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Real Wedding : Anna and James, VII

My favorite weddings are the ones where you can actually see the joy. You can feel it when you look at the pictures, you can imagine it within every corner of the affair. This one is just that. Pure and utter joy…filled with so much style and grace I can hardly contain myself.

lauri levenfeld zoom photography real wedding new zealand

Here is what the bride had to say about our own Little Black Book photography, Lauri Levenfeld

“As well as being one of our closest friends, Lauri is a fantastic photographer of people and human emotion.  Her natural eye for capturing the most important moments in peoples’ lives is remarkable.  Since Lauri was the ONLY photographer we wanted to shoot our wedding, we bribed her to flying more than 12 hours by taking both Lauri and her lovely husband Greg to New Zealand with us for the wedding!  While it’s fair to say I was never a “Bridezilla-type” bride, we were super relaxed about every other vendor EXCEPT our photographer.  We wouldn’t settle for anyone other than Lauri.  We wanted Lauri’s unique eye because Lauri elevates everything she shoots!  Looking back at Lauri’s incredible pictures, we get to re-live the greatest week of our lives over and over again”.

lauri levenfeld zoom photography real wedding new zealand

So much more to come!!

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Real Wedding: Anna and James, VI

A few more bits of eye candy from the hugely wonderful Lauri Levenfeld

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From Anna, the amazingly lovely bride…

Waiheke Island is a magical place, only a 30-minute ferry ride from Auckland, populated with just fewer than 8,000 permanent residents, and the home to more than 30 vineyards – Truly Wine Island!  Anna always knew she wanted to marry on Waiheke Island and it was important to both of us that all of our friends and loved ones got the opportunity to experience this paradise over the course of an entire week (as opposed to one day!). 

Our ceremony took place on a cellar roof lawn at The Mudbrick Winery.  The Mudbrick Winery is one of those places you read about but never seem to actually visit in real life (think Wizard of Oz!).  The Mudbrick has it’s own heartbeat – and has the most warm and lovely fell surrounding it when you visit. The Mudbrick overlooks the Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto (an active volcano), along with the Auckland city skyline in the distance.

So much more to come!

Real Wedding: Anna and James, V

Love, love, love when a bride and groom see each other for the first time. I am and always will be a hopeless romantic so this moment completely tugs at the heart strings…

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all of the amazing photographs were shot by the fabulous Lauri Levenfeld of Zoom Photography

Here is a little background on their amazing engagement story…

We got engaged in the garden at the Louvre in Paris in September 2007, our first trip to Paris together. Paris  It was magical and overwhelming.  James surprised me with a few days in Paris before taking me to Provence to meet myfamily (who had traveled from New Zealand) to watch the NZ All-Blacks Rugby team play in the 2007 World Cup of Rugby in France.  After I stopped screaming and staring at my over the top diamond, we strolled across La Seine to Restaurant “Les Deux Magots” at 6 place Saint-Germain-des-Présmargot and to drink Billicart Salmon rose champagne (my favorite!) and devour Foie Gras and oysters.  The trip only got more perfect when on the train to Provence we were seated next to my idol, Gourmet Magazine’s Editor in Chief Ruth Reichl, who gave us fabulous advice on the best restaurants and cafes in Provence!

Is this right out of a fairytale? I feel like these two are the epitome of all things chic, all things absolutely, positively lovely. A little jealous, but a lot completely smitten. More to come!

Real Wedding: Anna and James, IV

If you are just now popping in for a visit, we are featuring the most beautiful New Zealand wedding shot by the amazingly talented Lauri Levenfeld. And speaking of, Lauri is doing a pretty cool “social media experiment” over on her blog, where the winner gets a free portrait shoot! Definitely worth checking out.

Okay, back to the wedding…

lauri levenfeld zoom photography real wedding new zealand

From Anna…

My aesthetic has always been “fresh, clean, and green” so there was no need to fight with the spectacular scenery offered by Waiheke.  I chose colors consistent with the very 60’s combination of Kelly green and bright white to compliment the special glacial turquoise NZ oceans of the Hauraki Gulf.

Overall, we wanted our wedding day to feel intimate and relaxed.  As a couple who has lived all over the world (James in Malawi, Jordan, New York City, London, and San Francisco) and Anna (New Zealand, New York City, and San Francisco), our wedding was about bringing all the people we love together to spend meaningful time together on the little island where Anna was raised as a child, Waiheke Island.

Ahhh. Swoon.

Real Wedding: Anna and James, III

Don’t you kind of love and hate this bride for being so drop dead gorgeous? Her flawless look, her gorgeous shoes, her beautiful, effortless style all came together in complete loveliness. And the fabulous Lauri Levenfeld of Zoom Photography captured her to perfection.

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From the lovely Anna…

My dress was as I had always envisioned it – bright white, silk chiffon, 60’s goddess style with intricate draping at the bust and an empire line  – it was designed by Amy Kuschel in SF and I added my own design touches like the straps and the deeper sweetheart neckline to it.  I could not find the perfect accessories for love or money, so at my last fitting my photographer and dear friend Lauri Levenfeld brought along some Bing Bang earrings that were absolutely perfect, a little bohemian and a lot fabulous! My makeup was pretty and natural. It was done by my oldest friend in New Zealand– Television make-up artist Vicky Morgan.  She knows me well and I think it showed. I felt comfortable and the prettiest version of myself.

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Real Wedding: Anna and James, II

Some of my favorite shots from a wedding are those when the bride is getting ready. The anticipation, the smiles, the total luxury of having someone else do your hair and make-up. Love it all. Here are a few great shots by Lauri Levenfeld of Zoom Photography, of Anna getting all dolled up for her gorgeous wedding…

laurie levenfeld zoom photography real wedding new zealand

SO beautiful. We have TONS of great details from the bride to share with you throughout the day, but here is a bit of background about the couple…

Anna Weinberg, 32, born and raised in New Zealand.  Anna grew up on Waiheke Island as a child, and then on her family’s vineyard in the Hawkes Bay on the North Island of New Zealand.  James Nicholas, 35, was born and raised in Northern California.  James is a fifth generation San Franciscan who grew up in Atherton, California. 

Anna and James met in New York City in the summer of 2004.  Within three months of meeting, James recruited Anna to move west to live with him in San Francisco.  After devoting two years to opening and running other people’s restaurants, Anna opened South, the first US restaurant dedicated to the culinary culture and wines of New Zealand and Australia.  After building a successful enterprise software company focused on providing solutions to the US Military and Public Safety agencies, James went on to work in Venture Capital in Menlo Park.

I am kind of in love with this couple already! So much more to come.