A Guide to weddings in the Hunter Valley
We wanted to put together a guide to help couples plan their wedding. While this guide does focus on a lot of Hunter Valley venues, a lot of the tips can be used to help plan your wedding in any area. While we personally love the Hunter Valley, we also have a soft spot for the Central Coast where we are based. Regardless of where you decide to hold your big day, hopefully the tips that follow can help to make your day perfect.
To start with here is a little about us.
Who are we? We’re Justin and Carla. 🙂 We are a husband and wife duo who have been owners of VIBE for 14 years, and we absolutely love everything about what we do!
One of the things that all of our couples comment on is the amazing service that they receive from us. They feel that we are there for them from the very start and we’re working with them to make their day as perfect as it can be. They always comment on how relaxed they feel throughout their day, and then afterwards, as they get the images back and album designed, they comment on how easy we make everything. We put in a lot of time with each of our couples and we love hanging out with them and sharing in their amazing day.
We have loved weddings since we first began VIBE Photography, and our love for them, and each couple that we have the pleasure to be a part of, is what makes our job so enjoyable!
Describe your style of photography. Where do you get your inspiration from?
We have a varied style ranging from capturing the real moments throughout the day as they happen, right through to more stylized and dramatic image. However, in all of this we aim to provide natural images. While we do help with direction to make sure that you are looking your absolute best, we make sure that you don’t look posed and stiff. Check out our work to see what I mean….
We gain inspiration from everything that we are exposed to. Whether it’s seeing a different camera angle or movement in a tv show or feature film, through to experimenting with concepts, light and ideas at each shoot. We’re inspired from the AIPP photography awards and all of the different genres of photography within this, which we can then take inspiration from to take to our next wedding.
While we have a definite style of photography, we’re always evolving and pushing ourselves to get the absolute best for each and every one of our couples.
How do you keep your wedding shoots fresh and unique?
Justin’s love for weddings, and his eagerness to get to each and every one and do his absolute best, has helped him to stay fresh and love his craft. He is always evolving, trying new things and improving on ideas that he has had. He’s always pushing himself to get “that shot” that will be loved by every single person that sees it. I think that this love of getting “the shot” will keep him loving wedding for a very long time.
With hundreds of weddings under his belt, he is constantly honing his craft and meeting and working with different couples. This not only keeps it fun and interesting for him, but has helped him to create amazing images in any condition.
What do you love most about photographing Hunter Valley weddings?
What’s not to love?!?! With so many beautiful venues and a divine landscape to work with, the photographic opportunities are endless. The Hunter Valley truly is a photographers dream. Hunter Valley weddings are often very classy yet relaxed affairs. Many of the Bride and Groom’s family and friends have traveled away for the weekend for the wedding, which gives a true feeling of a destination wedding so close to home.
What are your top 3 Hunter Valley wedding venues to photograph and why?
Only three…. I honestly don’t think that I could pick just three. Here are some of our favourites with a one line reason why….
Wandin Valley Estate – Everything onsite for a perfect day, including a barrel room, and the pavilion is a unique and beautiful building for the reception.
Peterson House – Another beautiful Hunter Valley wedding with vineyards and a lake onsite with a jetty for stunning sunset and night images
Roberts Restaurant & Peppers Convent – Circa1876 – You are spoilt for choice with amazing backdrops and intricate and interesting buildings and rooms for photographs.
Chateau Elan – Amazing chapel for your ceremony, or outside lawn for a more relaxed affair, surrounded by a number of great locations for photos both onsite and within a 5 minute drive.
Hunter Valley Gardens – The gardens…. during the day… during the night…. they will keep any photographer busy with so many opportunities. Plus, a gorgeous chapel or garden ceremony to say your vows.
Cypress Lakes – Lots of onsite accommodation for guests, a lakeside ceremony, a golf buggy trip to some fantastic photo locations, and a marquee by the pool which can add some fun in the late hours of the reception.
Lindemans Estate – Backing on to a mountain range plus an amazing vineyard to capture images in. Plus…. that tree! And the reception room is so unique with a huge area for mingling (and ceremonies) just outside of this room.
The Sebel Kirkton Park – This is a one stop shop for your wedding with plenty of onsite accommodation, different onsite areas for your ceremony, spacious reception rooms, and amazing backdrops in any weather.
Peppers Creek & Barrel Room – A gorgeous little chapel, and a character filled reception area, including fireplace.
Tambourlaine Organic Winery – Close to many stunning locations, with a beautiful reception room and the opportunity for some amazing fireworks during your night.
Now below we want to get into the nitty gritty of what you need to know and ask before booking your photographer.
How can couples make sure they’re happy with their photos?
We’d suggest that couples don’t rush in to booking just any photographer. Make sure you do lots of research online and ask lots of questions when you meet with various photographers. Meeting with the photographer is so important to make sure that you feel comfortable and like your photographer, as you will be with them for a large portion of your day. But most importantly, you need to have fallen in love with the work of the photographer that you choose.
Be confident and secure in your photographers ability to be able to capture your day, and make sure you enjoy your day as this will be reflected in the images.
What should couples ask for when negotiating their contract with a photographer?
This really depends on what is important to the couple, but here are a few that we can think of:
Who is the photographer on the day?
Is the work that I’m looking at their work?
What would happen if that photographer is sick or injured and can’t come to the wedding?
Exactly what am I getting in the package?
How long will the photographer be there for on my day?
What happens if the weather is bad? What happens in heavy rain?
How long, after my day, will I receive my images back?
Your photographer should be able to answer any of these questions confidently and clearly so that it’s easy for you to understand. Each wedding is different so this is not a comprehensive list, and you should ask about anything that you’re unsure of , that doesn’t make sense, or that is important to you. We know that you want your day to be perfect so we think that there are no silly questions and that it’s better to ask anything that’s on your mind.
What trends do you see happening in wedding photography for 2017/2018?
Trends come and go, and at VIBE we don’t go with all the trends, but rather create and capture beautiful, timeless images that will never go out of fashion. Having fun and being relaxed on the shoot will ensure that we’re able to get the best images for each couple, and to do this you need to be completely in love with the photographers work that you choose. Trusting your photographer, having fun and being yourself, these are the things which are far more important than any trends that may come and go.
How can couples contact us to talk more?
We can be contacted via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or our phone details are as follows:
Studio – 02 4326 1116
Mobile – 0402 123 734
We’d love for you to visit our website at www.vibephotography.com.au (or facebook, Instagram or Pintrest – all accessible via our website) to see if you love our work and, if you do, arrange a time to come in and chat more at our studio. We hope to hear from you soon!