An Elegant Autumn Wedding with an Olive Grove Ceremony

A special moment between the bride and groom as the sun goes down behind Te Mata Peak at this stunning autumn Craggy Range wedding.

Janaki Peel and Grant Calder were married at Craggy Range Winery, Hawke’s Bay on Saturday, 9th May 2015.

When Janaki and Grant first talked about their ideal wedding, they both envisaged a crisp clear day surrounded by glorious autumn colours and as anticipated, that was exactly what Hawke’s Bay delivered. The key elements to a perfect wedding celebration for this couple were great food, great wine and great people – three things I can wholeheartedly agree with!  Being home to over 80 wineries with a reputation as a quality producer of world class wines, it’s no surprise these self confessed avid red wine connoisseurs fell in love with Hawke’s Bay and the incredible Craggy Range Winery.

It’s a given you are going to spend your wedding day surrounded by great people – your guests are of course your nearest and dearest – but my advice for bride’s to be when planning your big day is to think outside your immediate guest list and consider the other people who will play a big part in your day. From your hair and makeup artist to your florist, your celebrant, your venue coordinator and of course your photographer, you want to surround yourself with professionals who are experienced experts in their field, genuinely invested in your day and at the heart of it – you feel a connection with. These relationships will significantly impact the overall experience on your day. It’s a good thing that Hawke’s Bay is also home to many superb wedding vendors and the dream team Janaki and Grant put together did not disappoint!

When we first met Janaki told me she actually booked her wedding day based on makeup artist, Suzanne Hardy’s, availability. “Best investment ever!!!” she says! “Suzanne was absolutely incredible, and no other makeup artist in the North Island could have done a better job! She put me in touch with Abby Schofield who did our hair and was amazing too. Both of them were so warm and wonderful to have for our day!” You can find details of all the equally amazing Hawke’s Bay wedding vendors at the end of this post.

Stunning wedding details and bridal hair and make up by Abby Schofield and Suzanne Hardy at this Craggy Range Wedding

Time for some quick portraits before leaving for the ceremony at Craggy Range Winery.

Stunning flowers, hair and makeup and a relaxed bridal party certainly make it easy for me to create beautiful bridal preparation photographs.

Groom and groomsmen getting ready for Craggy Range Wedding

A surprise gift from the bride-to-be – 4 Cohiba Behike cigars secretly brought in from Auckland – put the smile back on Grant’s face after forgetting to pack his Cigar Humidor! 

Because the sun sneaks behind the Peak so early in May and they wanted to maximise the time spent with guests Janaki and Grant chose to do a ‘first look’ and capture the majority of their photos before the ceremony. We arranged for this to take place in the beautiful Sophia Barrel room, a shared favourite place for them both. “While we wanted to to have our photos first, we didn’t want to take away from the significance of our first meeting, and the experience was extremely personal and private. I loved being able to share that initial intimate moment with Grant before we got swept away with the celebrations of the rest of the day!”

Bride and Groom first look at Craggy Range

Autumn wedding in Hawke's Bay

Autumn wedding colours Tuki Tuki Valley Hawkes Bay

Autumn wedding ceremony in hawkes bay vineyard

A heartfelt ceremony took place in the Olive Groves at Craggy Range. 

One of the most significant and meaningful moments of the day for Janaki & Grant was exchanging their vows. “I knew this would be difficult as both Grant and I are not publicly affectionate or emotional people, but having vows and words we had not heard from one another, that were spoken from the heart, made our whole day so very real and connected us to each and everyone of our guests in a way I could have never imagined. This was such an incredibly meaningful experience for both Grant and I and I recommend any bride and groom with enough courage, to write their own vows too!

Autumn Wedding at Craggy Range Winery

Hawkes Bay Wedding Photographer

Great food, great wine, great people!

Craggy Range Barrel Room Photographs

Craggy Range Terroir Restaurant Wedding Reception

Kapiti cheese cake for something unique at your wedding

Just LOVE this amazing cheese cake from Kapiti! A perfect accompaniment to the outstanding Hawke’s Bay wines. 

And finally,  Janaki’s words of advice for brides to be:

“Invest in great make up and hair!!! If you’re planning to get married in the Hawke’s bay the first thing you should do is contact Suzanne Hardy makeup artist and book her if or when she is available! 

Something to consider -guests remember and talk about great food, wine and company always

Write your own personal vows if you want your guests to emotionally invest in your special day! It was talked about SO much by everyone!

Have a good wet weather option. That way, weather is not an issue for stress!

And last but not least, on the day, remember it’s everyone else’s job to stress, time keep, organise, fuss, correspond etc! Not once did I look at a clock! Whether we were early or running late I didn’t care – it was my day and I made the most of soaking it all up and getting on that cloud!”

I’ll definitely say cheers to that! Congratulations Grant & Janaki and thank you for trusting me with your precious memories.


This was my last wedding of the season and we were lucky enough to have Louise M Photography along with us to experience a Hawke’s Bay Wedding. You can check out her take on this wedding here on her blog.

If you’re planning a Hawke’s Bay wedding and would like to hear more about Janaki and Grant’s wedding experience as well as other Hawke’s Bay weddings be sure to follow me on facebook to keep up to date.

The Details:

Venue: Craggy Range WineryBride’s gown: Essence – Alma J Bridal, PonsonbyHair: Abby Schofield, Makeup: Suzanne Hardy, Flowers: LushkaBridesmaid’s dresses: Ted Baker, Groom’s attire: RJB, Celebrant: Bev KerrGroomsmen’s suits: Workshop, Cake: Kapiti Cheese, Transport: Unique Car RentalsCigars- Cohiba Behike, Photographer: Linda Baylis Photography, Photographer’s Assistant: Karina James


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