Bronwyn + James – Nikola Estate Wedding


Rustic Wedding With A Horse Drawn Carriage for Bronwyn and James

It’s funny sometimes the circumstances of how you meet your next bridal couple, and Bronwyn and James are no exception.

I’d previously met them at the wedding of another bride and groom I’d photographed, where they served as bridesmaid and groomsman, but this time, on a beautiful September day, it was their turn to tie the knot.

Both owning a gorgeous Helena Valley home in the Perth Hills, the couple decided to prepare at their abode – in separate parts of the house, of course! Brownyn and her bridesmaids had celebratory champagne ready to go by my arrival, and we immediately got to work capturing the intricacies of her stunning fitted, lace gown  and taking advantage of the natural light that shone through one particular part of the house – the sheer curtains, wooden flooring and a feature wall in dark tones were the perfect elements for Bronwyn’s pre-ceremony portraits, and she truly was a vibe all on her own. A classic beauty who took on a modern take with her gown, the bride was fabulous to work with, and soon after taking shots with her bridesmaids, it was time to give the groom, James, some attention with the lens.

James, who looked incredibly suave by the way, took to the camera like a pro, but time crept up on us and I then guided him outside for the couple’s First Look session – not all brides and grooms do a First Look, but Bronwyn and James absolutely wanted one, and what better place to have them do this than on their own verandah, with the perfect corner for James to wait in anticipation at.

First Looks are those moments a couple want to have some privacy before the ceremony; before mingling with guests and before a full-on busy afternoon with the ceremony, the bridal shoot and the reception. It’s a few minutes for both the bride and groom to reassure one another, and let those butterflies in the tummy settle down.

Not long after, we all headed to Nikola Estate in the Swan Valley, where the location has a stunning picturesque chapel right in the middle of a winery and encapsulates romance with majestic jacaranda trees on the property, manicured lawns and historic buildings. Because we had already done a First Look, we took advantage of the empty chapel and snapped some shots with immediate family members under the wedding arbour – where again, the lighting worked in our favour.

For Bronwyn to make her grand entrance, she left before guests started to arrive and came back to the chapel in the most classic, most beautiful horse drawn carriage I’d ever seen. Pulled by two heavy-built equines, Bronwyn entered the chapel amidst all her and James’ closest friends and family for an intimate, rustic ceremony that had lots of laughs, smiles, and tears of joy.

The lighting in the chapel was insurmountable, and besides taking photos together with guests, I made sure we got more bridal couple images under the beautiful arbour – when a location is this good, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity. And that wasn’t just for the chapel’s interior, because how could we not have photos with the carriage horses?! As they waited outside patiently during the ceremony, the animals took to the camera easily and put on a great show for all of us post-nuptials.

Nikola Estate is one of those places that takes your breath away, and it’s no wonder Bronwyn and James chose it for their venue. We didn’t have to go far at all for photos in the vineyard, and we could stay close to the chapel for champas with the bridal party.

But even better, their reception was on site too in a gorgeous rustic barnyard-style building, and this too proved a fantastic place for photos of everyone in attendance. The vibe was phenomenal, so much happiness from all the guests and the bridal party, and before we knew it, it was time to boogey down and get on the dance floor!   

Bronwyn and James, thank you so much for letting me capture your most memorable moments and being the best bride and groom! I wish you both the very best in your wedded life together, and all the happiness and joy the world can give you.



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