A special connection . . .
When Michelle was 17, she came to Fiji and lived with our family along with her best friend Ruth. The two of them volunteered their time as nannies, to help teach our girls who are home-schooled. It was a really special time, and we bonded with both of them. We’ve had quite a few young women come and help our family in this capacity, and feel like we have “daughters” all over the world as a result! Michelle is a bubbly, fun person who is so good at making others feel loved, because she loves genuinely and with her whole heart.
When she lived with our family, Michelle used to come along and help me out with weddings. She told me that because of that time it had been her dream to have me photograph her wedding one day. When she got engaged to Jackson she sent a message asking Ray and me to come photograph their wedding. Of course! It was so special to be there for their wedding.
Last year Ray helped a friend sail his boat from Fiji to New Zealand around Easter weekend (and barely survived the trip)! After Ray landed in New Zealand he spent a week visiting some of our friends. He drove all the way down to Wellington to see Michelle and meet Jackson. Ray was so impressed with this amazing guy who could hunt, who cared so well for people, and was just a “super cool guy.” We were super excited when they got engaged, and even more thrilled we got to come to New Zealand for the wedding.
It was definitely a priviledge to be with Michelle and Jackson (and Ruth, the maid of honour!) on the wedding day. We got to meet the bride and groom’s family and friends, and felt so included and part of the big day. I don’t usually have the honour of being a guest as well as the wedding photographer, so that was super fun!
We had some rain on the wedding day, which forced us to cram into the hall instead of the pretty green hill that had been all set up, but honestly, it didn’t matter. The love between Jackson and Michelle was all that was needed for a perfect wedding. The details were beautiful, the ceremony was meaningful and God-honouring, and they were surrounded by an amazing group of family and friends. The rain kept us under cover for group photos, started to let up, but forced us back into the shed for most of our bridal party portraits. (Personally, I really love the look of these photos, though!) In the last 15 minutes, we had a window with no rain so we hopped outside to get some outdoor shots at the ranch. Scroll down to the see the magic that the stormy skies and wind worked with Michelle’s veil!
Michelle and Jackson, Ray and I wish you all the best as you pursue your dreams and enjoy your new life together! You are both amazing and we love you so much!
~Laura & Ray
- Venue: Silverstream Retreat, Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand
- All photography by Laura & Ray Pittman, Island Encounters Photography, Fiji
- Gown: Astra Bridal – Wellington
- Hair stylist: Leah Barnes
- Bridesmaids- Hair Stylist Natalie Ravenhill
- Make up: Baillie Buchanan @makeupbybaillie
- Rings from – Michael Hill
- Nails -Hanna Cutelli @beauty.by.hannac