The Martinborough intimate wedding of Jo and Laura, Summer Lodge, Wairarapa


Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

What happens when you are told your wedding venue is double booked, with two days to go? Your friends and the wedding community pulls together to make the wedding of your dreams still happen.


Jo and Laura have been together for years and have two beautiful boys. Jo is originally from Ireland, and Martinborough is a special place for them as a family.


The wedding venue they had their heart set on was double booked. Their older son has extra needs and they had spent quite some time preparing him for what would happen on the day. He was in a great space when everything changed. Jo and Laura had planned on picking flowers for their bouquets from the garden. All their guests and wedding suppliers had to be contacted and told of the new address and plans. The word was sent out and suggestions and offers of help came flooding in.


And what a beautiful plan it was.


Summer Lodge is a secluded property, a 10 minute drive from the square in Martinborough, Wairarapa. I've photographed a wedding here before and it's a dream. There's no need to leave the property as the gardens are great for exploring, with so many different styles. Olive groves line the sweeping driveway, there is a lush hedge, orchid, cute out buildings, stacked firewood, fields with horses and the swimming pool!


When I arrived, Jo and Laura were dressing the boys in their sweet blue shirts and beige shorts. The navy suspenders were the cutest touch! Each son was given a special bracelet and anklet to remind them of their parents' wedding day.


Their 28 guests mingled on the veranda and ceremony lawn, enjoying drinks. Laura's family in Ireland stayed up late and joined the celebration via video link.


Jo then adjourned into a separate bedroom to have her make up done and put on her dress. There was a bit of stress involved as various friends and family gave advice about make up. Jo is just like me: we don't like wearing make up and don't necessarily like the feel of it. Everything was sorted and both ladies looked and felt amazing.


The boys accompanied the brides down the stairs and up the aisle to the ceremony. Celebrant Wendy Morrison created a beautiful ceremony, full of personality and story. There were many highlights for me including the dogs sitting loyally by mum's side throughout; special shout outs to family overseas and their love story impersonated by best friends.


Though my absolute favourite part, was Jo and Laura's first kiss. Everyone was involved: both boys and dogs. The resulting photo exemplifies true love. Family love. And the desire to celebrate love despite all obstacles.


After many hugs and some drinks, a frame of the whole group was captured followed by family photos. The cake was cut, hurray.


I then whisked the happy couple away for a few minutes, on a walk around the property. This was a wonderful opportunity for Jo and Laura to really savour that 'just married' feeling in private. They were able to relax before heading off to Luna Estate with their guests, for their reception.


I hope you enjoyed Jo and Laura's intimate, micro wedding as much as I did capturing it.


I'm Sarah and I provide outdoorsy couples who hate awkward poses, getting married in the Wairarapa and Tararua regions, with documentary-style photography by a new best friend, so you will feel relaxed, and your photos will be an authentic memory of your day.


Feel free to check out my Wairarapa wedding photography.


Thanks to these amazing Wairarapa (and beyond) wedding businesses:

Wedding photographer Lucalia Photography

Wedding venue Summer Lodge

Wedding celebrant Wendy Morrison

Wedding dress Showpo

Jo's outfit shirt Shein, shorts Mirrou

Wedding flowers Martinborough Manor

Wedding cake Chantelle Hambrook


bride getting ready with her young son. Martinborough, Lucalia Photography

boy shows his rings and nailpolish on the day of his mother's wedding, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

mum and son get ready, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

mum dresses two sons on her wedding day, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

mum puts shoes on son on wedding day, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

mother and son, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

girl sits on bed surrounded by toys, wedding dress hanging up, wedding photo above the bed, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

wedding dress hanging up, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography


bride getting ready with dress in mirror, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

bride having her makeup put on outside, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

bride getting makeup put on with dress inside through door, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

wedding day accessories, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

bride in wedding dress reflected in mirror, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

bridal bouquets with covid sign in code, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

DIY wedding details, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

Summer Lodge wedding venue, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

Wendy Morrison Celebrant, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

phone video streaming wedding ceremony, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography
bride walking down the aisle with son, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography

bride walking down aisle with son and dog, Small Martinborough wedding, Lucalia Photography