Lake Tekapo Wedding {New Zealand weddings - photography}

Enjoy this beautiful wedding photography gallery with Alice & Hugh - Lake Tekapo {New Zealand weddings}.

Few words about the couple from their photographer - Johanna Macdonald: "They are just amazing and fun loving people, dairy farmers who live in Geraldine and decided to be married in Tekapo.
We went up to Mt John for sunset photos. The wedding ceremony was at Mt John Woolshed and the reception was at the community hall. They are a really lovely couple, both full of smiles and laughter throughout the day and their bridal party were fun. Amazing people and atmosphere!" 

Images by Johanna Macdonald Photography

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How To Decide On Your Wedding Guest List {Weddings Planning | Ideas | Inspiration}

by Juliette Sivertsen

how to decide on your wedding guest list {weddings planning | ideas | inspiration}

Deciding who to invite to your wedding can be one of the most challenging aspects of wedding planning. 

Perhaps you desperately want all your girlfriends from your school days, your fiance wants to keep numbers tight and your parents insist on having family friends and relatives you haven’t seen in years. This happens regularly!

The reality of wedding planning is you have to learn to compromise and negotiate. Most people are understanding about the cost of weddings so don’t choose someone just because you think they’ll feel left out - each guest will want to be invited because the bride & groom genuinely want them to be there. 

There are no rules about who you have to invite at your wedding - it’s a day to celebrate the bride and groom’s commitment to each other, not about everyone else getting a free dinner.

how to decide on your wedding guest list {weddings planning | ideas | inspiration}


We wanted to keep numbers around the 80 mark, which ended up as a huge challenge and left us with feeling a bit sad we couldn’t have everyone we wanted at our wedding. 

Being the youngest of five children, with all my older siblings married and most with children, my family list for the wedding was extensive before we started counting other relatives. My husband, on the other hand, is an only child with many cousins, aunties and uncles on each of his parents’ side. 

Having a wedding with immediate family only was never going to work and we ended up with 75% of our guests being family. Family is exceptionally important to both of us so it was great we had so many relatives present to celebrate our day. But it did make it exceptionally difficult to choose only a few friends each to witness our day. We had to make some pretty tough calls. 

Here are a few things you’ll need to consider for your wedding guest list. 

how to decide on your wedding guest list {weddings planning | ideas | inspiration}


The first thing to consider when deciding who gets an invitation is the size of your wedding. One of the first things to do when planning a wedding is deciding on your budget. This budget will help determine how much you want to spend on each person and whether you want a small and intimate wedding with closest friends and family only or a big-fat-Greek-wedding style affair. 

Do you want family only? Closest friends only? Adults only or are children an important part of your lives? 

If you want a big wedding with all your friends and family, but have a tiny budget, don’t be afraid to think outside the square. You don’t have to have a big sit down dinner - there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from a more casual afternoon cocktail function to avoid the cost of meals per head.

how to decide on your wedding guest list {weddings planning | ideas | inspiration}


Rather than simply considering who you want at your wedding, ask yourselves, who do you want to witness your wedding vows? Your wedding day is just one day, but it’s the day your marriage begins. Who are the people that will be there to support your marriage in years to come? What role does this person have in your life and what role will they have in future? 

Friendships can come and go but your marriage is a lifelong commitment. It’s okay to be picky about who you want at your wedding because it’s about you and your future spouse and the life you are embarking on together. Choose friends who will be proud to witness your commitment to each other and happy to be part of your marriage in years to come. 

If you’re still unsure about a potential guest, consider the following: 

-When was the last time you saw each other in person? 

-When was the last time that person contacted you or arranged a catch-up? 

-Was the person there for you in a recent time of need? 

-What will happen to the relationship or friendship if this person does not come? 

-Will this person be in your life in 10 years time? 

-Will this person support me in my marriage or draw me away from my spouse?  

how to decide on your wedding guest list {weddings planning | ideas | inspiration}


Sometimes parents want to have some of their friends at your wedding, especially if it is an old family friend who has been part of your life for as long as you can remember. As a rule of thumb, if your parents are contributing financially, then yes, you will have to accept they will want a say in the wedding guest list. 

