WEDDING / JO + PETE
After a two and a half hour drive from Melbourne, I arrived at the beautifully quaint country town of Echuca. I was about to shoot the wedding of my oldest friend’s mother and I was evenly balanced with excitement and nerves. The flutters in my belly quickly dissipated when I entered the Bride’s apartment. The Bride and her wonderful support group of family and friends were positively beaming with joy. They Instantly made me feel welcomed into the pre wedding inner sanctum. I couldn’t wait to start shooting.
In a small apartment full of 13 women, the “getting ready” period was hectic to say the least, but at the same time, fairly organised. Everyone knew what role they had to play. I spent 10 quiet minutes with the Bride, confirming the schedule in the led up to the ceremony. With so many important “must have” moments the Bride was after, she was content to let me push where needed to make sure the schedule was kept and no moments were missed. A role I was confident to take on.
After the Bridal party make up and hair were all complete, we were ready for a pre ceremony Brides shoot in the historic Port of Echuca. The Bridal Party consisted of the Bride’s daughter, her best friend and her soon to be step daughter, all so clearly over the moon about the impending nuptials.
While the air was crisp, the mood was warm. As we strolled down the historic Murray Street alongside the Port of Echuca, the Bride eagerly gestured us through two huge barn doors. Curious as to what was beyond, we filed through to find a beautiful old winery. That spontaneous moment to pop into a winery and enjoy a Tawny Port was such a special part of the day, not to mention a nice way to settle the Bride’s nerves.
The Bride’s vision for the photos was very much within my preferred style of shooting, with more candid, natural, unposed shots as opposed to set up, to camera shots. After the champagne at the apartment and the port shots, it wasn’t too hard to convince the ladies to have a little laugh, and try and forget there was a camera in their midst. Before I knew it there were female body part jokes galore, the perfect conversation for capturing the pre ceremony spirited vibe of the bridesmaids.
As the ceremony arrival time loomed, my next stop was the venue, The Mill. The landmark building built in 1818, with a high roof, cascading chandeliers and internal brick walls added such elegance. Not to mention the full, deep red roses that adorned the alter arch. Romance was everywhere.
The soft afternoon light poured in through the industrial windows, creating a stunning backdrop for the Groomsmen's photos. It was the sort of light that a photographers dreams are made of. Mere minutes from the ceremony and the Groom, his best friend and his two sons were as cool as cucumbers. Whilst not officially in the Bridal Party, the Brides three strapping sons were part of the “must have” photos list and once again the “look natural” brief was incredibly easy to capture as the siblings bantered in a language only brothers could understand.
Night time fell and suddenly, it was time, guests began to arrive. There was a healthy buzz in the room as family and friends greeted one another, rejoicing in the marriage of their dear friends. Fashionably late, the Bride arrived and attended to some last minute touch ups. The murmurs of the waiting guests died down and the black curtain parted. The guests turned to see the Bride’s three sons escort the three Bridesmaids down the aisle. Shortly after, the Bride appeared in the glowing light, her dress sparkling and her bouquet striking.
The short walk to her awaiting Groom and the Bride couldn’t hold back her emotion, tears running down her face by the time she reached her love. They embraced so completely that the guests too, shed unrestraint tears, myself included. The moment was beyond words.
The beautiful ceremony was followed with some words by the Bride and Groom recognising the unity of their families, before the music was turned up and the drinks were poured fast. The celebration continued well into the night.
APARTMENT: Quest Apartments, Echuca
BRIDES DRESS: After Six Brunswick
BRIDES SHOES: Jo Mercer
BRIDES RING: Karington Jewelry
MAKE UP: Sublime Mobile Make Up
HAIR: Natasha Murnane
VENUE: The Mill, Echuca
FLOWERS: Wallingford Flowers