Real Weddings: Natalie and Callum’s Rainy Day Wedding

Here’s the thing about Central Otago – it doesn’t rain often, but occasionally it does rain, and when you book your wedding in, you have no way of knowing if your chosen date will be one of Central Otago’s few rainy days or not.

An amazing photographer like Carla Mitchell will take what to most of us is ‘just’ a rainy day, and turn it into something beautiful, like this!

When the weather doesn’t play the game you have two choices.  Get upset, or don’t.

I highly recommend option two.  You only (generally) get one wedding day, and yes it would have been lovely if it wasn’t raining.  But spending your wedding day focused on the one unpleasant thing that is happening rather than the million wonderful things that are happening (most importantly you got to marry your favourite person!), would be a huge waste of a wedding day.

On Natalie and Callum’s wedding day, it rained.  And they chose option two – don’t get upset. Yes Callum was left making the big decision – inside or outside?  And like I said to him, unless you are obviously completely mad – as in it’s torrential and you and your guests do not have spare clothes, or it’s bitterly cold, you have a long ceremony and everybody is dressed for a summer wedding – I will back your decision 100%.  I will calmly but firmly tell anyone who questions the decision that the wedding is happening outside.

It helped that they had chosen Orchard Garden, and I cannot rate Wendy and Dale highly enough.  They had both options ready to go – indoors also looked beautiful, and would have been beautiful had that been the way Natalie and Callum decided to go!  They had a LOT of umbrellas available for the guests use. They provided every guest with a towel to wipe the rain from their seats with before they sat down.  They too backed Callum’s decision 100%

And the umbrellas totally added to the celebration! Photo credit: Carla Mitchell

We were running slightly behind schedule thanks to the rain, but the bride was not.  We had (as I always try to do) set up a plan, when they were leaving their accommodation a bridesmaid would call me and let me know.  Which means I was able to say, great, everything is fine here, but can you go on a little tiki tour (in what turned out to be a beautiful Bel Air!) and give us another 10 minutes?  No problemo!

How cool is this car!!!  And based right here in Alexandra, so can totally be your wedding car too.  Photo credit:  Carla Mitchell

Cue guests heading into the maze with umbrellas, the intro and housekeeping (please turn off your phones, clapping cheering laughter is all good, in fact encouraged, no smoking in the maze or gardens etc etc) and right on time, the bride and her bridesmaids arrive.  

So happy to be getting married! Photo credit:  Carla Mitchell

They are played in by Natalie’s cousin Matt – even though I have a PA System through which music can be played from a phone or mp3 player, and it does a lovely job, there is something so special about live music at a ceremony, I absolutely love it!

Mid ceremony Photo credit:  Carla Mitchell
This beautiful couple had so many giggles, I love them! Photo credit:  Carla Mitchell

And the ceremony was perfect.  There was a lot of laughter and smiles, Natalie’s brother and Callum’s sister both gave readings and did an excellent job.

Callum’s sister reading during the ceremony Photo credit:  Carla Mitchell

Natalie and Callum both wrote and delivered vows that reflected their beautiful relationship, it didn’t suddenly start persisting down and everybody got back to the reception venue happy and reasonably dry.

Confetti and those faces are the best!  Photo credit:  Carla Mitchell

There is so much you will not be able to control on your wedding day (Natalie cheerfully told me before I left that her friend had spilled a glass of wine down her back, but she was planning on dancing up a storm, so she wouldn’t notice anyway).  

I so adore this photo! Photo credit:  Carla Mitchell

On my wedding day I had my hand shaken repeatedly by a drunk, effusive, heavily tattooed, bearded man at the Gorge Road Country Club on our way to the reception, which was a very weird experience. And I can almost guarantee those things that were unplanned, out of your control and maybe even decidedly weird – they’ll become the stories you tell the most about your wedding day, the bits you find yourself loving without knowing quite why.

The delicious cheese creation!  Photo credit:  Carla Mitchell
And side note.  Traditions aren’t mandatory or set in stone.  Of course you can toast each other with a Speights!  And if cake isn’t your thing, cheese is totally it right now.  Do what makes you happy!  Photo credit:  Carla Mitchell

If you want to know what Natalie and Callum thought about me, visit their review here.


And these are the amazing vendors they used on their wedding day

Venue:  The Orchard Garden

Photographer:  Carla Mitchell

Florist:  Farmhouse Boutique

Celebrant:  Me!

Bride’s Dress:  Christine Reeves

Bridesmaids Dresses:  The Iconic

Suits: Hallensteins

Hair: Renee Hayley Hair


And wherever and however you’re getting married, massive congratulations!  If you’re after a celebrant in Central or South Otago who is all about #yourweddingyourway have a bit more of a nosy around my site and get in touch!  All my contact details are over on my contact page, or you can fill out this handy contact form below!

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