If the two of you are paying for the entire wedding yourself, then you have a little more room to say no. Be polite and consider your parents’ requests with manners rather than a screaming match of ‘THIS IS MY WEDDING NOT YOURS!” Let’s keep it all respectful! Be open to any suggestions or requests and consider them carefully rather than shutting it down without even thinking about it. Your parents will probably want to take a little credit for raising you to this point in your life so try and be understanding and work with them, not against them. 

Having said that, remind them that this wedding is about the commitment you and your spouse are making to each other. You can stress to them how important it is to have guests by your side that will be there to support your in future decades and will still be around to celebrate your 40th wedding anniversary!

how to decide on your wedding guest list {weddings planning | ideas | inspiration}


What if you don’t like some of your partner’s friends or family? Well, consider how you would feel if your spouse took an issue with someone you considered to be a close friend or relative. We’re not all going to get along with everyone at all times but if they’re an important person to your spouse then be supportive. 

There are some exceptions to this rule. If a friend or relative is at risk of causing serious damage or harm to the wedding or your wedding guests, if they’re disrespectful to your decision to marry or rude to other family members and friends then perhaps an honest, open but polite discussion is in order.

If you have any friends who you are concerned might get a bit heavy on the drink, you can either politely remind them there will be family members present and suggest taking it easy, or even ask one of your bridal party members to keep an eye out during the night in order to keep the wedding running smoothly without any chaos. 

At the end of the day, your wedding is about the two of you and your commitment to each other. Both of you get a say in who gets to witness your wedding vows and celebrate with you. Be polite, but be honest and keep communication open. You may have to make some tough calls in order to keep numbers within the limit. Be supportive of one another when coming up with your guest list. 

Photographs by Levien & Lens Photography

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The Team At Wedding Artists




How to Choose Your Perfect Bridesmaid Dress {Wedding Ideas | Planning | Inspiration}

by Juliette Sivertsen

Big pouffy sleeves, awful necklines and unflattering shapes in fuschia pinks and purples...every bridesmaid’s worst nightmare!

As much as your bridesmaids will want to do whatever they can to support you and not outshine the bride, they still need to be comfortable and feel confident on the day.

Choosing the right dress will go a long way to having happy and supportive bridesmaids!

Here’s how to choose the perfect bridesmaid dress.

bride with bridesmaids holding flowers {New Zealand wedding photographers}


Gone are the days of bright fuschia pinks and lavenders dominating every wedding, nowadays bridesmaid colours are typically more muted.

Pastels and neutrals are a soft, romantic colour option for bridesmaid dresses and are ideal in soft lighting conditions and summer colours.

However that doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream of having sunflower yellow as part of your wedding colour theme. There’s no reason you can’t dress your bridesmaids in bold colours if they match in with the rest of your theme. Bright colours are particularly striking in winter months.

And what about white or cream bridesmaid dresses? Some say the only person wearing white at a wedding should be the bride. However dressing your maids in creams, ivories and pearls can also create a beautiful, soft and cohesive look.

bridesmaid walking on the field {New Zealand wedding planning and inspiration} bridesmaid dress


Bridesmaid dress styles have evolved a lot over the years. From mid-calf and pouffy, to two-piece skirt and top combinations, floor length to mini - bridesmaid dresses can come in all shapes and sizes!

So how do you choose a style of bridesmaid dress?

Chances are, your bridesmaids will all be different shapes. If they are a larger size, then they probably won’t be happy in skin tight mini dresses. If they have a slight frame, then swamping them in swathes of heavy material will drown them out and will make them look like a child playing dress-ups in their mother or grandmother’s clothing.

Ask them for their opinion and make suggestions as to what you like. If a bridesmaid has her heart set on a particular dress that you hate, gently let them know that it doesn’t quite suit the overall theme of your wedding.

Be honest but also be open to their ideas. They’ll want to please you - but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to deck them out in some hideous 70s style vomit-inducing outfit with all the bells and whistles just to make you look good.

bridesmaids {Auckland wedding photographer}


Bridesmaid jewellery should be subtle. Little drop earrings are ideal for adding a hint of glamour without being too intense or distracting, but balance earrings with necklaces carefully.

Consider the neckline of your dress - if it low or wide then a chain or necklace with a small pendant can work, as long as the earrings are small too. If you want your bridesmaids wearing chunky earrings, perhaps skip the necklace and opt for a little bracelet instead.

