Fun Wellington wedding at Ohariu Farm

It’s a funny old thing how life goes around, many years ago I went to school at Waimea College with Robert and Linda (Hannah’s parents). Who would have guessed way back then, that I would end up photographing their daughters wedding in Wellington!

Brides earrings sitting on yellow roses

Chrissy and I were absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to photograph Hamish and Hannah’s wedding in the windy city. Destination weddings can be a lot of fun, but along with that comes additional pressure. We arrived at the Wellington airport on the Thursday afternoon, picked up a rental car and checked into the Quality Inn Hotel (Chrissy wanted to stay there because it had a heated pool and spa). It also happened to be our 15th wedding anniversary.

Bride and her bridesmaids getting ready at the Wellesley Hotel in Wellington

Later that afternoon we met up with Hamish and Hannah at Old St Paul’s Church. My first reaction when I walked into the church was, OMG it’s dark in here, the look on Chrissy’s face also confirmed this! We have photographed in dark churches before, but Old St Paul’s Church had topped them all. Even when we met the minister, she made the comment, “good luck with the lighting”.

Bridesmaids get ready in Wellington wedding venue Wellesley Hotel

The next day it was Easter Friday and all the shops were closed, which helped a lot with reduced traffic on the road, especially given the fact that we had no idea where we were going most of the time (sorry Chrissy, your map reading really was very helpful).  For the following two nights we stayed at the James Cook Hotel as it was closer to the church and reception venue. We spent the morning navigating and timing the run to the Wellesley Hotel (where the girls where getting ready) and the Church. Later we headed out of Wellington City to The Woolshed at Ohariu Farm conference and wedding Venue.

Bride bright red roses

Hamish’s parents, Greg and Jude own Ohariu Farm, after meeting with them they took us for a tour around their large wedding venue. Jude had offered to show us some albums filled with photos that other Wellington photographers had taken there. We declined looking at them, as we like to be original and go into a new wedding location with an open mind plus two weddings are never the same.

Brides wedding detail

That evening we strolled around the Wellington Streets and found a wonderful Indian restaurant (actually I had to lead Chrissy through Cuba Street as she had very bad eye strain from map reading and couldn’t see properly – thankfully that didn’t last). I must say that the hospitality service we received while in Wellington was second to none – very impressed. Our lovely meal was topped off with a hot spa and swim back at the hotel.

Bridesmaids wearing red dresses walk past the Wellesley Hotel in Wellington

On the morning of the wedding we got up early, ate an enormous breakfast at Drexels to keep our energy up for the day and we headed to the Wellesley Boutique Hotel. While Hannah was having her makeup applied, Chrissy took the bridesmaids outside for a little urban street photography, nice shot babe.

Bride having her makeup applied in the window of the Wellesley Hotel

On the right is cute wee Gracie, she was so excited to be the official flower girl for the day.

Wellington based make-up artist Kat Walton did a stunning job of Hannah and her bridesmaid’s makeup.

Bridesmaids help the bride get ready in the boardroom of the Wellesley Hotel in Wellington.

The final touches…

Brides beautiful red rose bouquet

Brides beautiful wedding dress hangs in the window of the Wellesley Hotel

Now, let me tell you a little about this stunning bride. Hannah is a very accomplished Equestrian rider, having represented New Zealand here and overseas. One day we are hoping to see her ride for NZ in the Olympics (Go Hannah).

Bride walks down the stairs in the Wellesley Hotel in Wellington

Bride walks down the staircase of the Wellesley Wellington wedding venue

We didn’t have a lot of time for photos once Hannah was ready, but we made good use of what time we had and created some beautiful images.

Flower girl watches as the bride walks down the stairs

Gracie was taking it all in. Today has made a big impact on her and you’ll read about that at the end of our story.

Red VW wedding car outsaide the Wellesley Hotel in Wellington

Roberts cute VW Beetle getting dressed with ribbons for this big occasion. Robert and Linda bought the beetle all the way up from Nelson, which is Hannah’s home town.

Bride stands in the doorway of the Wellesley Hotel wedding venue

Last shot and time for Chrissy and I to go. Next time we see Hannah, she will be arriving at Old St Paul’s Church.

Wedding ceremony held in Old St Pauls Church in Wellington

We haven’t had many cloudy days this summer when photographing weddings, but today we did. The downside, it was even darker inside Old St Paul’s Church (oh no).

