Tauranga newlyweds Michael and Katie Julian have been left devastated after finding out burglars stole their wedding photos after breaking into their photographer's home.
The Julians were excited to see their wedding photos after they flew home yesterday from their honeymoon in Tahiti.
But when photographer Brett Morrison called and told them the memory card in the camera the 700 wedding photos were stored on had been stolen from his Papamoa home, along with his late wife's jewellery, they were gutted.
"[The photos] are irreplaceable memories, we can't get them back," Mr Julian said.
It had been a tough year for the Julians. Mrs Julian's mother passed away in late May, but not before the couple was able to hold a small wedding service by her hospital bedside.
"This was the big wedding to share with friends and family to make the year happier, and it is just so heartbreaking that we have lost the physical copies of those memories," Mr Julian said.
The wedding in Ohauiti hills had been "magnificent" and Mr Morrison had captured the service and some private moments of the newlyweds and their baby Delilah, 11 months.
"We've put a shout out to our friends who were there who might have taken photos, but an iPhone photo isn't quite the same.
"It was so special to get married, and those memories have been taken by thieves without a conscience," he said.
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Mr Julian said the couple was sharing the bad news on social media, hoping people would see it and know something about where the stolen camera and jewellery ended up.
He said most of his friends and family had seen the Bay of Plenty Times article about the burglary, but kept it to themselves while the couple was on their honeymoon.
Mr Julian said the couple felt equally gutted for Mr Morrison's loss of his late wife's jewellery.
Mr Morrison said it was a hard phone call to make.
"I felt quite horrible about it. I was hoping before they got back from honeymoon everything would be handed in and I wouldn't have to tell them," he said.
Mr Morrison said he could tell the newlyweds were hurting after he told them the news.
"I felt helpless, there's nothing I can do."
He has not heard any new information since the burglary last Tuesday morning, but his story has been shared on social media more than 1000 times.
His wife, Sarah, died last year of bowel cancer, and thieves stole her jewellery including her engagement, wedding and eternity rings, wedding earrings and necklaces.
He said if the thieves were nervous about dropping the stolen items off at the police station, they could put in Mr Morrison's mailbox or his back door.
"They know where I live."
• The police investigation into the burglary had no fresh updates
• Police would still like to speak to anyone who has any information or who may have seen anything suspicious.
• Contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
For more articles from this region, go to Bay of Plenty Times