Lauren + Michael - Let's get married under that kick arse tree!

We’ll I’m back! 2018 has been an amazing year so far, and yes…I’m a tad late in getting back onto important duties…like posting killer wedding images from past weddings I’ve shot - BUT I have been busy…and I have been all over this state!

Only now have I had time to get back into ‘screen time work’ and show off some awesome, fun, modern wedding’s from the past couple of months. Ahhh soo good!

So in saying all this… what better way to start than with Lauren and Michael’s wedding out at the always awesome, and hugely popular Ironbark Hill Vineyard, run by Enzo Weddings.

 Lauren and Michael letting loose after being married at Ironbark Hill Vineyard, Hunter Valley

Lauren and Michael letting loose after being married at Ironbark Hill Vineyard, Hunter Valley

This place constantly changes with it’s seasons, and lately, gorgeous exterior lighting and well planned styling, florals and natures ‘input’ really makes this venue shine ever brighter with every wedding I shoot here.

A special mention also to Lauren and Michael for adding to this, by taking on the challenge of having their wedding ceremony outside the chapel on site here… my 1st time shooting outside and wow… how awesome it was! Just check the natural light shots…and that tree….ehhh to die for!

Once again, a beautiful, award winning afternoon sunset in the Hunter Valley never seems to disappoint, with kangaroos watching these two take their first time together as husband and wife.

A special mention also to the suppliers on this stunning wedding… just so much to shoot and it was so nice to shot it. Details were mega… a photographers dream.

Also, a personal high-five to Mel and Amy at Enzo Wedding… you ladies are just unreal…and I love working alongside you and the team! #bam

Supplier below for those looking to take some stunning inspiration…

Wedding Venue - Ironbark Hill Vineyard / Enzo Weddings

Wedding Photography - Gez Xavier Mansfield

Florist - Blooms on Darby

Gown Designer - Rue De Siene

Shoe Designer - NUDE Footwear 

Suit Designer - VanHeusen

Hair Artist - Entourage Hair

Make Up Artist - Kye Francis - MUA

Invitations Design - State of Elliott 

Celebrant - Wed by Kez

Music / Enterainment - Advantage DJ’s

Catering Company - Enzo Weddings

Photobooth - In an Instant Photobooth

Walk-down-Aisle Song - Angus and Julia Stone - Mango Tree

1st Dance Song - James Bay - Wild Love (acoustic version)


ENJOY!
GXM

Pick the Location..and I'll be there with Camera in hand! Jess+Mitch's Hunter E-shoot

Ever thought going to a winery after hours was a little odd? Well...yeah. It kinda is. ha! And we weren't here to pick grapes and sip wines and eat cheese. Nope. None of that fancy stuff.

Allowing Jess and Mitch to pick the location for their engagement shoot worked out perfect, as it gave so much more depth to their lives and this relationship.

For me, I'm all about visual. Visual visual visual. And when you mix this el-natural with industrial chic, I start grinning. To be honest, I love shooting everywhere as I believe all locations have great areas to shoot, but in saying this,  it needs to be at the right time, AND the right type of lighting for your subjects. Harsh lighting can be stella, but it's very specific, and can look repetitive after a while. Hence why it's so great to walk around, chat and find little nooks and pockets to shoot visual love.

Clouds - I love you! Rain - I love you! Let's all say this together! haha

So don't let this worry you when planning your wedding or e-shoot with me, especially if it's in the Hunter Valley. At the end of the day, you're both there for each other. To have fun. To chill out and to feel awesome in each others arms CELEBRATING your day. In 30 years time you'll look back and smile...trust me!

The perfect mix to an amazing session - wedding or engagement shoot. And proof that after hour wineries still produce awesome memories!

Hope you enjoy this engagement shoot...

 

GXM

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How did you guys meet? We met at The Argle House (Fanny's as we all knew it as). It was a Wednesday night in 2011.


What do you love about each other?

We have incredibly a similar sense of humour, we both love being silly, we are both gym junkies who encourage and support each other to be the best we can be in every area of our lives - there is a tonne of mutual respect and love , we are both hard workers who love our jobs and are driven to continue to build our careers, we both love dogs, we both have the same life goals. Plus I love his muscles.


Do you have any funny relationship stories? The night we met it was actually me who approached him first, and he was actually exiting a male toilet when I did that. I was very drunk. I ran away straight after essentially. Then he approached me and a girlfriend at the bar. We exchanged numbers but I forgot his name. He had a wacky name on my phone like 'Fanny's Guy'. In conversation the next day over text, I casually asked what his facebook name was (I thought I was being sneaky, he saw straight through it). 