Groom and groomsmen walk to Ols St Pauls Church for wedding ceremony

We arrived a little earlier to get some photos of the groom and groomsmen before the ceremony started.

Groomsmen pose for Nelson wedding photographer outside the Old St Pauls Church in Wellington

Hamish and the boys looking very handsome indeed.

Bride arrives to Old St Pauls Church in a red VW

They say that photos speak a thousand words… they sure do.

Father opens the wedding car door as the bride gets out

Guests watch as the flower girl and page boy walk up the isle

Shannon the Violinist played beautiful music for the guests while they waited for the bride to arrive.

Groom smiles as he watches his bride up the isle in Old St Pauls Church in Wellington

In Hannah, Hamish has found someone he can share everything with. They are on the same wavelength, sharing dreams, goals and values.

Father and brise walk up the isle in Wellington's Old St Pauls Church

Wedding ceremony in Old St Pauls Church in Wellington New Zealand

‘Reading by Georgia’


When the one whose hand you’re holding is the one who holds your heart,
When the one whose eyes you gaze into gives your hopes and dreams their start,
When the one you think of first and last is the one who holds you tight,
And the things you plan together make the whole world seem just right,
When the one whom you believe in puts their faith and trust in you,
You’ve found the one and only love you’ll share your whole life through.
Gusets watch the Wedding ceremony in St Pauls Church

Old St Paul’s Church is a fine example of 19th century Gothic Revival architecture adapted to colonial conditions and materials. Constructed entirely from native timbers, the glowing interior is enhanced by stunning stained glass windows.  We can see why Hamish and Hannah wanted to get married here – Beautiful!

Bride and groom resite their wedding vows to each other

‘Reading by Amy’


Please face each other and take each others hands, so that you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future.


These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes to you. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.


These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it, support and courage to pursue your dreams, and comfort through difficult times.


And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Old St Pauls Church made of rustin timber

Inside St Paul’s we were allowed to walk around as much as we liked. During the wedding ceremony we are always trying to be as quiet as possible. Most of the time the bride and groom don’t even remember the two of us being there.

Bride and groom kiss during their wedding ceremony

Wedding Celebrant Pinky Agnew pronounces them husband and wife and they seal their vows with a kiss.

Bride and groom parents ligh candles during wedding ceremony in Old St Pauls Church in Wellington

Hamish and Hannah asked their parents to light the unity candles, representing the love, light and warmth of their two families becoming entwined together on a new family tree.

Newlyweds walk down the isle

Guests congratulate the bride and groom after wedding ceremony

Time for the hugs and kisses.

Bride smiles at her guests

Family and guests laugh after wedding ceremony

VW wedding car drives along the motorway in Wellington

For most of the twenty minute journey to Oharui Farm wedding Venue we followed Robert driving the beetle, that was until we hit the steep hill before Johnsonville. The VW slowed down (a lot) and this reminded me of the children’s story, “the engine that could”, for you younger ones reading this, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about!

Wedding reception held at Ohariu Farms wedding venue in Wellington

Welcome to one of Wellington’s most popular wedding venues – Ohariu Farm.

Guests enjoy activitie around Wellington wedding venue Ohariu Farms

The guests were in for a treat with a whole lot of activities planned, including claybird shooting, archery, hitting some golf balls around and an open bar plus lots of delightful nibbles. While the bridal party took some time out to have a drink and something to eat, Chrissy and I headed inside the absolutely stunning reception room for a few detail shots.

Wedding reception at Ohariu Farms

Chrissy’s eyes nearly popped out of her head, in fact she nicknamed it ‘The Princess Room’ and I’m sure it’s what every girl dreams of for her wedding.

Table settings for wedding reception

Wedding reception tables

Bride and groom enjoy an intimate moment

Let’s roll the clock back a little. Hamish and Hannah first met during their second year at Massey University, where they were both studying agriculture. They met in a field of kale and got to know each other while measuring soil. Hamish is now an agronomist and Hannah works for a soil nutrition company. But, it was the following weekend while they were on the Young Farmers bus trip that their romance bloomed.

Page boy and flower girl enjoying themselves

In November 2011, Hamish surprised Hannah with a week’s holiday in Rarotonga to celebrate the completion of their honours year. After a romantic dinner, Hamish sent Hannah off to order dessert while he wrote in the sand “HMA WYMM?” (Hannah May Appleton Will You Marry Me). Upon Hannah’s return, Hamish told her that he had a quiz for her. Under a stunning South Pacific sunset, Hamish dropped down on one knee and held out the most beautiful engagement ring that Hannah had ever seen. And here we are today.

