Mt Lyford Lodge destination wedding

We were really looking forward to Stu & Leese’s wedding at Mt Lyford Lodge in the Kaikoura Ranges for two main reasons. Firstly, we love destination weddings as it allows us opportunities to photograph in new locations. Secondly, when we first met Stu & Leese we got on so well, it was as if we had been friends for years. Our little adventure started on the Friday the day before the wedding and as we were heading out of town, we stopped at Rebel Sports to buy Chrissy a new pair of ‘pretty pink’ sneakers. Time to hang up the old ones which Chrissy had been saving for ‘the fence of shoes’ just past Havelock.

Nelson Wedding Photographer Christine Graham

When we arrived at the Mt Lyford Lodge we met up with Stu and Leese and soon after went for a drive searching for photo locations. On the way to the Lodge, Chrissy had spotted some very cool rocks on a nearby hill and after getting permission from the land owner we had number 1 location sorted. A little further down the road we found an old rustic woolshed (location number 2 in the bag).

Groom cleans his dirt bike before wedding ceremony at Mt Lyford L:odge

Leese and her bridesmaids stayed the night before the wedding in a chalet just up the road. Stu along with his groommens, guests and ourselves stayed at Mt Lyford lodge. On the morning of the wedding everyone was in great spirits, Stu was very excited about getting married today, but was also feeling very nervious with the ceremony still a number of hours away.

Groom and hos groomsmen riding dirt bikes

So I came up with an idea, let’s go and have some fun…

Groom riding his Honda Cr150 dirt bike.

This gives the saying, “go outside and get some air” a whole new meaning.

Groom riding his dirt bike at Mt Lyford Lodge in the Kaikoura Ranges.

Having grown up on dirt bikes, I really wanted to go for a squirt, Stu insisted, but no, I had a job to do.

Groom and bestman doing wheel stands on their dirt bikes

Very cool!

Silver wedding rings

Chrissy took some beautiful detail shots as the boys got dressed.

Groomsmens getting dressed at Mt Lyford Lodge

Mike, Johnny and Ben got ready rather quickly while Stu took a world record breaking long shower. No amount of asking Stu to hop out made any difference. Leese later told us that Stu likes his showers (no kidding, I wouldn’t like to be paying for his hot water bill).

Groom puts on his tie

Stu along with his parents own their own motor cycle mechanical business in Amberly, Stu is certainly not used to wearing one of these things.

Groom leaning up against a pine tree

Looking very smart there Stu…

Groom and groomsmen leaning up against Pine Trees

The night before the wedding, we were all told by Leese and her mother not to get the boys dirty (not even a spec of dust). I think that they suspected that the bikes might play a part in the pre-ceremony photos (surely not).

Groom wearing his suite while riding his dirt bike.

Ok, I’m not sure who suggested this, might have been me???
Why I put the least confident rider (Mike, second right) heading straight for me, I have no idea! Somehow he managed to get past me safety (phew).

Groom riding his dirt bike past Nelson Wedding photographer

Go Stu…

Glass of bubbly wine

After leaving the guys (all completely clean I must add) we arrived to the girls – bubbly anyone?

Brides wedding accessories

So, how did this love story start? Over the years Stu and Leese had crossed paths a few times at parties in the company of mutual friends that were also car lovers. At that time Stu lived in North Canterbury while Leese lived in Nelson.

Brides pink wedding shoes

In July 2010 their paths crossed one more time at a friends party, this time they got talking to each other and their romance began.

In July 2011, Stu and Leese were having dinner with friends Sarah and Rob, they were also celebrating buying their first home together. Leese and Sarah were sitting on the couch talking when Leese’s Golden Retriever jumped up on them. While Leese was apologising profusely to Sarah, she felt a small box tucked under Belle’s collar. Next, Stu appeared and got down on one knee and proposed.

Brides getting ready at mt Lyford lodge

Stu and Leese chose to have their wedding at Mt Lyford Lodge as it was part way between his hometown in North Canterbury and Leese’s hometown of Nelson. Leese told us that the icing on the cake was when the Lodge Managers told them that they could bring their two dogs Belle and Clifford and it was very important to have them there.

Bride has her veil put on by hairdresser

From the first minute that we saw Leese, she had a grin from ear to ear.

Bride holding her wedding bouquet

Simply stunning.

Bride with veil over her face

The bouquet was made of silk flowers and it looked so real that I didn’t realise until I picked it up.

Four beautiful girls, Emma (right) Nikki, Leese and Angela.

Bride laughing with her parents

Leese’s parents Rick & Sharon traveled all the way from Australia to share this very special day.

Stu is seriously into drag racing along with Leese as the chief photographer and crew. But today Leese was a princess bride.

Wedding ceremony on the lawn at mt Lyford Lodge

It was nearing the ceremony start time of 2:30pm and there was certainly a buzz in the air.

