Lionel and Candice’s wedding was an eye opening experience for me. I’d been told that the activities of the morning would very much be something I would be keen to see so the 5am start wasn’t too much of an ask! From what I understand, Lionel arrived at the bride’s house and then proceeded to convince Candice’s Ji Muis (“sisters”) that he is worthy of her affection. He got off to a good start performing a song and dance that he had choreographed with his posse of mates which was pretty amazing I must admit. Then the money starts flowing – Lionel’s friends start handing envelopes filled with increasingly larger amounts of money through the front door of the house in order to convince the Ji Muis that Lionel is financially well off. Once a suitable amount of money is offered, Lionel is allowed into the house but he has to resort to increasingly desperate (for lack of a better word) acts as demanded by the Ji Muis (including licking peanut butter off each others faces) to convince how committed he is to her and at the end of it, he’s finally allowed to see Candice. I’m not convinced many men would have gone through what Lionel went through that morning and I reckon that Lionel well and truly earned the right to see Candice that day.
I photographed this wedding with my wonderful friend and super talented photographer Steve Koukoulas and some of his images are interspersed within this post. You should also check out his Facebook page right here.
Pete and Marina are wonderful souls and they love the simple things in life. Wine, clean air, fresh eggs from their chickens and a cute house in the country at the vineyard that Pete looks after and makes wine at. Plus, they named their dog Jonsi, after the lead singer in one of my favourite bands ever, Sigur Ros. And the best thing about photographing for a man that makes wine? It’s the box filled with 6 delicious bottles of the good stuff to take home afterwards.
The tears pouring down Anna’s grandmother’s face during Anna’s speech said it all. These were tears of bittersweetness – happiness in the fact that Luke and Anna had committed their lives to each other but there was something else as well. I gently asked Anna a little later in the day what she had been referring to during her speech. What she told me made my heart sink. This had been one of the hardest years in her family’s life. I won’t go into the details but the list of things that she named made me intensely sad that these wonderful people had had to experience such sorrow, difficulty and sadness in the previous 12 months. Anna acknowledged that her and Luke’s wedding was a shining ray of light in their collective lives and it was hopefully the end of their annus horribilis.
For me, even through the tears, there was so much happiness and rejoicing. Anna and Luke wanted their immediate families around them for an intimate ceremony followed by a dinner at their favourite restaurant in the Chinatown district of the Melbourne CBD. Luke had taken Anna there on their very first date, but after their first meal together, she understood why he loved it so much. And on their wedding day, Luke, being the expert in the cuisine was left in charge of picking his favourite dishes. And I must admit, he picked very well. A few hours later, we met up with all of their friends at a cute local pub in Fitzroy and knowing Anna and Luke, they definitely do like a pub. And as my images hopefully show, they managed to put aside everything that they had been through and celebrated their love with all of the people that they cared about by their side.