Nelson wedding photographers photograph a wedding at Ohariu Farms in Wellington

Ohariu Farm wedding venue is close to the West Coast. The warm sea breeze was now blowing beautiful cirrus cloud above us, so we jumped into a 4×4 and headed for the hills.

Bride and groom kiss on hillside during wedding location photos at Ohariu Farms in Wellington

We thought Hannah did so well walking up this steep terrain wearing her lovely high heeled Jimmy Choo shoes.

Black and white dramatic wedding photos from NelsonWedding Photography

Bride and groom kiss under the veil

As a team Chrissy and I work from varying angles and distances, these two stunning shots were taken by Chrissy. We have a lot of fun during the location photos and things often get a little competitive between us, but all in jest of course.

Romantic black and white wedding photos

Bride and groom hug while sitting on the grass on WEllington Farmland.

Given the fact that Hamish grew up at Ohariu Farm, these location photos with his beautiful new wife were very important to him.

Bride and bridesmaids laugh and have fun

The bridesmaids also traveled up from Nelson to share this special day… love their dresses.

Bridesmaids hold the brides dress as they walk up a road at Ohariu Farms in Wellington

And they were certainly having a great time.

Bridal party laugh while walking around Ahariu Farms in Johnsville near Wellington

Prior to the wedding we ask our couples, “what is the must have shot”, Hamish wanted some photos of the boys with shot guns (not loaded of course).

Groom and groomsmen wearing tail jacket and holding shot guns

Boys and guns…

Bride and bridesmaids holding shot guns

Legs and guns… (Chrissy wrote that bit).

Groomsmen standing with their pants down

Now this was very funny, the boys had ‘groomsmen’ and Hamish had ‘groom’ written on their undies. When we found this out we promptly suggested that they drop their pants. The initial reaction from the groomsmen wasn’t favorable, actually I don’t really want to repeat the words that were said. Nevertheless, the boys surrendered and the girls had a really good laugh.

Bride and groom smile at each other during location photos at Ohariu Farms in Wellington

Further down the property we used some old rustic sheds for beautiful intimate shots.

Romantic black and white wedding photos taken at Ohariu Farms

Bride and groom in rustic old shed at Ohariu Farm in Wellington

Bride and groom kiss in front of an old shed

Intimate weddings photos take at Ohariu Farm wedding venue

Bridal party sitting on hay bails

The bridal party stayed together in the same house a few nights before the wedding, which was a great idea as they all got to know each other really well.

Bridal party play in field

I told Hamish to get used to this, you are now married (haha). Actually that’s not quite accurate as in our house Chrissy is the DIY chick. In fact she won’t even let me change a light bulb, possibly because last time I did this I ended up pulling the whole light out of the ceiling, wires and all (OOPS).

Now back to Chrissy’s princess room for the most delicious meal and some humorous speeches.

Guests clap as bride and groom enter the wedding reception

Gusets listen to speehes at wedding reception at Ahariu Farms in Wellington

Bridal party laugh during wedding reception

As the sun went down, we stole the bride and groom outside to capture the last of the changing light.

Bride and groom kiss at sunset

At the start of the day Luka and Gracie were rather shy, but not now! Actually Hannah emailed us a few weeks ago to say that Gracie has been taking her dress to kindy and marrying someone different everyday – so precious, I hope she grows out of that though!

Brides veil flys in the air as she kisses her groom during a Wellington sunset

As the last of the sun’s rays disappeared, the evenings festivities were in full swing.

Ohariu Farm at sunset

Bride and groom kiss on the front lawn at Ohariu Farm near Wellington

Low light photography during the wedding reception

Groom preforms the Chicken dance

This was a surprise to us all, the guys preformed the chicken dance, it was very funny and also a family tradition.

Moody wedding photos from Nelson Wedding Photography

After the first dance finished we put away our cameras and had a drink, that first beer after a full day’s wedding always goes down well. I gave Chrissy a big hug and told her, “job well done”. But our job hadn’t completely finished, in two days time, Hannah was going to put her wedding dress back on for a photoshoot with her horse (Grace) along the beach at Rabbit Island, during what we hoped would be a Nelson sunset.

Thanks for choosing us Hamish and Hannah, not only did we photograph your awesome wedding but it was a great weekend away.

Daron and Chrissy X

Link >> Read more wedding stories...