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I'm often asked how many hours of photography are included in my wedding stories and my answer is always the same: the whole day, so I can capture every last drop of wedding goodness! Being available all day also relieves the pressure to cram all the photo opportunities into a short duration. After all, who wants to be clock watching on their special day? And good photo sessions need to be planned; not just around the ceremony and reception, but also when the light is best.

So when Karen and Stanley said they wanted to make the most of Sydney's beautiful Northern Beaches, it was a 5.30am alarm that kick-started my day and an extra early morning drive up to Bilgola Beach!

The beach location shoot meant the couple would see each other before the ceremony, but strictly speaking it wasn't a true "First Look" as Karen wasn't wearing her wedding gown just yet. Nope, instead she was donning the first of her three amazing dresses for the day! But she looked every inch the bride as Stanley proudly walked her down to the beach, followed by myself and the awesome video ninjas from Paper Cranes.  Early is the perfect time for a beach photoshoot as the sun had just risen and we had the beach to ourselves, although admittedly the blustery weather also helped with crowd control!

A wardrobe change later and Karen was in her gorgeous wedding gown. There was an emotional Taiwanese farewell ritual with her parents and the tossing away of a ceremonial fan which represented bad habits, then we set off for the ceremony and reception at the Newport Mirage. A light drizzle descended on the outdoor ceremony, finally ending my run of drip free weddings, but it wasn't anything that a couple of umbrellas couldn't remedy.

After the ceremony the couple took part in another traditional ritual that signified the starting of their new life together. It involved the drinking of sweet soup as well as Karen spitting fruit stones into Stanley's hand. Now if that isn't true love I don't know what is!

Following the lunchtime reception (which included an amazing kissing game!) and the debut of Karen's final outfit for the day, we headed out to the jetty for location shoot #2 which had been timed to use the last of the day's light. Cloud cover prevented us getting the sunset we hoped for, but it couldn't hold back the love and happiness that was beaming through Karen and Stanley.