Our Lucky Break.

22 Jul

In a previous post, I explained our initial ideas. We were desperate to have the wedding in Christchurch, and I won’t lie, disappointed that we couldn’t. Our Hunter Valley wedding, however, has worked out phenomenally, however, and we’re so very happy to be celebrating in such a significant place with our nearest and dearest.

However, our Christchurch story doesn’t end there.

You see, this year, Mr Big turned the big 3-0. He wanted a “low key” celebration, but I wasn’t having that. He had previously thrown me a dress-up-as-a-superhero-surprise-25th which lead to pictures like this:

GP and me

I didn’t have costume. Hulk sad. I was wearing a jumper with an Assassin’s Creed hood though!

(I would put more up… but I don’t want my friends to kill me.)

But I digress, Mr Big was turning the big 3-0 and I wanted him to celebrate in style!

And so, I forced prodded him to have it in Kiwiland. He finally caved agreed and we started planning our trip! At the same time, Mr Big and I were thinking of what to do for our engagement shoot with our wonderful photographers. We originally were thinking of going to Cockatoo Island for the e-session, a little island in Sydney harbour, and had originally intended on having it in August.

cockatoo-island

The industrial part of Cockatoo Island. There are also convict areas and underground tunnels that were used to shelter people from falling bombs during WWII! The tiny people in this photo are: Mama Bighorn, myself, Groom’s Homie Oddball, and Mr Big. I know… I’m short. / Image taken by MoH M&Ms during a trip out to the beautiful spot.

I shot an email to Ellen and we back-and-forthed for a little bit. The months between September to December would be busy for them (wedding season!) so that left June, July, and August. It’d be winter in Australia, but that would be fine for Mr Big and I. We love winter more than summer.

With that, we tried to narrow down a date. I remember mentioning in passing that we would be in New Zealand in July, and hence, August would be best for us. To my surprise, we got this reply back from Ellen:

We’re also heading to NZ in early July – when are you going and where? We fly into Christchurch I think on the 14th! Would you like to do the shoot there if we’re in the same place at the same time? Haha!

I can honestly say my hands were trembling with excitement.

I quickly called Mr Big to ask if we would be able to (and was met with voicemail; he was in a meeting at work) and then waited anxiously for his reply. I tried to be realistic about it, for example, we might not be in Chch (Christchurch) during the same time as them, Mr Big might not like the idea, etc. but then he called back.

He was as keen as I was. (Probably even more so!)

WOOT!

After back-and-forth emails with Ellen, we decided on an approximate date and time. We’d be meeting up with them in Christchurch at a particular spot, assigned during the week leading up to the date. We’d also grab their mobile numbers to communicate accordingly.

So it was settled.

We’d be having our engagement shoot in Christchurch, during the winter. What’s even better? We’d be having it the day before our third-year anniversary together! During the lead-up we scouted out areas and spent an entire day with De-Papa Big in doing so. He also gave us the ‘Quake Tour’, which he does every time we visit so that we can get an idea on how the city is progressing every visit.

We started off in Avonside, a red-zoned area that was particularly damaged in the 2011 February earthquake. The last time we drove through Avonside, Mr Big mentioned that he wouldn’t be surprised if zombies came shambling out of the houses. The whole neighbourhood is in relatively disrepair, with houses sagging down sadly or some even burnt (that’s what upset me the most).

We felt it disrespectful to take photos, especially engagement ones, in Avonside, so we vetoed that idea. Instead, we simply drove around to have a good look at the neighbourhood which, to my knowledge, will be turned into parklands. De-Papa Big mentioned that they may even keep some houses up in memoriam to the damaged houses and changed lives of the quakes.

With that sombre mood, we decided to move on to a more populated part of Chch. Enter, the Cathedral Square:

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Mr Big and I posing for a photo in the Cathedral Square. This place used to be surrounded by tall buildings.

For those who don’t know, the Cathedral Square is named for the Christchurch Cathedral which sat in its centre. And for those who are curious as to what it looks like, this is what it used to look like:

chch_cathedral_before

The Christchurch Cathedral. / Image taken via Wikipedia.

And this is what it looks like now:

chch_cathedral_after

The damage done to the Cathedral after both 2010 September earthquakes, several aftershocks, and the massive 2011 February earthquake. You can’t see it from here, but the spire is in rubble to the left of this picture. / Image via Chris Hewitt, A Kiwi at the Camera.

Whenever I look at pictures of the Cathedral, I still feel sad. I could go on about why, but I won’t bore you guys with the details. We decided we needed to move past the sombreness from both Avonside and the Square, so we decided to explore the ‘space-fillers’ surrounding the Square. We found this one:

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Surf-Turf chairs! We look like two little kids, haha!

From there, we moved to New Regent St which is just.so.charming! Here’s a picture pre-e-session of my being a retard on New Regent St:

new regent st_xbox sign

I know you’ve guys seen this picture before. It’s the best picture I have of New Regent St…

We decided to buy coffees and chat for a little before we moved on. Our next stop was the RE:start mall, also known as the “container mall”.

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Mr Big and I – I’m still drinking my coffee. And yes, that sign does say “lingerie”, since we were right next to one!

It’s a shopping mall made completely made of shipping containers. It’s such a nice spot to rest, relax, and shop around. We even managed to buy a “ring box” (it’s not really a ring box, but we made it one!).

We also scoped out the cardboard Cathedral in front of Latimer Square, but felt it didn’t really capture what we wanted.

cardboard cathedral

The cardboard Cathedral at Latimer Square, still under construction.

So with our location scouting done, we put a plan into action!

In the next post, I talk about a something that’s pretty important in e-session shoots. Clothing!

What do you guys think of these locations? Did anyone else get a ‘lucky break’ in your wedding plans?

(All photos personal unless otherwise stated.)

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