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Metropolis and rustic tied together for dream wedding

A childhood dream came true on the day Jess and Pete said their wedding vows late last year, and I had the great pleasure of photographing their special day on November 30, 2019.

Once the couple began their plans soon after the engagement, Jess knew from the very start that she wanted her wedding dress made by her mum – and what a stunning gown it was that suited Jess perfectly with its immaculate flower embroidery and pearls.

Preparations on the day for the bride and her bridesmaids took place at Jess’s parent’s home, whilst Pete got ready in South Perth. Jess was a real natural in front of the camera, and happily let me take the lens anywhere I wanted it to go to ensure every moment of her special day was captured.

The ladies truly had a great time before the gowns were put on with some champagne to calm the nerves, but then it was time to check over the bouquets and have everyone dress to impress.

A complete stunner in her wedding gown, Jess and the bridesmaids ensured all the finishing touches were put on and buttoned up before family photos and bridal pictures were taken inside her mum’s home (which, by the way, had an abundance of large windows and drapes I took complete advantage of).

The same could be said for the groom’s preparations, with the property’s grand floor boards and sheer lighting, that all came together seamlessly, it appeared, for this particular shoot. Pete and his groomsmen were really great to work with, having fun and carrying on as all blokes do – this sort of scenario always makes our job easier.

One of my favourite trends taking off at the moment is a couple’s ‘First Look’ photo shoot, where the bride and groom get to see each other before the official ceremony. This is an amazing time for the soon-to-be-newlyweds, because they can do whatever they want with this extra time together – some opt for a quiet minute or two just between themselves whilst others still want the whole bridal party to be involved.

Jess and Pete took a little bit of both with their ‘First Look’, which was done in the Perth CBD at Prince Lane, a very urbanely quiet street in the heart of the city. It was a unique ‘First Look’ shoot in that my assistant photographer Rachael and I had to coordinate our parties so they didn’t bump into each other while on the way there!

Taking advantage of the intense colours during Jess and Pete’s ‘First Look’, we soon all headed to Wolf Lane and took shots at a local bar, as well as the Supreme Court Gardens – always a winner with wedding photography. Couples can almost utilise these shots instead of the usual bridal photos that are taken after the ceremony, so that there is fewer time in-between events, or gain the benefit of both!

Before we knew it (with just enough time for everyone to enjoy a quick celebratory drink) it was time to head to Perth City Farm, an urban rustic DIY wedding venue, but not without stopping along the way for even more shots with the bridal party. With so many colours in front of us, this wedding day was turning out to be full of amazing backdrops, fantastic opportunities for angles, and an abundance of lighting.

As guests arrived at the venue awaiting Jess and Pete, it was a time to capture some of the anticipation they felt in the lead up to the ceremony. The charm of Perth City Farm was an intense contrast to what I had just photographed in the CBD, but it all really came together so well. I would have to say that one of my most favourite moments on the day was taking photos of Jess with her dad before she walked down the aisle towards Pete. Oh, he was so happy, so elated!

Her dad truly encompassed what family happiness is all about.

Jess and Pete’s ceremony was an intimate one, and these sorts of events are great for capturing everyone who attends without compromising the bride and groom. Following immediately after their ceremony and the guests’ congratulations, the newlyweds participated in a casual Chinese Tea Ceremony seeing as Pete’s mother is Chinese. A tea ceremony is one of the most significant events at a Chinese wedding, and is called a ‘jing cha’, meaning ‘to respectfully offer tea’. It was a wonderful thing to see how welcomed Jess was into Pete’s family, and I loved photographing this part of the wedding. I captured as much as I could without interfering too much.

A wedding day is always a long day, there’s no surprise there, but Jess and Pete were full of life and full of new love as we went to Claisebrook Train Station for sunset photos. Here, I ensured it was just the two of them, able to soak in the moments of now being husband and wife while having a magnificent ‘golden hour’ of light right behind them. They were incredibly relaxed, yet poised, and the three of us had a fantastic time getting the photos they wanted, the photos they would keep forever and turn into family heirlooms.

What made this photoshoot even more fun was Jess switching from high heels to thongs! Perfect!

The reception at Perth City Farm truly was DIY, with a fairly casual cocktail party on hand to entertain the guests, and a fire truck pizzeria serving pizzas. Jess’s sister Sam made the wedding cake, and Jess was given a delicious surprise organised by Pete of a gelato truck for everyone to enjoy dessert.

Jess and Pete’s wedding really allowed their loved ones to celebrate the love between the two in an intimate setting whilst staying casual at the same time. If this was how they declared their marriage to one another, I can only envisage what their future together will be like.

Vendors and Suppliers:

Celebrant: Travis Rickson
Hair & MUA: Cat Elizabeth Artistry
Florist: Mable & Wren
Venue: Perth City Farm
DJ: Soul Sounds DJs
Wedding Planner: Exclusive Occasions
Wedding Hire + Style: Outkast Hire, Swan Event Hire and Little Miss Vintage
Second Photographer: Racheal Puan Photography⁠

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