Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hamilton Wedding Photographer: Stuart & Olivia


Stuart & Olivia won my engagement photo shoot competition last year. I chose the winner based on the most 'creative' proposal story - subjective I know! Whenever you put the word 'creative' into something, it always will mean different things to different people. So despite the bad choice of wording for my competition criteria, Olivia & Stu just stood right out to me. I mean what could be more creative than an accountant who made an incredibly unique art exhibition to propose to his girlfriend! (Check out their proposal story in the comments section down the bottom of this post) During Olivia & Stu's engagement shoot I got a strong sense of how much these two meant to each other. Immediately, I was SO excited for their wedding as I knew it would be an amazing reflection of their unique, creative and loving relationship. Olivia & Stuart, thank you for being an inspiration. xx





















Olivia is a dancer so during the photos she practiced one of the moves with the boys... such a brave bride! You can check out their amazing dance here.










Their venue at the Waikato Performing Arts centre looked incredible! The 'glow' theme was carried throughout.


Each guest had a personalised favour.





  1. Olivia Hartles said...

    Glow: The Proposal

    Stuart and I had survived 3 years of long distance when I moved back home to be with him at the beginning of 2010. We'd always known we would get engaged once we had finished our degrees, and after watching many (!!) of our friends take the big plunge, we were super excited about starting the journey ourselves (perhaps me a tinsey bit more!)

    So the wait began. Every time something slightly romantic happened, Stuart could see the anticipation in my eyes – that boy was keeping me waiting! January, February and March came and went, and after Easter (when I was POSITIVE it would happen), I was starting to get a bit impatient – I wanted to tell the world! Stuart had given himself a real challenge; he wanted to totally surprise me, and do something completely creative and different – not easy to say the least when I was over-analysing every nice thing he did.

    After a crazy week in April, the weekend arrived and so too an upsetting email from my boss. I completely wrote off the weekend, I didn’t think anything positive could come from it. Stuart had come to have lunch with me at work on the Saturday (as the comforting, supportive boyfriend who unfortunately got a bit of an ear bashing with my moans), and invited me round after work to have leftovers before heading out to a movie. I didn’t suspect a thing! I told him I’d be around at 7, so I could have some ‘me’ time to chill out. At 7.30 pm, I rang to say I was running late and taking my sweet time (in true ‘me’ fashion – poor guy!). In the end I arrived at 8 pm…

    I walked in the door (a bit ruggedly unfortunately), to be greeted immediately by Stuart. Apparently, he’d made something for me to cheer me up! Still hadn’t clicked by this point, but started to wonder when he turned on the song ‘Unbreakable’ by Evermore...

    He opened the doors to his dining room/lounge, and led me in to the ‘proposal’ area – eek!
    The lights were all off, but all around the room where glowing bowls of water in jars, vases, bowls and glasses.
    In the corner of the room, Stuart had made an INCREDIBLE art exhibition, whoa! He had taken photos using a technique called ‘light painting’, where he’d ‘painted’ pictures with an LED light while leaving the shutter open for 30 secs. All he pictures he took were related to the lyrics of ‘Unbreakable’ – and in perfect timing he led me along the photos to the song as it was playing.
    He then led me to a table that had a projection running, with flashing animated playing cards. Over the 3 & ½ years Stuart and I had been together, Stuart had been writing messages on playing cards and leaving them around the place to find – a symbol of how much we love playing games together. He’d stolen them all back from me, and had them all piled up on the table. Underneath the cards were his bible and the top of a card poking out. As the song came to an end, I picked the card out of 1 Corinthians 13 – and it read “Darling, will you marry me?” Stuart got down on one knee and popped the question, while producing a STUNNER of a ring that he had designed and had made!

    My nightmare weekend had become one of the best of my life, and while writing this I’m still blown away at how much love, care and creativity Stuart put into this proposal. He most definitely achieved his goal of a complete surprise, and one completely new and original! And one of the best parts of this whole journey has been FINALLY being able to tell the world, just how much I love this dude :)

    Kate, you can check out the photo album with Stuart's art exhibition at:!/album.php?aid=109397&id=1220117392

    Enjoy, I definitely did!!

  2. Oh SHOT KATE!

    Mint photos. Olivia n Stu are so lucky! Loving the very top photo aye. wow!

  3. Kate you did an amazing job with the photos. Love the naturalness of it all. Stunning couple too :)

  4. Such incredible, beautiful photos Kate! x (Coralee)

  5. Stuart and Olivia's wedding was amazing and the photos are too!


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