Melanie and Sam

Kentucky, New South Wales

Mel and Sam met when they were both studying to be doctors at the University of Newcastle. After they met for the first time, Sam went home and told his roommates that he had found his future wife.

Their first date only ended once the restaurant had closed and Mel lost her voice.

Their first date was meant to be a short dessert date, but they found they had so much in common and spoke so much that they stayed until the restaurant closed and Mel lost her voice.

Mel and Sam have a love for the outdoors, especially scuba diving, snowboarding, hiking, camping, the ocean and ‘trying’ to surf. They have spent a great deal of time travelling the world together and it seemed only fitting that after 8 years dating that they decided to combine their love of travel and the snow, and propose in Japan on New Year’s Day.

It was a beautiful clear day which is unusual for Niseko and he directed Mel to a secluded part of the mountain with stunning views of the slopes below. Sam had this great idea to write ‘will you marry me’ in the snow. The only problem was that as the snow was so thick, the small bottle of food dye quickly evaporated into nothing. The other snag with Sam’s plan was that Mel couldn’t tell that Sam was on one knee in the metre of powdered snow that had fallen.

Despite Mel’s initial confusion followed by an obvious ‘yes’ to marrying Sam they both made their way to the bottom of the slope to celebrate. They had a beautiful lunch and asked the waiter to open a bottle of champagne. Unfortunately, champagne is unusual in Japan and the poor waiter almost lost his eye from the cork.

Mel couldn’t tell that Sam was on one knee in the metre of powdered snow that had fallen.

Mel and Sam's
Wedding Day

Mel and Sam’s wedding day was held at Sam’s parent’s 1000 acre farm in the village of Kentucky, near Armidale. Sam and Mel had lots of guests from the city, as well as from interstate and overseas, so you can imagine how excited they were to arrive at this stunning property. The gardens were overflowing with flowers and Sam’s Dad was a DIY extraordinaire, which included making the wedding arch, fire drums from old railway sleepers, and rustic timber blackboard signs which Mel then hand painted with the details of the ceremony and reception. 

There was one visitor that wasn’t really welcome on the day- a large brown snake. Sam’s dad was still trying to find the snake hiding under the porta loo when the buses arrived. Thankfully it didn’t make an appearance again until the day after the wedding.

Melanie looked stunning in her exquisite wedding gown from Mira Mandic in Double Bay. The dress had a beautiful low back with a contemporary beaded bodice and was just perfect for a sophisticated country wedding. 

Sam is a keen musician in his spare time and one of the most memorable moments of the day was when Sam performed a song that he had written especially for Mel as a surprise.

The guests rocked on all night to the tunes of ‘The White Tree’ who played old school classics such as Fleetwood Mac, The Dire Straits and Billy Joel.

Sam and Mel had a fantastic but short honeymoon in Tasmania where they visited Bruny Island and Freycinet National Park, but sadly they had to go back to work in less than a week. They will shortly be going back to the North Island of Japan where they got engaged to complete their honeymoon. 

Mel and Sam are looking forward to volunteering in Africa for a year in 2018 before coming home to finish the rest of their specialty training. After this, they would like to settle in a regional area where they hope to follow Sam’s family’s footsteps and buy a farm one day.


“As we were having our wedding day at Sam’s parent’s farm we wanted to make sure that we had a photographer who was at ease with shooting beautiful outdoor landscapes. The fact that James is from Armidale and very comfortable on farms meant that he captured the gardens and tranquility of the farm perfectly! 

We were amazed by the number of people who came up to us and said how good James was to deal with and how relaxed and easy going he was. James was quick and efficient and he really nailed what we wanted in a wedding photographer. Choosing him was one of the best decisions that we made when planning our wedding!

If you are looking for a wedding photographer—don’t even think about it— just hire James!”

“Before we hired James we were concerned we would have to spend our whole wedding day posing in front of a camera. With James as our photographer, the exact opposite happened.”


“James was just like another wedding guest who wanted us to enjoy our day with our family and friends. His photos are a true representation of the day and James was able to capture the vibe and atmosphere perfectly!”




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