Nicki & Jordan's Wonder Wedding

This is a wedding story that I had to share..

I photographed Nicki & Jordan’s wedding in November, 2018. They had booked for their entire wedding to be in the Nelsons Bay area, however on the weekend of their wedding there were bush fires spreading all around the Nelson Bay, Port Stephens area. Nicki & Jord were still in the limbo waiting to see and find out if they could have their wedding in Nelson’s Bay as planned. The day before the wedding, I drove up toward the venue hoping to see the fires beginning to clear, but to my horror there were road blocks still in place! I also heard on the radio that the fire department didn’t expect the area to be safe anytime in the next 24 hours. On top of that I had friends who worked up in Port Stephans that I was in contact with also telling me that it wasn’t looking good. By this point I had to face the fact that this wedding most likely won’t be happening in Nelson Bay, so I pulled over to call Nicki. I was expecting to speak to a very stressed, frantic bride, understandably, but to my surprise, Nicki was completely chilled, even having a bit of a laugh about the situation! I could tell that she wasn’t just putting on a brave face; she was genuinely relaxed, and still completely excited. At this stage there wasn’t any solid back up plan at all.

I began sending through possible locations around the Hunter that could work, but as it was the weekend of the Supercars, Newcastle was at it’s busiest time of year! At 7:28pm I get a text off Nicki with an address as a friends family had opened up, a property in Teralba which would hold the wedding ceremony & reception. Thank the sweet heavens! They had a venue & it seemed well away from the fires. Something I found so great; I’d heard that a bunch of their legend friends were at the property mowing a very large area of long grass, and setting up the entire ceremony & reception. I head over to the reception myself to check it all out. At this stage it was already night time, but with the help of a groomsman & some high beams, I could see that the property was fantastic.

On the Saturday, I arrived at the girls preps to find Nicki as relaxed as ever. She hadn’t even been able to go & see the location of her wedding ceremony & reception… Imagine that! As I had a second shooter photographing the boys, I called Jord on the phone in the morning, and he was happy as & loving life also. As I arrived for the beginning of the ceremony, I looked up to see that there is smoke covering half the sky. I thought to myself, “You’ve got to be kidding me”. After all this, there were now fires near Teralba! I won’t leave you in suspense, fortunately the fires were only close enough to look a little scary, but they didn’t spread toward the wedding. Interestingly though, the haze from the fire meant that despite a fully clear, glary Novembers day, there was really nice soft light covering the ceremony, and essentially there was 3 hours of sunset light for the photo shoot. In other words, everything looked colourful, rich, vibrant, and skin tones were soft & smooth. This is incredibly rare to have this kind of light throughout the day, especially with the warmth of the sunlight that you wouldn’t get on a cloudy day.

The ceremony & reception came together brilliantly, and we could shoot the entire photo shoot within walking distance. The day was incredibly fun with a great atmosphere, and great people. Nicki’s Maid of Honour Ellie said in her speech, that Nicki had told her the day before the wedding when everything looked like it was falling apart, “I’m just so happy to be marrying Jord, everything else is just a bonus!”

And that my friends is what it’s all about.

Sam Colthorpe