Gemma and Sam farm wedding in Martinborough

Gemma and Sam wanted a fuss-free, non-traditional, camping wedding on Gemma’s grandparents’ farm outside Martinborough, surrounded by their colourful family and friends. And that’s exactly what they crafted.

As a Wairarapa wedding photographer I’m seeing more and more couples choosing to hold their wedding at a private property instead of a Wairarapa wedding venue. There are certainly great reasons for both types of location, but I’m loving the personalisation of choosing a familiar garden, backyard or farm.

There are a number of reasons to choose to be married at home or the home of a family member. The main reason is because it’s personal and meaningful to you. You may have fond childhood memories climbing the trees that line the driveway. You may have built the house yourselves and created your dream home. In this case, two family weddings had been held here including Gemma’s mum and dad. It’s an extremely special place with lots of significant memories.

Gemma’s biggest fear prior to her wedding photography was “being photographed 🙂 It was still awkward but Sarah definitely made it easier than we thought it would be.” Gemma says of Lucalia Photography “they were really organised and easy to work with, loved the colour of the photos and of course the photos in general “. Thanks so much for your kind words!

Gemma got ready at her Aunt and Uncle’s house down the gravel road. Champagne breakfast was shared with her mum, bridesmaid, sister and closest friends. Jo from Calma Therapies (based in Greytown) did hair and make up for Gemma, her mum and bridesmaid. Everyone helped each other with hair and make up; as well as last minute jewellery decisions. The ladies made their own hair decorations using brightly coloured Dahlia’s from the garden.

Weddings rarely go to plan, and Aunt Leigh decided she wanted to shorten her dress. Out came the scissors and it was duly trimmed: no one was any the wiser… This was after she fixed the septic system that was struggling to cope with so many girls in the house!

Sam and the gentlemen got ready at the grandparent’s house. They helped set up the ceremony space in the garden, then typically got ready in about 5 minutes flat. Photographer Ange did a great job capturing the action in such a short space of time!

The wedding ceremony itself was held at 11:30am to accommodate a lunch reception. It was officiated by Sam’s uncle, another personal touch. Gemma’s wedding ring was unlike anything I’d seen before. It was a wrap of rose gold designed for her engagement ring to sit, entwined, in the middle. My favourite moment of the ceremony was when both sets of parents and grandparents were asked to give their blessing of the union. Just delightful. The star of the show was the couple’s 2 year old daughter Charlotte. She was so good walking down the aisle and sitting in the front row. She even helped sign the marriage certificate.

The ceremony was followed by much hugging, homemade gravlax, a gelato truck and family photos. I then whisked the wedding party away (in the chauffeur-driven ute) down to the river for some adventure portraits. We popped into the woolshed on the way to the camping reception, further down the creek.

The four-wheel-drive track down to the river was lined with tents with it’s own mini-forest-festival vibe. The reception was again a family-created affair with the most amazing grazing table I’ve ever seen set amongst the trees near the river. Drinks were kept cool in a bathtub. The creative wedding cake was lovingly made by Gemma’s sister and guests brought their own chairs. Lawn games entertained young and old alike. Everyone was encouraged to stay the night to fully relax and spend quality time with the happy couple.

In another nod to the non-traditional, Gemma and Sam were married on the 29th of February: a leap year! Does that mean they celebrate their anniversary every four years?

The Wedding Vendors

Photography: Lucalia Photography

Bridal Dress: The Op Shop

Bridal Shoes: Mi Piaci

Wedding Hair and Make Up: Jo Bentley Calma Therapies

Groom Suits: Rembrandt

Wedding Ring: Kay Jewellers

Wedding Venue: Bride’s Grandparent’s Farm

Wedding Celebrant: Groom’s Uncle

Hire: Festival Hire

Mobile Food: Gelato Truck, It’s Quite Cool


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