You don’t need them to adorn every spare limb or lobe with bling - choose one or two items and leave the rest out.

When it comes to shoes, the most important aspect is comfort as well as style. Just like you, your bridesmaids will be on their feet for most of the day - and no one wants to end the day with blisters! Don’t be afraid to mix and match. What suits one girl might not suit the next.

Neutrals such as tan and beige colours are versatile with any dress and can be worn on multiple occasions after their bridesmaid duties have ended.

Consider the terrain of your wedding venue - if it’s outside on grass, choose a chunkier heel over stilettos, which will sink into the ground.

bride with bridesmaids {New Zealand wedding photography}


You’ll need to be upfront about this at the beginning - are you going to pay for the bridesmaid dresses or are you expecting your maids to pay for themselves?

There are no hard and fast rules - this can come down to personal choice and finances. Just make it clear from the beginning - no one wants any nasty surprises. If your bridesmaid never intends to wear her dress again (and let’s be honest, most don’t), then it’s usually nice to pay for them. If you want them to pay for the dress themselves, then you’ll need to give them a little more licence as to what kind of style they want to wear and what the budget is. They’re not going to be happy if they have to fork out hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a dress that will be sent straight to the recycling boutique after the wedding. 

bridal party - how to choose your perfect bridesmaid dress {wedding ideas | planning | inspiration}

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The Team at Wedding Artists

Real Story: From first boyfriend and girlfriend to 5 year wedding anniversary

We have an amazing story today from Laura {Laura Lynn Photography} from California, USA. Our Blog don't have borders, we are happy to publish - showcase engagement, couples sessions and real weddings from all over the world. Stay tuned to find out amazing stories in stunning locations in our future publications! 

Laura telling the story of her amazing couple and such an emotional photo shoot:

"As an Orange County Couple’s Photographer, one of my favorite things in this world is love. One of the best parts of my job is getting to hear stories about a couple’s love. Every love story is different and unique, which is what makes it so very special.

Real Story: From first boyfriend and girlfriend to 5 years wedding anniversary {Orange County couples photographer}

Doug and Ness’ story starts when they were 8 years old. They met when Doug’s aunt used to babysit Ness. They were each other’s first boyfriend and girlfriend, and Doug knew then that he loved her. Twelve years passed in between their first love, until the time they reconnected and fell even harder. They married only 9 months after reconnecting. As they say “you know when you know”. The fact that Doug knew when he was 8 is something really special.

Real Story: From first boyfriend and girlfriend to 5 years wedding anniversary {Orange County couples photographer}

When Doug contacted me about booking a session, he told me how he was trying to figure out how to celebrate their wedding anniversary a little differently. Then it struck him, “let’s go get photos done!” He made sure to point out that he didn’t want just any kind of photos done, he wanted the ones that showed depth, focused on emotion, brought out their passion for one another. This was like a dream come true for me because this is EXACTLY what I love most.

Real Story: From first boyfriend and girlfriend to 5 years wedding anniversary {Orange County couples photographer}

The next day was beautiful. The weather, the sun, the lighting, the location, it was all perfect. I thought it was so sweet, and so very thoughtful that Doug had planned this for his wife, Ness. They made it so easy for me to capture their connection and love for one another.

Congratulations, Doug & Ness on 5 years of wedded bliss. Here’s wishing you a lifetime of more happiness.

Real Story: From first boyfriend and girlfriend to 5 years wedding anniversary {Orange County couples photographer}
Real Story: From first boyfriend and girlfriend to 5 years wedding anniversary {Orange County couples photographer}
Real Story: From first boyfriend and girlfriend to 5 years wedding anniversary {Orange County couples photographer}
Real Story: From first boyfriend and girlfriend to 5 years wedding anniversary {Orange County couples photographer}
Real Story: From first boyfriend and girlfriend to 5 years wedding anniversary {Orange County couples photographer}
Real Story: From first boyfriend and girlfriend to 5 years wedding anniversary {Orange County couples photographer}

Thank you Laura {Laura Lynn Photography} for sharing with us such a beautiful photographs which speaks from the heart! If you are looking for Orange County couples or elopement photographer get in touch with Laura!

