Intimate Golden Bay Wedding…

We were rather delighted that our last wedding for 2013 was in one of our favorite places, beautiful Golden Bay. Once you drive over the Takaka Hill it’s like another world away, with it’s laid back atmosphere, peace and quiet mixed with the smells of farmland and fresh air, not to mention some amazing beaches to relax on. This is where Jonathon and Charon chose to have their intimate wedding.


On the morning of the wedding, we woke up in our little bach on Pohara Beach to the glorious sunshine which Golden Bay is renowned for. After a delicious breakfast at The Penguin Cafe and Bar we headed up to the wedding venue, The Sandcastle. Nestled in the hills above Pohara, The Sandcastle offers a rather unique appeal with cute little chalets surrounded by native bush.

Sandcastle accomadation at Pohara in Golden Bay

Jonathon and Charon live in Auckland and it was during their South Island holiday last summer that they came across this special place and instantly fell in love with it. When the idea arose to get married in New Zealand, they couldn’t think of anywhere they would rather be on their wedding day than at The Sandcastle. It was here that they felt they could best share this wonderful occasion with their most beloved family and friends. From arriving to beautiful Golden Bay to waking up on their wedding morning surrounded by their loved ones, it was the perfect start in their future together as husband and wife.

Spring wedding bouquet designed by Perfect Style in Motueka

So how did the Kiwi boy meet the Dutch girl?
Charon was studying for a degree in Sports, Health and Management and she decided to do her half year internship outside of Europe, Auckland was the chosen destination. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine that she would meet her future husband and get married in New Zealand.

Brides necklass, braclett and gold wedding rings

Jonathon and Charon are both keen swimmers, they decided to enter the 4.6km Rangitoto swim in March 2010. They first met while walking to the Ferry and after the swim, exhausted and stirred by the choppy waves, Charon decided to go and meet a group of swimmers and to talk to them about joining their swimming club. Jonathon jumped to the occasion by offering this pretty dutch girl a ride to training sessions twice a week. Things became a little more serious when Jonathon invited Charon to meet his father who lived on the Coromandel.

Gold wedding brings in bouquet by Perfect Style in Motueka

Now Jonathon would have to be one of the most organised guys I have ever met especially with regards to planning their wedding. I wasn’t surprised when he told us that when he decided to propose to Charon, he arranged for their friend and best man’s wife, Rachel, to take Charon on a girls night out. Instead of a bunch of girls at the bar, there was Jonathon who promptly proposed to her, there and then, followed by a lovely romantic dinner.

Collage of brides wedding detail

I enjoyed pottering around outside finding cool places to photograph the wedding detail, while Daron got busy photographing the guys getting ready. The whole holiday atmosphere here was wonderful and because Jonathon and Charon were getting ready in different chalets, extra precautions were made so that they didn’t see each other.

Groom puts on his cufflinks

Bestman puts a gray tie on the groom

A very happy and excited Jonathon with his best man and best friend, Kelvin.

Bestman and groom have fun during pre-ceremony photo shoot

Crazy boys these two and a bit of goofing around is the best way to calm the nerves on the day.

Groom and bestman laugh with page boy

Kelvins son and the ring bearer, young Hugo, got in on the laughter as well.

Elegant brides walk amoung flowers along Pohara Beach in Golden Bay

While we were eating breakfast this morning we had spotted a little grove of trees across the road surrounded by white flowers, it was the perfect place to photograph a bride in.  Once Charon was dressed and the coast was clear, we jumped in our car with Charon and headed to this great little spot.

Bride looks at her bouquet while standing in a filed of flowers

Charon has a very sweet and gentle soul, so the soft prettiness of the surroundings reflected her perfectly today.

Bride amoung white flowers

This beautiful bouquet of flowers was arranged by the lovely Karen at Perfect Style.

Beautiful bride standing in a filed of flowers at Pohara in Goldsen Bay

“You’re an absolute stunning bride Charon”.

Bride smiles with her Dutch parents

Luit and Herma are Charon’s very awesome parents who we hit it off with right away.  They traveled all the way from Holland along with a few other family members to share the celebrations of this lovely Golden Bay destination wedding.

East Takaka Church wedding ceremony

Jonathon and Charon chose to marry in this cute little church in East Takaka. We were a little worried when they told us there were no lights or power, but we checked it out the day before and with a little natural window light filtering in, it worked out beautifully.

Brides walks to East Takaka Church with her father

Minister in East Takaka Church gets ready for the wedding ceremony

Reverend Ian Thatcher now lives with his wife in Takaka, they spent many years running a Church in the UK.

Groom has a moment to himself before his wedding ceremony

Jonathon has a quiet moment to himself to reflect on the ceremony ahead.

Groom and minister watch the bride walk up the church isle

“Here she comes”.

Father and bride walk up the isle in the East Takaka Church in Golden Bay

Luit looked as proud as punch to have his lovely daughter on his arm.

