Alistair and Graeme’s civil union at Wither Hills, Blenheim

I think Alistair probably summed it up himself when he was overheard saying: “That was the best wedding I’ve ever been to! And it was MINE!”

Alistair is an old friend of ours from university days, and Fairy Godfather to our children, so it was a really special honour to photograph his civil union with his lovely partner Graeme on Saturday. They tied the knot in the barrel room at the Wither Hills Winery, although there was a hairy moment when it seemed maybe they wouldn’t be able to make it official after all, as we found we were all locked in and they couldn’t reach the register table to sign their lives away. Fortunately someone was able to climb through the bars and find a staff member to let us through.

Travel has been a massive part of Alistair and Graeme’s life together (in fact they and their friend Ayesha recently drove from the UK to Mongolia in a tiny car as part of the Mongol Rally) and featured strongly both in the ceremony and the reception. MC Nicky Hill and her partner Tai welcomed everyone with a few inflight announcements and then Nicky kicked off the best reception surprise I’ve ever seen – a travel-themed flashmob, no less!! It was brilliant. Kind of manic trying to photograph it as I didn’t know who was going to pop up next, but I think I got them all! Here’s a link to a video, with sub-titles.

You’ll have to excuse the ridiculous number of reception photos I’ve posted, but every single speech was a cracker, so I had a great time getting shots of the guests reacting!

Wedding rings embossed with the coordinates of the venue – how cool is that?!

(Had to sneak one photo of my kids in here)Me with the boys.

Welcome onboard – the inflight announcements.

Nicky and Susie kick off the flashmob, a modified version of Starship’s “Don’t Stop Believing”.(and one of my lovely husband…)Thank you Alistair and Graeme for an awesome day. Well an awesome three days, actually. We loved being part of it and meeting your other friends, sampling lovely wines and drinking Pimms in your Mum and Dad’s garden – it was a great way to finish off our Christmas holiday. We love you and we wish you all the best for your future together.

Susie Dunn - January 9, 2013 - 4:31 pm

Wow! These beautiful photos have captured what was an incredibly perfect and special wedding day. Amazing work Catherine :-)

Jo Hodgson - January 9, 2013 - 4:57 pm

Stunning work as always Catherine – what a beautiful occasion and idyllic setting. :)

Anna - January 9, 2013 - 5:02 pm

omg cutest thing! tears in my eyes watching the flashmob video, how special! great photos as always Catherine

Nicky Hill - January 9, 2013 - 5:11 pm

Best wedding photos ever of best wedding ever! The joy is just shining out of them!

Alicia - January 9, 2013 - 6:28 pm

Catherine, these images are just WOW! You have captured their special day so well, every image tells their story. Fantastic coverage as always

Sarah - January 9, 2013 - 7:55 pm

Gorgeous photos Catherine. They would have to be some of the most naturally joyous, happy, relaxed wedding photos that I have ever seen. Looks like it was a really special day. Well done.

Sarah - January 9, 2013 - 8:05 pm

and that flash mob is amazing!!

cheryl - January 9, 2013 - 9:27 pm

I wish Graeme and Alistair all the love and luck in the world! Wonderful photos of wonderful people xoxo

Hannah Ashworth - January 9, 2013 - 11:14 pm

Incredible photos! Congrats G & Alistar. Is there a video of the flash mob? Love to see it if there is :)

Hannah Ashworth - January 10, 2013 - 12:07 am

Don’t mind me – just found the link to video

Dave Cottlehuber - January 10, 2013 - 2:09 am

I’m sad we couldn’t make it, but the photos are a real treat. It’s nice to see some familiar faces in there, and it truly looks like a wonderful few days!

Catherine - January 10, 2013 - 7:49 am

Thanks so much everyone for the wonderful feedback! Alistair and Graeme scrub up alright, don’t they? :)

Lee-Anne Kerr - January 10, 2013 - 8:11 am

These are amazing Cath! You have captured the two of them perfectly on such an amazing occasion. I cant stop looking through them!

Catherine - January 10, 2013 - 8:19 am

Ha ha, that’s lovely to hear Lee-Anne! I reckon they’re going to end up with around 600 photos so there’ll be lots more soon for you to keep going through, including a couple of lovely ones of you. :)

Allison - January 10, 2013 - 9:14 am

I did hear that it was a really special day and these pictures show how special it was. It makes me feel very emotional and happy to see them.

I do hope the future is as wonderful for the two of them.

Well done Catherine you always manage to capture the mood of the occasion.

Alistair - January 10, 2013 - 11:53 am

Cath, this amazing set of photos really captures the sheer joyous energy of the day, especially the reception shots. They bring a huge smile to my face, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the photos.

Thank you SO MUCH for doing such an incredible job.


Yasmin Kendall - January 10, 2013 - 1:33 pm

Cath, SUCH stunning photos. You captured it perfectly. Great job. (Although I’ll be needing a credit for that one I took of you!) Yasmin. X

Catherine - January 10, 2013 - 1:46 pm

Ha ha, yes, Yasmin, it occurred to me after I did the post that it was a bit cheeky putting my watermark on all of them when the very best shot of all should have had YASMIN KENDALL PHOTOGRAPHY splashed all over it. First photo of myself in ages that I’ve actually liked, thank you!
Thanks Allison for your lovely words, and Alistair, I have SO many more hilarious shots in store for you. I struggled to keep the blog post down: many might argue it’s unwieldy enough as it is. Good to save some surprises for later though. :) xx

Linda - January 13, 2013 - 2:17 pm

Splendid. Fun.

Catherine - January 14, 2013 - 11:44 am

Thanks, Linda!

Catherine - January 14, 2013 - 7:52 pm

Catherine, these are absolutely wonderful – as others have said you have captured the day brilliantly. What a fantastic, unforgettable wedding. So good to catch up with you and Al and your sweet children again too (William was most taken by Alexander!).

Jed - January 15, 2013 - 8:54 am

Totally awesome! All of it! The photos, the flash mob, the lovely couple. Looks like it was a great time. Congratulations, Alistair. Nice work, Catherine.

Catherine - January 16, 2013 - 8:30 am

Thanks very much Catherine and Jed and others – really appreciate you all taking the time to leave comments! And such lovely ones. :)

Michael Tobia - January 17, 2013 - 8:28 am

Being so far away back in NYC, I can’t help but feel the joy in my heart when looking at these totally gorgeous pictures of these two special gentlemen on their very special day. Love them both. The absolute glimmer of happiness and celebration is evident in the eyes and smiles of all involved. Thank you for making me feel like I “almost” was there in person. Michael

Catherine - January 18, 2013 - 9:44 am

What a lovely thing to say. Thank you Michael!