Real Story: From first boyfriend and girlfriend to 5 years wedding anniversary {Orange County couples photographer}
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Wedding Planning 101: Where to start {Weddings Ideas and Inspiration}

by Juliette Sivertsen

Photos by Levien & Lens Photography

wedding planning 101: where to start {weddings inspiration}

From wedding venue to choosing a wedding photographer - there’s so much that goes into planning a wedding, making it hard to know where to start. 

Here’s our guide to the first five things you need to consider when planning a wedding. 


Setting your budget is a crucial task at the beginning of your wedding planning. Your budget will dictate your venue, how many guests you are inviting and many of the smaller details of the day. You can research and talk to other married friends to get a rough idea on what to expect to pay. 

Couples need to be able to talk with each other about their budget openly, honestly and without judgement - not just at the start but also during the planning process, as it’s easy for costs to add up. 

Beautiful weddings can take place on small budgets, but you need to plan well and be smart with your invite list. A larger budget gives you more flexibility but remember to keep things in perspective - you don’t want to start married life with overwhelming debt hanging over your heads.


Beach wedding? Rustic? Country? Elegant Glamour? 

Most of your wedding planning will hinge on the overall style or theme of your special day. It doesn’t need to be too specific at this stage - but booking in a gorgeous country estate when you really want to get married overlooking a beach, is clearly not quite going to work. 

Consider your personalities. Where did you meet each other? What are your joint or shared hobbies or interests? Narrowing down what kind of couple you are will help find the right theme for your wedding. 

wedding planning 101: where to start {weddings ideas and inspiration}


The reality of wedding planning is that your date will depend on your venue. You’ll need to be flexible and have several different date options available in case your chosen venue is already booked. Saturdays remain the most popular day for weddings, so consider mid-week or a Sunday wedding if you have your heart set on a venue that is booked out on your preferred dates. 

You can also save money by choosing another day instead of a Saturday. Many venues have cheaper rates and a smaller minimum spend for mid-week weddings. 

Keep in mind what time of year you are getting married in too - if you have a wedding booked close to Christmas, consider how this will affect your pre-wedding beauty appointments if salons have a Christmas/New Year shut down period. 


Start researching early on what kind of wedding photography you envisage. Look through different galleries and directories to find out what styles of photography you prefer. Are you looking for emotional and artistic photography, or prefer more glamour-style shoots? Again, keep in mind the theme and style of your wedding and what kind of people you are.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices of wedding photographers, make contact and book in early. This is especially important if you are getting married in the high season when your photographer may already be fielding multiple queries for the same day. 

wedding planning 101: where to start {weddings ideas and inspiration}


Once you have chosen a wedding photographer, considering hiring them for an engagement photoshoot. An engagement photoshoot is a chance for you to get to know your photographer, and for them to get to know the two of you. They are also a fun way to celebrate your engagement without the pressures of a wedding day, as well as giving you the chance to practice what kind of photos you might like come the big day. 

Planning a wedding can be as complex or simple as you make it. Write down all your ideas as you go, keep talking to each other and plan each month with a set of to-dos for you and your spouse to work on to help keep on top of all your wedding planning.

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Wedding Artists Team - Juliette Sivertsen {Editor - Weddings Planning and Inspiration}

We are happy to continue introducing our team. Today we are talking about wedding planning, inspiration and ideas. We are so glad to have on board talented journalist and main Editor of Wedding Planning and Inspiration Stories - Juliette Sivertsen.

She puts her heart and soul into each of our article for couples to help them to plan their wedding day so it runs smoothly. Married in January, she understands all the anxieties and questions brides may have about their wedding day! {you can see her beautiful wedding in Castaways captured by Levien & Lens Photography, Auckland wedding photographers}. She understands and connects with all bridal planning stories and hopes to help others find a clear path towards their special day. We are excited to show you a few amazing photographs from her special day {one of them won NZIPP Iris Awards in Wedding Classic category - "First Look With Dad").

Enjoy it and getting to know more about the team at Wedding Artists!

Juliette is a former New Zealand radio news presenter & journalist. She is also a travel blogger at Snorkels to Snow . She has a passion for photography, art, travel, figure skating, music, scuba diving & skiing. What a great part of our Wedding Artists team!

Contact us with any questions!