Bride arrives to Mt Lyford Lodge for wedding ceremony

After the wedding we asked Leese what she loved the most about the day. “Everything went off without a hitch, it was fabulous to see all of our hard work and planning coming together so well. I loved getting ready at the holiday home with my bridesmaids and how there was absolutely no stress. I loved seeing Stu’s face light up as I walked up the isle with my parents”.

Wedding cars on the lawn at Mt Lyford Lodge

Groom laughs as he watches his bride walk down the isle

What Stu loved about the day? “The moment that I first saw Leese walk up the isle took my breath away, she looked absolutely beautiful’. “I also loved the time I spent with the guys on the bikes, it certainly took my mind off things, not to mention the unwavering enthusiam of our amazing wedding photographers”.

Bride and groom smile at each other as they see each other during their ceremony

Bridal aprty standing on the lawn at Mt Lyford Lodge in North Canterbury

Guests watch wedding ceremony on lawn at Mt Lyford Lodge

These are Stu and Leese’s babies, Clifford & Belle.

Bride and groom laugh during their wedding ceremony

Marriage celebrant Sharon Gardiner officiated a beautiful, humorous and yet touching wedding ceremony.

Groom places the wedding ring on the brides funger

“I do”.

Bride signs marriage certificate

While the music played the marraige was made offical.

Newlyweds smile at each other

Welcome Mr & Mrs Rogers…

Guests and family celebrate with the bride and groom

Family and guests group photo on the lawn at Mt Lyford Lodge

Congratulations guys.

Groom and groomsmen holding pink parasols

We started off the location photos with some fun, very cute boy shots!

Bridal party having fun with wedding photographers

Ok girls, I think you’ve made your point, we know who’s the boss! Actually I know who’s the boss in our house too, and it isn’t me…

Bride and groom having fun

You have no answer to that Stu.

Bridal party walk through a lane of trees

Bride and groom holding picture frames

You have been framed guys.

Bride and groom kiss through picture frames

Bride and groom having fun with picture frames

Love this shot from Chrissy.

Bride and groom walk through a lane of willow trees

Groom holds his brides dress

Bridal party talk while bride and groom kiss

And the kissing began and didn’t stop…

Let’s practise the first dance…

Chrissy spotted this onlooker, Stu tried to give him a beer, but he didn’t like Tui.

Bride and groom kiss in field with rustic woolshed in the back ground

This old rustic woolshed was tucked way behind some pine trees when we spotted it the day before. Chrissy and I seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to spotting things at the same time.

Bridal aprty having fun in front of old rustic woolshed in North Canterbury

Bride and grom kiss in doorway pf rustic woolshed

Black and white wedding images of bride and groom in rustic woolshed

Rustic shed wedding photos

Bride and groom having fun during location photo shoot with Nelson Wedding Photography

Time for a little pit stop Stu?

Bride and groom kiss in a field near Mt Lyford Lodge

Groom standing on a rocky outcrop

For a little while there we were concerned that it was going to rain on our party, luckly it didn’t. These rocks are the most amazing colour and shape.

Bride and groom standing on rocks during wedding location photos


Crerative wedding photos from Nelson Wedding Photography

Dramatic wedding photos from Nelson Wedding Photography New Zealand

While I used lights to create a dramatic effect, Chrissy shot the silhouette.

Bride and groom standing on dramatic rocks

Dramatic black and white wedding photos

Bride sitting on a rock holding her pink parasol

It was crazy weather, now the sun was blasting down on us.

Bride and groom smiling with pink parasol

Bride with her bridesmaids holding their pink parasols

Love the colours….

Groommen and gropom wearing white vests

Fun wedding location photos

At the time of taking this, (two images transposed together) the guys really didn’t know what I was doing.

We always ask the bride and bridesmaids to bring flat shoes for walking during the location photos, I think that Leese likes pink? Hang on Stu.

Wedding reception at Mt Lyford Lodge

Back to Mt Lyford Lodge for the evenings festivities.

Bestman speaks during wedding reception at Mt Lyford Lodge

First off was the bestman Mike and did he bring the dirt out on Stu.

Bride and groom laugh during their wedding reception

Guests enjoying themselves during wedding reception at Mt Lyford Lodge

DJ plays music during wedding reception

Brendan Holt from Boogie Beats brought the house down.

Guests enjoying themselves during wedding reception

Photo booth images from wedding ceremony

Stu & Leese set up their own photo booth, the guests loved it and so did Clifford.

First dance

Bridasl party dancing during wedding reception

All I can say about the first dance was it was non stop laughter, Stu is quiet a mover on the dance floor.

Creative low light wedding photos

What a wonderful wedding to be a part of. One of the many things we really loved is that from the moment we arrived at Mt Lyford Lodge, we were treated like part of the family by everyone, it was such a great atmosphere. We wish you all the best in your future together Stu and Leese, you are a couple made in heaven and we look forward to catching up.

Daron and Chrissy X



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