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Backyard DIY self catered wedding - documentary wedding photography - Wairarapa, New Zealand


bride serving herself DIY wedding buffet, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

Elise and TJ are probably the most hard working couple I've ever had the pleasure of documenting. They DIY'ed, planned and delivered their dream backyard wedding for 50 people entirely themselves. Both partners were invested in the planning, catering and decorating. And it was something truely unique to them. Enjoy!


The wedding venue

Elise said "we wanted to have the wedding in a familiar environment" which is why they chose to be married in the beautiful garden of Elise's aunty.


Wedding ceremony

Faith is an important part of their lives which was reflected in the spiritual ceremony by former minister Graham Small. They chose to ditch the tradition of having bridesmaids and groomsmen. Instead saving key roles during their ceremony for family. Like Elise being walked down the aisle by her son.


Kids or no kids?

Forming a blended family with Elise's three children, kids are important to them. There were loads at the wedding which made for an entertaining, relaxed and fun day. Children make documentary wedding photography so entertaining. The kids especially loved the three different flavours of milkshake and home made cookies served after the ceremony!


Hire and DIY decorations

Elise and TJ arranged a mix of furniture from the house; bought items and pieces hired from Festival Hire on the lawn. Tables were joined together to form one long table under a tunnel of marquees. Their humour shone through with decorations featuring quotes from SpongeBob SquarePants and puns galore. Although their humour was apparently wearing thin late the night before when they were hand making the last of the tissue paper pom poms...


Wedding catering

TJ is a former chef and took command of catering. Huge bowls of salads were prepared the day (and night) before. You could see the nerves of the ceremony fade away when he picked up his knives. With fish caught with his dad and friends freshly prepared before being cooked on the BBQ.


This was such a lovely wedding to document. There was loads going on with people genuinely having such a fun time (all without alcohol).


I'm Sarah from Lucalia Photography and I provide outdoorsy couples who hate awkward poses with documentary wedding photography in the Wairarapa. If you like the look of Elise and TJ's wedding photos, please feel free to check out more documentary wedding photography on my website.


Wedding businesses

Wedding photographer Lucalia Photography

Wedding venue Private property

Celebrant Graham Small

Hire Festival Hire Wedding dress London boutique, custom made

Groom attire Ted Baker

Bride shoes Boot Barn USA

Groom shoes Op shop

Veil and headpiece Handmade in Ukraine

Pearl necklace Grandmother's

Wrist corsage Handmade in Lithuania

Hair Sister in law

Make up Bride


garden wedding bride walked down the aisle by her son, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

backyard DIY wedding in a garden, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

backyard wedding ceremony bride and groom, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

bride during wedding ceremony, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

bride hugging wedding guest, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

bride and groom hands with rings, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

homemade cookies wedding catering DIY, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

quirky drinks signs, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

bride holding a pizza made of lollies, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

flavoured milks DIY wedding catering, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

married couple walking through an arch, grass, , New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

wedding guests including children sitting on lounges outside, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

groom preparing fresh fish for his wedding catering, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

children playing on swings at wedding reception, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

wedding guests, children and bride dancing outside, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

groom hugging a guest, boy dancing at backyard wedding reception, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

children pat a chicken with bride garden wedding, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

DIY outdoor wedding decor, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

bride laughing with guest in sunshine, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

children eating BBQ wedding food on a bench, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

bride helps herself to wedding buffet, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

groom arranges food DIY wedding catering, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

long tables underneath marquees DIY wedding reception, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

whole fish on the BBQ wedding catering, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

kids playing with giant jenga blocks on the grass, New Zealand documentary wedding photography, Lucalia Photography

I'm Sarah from Lucalia Photography and I provide outdoorsy couples who hate awkward poses with documentary wedding photography in the Wairarapa. If you like the look of Elise and TJ's wedding photos, please feel free to check out more documentary wedding photography on my website.

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