Wedding Artists

5 Things Newly Engaged Couples Need To Know {Wedding Planning and Inspiration}

by Juliette Sivertsen

Your engagement is an exciting time, mixed with uncertainty about how to plan a wedding and what to expect in the months leading up to your big day. 

Here are five things newly engaged couple need to know about planning a wedding:


Many vendors are booked out months - sometimes years - in advance, especially New Zealand wedding photographers and venues. Your best bet for securing your favourite wedding artists is to starting planning and making bookings as early as possible.

Remember that this wedding is about the TWO of you as a couple, not just the bride. Some grooms prefer to take a back seat approach to wedding planning - that’s fine, but make sure you are still providing support to your fiancée if she is carrying most of the wedding planning weight.


Weddings are wonderful occasions but remember, the wedding itself is only the first day of your marriage.

Your wedding day should be special and you will treasure the memories of that day for the rest of your life, but don’t forget about your marriage.

You don’t have to buy into the idea that it’s going to be the happiest day of your life - because your life together has many more exciting moments AFTER the wedding! Whether it is travel, children, career accomplishments, or maybe a significant wedding anniversary, your wedding day is only the start of your marriage. Enjoy the celebration then look forward to even greater times ahead.


Make time to hang out and have a wedding-free zone. You can return to planning the next day. Turn the cellphones off. Go the movies. Have a date night at home - do what you did at the start of your relationship when you were dating.

Quality time is a chance to appreciate each other’s company and to remember why you’re getting married. It’s also a chance to remember WHO you’re marrying - your best friend.


Even the most well-thought out plans can go pear shaped due to outside influences. A family member may fall ill, stress at work may increase, your wedding photographers have had to suddenly pull out or perhaps your budget has blown out spectacularly. Be prepared for hiccups along the way - and be cool with that. Worry only adds to the tension and is an unproductive emotion! Channel any negative energy into something creative and positive.


Find a marriage preparation course or try pre-marital counselling for a stronger marriage. Every couple will face challenges in their marriage so what better way to prepare for this journey than equipping yourself with tools and strategies to communicate more effectively?

Don’t wait until things get challenging in your marriage before you choose to address them - take proactive measures before your wedding day to build better communication and understand your expectations of each other after the big day. 

5 Things Newly Engaged Couples Need To Know {Wedding Planning and Inspiration}

Juliette Sivertsen - Editor at Wedding Artists. Juliette is a former New Zealand radio news presenter & journalist. She is also a travel blogger at Snorkels to Snow . She has a passion for photography, art, travel, figure skating, music, scuba diving & skiing. 

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Levien and Lens Photography {Auckland wedding photographer}

Continue our wedding artists introductions: today we happy to show you a sneak peek of one of our photographers from Auckland, New Zealand - Levien & Lens photography. We love their timeless beautiful photographs which are natural, emotional and artistic. Thats exactly what we are loving in wedding photography. Enjoy it!


Olga Levien {and Lens photography}

Hi! I'm Olga Levien {Levien and Lens Photography} award-winning professional lifestyle wedding photographer. My style is natural and artistic, I'm known for custom lifestyle photography with a mix of fine art and documentary. I love my beautiful and elegant brides and grooms, treasuring their natural timeless photographs. I love to find beauty in details and harmony in moments.  My goal is to deliver unique images that are emotional, artistic, and natural. I love to capture candid moments through the day: if you laugh I will capture that, if you cry I will capture that too. Weddings can be busy and hectic but as an Artist I will do my best to capture for you all the beautiful and emotional moments in relaxed way. Destination weddings nationwide, international. 


Real Wedding Stories is our special place to showcase couples with a beautiful, emotional and artistic photographic journey of their wedding day. 

We are excited to include true life stories from brides and grooms around New Zealand and beyond. We want to share tales about beautiful souls, as well as all recognising those who contribute to your special day. Weddings are our passion and we are here to share that love with you through our Real Wedding Stories.

Your stories will help inspire future engaged couples and help them find their perfect wedding photographer. 

If you are interested in a particular photographer, you can email them directly using the form on their listing or just contact us and we will do all the hard work for you. No more disappointments when your favourite photographer is booked out - just a great selection of award winning wedding photographers in different areas of New Zealand, all who are happy to travel around Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and surrounding areas.

Please contact us with any questions that you might have!


The Team at Wedding Artists


New Zealand wedding photographers team