If you're unfamiliar with the Auckland area, specifically the East Auckland area, and are looking for suitable locations for your engagement photo shoot, these are my favourite locations:
My favourite spot to take photos. A beautiful flat beach that is usually pretty sheltered from wind. A great carpark and toilet block to change outfits in. Adjacent to the beach is grass and trees so you get the perfect mix of beach and grass. Beautiful coastal views out to Auckland's Hauraki Gulf islands.
A top location if you want a forest feel in your photos. The trees in this reserve are very tall.
On the pōhutukawa coast, a beautiful beach with the rolling country hills behind, with not a lot of sand, so make sure your engagement photoshoot is scheduled for low tide.
Auckland Botanic Gardens
If you love flowers and plants and want to wander around amongst nature this is your perfect spot. 64 hectares, so even if it's busy, you are sure to find a space away from the crowds. Just off the Auckland motorway.
The great thing about living in East Auckland is the mix of different cultures we have living in this area.
The areas of Botany, Bucklands Beach, Howick, Flat Bush and Pakuranga have a great melting pot of all different nationalities coming together.
Whether you are from an Indian background we know how important events and celebrations are to you. The use of coloured dress and sarees in photos sure produces lovely bright, vivid pics.
You may be of Hindu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Sikh, South Indian, Fijian Indian or Islamic faith and have specific requirements for your photos. Perhaps you cannot kiss your groom to be before marriage, or you have a special ritual that must be performed before your baby can leave the house for photographs. We can take all your special photographic requests into account and customise the photographic experience for you. Just let us know.
We take your traditions, customs and rituals and express them in photographic form.
Living in East Auckland, which is also close to South Auckland, has meant that we have been fortune enough to be chosen to photograph a number of Polynesian Weddings. My first Polynesian Wedding was a very enjoyable yet a lot of the components were different to the European (Pakeha) weddings I was used to. These have provided great joy and fun, where the ceremony is just as important as all the dancing and traditions during the reception. Love capturing the Siva Samoa dance and the Pasifika atmosphere.
So if you're looking for a Botany Downs Photographer, please send me a message.
Catering for your wedding day is an essential part of your day. Dealing with catering providers is part of most brides wedding plans. A caterer normally provides food and drinks and they have an important role in your wedding. Guests will remember your food at your wedding as an everlasting memory of your day.
If the wedding reception venue offers this service, it is also possible that you don’t need to worry about hiring an external caterer. Even if catering is not provided by the reception venue, they may be able to recommend some to you. If your event manager, recommends a caterer, you should still do your homework. Just like any other vendor, a caterer should be able to provide you with several references. You should always contact the referees and get feedback from past brides. You can even ask on Facebook discussion groups such as New Zealand Wedding Discussion Forum to get insights on what a company as like.
You should ask about reliability, trustworthiness, quality, and related issues. Also take into account group size, a caterer may be able to cater for a small size, but fail to cater if you have large wedding numbers.
There are four different styles of catering:
Seated Dinner – Seated dinner setting will normally require more staff than a buffet. Serving the food requires more severs. With a seated dinner, you will need more tables and chairs because most of the guests will eat at the same time. A seated dinner offers less flexibility for your guests, because they usually have a couple of options to choose from. To simplify the process, menu options should be included with the wedding invitations so your guests can choose which selection they prefer. The pre-selection process enables you to work with your caterer on the final count.
Buffet –Buffet gives your guests more flexibility, and they don’t all have to eat at the same time. A buffet dinner also gives your guests more options to customise their food selection. The buffet requires fewer servers and less staff. Guests can pick and choose what they like. In addition to the obvious advantage of a more flexible dinner, your guest can go back for seconds.
Grazing tables/cocktail type – grazing tables where guests pick and choose a range of snacks and nibbles they want to eat, where they effectively ‘graze’ are a popular choice for after the ceremony. A selection of smaller plates over a number of hours is a great choice as the price of a full sit down dinner can be out of reach, if you have 200 guests to cater for.
Food trucks – There are many types of food trucks available for weddings now. They come in and cook everything in their truck and serve from the truck. Often wood fired pizzas are done this way. This extends to dessert to where you can hire a Mr Whippy van to serve your guests ice cream.
Also remember, with all of these options, make sure guests advise you of any allergies or food preference requirements.
Beauty tips is such a huge topic to cover. These are some tips I’ve learnt from my own wedding as well as being present when photographing weddings.
Auckland Wedding Beauty Tips
Work out a plan and make sure you stick to it.
Two Months Before
• A good skin care regime is important to get ready for your big day but don’t do anything too extreme.
• Moisture is so important for healthy glowing skin. Apply an oil free moisturiser each morning before your makeup and after you take if off each night.
