Sarah & James

Sarah & James are long time friends of mine and were so supportive when I told them I'd had enough of working for other photographers and was starting my own business.  Not only was their wedding incredibly sentimental to me but it was also the first I shot under Blackroom Photography.  We're delighted to share their day with you.  

How did you meet?

We met at swing dancing in Auckland. Sarah had moved up from Christchurch and joined the same swing dance school that James was already part of.

The dress:

Sarah: Just beautiful! I never had a picture in my mind of the “perfect” wedding dress but the moment I tried this one on,I knew this was it! As well as being stunning in ivory satin, the dress also included a few handy surprises: pockets!! And with the unfastening of a few(!!) buttons, it also converted from a full wedding dress to a shorter dress perfect for our first swing dance together as husband and wife.  Purchased from Parkland Bridal.

The bridesmaids’ dresses:

Sarah: Purchased from Lindy Bop in the UK. Navy blue dresses with white polka dots. A tip of the hat to the dance movement that brought us together.

The suit & groomsmen’s suits:

James: I wore a light grey suit that I already had stored for special occasions. I purchased it a couple of years earlier from Hallensteins.  The groomsmen’s suits were plain black suits they already owned. No need to over-complicate or overspend on things that no-one would notice. Meant more could be spent in other areas.  

Groomsmen had blue socks and ties with white polka dots to match the dresses.

Describe your wedding day:

Sarah: Perfect in every way! Perfect weather, perfect food, perfect venue, perfect vows, perfect mix of family and friends, perfect combination of random events that led two people to meet, fall in love, and get married.

James: Married in winter - it was blimmin' cold! Woke up on the day to very fine drizzle. Called the venue who reported they hadn’t had a drop of rain. By the afternoon, the skies were clear with not a cloud to be seen. It was stunning! As Sarah came down the path the sun was directly behind her making it hard to see her until she was very close. It was all rather spectacular!


Gracehill Vineyard Estate

We can not rave about them enough! Everything went off without a hitch! Warren was fantastic and the team around him were incredibly professional. We don’t regret our decision in the slightest!

They also made James a one-off special dish (Beef Wellington) at his request… that wasn’t in the menu for anyone else - just straight, stand-up, outrageously amazing service!

The Officiant:

Our celebrant was Aurora Ward  and she was great to work with. Guided us through the stuff we needed to know. Provided recommendations but was also clear it was our day and was more than happy to let us take her template and add our own flavour.

The cake:

Sarah: It was a delicious three tier chocolate and white chocolate mud cake made by my work colleague. I iced and decorated it myself (with some help from the amazing Paula Jane Cakes with whom I had previously done cake decorating classes). Topper was the two of us made out of fondant. Mini Sarah was on a box to compensate for the difference in height.  We had James' grandparents help us cut the cake.  

Any extra special details:

Sarah surprised James with a bag pipe performance by Andrew Wilkie straight after the ceremony.  

Our mothers performed a Hand fasting during out ceremony and our fathers were our witnesses.  

Our joint speech was a rap to Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Our first dance was a swing dance.

James’ sister Catherine performed a song she had written especially for us.  

For more of Sarah's point of view on her wedding plans visit her blog Ambrosiababy The Wedding Part 1 & The Wedding Part 2.