I nearly fell rolling down a hill, cameras and all, the first time meeting Stu & – as he lovingly calls her – Nic. I was photographing Lauren & Ricky’s wedding and happened upon Nic & Stu enjoying the view. I took a confident step just over the edge of the hill to get a better image of them and immediately began slipping. Thankfully Stu put a hand out and said in his enchanting Australian accent, “Ah, yea – There ya go, mate!” That night, I witnessed a fun-loving, out going couple tearing up the dance floor. Not even a month later, I received a book – I mean email – from Nicolette. “While attending Ricky and Lauren’s wedding we were on the hunt for a photographer to do engagement and wedding photos. When we saw you do the Cupid Shuffle on the dance floor with camera in hand, my fiancé and I knew you were the type of guy we’d want to take our photos!!” Needless to say, they won my heart immediately. We had a good laugh when we met up for the first and I realized they were the same couple I nearly fell down a hill while snapping a photo of! Stu said that moment had solidified in his mind that I needed to photograph their wedding!
Nic and Stu met while Nic was studying abroad in Australia. Nic and a few of her friends had gone to a pub one evening and began chatting with some of the locals. As fate would have it, Stu was one of them. Stu asked the American girls if they had seen any Kangaroos since they had arrived in Australia. Luckily they hadn’t, and charmingly Stu replied “Well if you give me your numbers, I could take you to see some.” In Nic’s own words, “(It was) Hook, line, and sinker for a couple of American girls.” Stu kept his promise and took them to see Kangaroos the very next week. And so began their relationship. In November of 2011, he made the incredibly difficult, life changing decision to uproot and move to America and ask Nicolette to marry him. It’s a subject that still cuts right to his core when he talks about it.
He fought tears as he stood up and looked out at over 20 of his Australian friends and family who made the trip. He choked out a few sentences, “It’s so hard to leave your entire family and move thousands of miles away from you all. It means so much to me, and I just want to thank each any everyone of you for being here and supporting us.” It was a heartfelt sentiment that echoed throughout the entire barn. At that, a celebration, a raucous cacophony for the record books ensued. Let me tell you, Australians know how to party! Shirts off, beer flying, inflatable guitars, custom printed underwear bearing the inscription “Stu’s Bucks”, ear-splitting sing-a-longs, a packed dance floor and all sorts of tomfoolery.
Nic & Stu have this incredibly zest for life! You just want to be around them and make them your best friends. Perhaps that’s why over the year leading up to their wedding, new photos would pop up every weekend of them out with different friends doing something new. It doesn’t matter if you know them for a few days or a few years, you will laugh with them immediately! Nic will give you a giant smiley warm hug and Stu will pat you on the back and say in that captivating accent, “There he is! Dan – the big fella!”
Just a few days after their wedding, they packed up everything and moved to Hawaii for Nicolette’s year long internship. After that, the sky is the limit. One thing you can count on is no matter the distance from their friends, they will pick up right where they left off. Just like you saw them yesterday!
Nic & Stu – thank you for inviting me along on your crazy ride! It has been a true honor to get to know you both these last two years. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for you both. Good on ya both!
Thank you for looking!