Four to Six Weeks Before
• Schedule your hair and makeup trial. Try several different styles with and without your veil and experiment with more dramatic makeup. Don’t forget the waterproof mascara!
Three Weeks Before
•Trial your eyelash extensions if you are getting them. That way you will know if you are alright with the glue and not allergic to it, and whether you want your extensions longer or shorter.
Two Weeks Before
• Time for a trim and to touch up your hair colour. Keep hair healthy with a deep conditioner twice a week. If your hair needs it, apply a hair mask to make sure your hair is shiny.
One Week Before
• Schedule a pedicure.
• Make sure you don’t leave any waxing until the last minute. You could end up with shiny, red skin and that isn’t what you want for your wedding photos.
Two Days Before
•Apply your fake tan. By the time you have had three showers, it will leave you with that bridal glow.
• Slip an eye mask in the freezer for a few minutes and use it to minimise puffy eyes.
Day Of The Wedding
Make sure you allow enough time for your makeup artist to complete your makeup and your bridesmaids. Usually they will do your makeup close to the time that you are due ready or do your makeup then touch it up just before you are going to leave for the ceremony. Usually I have found that makeup artists are over the specified time, so make sure you allow plenty of time for them to do their work. Depending on the number of bridesmaids you have and also how many makeup/hair artists there are, allow at least 30 minutes for each person and an extra 15 minutes to complete hair styles.
Keep a small bag of beauty basics such as :
A clear fingernail polish,
Bobby pins to help hold an unruly curl
A container sample of your lipstick for you to touch up during the photos.
A small compact mirror (get your bridesmaids to carry this for you)
Auckland beauty tips can be different than beauty tips you might hear in drier or more humid locations, too. Wherever you are getting married, focus on beauty tips for that sort of weather and that sort of specific regime dedicated to your type of skin & hair. Auckland beauty tips are for obviously Auckland (and cities similar to it). Let me know if you have any questions!!
Here are some of the makeup artists we have seen working from our clients’ weddings in Auckland.
Hair Slay by Cedric
Honey Tree Hair & Makeup
Michaela Kaye Makeup
Here’s 20 top tips from brides who have gone through the process of planning and the excitement of their wedding day. Read these great wedding tips to make your wedding stress free.
As part of our service at Natalie Pasco Photography, we discuss all your timeline and plans around what you are doing for your wedding day. This lets us know more about your day and also acts as a cross check for you to make sure you have covered all the important things. Depending on your package and location we can also do a site visit to make sure we know the logistics of your ceremony and reception venues.
If you have never been to a wedding, or just want to know what to expect at a wedding reception read below.
THE FIRST HOUR
The guests will already be at the wedding reception. You will have appointed a person to act as your MC for the day. This person is the timekeeper of the day and lets guests know the format of the wedding, i.e. what is happening and when. They run the reception, providing information and introducing speeches. The MC will make sure your day flows nicely and keeps to your time schedule. The master of ceremonies (MC for short) for your wedding should know when the bridal party is due to arrive at the venue from taking their photos. They announce that the bridal party has arrived and guests should be seated or ready if you’re having a stand up reception for the bridal party entrance. The wedding party enter, usually the bridesmaids and groomsmen enter the reception and then lastly the bride and groom. You should ensure that your sound set up is working, whether this is via an ipod or you hire a DJ for your wedding reception.
THE SECOND HOUR
Usually drinks are underway by now and dinner starts to get served. Depending on what you are having, either a sit down meal or canapes or food from a food cart will start to be served. Usually the bridal party will be served their dinner first.
THE THIRD HOUR
Speeches sometimes usually done in the gap between dinner and dessert, to let guests have the chance for their dinner to go down. The cutting of the cake is usually done.
THE FOURTH OR FINAL HOURS
The final hour will be filled with the couples last dance. Any DJ or band will then continue on and guests will start to get up and enjoy dancing.
Use our stress free wedding planning timeline to help you prepare your wedding reception and with your vendors. Natalie Pasco Photography enjoys helping couples with a timeline of events at the initial planning stages and discussing your overall wedding day at your pre wedding consultation.
The first bit of this video shows some great wedding day hacks.
It may not be that common in New Zealand, because a lot of Kiwis are DIY when it comes to wedding planning, however if you don’t want to worry then how do you go about finding the best New Zealand wedding planners?
If you want the perfect wedding, yet don’t want to deal with all the stress, details and responsibility, or just don’t have the time to organise the wedding yourself, then a wedding planner can eliminate all that stress for you.
