I was excited about this wedding from the first meeting. Nikki and Ben told me about their plans to marry on Ben’s family property in the hills near Bellingen and I immediately fell in love! They planned to marry on Friday the 13th even though people told them it was crazy, they were determined to make it their day! They dreamed of a vintage style ceremony in Ben’s childhood backyard with bunting, florals and wooden benches surrounded by beautiful autumn trees. Followed by a relaxed, cocktail reception with lots of emotional speeches – and that’s exactly what they got! It was absolutely perfect.

The day was very special for several reasons, but one of the most important was that Ben’s daughter, Scarlett, was getting a new step-mum. I have never seen such a beautiful bond between a mother and step-daughter before, who have only known each other a few years, but now couldn’t live without each other. I could barely pull myself together when Nikki made her special vows to Scarlett.

Today as I marry your dad I’m not only making a vow to him, I’m also making a promise to you.
When I met your dad it wasn’t just him I wanted to be part of my life it was both of you, your dad always told me – Scarlett and I come as a pair and that’s exactly what I wanted. 
I vow also to love your dad, I know you loved him first and I will never break that bond you two share, I promise I will always treat you as my own, in my eyes you are my first child.


Scarlett’s reaction says everything.

Nikki and her girls got ready at Afterglow Cottages in Bellingen where they were pampered by Carmel Kestles and Harlow Hair and Beauty. Nikki was helped into her stunning Grace Loves Lace gown by her mum who described her as a classic, regal beauty – and I have to say I agree! She was jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Ben and his brothers slipped into some sharp Politix suits in their family home before wandering out to the ceremony spot in the backyard which was beautifully decorated by Hilliars Rose Farm around an arbour that Ben had built himself.

The ceremony was conducted by Deb McMahon and afterwards we explored the lush forests in some neighbouring properties for portraits. The bridal party then ducked down for a quick ginger beer at The Brewery, and then sauntered off down main street to party on at Cedar Bar & Kitchen til late in the evening. The perfect recipe for a well hydrated and delightful soirée with some kickin’ tunes by The Funk Thieves and that stellar cake put together by The Rustic Cake Couple!

It was one of the most emotional weddings I’ve witnessed. I cried more than I have in a long time. And I laughed more than I should have when Ben admitted he spent their entire first date on his tippy toes as he had told Nikki he was definitely 6 foot.


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Nicola Bodle is an Australian destination wedding photographer. She captures weddings, engagements and elopements throughout Australia and the world. Based on the Mid-North Coast of NSW, she specialises in bold, honest and emotive imagery for adventurous couples and romantic souls.

Wow! These are so beautiful!! Love the mood! Maybe I need to come up to Bellingen for my wedding!! Then bonus, I can have you as my photographer!!

Bellingen bringing it, wow Nic, this is truest beautiful!

What an incredible Bellingen wedding! So many gorgeous photos Nic! You were the perfect photographer for this wedding! X