Kate & Mark | Sydney Wedding Photographer | Newcastle, NSW

Being a Sydney wedding photographer, you tend to see and hear almost every type of reception, ceremony and idea for a wedding. But every once in a while, you meet a new client and get a run down of their wedding and think “Wow! That sounds so different, it’s amazing!”
Kate and Mark’s Newcastle wedding was one of those.

Although Kate and Mark both live in Sydney, they decided to get married in Newcastle. Not only because it’s a great spot with beautiful beaches and scenery but also because of the reception venue….more on that a little bit later!
The drive to Newcastle is about 2 hours from Sydney. So after I arrived in Newcastle (and my GPS telling me the “scenic route” way to go!) I was ready to get the day started and actually get out of the car. So it was straight up to Mark’s hotel room for some quick shots with his groomsmen and parents.
We were lucky in that both Mark and Kate were staying in the same hotel (albeit on opposite sides) so after a quick walk it was time to catch up with Kate and get her bridal preparation underway. Kate was positively glowing when I arrived! She looked stunning and was in such a calm state, you’d think she was just getting ready for a night out…not about to walk down the aisle!
Kate had chosen a beautiful bouquet of native Australian flowers to match her flowing lace bridal gown. The whole day had a very minimalist feel and style to it, and that was followed through with only a set of earrings & bracelet.

After spending some time with the bridal party and getting some portraits of the glowing bride, it was time to meet the VW Combie Van which they’d hired from Hunter Valley Vee Dubs and make our way to the ceremony.
The ceremony was being held at Shepherd’s Hill Fort, which is a stunning cliff top area overlooking the beach and ocean. With a crystal clear sky and green grass along with old sandstone buildings all around, the location was one of the best I’ve been to! There’s something special about being married on top of a cliff! :)
After a quick, informal ceremony it was time to move onto our photo locations. Although we had a few locations in mind…some became inaccessible due to road closures on the day. So we moved straight onto a favourite in the Newcastle area – Nobbys Beach & Lighthouse.
Nobbys Beach is perfect for really great candid, natural wedding photographs. There are plenty of sand dunes for people to walk & spread out, the beach is only a short walk from the car park, and the famous lighthouse sets an amazing backdrop for wedding photos. Having Kate and Mark both relax on the sand dunes and just be themselves was so good to see and allowed me to capture some beautiful natural photos of the newlyweds.

As the light started to fade, we made our way back to the centre of Newcastle to the reception venue – a church.
Like I mentioned earlier, the reception venue for this wedding was always going to be a standout. See, Mark and his father actually own this church in Newcastle. And they’ve spent the last 12 months refurbishing it from the ground up. Polishing the timber roof & floors, reconstructing the church bell tower, replacing the stained glass windows and installing lights. It was all done in preparation for their wedding, and the venue looked AMAZING!!
Kate also did her part with the design and décor of the church. Everything was DIY, but looked perfectly styled. From the hay bales being used as seats, the timber crates and tables used to hold the Candy Bar & signing board and carrying the native Australian flower theme all the way through.
This really was a very special wedding reception venue. One of the best that I’ve been lucky enough to work in.

On top of the amazing venue (which Mark hopes to open as a full reception/venue hire business soon!) they also had 2 giant Paella’s being cooked right there in the church, courtesy of the guys at Paella Casa.
After some speeches were done, the live band kicked into action and the Paella’s were ready to be served. The food was delicious, the drinks were flowing and people were celebrating.
And then it was time for me to leave. Time to leave a little oasis in the middle of Newcastle which had transformed a 100+ year old church into a wedding reception full of wonderful food, music and most of all people.

When I first had the chance to meet Kate & Mark I knew their wedding would be something special. Everything was a little bit different but at the same time, everything came together perfectly and made a wedding I’ll remember for a long time!

If you’re in the market for a Sydney wedding photographer and you like some of the photos below, please feel free to get in touch. I travel regularly both around NSW and interstate for wedding & portrait photography.


Mother with groom

Mark’s mother fixes up her son’s suit before his big day.

Groomsmen with beer.

The groomsmen get ready for Mark’s big day…with a beer.

Bridal dress hangs by the window.

Kate’s stunning bridal gown hangs in front of the balcony window.

Bridal Flowers | Newcastle Wedding

T beautiful traditional Australian bouquet of bridal flowers for Kate.

Bride Putting on Dress with mother

Kate puts on her stunning bridal gown with the help of her mother and bridesmaid.

B&W Bridal Portrait

B&W bridal portrait of Kate before she leaves for her big day.

