awesome friend and MC for the day, as she was absolutely superb and hilarious to boot!

So we cut the cake, which almost seems like a shame when it’s so damn beautiful, but it was also delicious and handcrafted by Tania’s very talented hands - I know it was delicious as we were all scoffing the off-cuts on the Friday morning with coffee before they both headed off to the venue to set up. Then what’s left to do at a wedding….?

P-A-R-T-Y!!!!

Damn this was a fun party and the reason why I like to stay and party with you all; as a wedding photographer, why would you want to go home after the first dance…? I know, I hear you, you’re tired and bed is calling, but this is when everyone really comes alive and into their own. If it were allowed, I’d probably just post photos from this part of the day, but people love to see the happy couple before they reach obliteration. Their friend and awesome DJ sure pulled out the dance floor bangers, and even threw in some vintage Madonna (both Bec and myself are HUGE fans!), so he gets a huge gold star. As the venue curfew kicked in, we all gathered outside the barn and the brides made their exit to even more hugs and drunken giggles before we were loaded onto the coach to take us back home. I’d go on about the rest of the trip, but it would need to be a whole series of blogs…

Just know this; it was a life-changing, life-affirming, extremely fun, totally emotional, banging trip that I can’t wait to repeat and I know our friendship is much stronger for it, and a bonus bunch of Aussie friends have been made in the process.

If you’re considering escaping abroad to elope or to treat the rest of your friends and family to the wedding of a lifetime somewhere, I’m game and my passport is ready for you!

Please check out the super awesome supplier's pages (linked below), give them some social media love and most of all, check out Bec + Tania’s awesome highlights below!!

Until next time,

R x

Barn 1890 / Amanda’s Flowers - Blackwood / Melange a Trois / BeYoutiful Make-up by Anj / Medhi El-Aquil / Chef Steele