Fun Kaiteriteri wedding…..
We were rather excited for Willie and Rachel’s wedding day. Firstly they were getting married on the golden sands of Little Kaiteriteri Beach which is one of our most favorite places. Secondly it was about a blend of two families and cultures coming together for this beautiful celebration.
Willie and Rachel live just over the hill in Blenheim. They wanted a beach wedding to show who they are as a couple; relaxed, fun, romantic and tranquil. Kaiteri Beach was the perfect choice as it’s the special place they come to sometimes for some time away from normal life.
Coming from a large Tongan family, Willie celebrated his heritage by dressing in traditional Tongan wedding attire. Actually there’s so much more preparation in getting the groom ready than the bride and thankfully his mother and sister were there to help out.
The necklace’s and kafa (belt) were so beautifully handcrafted with such intricate detail – just amazing.
Williams mother and sister did a fantastic job of laying out and folding the taovala (skirt) which Willie was to wear. This was originally hand woven by Willies mother and is used by the family for weddings’ so it’s quite an honour.
As a teenager, Willie moved from Auckland to Blenheim with his family. Rachel on the other hand was born in Blenheim but moved to Waimate where her parents have a farm. She went back to Blenheim during a school holiday, got a part time job and never left.
This is the kafa which was adorned with beautiful shells.
Willies mother Lilly made the red necklace especially for the wedding. It’s made of hundreds of red plastic flowers and I assume many hours went into crafting it – amazing.
We could tell right away that family is very special to the Taualupe family and it was wonderful that they were all together today sharing many wonderful moments.
Introducing the men of the Taualupe family; Koli, Richie, William, their father Seti and Chris; all looking extremely handsome in traditional Tongan attire.
Although Willies parents now live back in Auckland, all the boys still live in Blenheim. They’re all exceptionally good rugby players and enjoy a bit of competitiveness playing against each other.
Such a great bunch of guys.
Just down the road, the girls were getting ready in a big house across from the beach. It was a warm sunny day with a breeze to cool it down a little.
Lovely bouquet from Willow Floral Design in Nelson.
Bridesmaid’s Krystal, Nicole and Lou are Rachel’s best friends from Blenheim and they are inseparable. The blend of colours with their dresses looked so pretty together.
Eeekk, super excited to get the dress on!
Rachel is such a fun loving girl to be around, she’s totally gorgeous inside and out.
Time for some outdoor fun…
This is The Vino Van which is a mobile bar owned by bridesmaid Krystal and her husband Jeremy. It was parked outside the house on the lawn, set up and ready for the evening festivities.
First a tester to make sure everything was working properly.
Also outside were lawn games which the guests could entertain themselves later on while we did the bridal party photos.
We love veils but we also love beautiful braids and flowers. The mixture of hydrangea’s and baby’s breath in Rachel’s hair looked absolutely stunning.
There a lot of things to think about for a beach wedding. You need a wet weather option (which thankfully we didn’t need), and you also have to work around the tides and sunset times. We worked with Willie and Rachel on the timeline to get everything just right and everything fell into place perfectly with the ceremony late in the day.
Just a little bit of dancing before the bride arrived, Tongan style.
“Here she comes Willie”.
As a very happy bride walked up the isle, Lilly also adorned her with a red necklace which she had made just the day before. It is considered a blessing from the family as well as a Tongan tradition.
It was a really beautiful ceremony officiated by Nelson wedding celebrant Rachel Schepers. Even the strong winds which came up didn’t bother anybody too much as all eyes were on these lovebirds and their happiness which filled the air.
Willie and Rachel met when they started working together at Wine Bottlers Marlborough. Becoming friends quickly they spent quite a lot of time together on weekends. They also both worked nights at bars for a while so they would see each other all the time. Things changed when they shared a sneaky kiss at a Christmas work party three years ago and they secretly started dating.
Their first date came about after Rachel took a trip to Rarotonga with a friend. One night after a few cocktails she text Willie and insisted they have an actual date. He followed through and took her to Gramado’s, where they still go frequently for dinner and any special occasion – apparently the steak is the best.
One night Willie challenged Rachel to a game of ten pin bowling. They are both super competitive and neither likes to lose. Rachel started to feel a little suspicious that something was going on as Willie was terrible at bowling and she beat him twice. He was also acting a bit weird and seemed rather nervous.
The reason he was acting a little weird was because this was the night he intended to propose and had already contacted her parents to ask for permission which was kind of cute. He had actually organised Rachel’s friend and bridesmaid Lou to go around to their house and decorate it with candles, rose petals and special messages on the windows.
Sand pouring is becoming quite popular and I think it’s a really lovely gesture. For Willie and Rachel it symbolised their two families coming together as well as how inseparable they are as a couple.
Rachel loves Willie’s kind heart, sense of humour and the amazing friendship they share. He is kind and loving and always there for her during the tough times.
Willie loves Rachel’s competitive streak and the way she cares for him and always has his back. In fact they are so competitive they will play anything, tenpin bowling, mini golf etc, where one can beat the other. This results in bets being made of who gets to do the house work ‘hehe’.
An emotional embrace from mum.
Family and guests went back to the house to enjoy a few drinks and some lawn games while we enjoyed this beautiful beach with the bridal party.
Willie and Rachel are so sweet together, they light up around each other and they both have the cutest smiles.
Soooo much fun with this crazy bridal party; we had an absolute ball.
In between the fun there was also a little romance…
Mr & Mrs Taualupe, you are such a gorgeous couple!
We had no trouble getting the boys to clamber around the rocks, they were like mountain goats.
And the fun continued…
I really do love the colours of these dresses, so pretty against the golden sand and beach backdrop.
A perfect ending with the delicious golden light at the end of the day and stunning views over the Tasman.
Willie and Rachel, we’re really stoked that you chose us to photograph your special day and we feel very honoured to have met you both as well as your friends and families. You’re so perfect for each other and we wish you both the very best.
Chrissy & Daron x
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