Stunning Bride laughs while putting on her dress

A wonderful candid moment captured while Kate gets the final touches done to her dress.

Beautiful Bride | Wedding Photography

Kate was looking amazing on her wedding day – so much natural beauty.

Glowing Bride | Wedding Photography Sydney

Having someone like Kate positively glowing for an entire day makes my work so much easier!

Bridal Selfie with her dad

Kate takes a quick selfie with her dad before heading out of the hotel room.

Bride with her bridesmaids

Kate with her amazing bridesmaids.

Stunning bridal accessories.

A great detail photograph of some of Kate’s bridal accessories.

Groom waits for his bride on a cliff top.

Mark waits atop the cliff where he’s getting married with his groomsmen.

Shepherd's Hill Fort Wedding Photography

Shepherd’s Hill Fort is a phenomenal location for a wedding…on a high cliff overlooking the ocean and beach below!

Bridesmaids walk towards ceremony in Newcastle.

Kate’s bridesmaids walk from the VW Combie Vans down towards Shepherd’s Hill Fort.

Emotional bride walks towards her groom

An emotional Kate walks towards her waiting groom.

Bride and Father | Cliff Top Wedding

Kate’s dad shares a moment with his daughter before her wedding.

Laughing bride and groom at ceremony.

Kate and Mark laugh during their low-key ceremony at Shepherd’s Hill Fort

Bridal Kiss in black and white.

Kate and Mark share a moment after finally becoming husband & wife!

Hang Glider at wedding at Newcastle

Shepherd’s Hill Fort is a popular spot for hang gliders…I’m sure this one got a great view of the ceremony!

Black and White Wedding Photo

A beautiful capture in black & white of Kate and Mark sharing a moment on the beach.

Natural wedding photo on beach.

Kate and Mark wanted very natural photos…and there’s no better spot than a Newcastle beach on the sand!

Wedding couple walk on Nobbys Head Beach

Nobbys Head Beach and lighthouse are popular with wedding parties, and it’s no wonder why.

Bridal party at sunset on beach

Even with grey skies, Nobbys Head is still a stunning location for really great candid wedding photographs, with the sand dunes going right up to the car park.

A fun bridal photo with entire bridal party

The boys pick up Kate before we head back to the reception.

Bridal party jump.


Candid Wedding Photography on beach

A great little candid moment captured on Nobbys Head Beach with Kate & Mark

VW Combie Bridal Cars at Beach.

Kate and Mark selected two perfectly restored VW Combie Vans as their bridal cars – it matched the whole day so well!

Family wedding photo at reception.

Both sides of the family share a photo in the converted church / reception venue.

Sydney wedding candy bar

The little touches on this wedding were what stood out most to me…a massive candy bar with personalized paper bags to hold the candy!

Signature/Guest board at wedding.

Little personal touches all done by Kate and her family like the chalk boards, wooden crates and signature/guest board all matched perfectly to the theme of the wedding.

4-tier cheese wheel cake

Kate and Mark had a 4-tier cheese wheel cake for their wedding.

DIY Wedding Table Setting

Almost all the decorations, table settings and layout of the reception were done by Kate, Mark and their families. Everything looked perfect!

Candy Bar in church at wedding reception.

With a DIY Candy Bar being placed inside a church against the old-school charm of a brick wall and glass windows…this wedding had everything.

Wedding guests gather at reception for speeches.

The crowd gathers around in the amazing wedding reception venue to hear the speeches.

Converted & restored church now used as wedding reception venue.

This wedding reception venue blew me away when I walked in – an old church in the centre of Newcastle which has been restored (a lot by hand!) and converted as a function & wedding venue. Best of all, it was Mark and his dad that own and have done majority of the work! Amazing.

Two giant paella's for wedding main meal.

Keeping with the relaxed mood of the whole day, the main meal for the wedding were two giant paella’s, prepared and cooked right inside the church!

paella being cooked inside a church.

Not something you see every day…two giant paella’s being prepared inside a church.

Two amazing paella's at wedding reception.

The two paella’s right before they are served – they tasted even better than they look here!

Bride and Groom with paella

Kate & Mark get an early start on the paella at their wedding reception!

Australian Native Flowers used in wedding decorations.

The entire reception venue was designed by Kate, with great little details like the straw and hay used for seats and stands, wooden crates, candles and Australian Native plants and flowers used throughout.

Wedding Reception in church.

Being that the venue is a converted church, it still had the old traditional wooden doors and roof which had been restored and polished.

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