• Kerry Warnholtz

A Wedding About Whānau (family)

The Moses Family (Luke, Jahkaya, Brieze & Reigan) wearing their traditional Maori 'Korowai'

"Ehara taku toa i te toa

takitahi engari he toa


"My strength is not that of an individual but that of the collective."

- Maori proverb


Recently, I was honoured and privileged to photograph the big, beautiful wedding of Luke and Reigan (Moses) at Branell Homestead in Laidley.

Hilltop view of Branell Homestead in 2018, when it was greener. Photo by Kerry Warnholtz.

If there is a people that embrace their culture, put family above all else, and richly celebrate both with deep reverence and joy, it is people of the Maori tradition.

For Luke and Reigan, Whanau was the first and highest consideration from the very beginning of planning. Unlike most traditional western weddings, it wasn't all about the dress, the flowers, the shoes, the bride and the perfect sunset shot (though these are still an important consideration).

From every perspective of planning, including the happiness and comfort of the guests, and those seemingly small, though not insignificant traditions weaved into the fabric of their wedding day, family was most important to Luke and Reigan.

A tradition however in most weddings, regardless of culture, is that the bride is always late. And this wedding was no exception. Mind you, with the searing heat of rural Queensland in November, the bridal party weren't in any hurry to get into their wedding finery. In fact, neither were the guests. So I think it was a very reasonable excuse.

Luckily, as the sun went down, so did the temperature. And as for another Maori tradition, the laid-back approach of these welcoming and happy people, made this wedding such a pleasure to capture and be part of.

Thanks to Luke, Reigan and their beautiful families for extending that warmth and acceptance to myself and all those that they encountered. Your celebration of family and traditions touched me profoundly.

On that note, I leave you with the photographs that you've been patiently (or not) waiting for. Photographs that show the genuine love, caring and also playfulness of the bride and groom.

And to Luke and Reigan...

Kia tau te aroha ki runga i tō kōrua hononga

Kerry xx

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