The first time I met his parents at their property in Clarence Town, Mitch took me for a ride on his motorbike, I burnt my leg on the expansion chamber and had the logo FMF branded on my leg (in summer mind you) for the next 4 weeks.

How did you become engaged?

On our 5 year anniversary, Mitch got down on one knee at King Edward Park in Newcastle and asked me to marry him, I cried and asked 'Are you sure?'


Why did you choose this style of shoot for your engagement photos?

I grew up in Bellbird and even though I no longer live there I still carry a strong connection to the area. I was living there when Mitch and I started our relationship. Mitch also lived in Ellalong for a short while when he was 5 so it was connections all round. 

What have been the most exciting parts of planning your time as a couple?

It would have to be buying our first home and talking about our hopes and dreams together in the future. 

What have been the most exciting parts of planning your wedding? 

Setting a date and picking a venue/s to party at.

How do you think marriage will change your relationship?

I think all it will change is my last name he he. We have always known we were going to spend our lives together and have been living that way for a long time. Marriage will mean we get to make formal commitments surrounded by the people we love 

What do you most look forward to about your wedding?

Celebrating with family and friends

What are the most important things that will create a long lasting and loving marriage?

CLEAR AND OPEN COMMUNICATION. Yes we put that in capitals lol.

What special ways do you express your love to each other?

Mitch writes me love notes and texts as he knows my love language is 'words of affirmation' and I buy him lollies and give him lots of hugs (as per his love languages ha ha)

What are your favourite ways to spend time together?

Going to the gym, going to the movies, watching netflix at home with the pooches, going to the beach

What’s your relationship advice for couples planning their big day?

Enjoy the ride!

What's been the hardest thing about planning your wedding day?

Me: Choosing the dress Mitch: deciding on a venue.

What’s the best relationship advice anyone has given you?

Me: Have your partners back Mitch: Happy wife happy life

If you both had magical powers to turn into an animal, what would you be, and why?

We would both turn into our pooches as they are living the life.

Who are the vendors that you are working with for your wedding day?

We haven't really got that far yet!

Venue booked, they will do catering/ set up. We decided on the Lucky Hotel in Newcastle, and we chose Gez Xavier Mansfield as our photographer!

We're also working with Nell Dark-Jones as our celebrant. And that's it at this stage!  We really need to get on with the rest!

Location Location - Flic and Andrew return to where they got engaged in Newcastle before their big wedding day

Meeting these two was a breath of fresh air. I rock up Kind Edward Park in Newcastle, and I see this girl and guy skating around on longboard near the rose bushes. "Yep, that's gotta be them!" 

Adventure type. Fun and so happy to be back at the place they used to call home. Driving up from the south was a full day trip, but this didn't diminish their moods or sprits. 

As always, the nerves where present when we began, but the ice broke 11 minutes in and all that was blurrr, was forgotten about. 

The rest...well kinda awesome! Jumping in the Bogey hole was the next best thing to going for a surf in huge swell...so that's what we did! The results...well...they speak for themselves.

Enjoy - GXM

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How did you met? 
We met one day in Victoria (where we both grew up) when we were both called in to work for an old boss of ours at a Learn to Surf School. She was running short of staff on the day, Andrew was back in Vic on a holiday and Flic had some spare time. We had a lot in common and conversation seemed to flow really easily. Flic talked about a yoga class she had done, which (to her surprise) Andrew then joined the following evening.

What was it like on your 1st date out?
Haha. Oh gosh, we were in Sri Lanka, eating dinner at a restaurant on the beach and a the waiter (who was high as a kite!), came up and started talking all things ‘mushrooms’ to us, completely oblivious we were going for the whole ‘romantic first date’ vibe.

What’s the reason you both fell in love with each other?
Ooh, interesting question! We both have a very similar passion for adventure; we love the beach (and anything to do with it), we love exploring and we love keeping active. We both have a lot of similarities in the way we view the world and the things that are important to us. Despite this though, it would seem initially that our paths were unlikely to have crossed. Living in separate states, we met each other for one day and that was it. Had Flic not invited Andrew to a trip in Sri Lanka, we don’t see how or when a relationship may have blossomed as there wasn’t that instant interest in a relationship with one another. Spending every waking hour together working at a turtle hatchery in Sri Lanka really condensed our time together and allowed us to get to know each other almost in fast-forward. It was like meeting day 1, first date day 4 and deciding to be ‘together’ not long after!

