“Le plaisir est pour moi. Ça valait vraiment la peine de s’allonger dans les crottes de moutons pour prendre cette photo. Vous le méritez bien !”

hawkes bay wedding tuki tuki valley linda baylis photographyGenevieve and Fabien were married on February 11th, 2017 at Belmount Garden, a historic home on the east side of the Tuki Tuki river in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

I’m excited to share this wedding for so many reasons! Firstly, the bride and groom were called ‘Genevieve and Fabien’. How fabulous is that? Secondly, Gen and Fabien’s celebration included everything I love about a wedding day… a beautiful love story, a stunning location and a day they truly made their own with so many unique, special and thoughtful details. A few too many to mention here so let’s just say this wedding had a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ about it. A charming french groom who also happens to be a talented chef, a classically stunning bride and a generous and loving group of friends and family who helped with every aspect of the day.

I had plenty of time to learn all about their plans in the build up to the big day, but when I arrived at Gen’s parents home for the bridal prep photos, what stood out the most was that everyone involved – from the hair stylist to the make up artist to the florist – had a personal connection and adored this gorgeous lady. After spending a few hours with Gen it’s easy to see why! Not only is she stunning, she is beautiful on the inside and from the moment she first stepped into her wedding gown it was clear it was going to be a very special and emotional day. It’s such a lovely moment when Mum & Dad first see their little girl in her wedding dress for the first time and I don’t think these parents could have bee prouder!

I was impressed by how many details Gen’s Mother had lovingly made, including gorgeous dresses for the flower girls, personalised serviettes for the reception and even the groom’s bow tie. It was extra special for Gen that she was able to wear her mother’s wedding veil, which had been hand stitched with beads along the edge (by clever Mum of course) so it would match the wedding dress. In fact, all the styling for the day, including hand made floral decorations, a shade sail and wooden benches for the ceremony, and even the wedding stationery were created by either the couple themselves or close friends and family. During the speeches Gen thanked everyone involved saying, “it takes an army to organise a wedding and we have the most generous, loving army you could ever find!”

Belmount Garden was a perfect wedding venue to showcase the amazing Hawkes Bay region with guests travelling from all over the world. A gorgeous spot for a ceremony with many incredible photo locations nearby. This particular ceremony was in French, Italian and English reflecting both Gen and Fabien’s cultures and the fact that some very important guests, including the Groom’s Mother spoke different languages. Another great thing about Belmount Garden is that it’s self catering, and being a chef, Fabien planned all of this himself! Fortunately, with support on the day from an amazing group of friends who helped out with cooking, leading wait staff and pretty much everything in between allowing him to relax and enjoy this special day.

An incredible bridal party made photos a fun and relaxed experience for everyone in a rustic rural setting with Te Mata Peak in the background. From the reception entrance on, as wines from both Hawke’s Bay and Italy flowed, we witnessed tears, laughter and joy in response to some incredibly moving speeches. In particular, from the Groom’s Mother, who did such an amazing job reading a phonetically translated version of her speech in English.

Gen & Fabien – it was clear from the start that your overall focus for this day was to make sure your guests were well taken care of! You certainly pulled off a stunning, elegant and fun wedding for everyone involved and we loved being a part of it. Thanks for trusting us with your precious memories. And the best thing is that you get to do it all over again! In just over 3 months Gen and Fabien get to celebrate with a second wedding – this time – in a little town in Southern Italy where Fabien’s mother was born! I know it will be just as amazing and I can’t wait to hear all about it.

Belmount Garden Wedding, Linda Baylis Photography Wedding flowers by milly and moss
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Belmount Garden Hawkes Bay Wedding Bride
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