Groom and bestman watch as the bride walks up the isle

And of course Jonathon had eyes for no other.

Bride walks up the isle with her veil over her face

Little girl watches as bride walks up the isle

Miss big blue eyes, what a cutey!

Grooms smiles at his bride as she walks up the isle

Bride and groom resite their wedding vows to each other

Wedding ceremony in East Takaka Church in Golden Bay

Black and white wedding ceremony photos

East Takaka Church wedding ceremony

Groom puts gold wedding ring on the brides finger

Mother watches her daughter getting married

A few tears from Charon’s mum.

Groom places Gold wedding ring on his bride

Bride places wedding ring on grooms finger

Children blow bubbles during wedding ceremony

Bride and groom walk down the isle as guests blow bubbles

A very happy bride and groom, nothing was going to burst their bubble today.

Guiests clap as bride and groom walk down the church isle

Bride and groom walk holding hands in field in Golden Bay

With family and group photos over, we headed a little further up the road to a place where Jonathon and Charon had found for their location photos. Unfortunately we couldn’t stay here too long as it was like dodging your way through cow patty’s, no place for a white wedding dress.

Bride and groom smile at each other with family laughing

Nothing like a big support group of family members coming along for the photos.

Cows running

Daron needed to get something from our car so he made a dash across the field with the cows running after him.

This photo reminded Daron of an experience that he had years ago while traveling through Alaska on a motorbike. Daron’s quote, “While riding along I saw a brown bear eating wild berries in a field, so I decided to get a close up photo. I slowly approached the bear that appeared to be far too busy eating berries than to notice me. That was until he heard the clicking of the camera and stood up on two legs and had a good sniff in my direction. They say that you should not run away from a bear, that’s easier said than done, I ran the fastest that I could go with the bear now on all fours sprinting after me. I could hear his breathing right behind me, so I decided that if I was going to be the bears lunch, I might as well take my last photo. I stopped, turned around, eyed the beer and took the shot, he took one look at me and ran away into nearby bushes (phew). I went back to my motor bike a little shaken but not eaten – true story.” Haha remind me not ever to travel into the wilderness with you Daron!

Bride and groom standing in filed with old rustic shed

Romantic wedding photos

It was very hot in the direct sun and the newlyweds were getting sunburnt, so we suggested that we all jump in the cars and head back up the road to a place Daron and I had spotted while out exploring yesterday.  Firstly, I dropped Daron off and drove to the owners house nearby and asked permission to use their property. The lovely lady gave me the key for the gate – such kind hearted people in Golden Bay.

Bride and groom walking in grassy field in Golden Bay

Everyone’s spirits soon picked once we got out of the heat and into some shade.

Family watch bride and groom kissing in a field

Bride and grrom amoung trees

Love the backdrop.

Groom kisses brides neck while she laughs

We just clicked away while these two lovebirds got close and intimate, they wanted to make use of the natural surroundings for their photos, so this place was just perfect.

Bride and grrom get intimate during wedding location photos

Black and white wedding photos

Charon completely adores her man. When I asked her what she loves about Jonathon she said that he makes her feel like nothing else matters, that every day is special and she is excited to find out what joys await them in the future with Jonathon right beside her every step of the way bringing love, adventure and excitement into their lives. These guys are just too cute.

Groom looks at camera

Groom dips his bride

Bride and groom kissing in a grassy field

Bride and groom walk on the Pohara Beach in Takaka Golden Bay

With half an hour to spare before the wedding reception, we headed down to the rocks at Pohara Beach.

Bride and groom standing on rocks along Pohara Beach near Takaka

A little rock climbing was in store, but what a view!

Dramanic wedding photos taken on rocks along Pohara Beach

Bride and groom kiss on rocksalong Pohara Beach Golden Bay

Daron takes magical shots photographing directly into the sun, our couples love his style of work

And this is one of my specialties.

Brides parents walk along Pohara Beach

A very happy mum & Dad.

Wedding reception at the Sandcastle in Pohara near Takaka

Back at The Sandcastle we enjoyed a few drinks with the guests before enjoying a delicious buffet meal catered by Plan B in Takaka, all the little personal touches made it feel very homely.

Guests laugh during wedding reception

During Jonathon’s speech he mentioned that Charon was his true north, his morning star and his evening star, and that the sight of her every morning makes every day special. WOW, so romantic it gave me goosebumps.

Bestman speaks during wedding reception

From goosebumps to laughter, boy did Kelvin bring the house down during his speech.

The traditional dutch danish apple pie served as the wedding cake and there were plenty more of them to go around for everyone. Dished up with wallops of cream, it was yummo.

Thank you Jonathon and Charon for choosing us to photograph your magical day. The vision of your wedding day is now a beautiful reality and these memories shared with your nearest and dearest will be with you both forever in your hearts and in your photos. Can’t wait to start designing your photobook soon.

Best wishes Daron and Chrissy xx


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