We were very aware of the potential ‘holiday romance’ we could be entering and really had no idea how things would end up once we were back in Australia. But, as it turned out, those 4 weeks allowed us to create a pretty inseparable bond, there didn’t seem like any other option when we came back home + the rest as they say, is history!

What have been the most exciting parts of planning your time as a couple? 


We were in a long-distance relationship for 4 years so lots of planning was put in to regular trips and adventures every fortnight. The most exciting part was more recently when we could finally start making ‘together’ plans, moving to a new town, a new place and starting our lives finally living in the same postcode!

What have been the most exciting parts of planning your wedding?
The idea of creating a weekend for all of our family and friends to come together and have a boogey with us is a pretty darn cool! We also enjoy trying new skills so we’re quite excited about learning how to dance! Oh, and cake tasting was pretty delicious.

What do you most look forward to about your wedding?
We’re so excited to gather our mates all together and have a rockin party! We’ve lived in a few different places so the idea of bringing all the special people from all
the different parts of our lives together on the same day is super cool! We knew from the start that live music was important to us so we have some fun local musicians on
board which we’re pretty stoked about!

Flic; …and I can’t wait to walk down the aisle and see Andrew at the other end, leaving shortly afterward as husband and wife!

What are the most important things that will create a long lasting and loving
marriage?

Communication, respect, and spirit of adventure (embracing new challenges, trying new things, being open to change).

What’s the best relationship advice anyone has given you?

Don’t forget to remain an individual within the relationship. Don’t lose sight of things that are important to you, things that you love and things you aspire to. Bring all these things to the relationship and work them together with you’re partner. This works both ways too. Remain respectful of the other persons values, loves and aspirations.

Funniest story or memories you have about each other?

Tough question! So many to pick from! We chatted a lot about this question, and it sparked a lot of laughs and good memories, but it’s hard to pin down just one. We love being pretty spontaneous and silly with each other and make each other laugh in some way, every day. We used to hide and scare each other a lot in the Newcastle place (it had a really long hallway with no lighting), and that always was good for a laugh…after recovering from major scare! Being in a relationship where we both feel
comfortable enough to laugh both at ourselves and with the other person is pretty spot on for us.

What special ways do you express your love to each other?
Making each other a cup of tea…surprise (or not so surprise) date nights…Helping each other out…being there for one another and supporting one another.

Flic; Andrew will sometimes go the gluten free option so I can share his meal….now that’s true love, right?! Haha

What made you choose this location for your engagement shoot?
The Bogey Hole? - This is where we got engaged! The ocean – is a central part of our lives and our relationship; it’s where we met, where we got to know each other, where we fell in love, where we got engaged, and where we spend most of our days! It makes us feel super relaxed.

What are your favourite ways to spend time together? 
Walking Scooby (our mystery-solving greyhound) along the beach, surfing, swimming, getting coffee, camping, hangs and chats in the backyard and travelling.

What’s your relationship advice for couples planning their big day?
Don’t get swept up in the craziness of ‘other weddings’. Do what feels is a reflection of the things YOU love, not what you think you ‘should’ love. Traditions aren’t as strictly followed these days so don’t get caught up on the expectations of these. If it feels right for you go for it! Include your family and friends in the organizing and set-up!

What's been the hardest thing about planning your wedding day?
The guest list!

Who are the vendors that you are working with for your wedding day?

Photography - Gez Xavier Mansfield Photography
Celebrant – Tara Merillo
Venue – Greenfield Farm Estate
Food – Rustic Flair Street Food
Music – New Orleans Quartet + The Hunter Valley Singer
Hair + Makeup – White Hair and Makeup
Cake – Decadence Cakes, Nowra
Dress – Karen Willis Holmes
Florals – DIY
Hire – Newcastle Event Hire

 

I'm looking forward to shooting out at Greenfield Farm Estate, as it will be my 1st time I've shot there. From what it looks like, the venue offers beautiful locations such as thick dense forests to get lost in with the couple - including a 'rainforest ecosystem', hilly paddock's with gorgeous horses and a fire pit area! Not to mention the long windy dirt road that leads guests up to the federation house, overlooking the valley.

Stunning! I look forward to sharing Flic and Andrew's wedding with you in the coming weeks! Watch this space!

www.gezxaviermansfieldphotography.com

 

Best - Gez Xavier Mansfield