Classically romantic in the heart of Perth: Mendilyn and Tanaka
After both Mendilyn and Tanaka migrated to Perth all the way from Zimbabwe, this beautiful couple tied the knot in a romantic wedding within the central hub of Perth. Wanting a classically traditional wedding with a touch of cosmopolitan added to it, the happy couple both got ready in separate rooms at the Westin Hotel.
And honestly, on a personal level this venue is one of my favourites when it comes to taking photos of the bride and groom preparing for the day. The floor-to-ceiling windows seem never-ending as they provide sweeping views of the city from all angles, and they let in so much natural light that I find myself not having to concern myself much at all with extra lighting and adjusting the settings on my camera. There have been a few occasions where shooting conditions weren’t ideal, especially because of wedding accessories like shoes and clothing strewn across furniture, and the décor just feeling outdated and ordinary.
The Westin Hotel, however, aims to please brides, grooms and even the fussiest of photographers, and I know I’m in for a great photo session the minute my bridal couple name it as their go-to wedding venue. A tip for other brides out there? If getting ready for your special day at a hotel, always ask for a room with lots of natural light and enough space for your entourage, and set up your hair and make-up session near a big window!
The party atmosphere had well and truly begun by the time I’d arrived at Mendilyn’s room, with the bridal party and family all busily making sure their queen for the day had everything she needed. After taking photos of her with all her loved ones, it was finally time to put on the stunning wedding gown that Mendilyn had been waiting a long time to put on!
With the finishing touches complete – buttons, shoes, veil and earrings – the royalty that was Mendilyn’s family became the focus of our portraits, as were her individual photos, and I couldn’t be more happy with the way each of them turned out.
Together with the groomsmen, Tanaka also prepared for the day ahead at The Westin Hotel and I got to play with even more natural light here too. Looking absolutely dapper in his black and white suit, Tanaka showcased the epitome of sleek, sophisticated and refined.
Classy simply oozed out of both Mendilyn and Tanaka.
I made my way to Wesley Church on William Street in the city where like all good grooms, Tanaka showed up early to make sure everyone was in attendance and that things were in order. Wesley Church provided me with a height advantage thanks to its interior balcony situated at the back so I got a bird’s eye view of Tanaka greeting guests and standing at the alter waiting for his bride. It’s fantastic having this gain for wedding photos – so many options for angles and framing!
I made my way outside with plenty of time to capture Mendilyn making her appearance, and before we knew it, with her smile beaming from ear to ear and butterflies in her stomach, she followed the bridal party into the church towards the arms of Tanaka.
So many happy faces, so many tears of joy, as the bridal couple said their vows and made their commitment to one another. With the final kiss and signing of their official documents, cheers amongst the crowd belted out as Mendilyn and Tanaka walked back up the aisle to head outside – but not before we got the best shot ever of every single guest gathered amongst the pews while the newlyweds kissed in the middle of the crowd! One of my favourite pictures for sure!
After a quick session of family and friend photos outside the church, it was time for the official bridal photos where we headed around Hibernian Place, near the old central fire station, and close to the Westin Hotel – but not before a few more family portraits.
The architecture of the fire station is fantastic to work with, providing some classic lines in the middle of a bustling metropolis. The creams, soft browns and striking dark greens in the background are the perfect match for weddings like this.
Once we were happy with our bridal shoot, it was back to the Westin Hotel for the reception, where I was thrilled to capture the look of surprise on Mendilyn’s face when she saw the décor. Usually the bride and groom don’t get to see the set up until they’ve arrived, and that’s after all the guests get acquainted with the venue – so they don’t see it when it’s empty and perfect. But for a quiet moment, the happy couple had the place all to themselves as they made their way to the dance floor for a silent and intimate dance. This also allowed me to take uninterrupted photos of the reception before everyone started to arrive – in style might I add!
A white ‘carpet’ connected itself to the dance floor, and it was no surprise that the bridal party (with the bridesmaids all changed into soft lilac dresses) moved and grooved their way to the dancefloor before the two guests of honour happily danced and joined in the festivities.
Seriously, what an arrival!
With speeches made, dinner served, the first bridal waltzed complete and then even more celebratory dancing with a traditional Knife Girl and Boy custom followed by the cutting of the cake, the Zimbabwean wedding of the year went into party mode!
Mendilyn and Tanaka, thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting me with capturing every moment possible of your wedding day. I wish you both the best in your future together, and hope your marriage is full of love, laughter and a tonne of dancing!
Wedding Dress: @wona_concept @lutka_boutique
Groom Suit: @institchu
Make-up Artist: @Jasmineleemua @Happimua
Photo booth: @lumin8events
Venue: @westin Perth