Hana + Seb – Joondalup Resort Persian Wedding


Persian wedding a sea of colour and love If colour were a wedding, this would be it.

A far outcry from a traditional Western wedding, Hana and Seb’s occasion was the epitome of culture taking over local society’s norm, and what a spectacular event it was to be a part of!

Across two days from July 19 & 21, 2019 the happy couple were immersed amongst their family and friends, who really showcased what love was all about – and in a sea of stunning colour, no less.

You see, both Hana and Seb are of Afghani background, so it was a given that the celebrations of their relationship would be spectacular and tremendous in size, and whilst I photographed their two days of nuptials, I came to realise how well those within this culture knew how to party!

Capturing Hana and Seb’s Henna Night, a traditional celebratory evening the Friday before the wedding, was full of new insight for me, and there was so much storytelling for me to capture at Agni Fine Cuisine in Innaloo. During this night, artists use a paste made from dried henna leaves (from a small flowering shrub) to paint intricate patterns on the hands of the bridal party, and traditionally the bride gets the most elaborate patterns to set her apart from everyone else.

It’s a night of blessings, luck, and joy – and there was a lot of that during the couple’s Henna Night! It was very much all about the two families coming together, rather than just the bride and groom, and there was a lot of opportunity for me to take photos of everyone attending.

From both men and women covered in royal blues, emerald greens, and deep reds to adornments of shining gold and sparkling silver, I felt particularly underdressed! No matter though – was there to do a job, and it was seamless for me to just flow through the excited guests with my camera, snapping away at every angle.

The children in particular was fun to watch and photograph!

Sunday was the day of the wedding, however it came with a twist that would seem intriguing to the non-Afghani community – no wedding ceremony.

Despite this, Hana and Seb still wanted to cater to their guests and add some Western elements to their special day, especially when it came to Hana’s gorgeously styled princess gown. The couple got ready at Joondalup Resort before we all headed out to Wanneroo Pine Forest for a shoot, the three of us along with Seb’s little brother who played the role of a bridesmaid (there was no bridal party, and we had quite a bit of fun as the ‘bridesmaid’ carried Hana’s train and had the veil ‘move’ in the breeze).

The photoshoot was done instead of a traditional Western ceremony, and these two were so into one another, and incredibly relaxed, it was easy to capture intimate moments amongst one of my all-time favourite locations.

Back to Joondalup Resort, and what a reception it was! Set for luxury at 160 guests, Hana and Seb certainly knew how to host a wedding party!

And as is any bride’s dream, Hana took advantage of her special day and proudly wore not just her white, Western-style dress, but an elaborately ravishing jade green Persian gown. What an impression she made for her groom as well as her family and friends, as she would glide across the dancefloor like royalty.

Before everyone realised, it was time to dance the night away to live music performed by an Afghani singer with traditional music, and between eating delicious foods and speeches, there was a surprise just bursting at the seams for all attending, and my camera lay in wait anxiously.

And then it came – the first dance by the bride and groom, with a spectacular show of indoor fireworks, all whilst guests threw money at the happy couple (as is tradition), and with dancing in their blood, it wasn’t long before everyone made themselves known on the dancefloor.

But shortly thereafter, the fun didn’t stop there! Hana and Seb took part in a cake knife dance known as a Raghse Chagoo, yet another Persian wedding tradition whereby the bride and groom must earn the knife from a guest dancing with it; in this case it was Hana’s sister.

The evening for my photographer role tapered off with a lovely small shoot just outside the venue, where a slight drizzle of rain had begun to fall; and despite the chill, it was the perfect end to a truly unique evening. 

If you are ever invited to a Persian wedding, it’s an experience you just cannot say ‘no’ to; and for me personally, as a wedding photographer, with so many textures, colours, and lighting options to take into account, the shots were endless and joyous to take.

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