The best way to guarantee your wedding day be the most memorable day of your life is to marry the one your soul can dance with. That, and to have excellent taste in music.

When an easy going, fun-filled, beautiful Ecuadorian meets an easy going, fun-filled, handsome Kiwi….the good times are guaranteed.

I was so excited to be part of Belen and Stefan’s wedding. When I first met them at the venue, Ngamamaku Garden in Oakura, I knew it was going to be a wedding to remember. As I pulled into the drive and wasn’t sure where to park. Then a bright and smiling face pulled in and asked, “Are you the photographer?”

“Yes, are you Stefan?”

“No, I’m the caterer, Isaac.”

Isaac is one of those people you can’t help but to be in a good mood around because they carry so much positive energy. As we meandered up the driveway together we chatted. Isaac and his wife own a bright green caravan parked at Oakura Beach. From this bright green caravan come the freshest, most flavourful, hands down best burritos in NZ (in my opinion anyway). Mexican is my absolute favourite food, and unfortunately really hard to find around here. Alas! Another sign that this was going to be epic.

Beautiful venue, check. Delicious food, check.

We also talked about the stunning beauty of Taranaki and how places such as this were such gems to our region. It was as if we were walking towards a secret garden oasis, and we were. Sheep grazed in a paddock to the right of us and a lush ravine dropped off to a babbling creek to the left of us. The drive was lined with trees which created an archway all the way to the top of the hill. The light shown through the leaves filtering the suns harsh rays and created a warm green glow. It was magical.

Upon reaching the top, we turned left to see Belen, Stefan, Belen’s parents, and the wedding planner. I immediately got along with Belen. She was excited to be getting it all together, not nervous, but instead level headed and go with the flow. She talked out details with Isaac, details with the wedding planner, and then details with me. She had a vision of how she wanted the day to go and her vision was perfect. We scoped out some spots which would suit family photos, group photos, and photos for she and Stefan and that was that. It would be a garden wedding, beautiful weather, focused less on formality and more on making sure everyone in attendance was having a great time. A+ Belen and Stefan…. A+.

We finished exploring the grounds a bit together, solidified times and a schedule of events and I was off. As we headed back towards the covered gazebo area where the festivities would stem from, the DJ was there waiting for his turn to chat it up with Belen and Stefan to work out the details of the music for the day. Turns out the DJ was a good friend. His smiling face, black rimmed glasses, and long red hair was greeted with warm hugs from both Belen and Stefan. Again, all signs pointed towards an epic and unforgettable day.

Beautiful venue, check. Delicious food, check. Great music, check. All that and lots and lots and lots of love which emanated from both Belen and Stefan. We were all in for a fun-filled fantastic day to honour the love which the two of them had found with each other. Their love is the kind of love we all hope to find someday. You look at them and smile because you just know.

It’s difficult to express the amount of gratitude I have for Belen and Stefan in giving me the opportunity to capture their day. My style of photography is a mixture of fine art and photojournalism so I was truly in heaven throughout the day. There was so much emotion to capture, so many smiles, and so much laughter. There was an abundance of natural beauty surrounding us so I often found myself zooming in on blossoms and secret garden looking scenes. It was a day I will never forget and I’m certain they feel the same. It was truly epic. Congrats to Belen and Stefan for creating such an amazing day for your friends and family. And thank you so very much for the honour of capturing your day.

Through the lens, this is what I saw.







Venue: Ngamamaku Garden; Wedding Planner: Hannah Summers; Catering: Isaac @ Holy Guacamole;

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