You, as the bride (or groom) can control how much you want the planner to do. Wedding planners or sometimes called day coordinators can organise all the vendors, book them and then coordinate on the day of the wedding so you don’t have to be bothered when the flowers arrive, where the ceremony should be set up, whether there’s going to be a knife to cut the cake. The planner will arrange all of the small details that you haven’t even thought of and pre-empt any problems or challenges faced.
Wedding Planners are also called wedding consultants or coordinators, wedding planners are the bride’s right hand down to every detail in the ceremony and reception. She can be there the moment after the ring is on the finger to the last guest at the reception. The bride has the choice to give as much or as little responsibility to the planner as she desires.
But how do you know if you should hire a wedding planner? Here are a few examples where a wedding planner can help:
1. The wedding planner alleviates stress for the bride, yet keeps the bride involved so that she knows the details on how her day will be.
2. Your wedding planner will have contacts and may be able to get you a special deal with suppliers. They will know your budget, and stick to how much you want to spend on each area of your wedding.
3. A wedding planner will be flexible to create the wedding of your dreams, but also assist you with what may be better options for you to consider.
4. If you are from another country, hiring a wedding planner will give you the inside knowledge on the area and be able to work with suppliers in current time zones.
5. When choosing a wedding planner, ask them what their type of wedding would be to see if you share a similar style. Ask to see examples of their work so you can view previous weddings they have coordinated.
A Google search will get you all your local wedding planners in your area.
Are you looking for bridesmaid’s dresses?
Wedding planning can be stressful. Organising all the details for the wedding, choosing bridesmaids and then picking out the dresses for them. Bridesmaids dresses can be very expensive. Work out your budget for them.
First decide on the theme and colour palette for your wedding. Make sure that the bridesmaids dresses will match with the groomsmen’s chosen colour palette. It can be very hard to buy bridesmaids dresses in a particular colour and then not be able to find the right shade for the groomsmen.
Shop around for end of season deals, they may be last year’s colours, but perfect for your wedding theme.Make sure the style of the dress suits all your bridesmaids. Some of your girls may be shorter or taller and not suit a particular style. Narrow down the styles you like and then take the girls along to try out and decide on their perfect option.
They don’t all have to match either. You could go with bridesmaid’s dresses that don’t match at all. Or decide to put the girls all in jumpsuits. You have a lot of choice.
If you are ordering off Wish or Aliexpress, make sure you check reviews to save yourself a lot of heartache and look at the photos from customers who have previously purchased. Make sure you also allow plenty of time for shipping. Sometimes the couriers can take a lot longer than expected.
To help you start, some online shops can be found here
WEDDING TIPS & ADVICE
Choosing the perfect wedding venue is no easy task, with so many great New Zealand wedding venues. You need to make sure it is adequate for your wedding style and choice. For example is there enough room for your number of guests, ample room to socialise and room for your food options also does it have a dance floor? That is, if you are having a dance.
Larger hotels can be a great option if you want everything all in the one location. Usually you meet with a wedding coordinator for the hotel, who will coordinate your wedding arrangements. Your guests can also stay at the hotel, so there won’t be any hassle arranging different accommodation.
If your wedding is going to be in the ‘wedding season’ make sure you book your venue well in advance. Some popular choices can book out a year or even two years before your date. Set your budget and also have an idea of wedding guest numbers. If you are seeking to reduce costs for your wedding and you aren’t too fussed on the date, check if your wedding venue has any special deals over the winter season.
You will have to make a deposit to secure your wedding venue. Usually this is non-refundable. Make sure you get a contract or an email confirming everything in writing and understand what you are signing. Make sure your venue knows your arrival time and check whether they have a closing time. I’ve heard of couples, who have been kicked out of venues (and they didn’t know there was a closing time) when the party was still going.
Smaller weddings can be held at places such as at home, a museum, a botanical garden, or a park. A great tip is to delegate someone in your family who knows both sides to act as a wedding coordinator for the day. If there are any issues on the day, all suppliers can go to the wedding coordinator, rather than interrupting the couple. It is useful if your delegated wedding coordinator meets with all the suppliers too, when you meet them so they can have an overview of the services and the day and ask any questions that the couple may not have thought of.
Think about these things. Where will dining and dancing take place? Where will the guest book be located? Is there a secure area for wedding gifts? Is there a space for any band/musician/dj? Are there sufficient electrical plugs for the DJ? Your photographer will want to know about the lighting of the venue and where the wedding party photos are to be taken place. Where will the cake be positioned? Are you having a flower wall? If you are having an outdoor marquee, is the marquee secured for all types of weather.
From a photography perspective, keep in mind the level of natural light available at your wedding venue. Natural light will provide “airy” and romantic, whereas an indoor location with no windows (or at night) will require a flash, more shadows/highlights, and just a different aesthetic.