Wairarapa wedding venue: Gemma and Sam's Martinborough camping farm wedding

wedding couple with daugher walking near river holding hands, Wairarapa wedding photographers

Gemma and Sam wanted a fuss-free, non-traditional, camping wedding on Gemma's grandparents' farm outside Martinborough, surrounded by their colourful family and friends. And that's exactly what they crafted.

As a Wairarapa wedding photographer I'm seeing more and more couples choosing to hold their wedding at a private property instead of a Wairarapa wedding venue. There are certainly great reasons for both types of location, but I'm loving the personalisation of choosing a familiar garden, backyard or farm.

There are a number of reasons to choose to be married at home or the home of a family member. The main reason is because it's personal and meaningful to you. You may have fond childhood memories climbing the trees that line the driveway. You may have built the house yourselves and created your dream home. In this case, two family weddings had been held here including Gemma's mum and dad. It's an extremely special place with lots of significant memories.

Gemma's biggest fear prior to her wedding photography was "being photographed :) It was still awkward but Sarah definitely made it easier than we thought it would be." Gemma says of Lucalia Photography "they were really organised and easy to work with, loved the colour of the photos and of course the photos in general ". Thanks so much for your kind words!

Gemma got ready at her Aunt and Uncle's house down the gravel road. Champagne breakfast was shared with her mum, bridesmaid, sister and closest friends. Jo from Calma Therapies (based in Greytown) did hair and make up for Gemma, her mum and bridesmaid. Everyone helped each other with hair and make up; as well as last minute jewellery decisions. The ladies made their own hair decorations using brightly coloured Dahlia's from the garden.

Weddings rarely go to plan, and Aunt Leigh decided she wanted to shorten her dress. Out came the scissors and it was duly trimmed: no one was any the wiser... This was after she fixed the septic system that was struggling to cope with so many girls in the house!

Sam and the gentlemen got ready at the grandparent's house. They helped set up the ceremony space in the garden, then typically got ready in about 5 minutes flat. Photographer Ange did a great job capturing the action in such a short space of time!

The wedding ceremony itself was held at 11:30am to accommodate a lunch reception. It was officiated by Sam's uncle, another personal touch. Gemma's wedding ring was unlike anything I'd seen before. It was a wrap of rose gold designed for her engagement ring to sit, entwined, in the middle. My favourite moment of the ceremony was when both sets of parents and grandparents were asked to give their blessing of the union. Just delightful. The star of the show was the couple's 2 year old daughter Charlotte. She was so good walking down the aisle and sitting in the front row. She even helped sign the marriage certificate.

The ceremony was followed by much hugging, home made gravlax, a gelato truck and family photos. I then whisked the wedding party away (in the chauffeur-driven ute) down to the river for some adventure portraits. We popped into the wool shed on the way to the camping reception, further down the creek.

The four wheel drive track down to the river was lined with tents with it's own mini-forest-festival vibe. The reception was again a family-created affair with the most amazing grazing table I've ever seen set amongst the trees near the river. Drinks were kept cool in a bathtub. The creative wedding cake was lovingly made by Gemma's sister and guests brought their own chairs. Lawn games entertained young and old alike. Everyone was encouraged to stay the night to fully relax and spend quality time with the happy couple.

In another nod to the non-traditional, Gemma and Sam were married on the 29th of February: a leap year! Does that mean they celebrate their anniversary every four years? I'll have to catch up with them then to find out...

Thanks so much Gemma and Sam for inviting Ange and I to document your special day. It was truly an awesome adventure wedding and we wish you all the very best for the future.

Big thanks to these amazing wedding businesses:

Wedding Photographer: Lucalia Photography

Wedding Venue: Bride's Grandparents' farm, Martinborough

Celebrant: Groom's uncle

Wedding Dress: Op Shop

Shoes: Mi Piaci

Gentlemen's Suits: Rembrandt

Hair and Make Up: Jo Bentley, Calma Therapies

Rings: Kay Jewellers

Flowers: DIY bride's grandmother's garden

Hire: Festival Hire, Masterton

Gelato Truck: It's Quite Cool, Martinborough

Wedding cake: Bride's Sister

Catering: Family

You may like to see more of my outdoor Wairarapa wedding photography for adventurous couples here.

open bottle of moet ladies wedding breakfast, Wairarapa wedding photographers
mother of the bride writing speech by the window, Wairarapa wedding photographers
wedding dress and shoes hanging in front doorway with farm coats and boots, Wairarapa wedding photographers
bright wedding bouquet, Martinborough, Wairarapa wedding photographers
mother hugging bride on her wedding day, Wairarapa wedding photographers
family photo with antlers, Wairarapa wedding photographers
bride admiring her wedding veil, Wairarapa wedding photographers
bride looking out the window whilst getting ready, Wairarapa wedding photographers
colourful wedding guests getting ready, Martinborough, Wairarapa wedding photographers
bride and bridesmaid having hair and make up done by Calma Therapies, Wairarapa wedding photographers
uncle makes cup of tea whilst bride has hair done, Wairarapa wedding photographers
bride getting hair done by Calma Therapies, Wairarapa wedding photographers
mother and sister watch bride have make up applied by Calma Therapies
wedding guests make flower hair accessories and clean boots whilst bride has make up applied, Wairarapa wedding photographers
Wairarapa wedding guest has dress shortened by another guest, Wairarapa wedding photographers
smiling bride, Wairarapa wedding photographers
bridal hair and make up complete by Calma Therapies, Wairarapa wedding photographers
mother and bridesmaid help bride into wedding dress, Wairarapa wedding photographers

bride steps into wedding shoes, Wairarapa wedding photographers

bride puts on wedding earrings, Wairarapa wedding photographers

bride adjusts ring, Wairarapa wedding photographers
bride is ready with family, Wairarapa wedding photographers
bride appears to friends for the first time, Wairarapa wedding photographers