Jannah and Tommy were friends of mine, even before I shot their wedding at the Bendigo Botanic Gardens.
To be honest, it is the greatest compliment for me when friends book me and genuinely love my work. I don’t expect anyone to do that – of course everyone has a different taste when it comes to photography. And for your wedding, you want to make sure to book someone that you trust will create images you’ll still proudly show your grandchildren once you’re old and grey.
Shooting a wedding for people I consider friends motivates me to work extra hard and exceed all expectations. This is also the reason why I try to meet all of my couples before their wedding day and get to know them as best as I can. I want to create the best experience possible for people I feel truly connected with. From start to finish, I want my couples to not only love their images, but the whole process too. It involves questionnaires, FaceTime or zoom calls, in person catch up’s and as many emails or messages as you need. This ensures you can be 100% comfortable on the day, because it will feel like we’ve already met and chatted just like you do with your bestie.
I was so stoked when Jannah and Tommy asked me to not only be the guest at their wedding, but to photograph it too. I helped them plan the photography timeline from start to finish. They were getting married in the beautiful Botanic Gardens in Bendigo and the reception took place at St. Killian’s hall. Jannah and I spent hours looking at wedding dresses, styling inspiration, invitations, ceremony locations and decorations together. Fun fact: the dress that she chose in the end was a style that she said she’d never wear. And god, she looked stunning!
Jannah and Tommy got married on the 14th of March 2020, which is also my Dad’s birthday and that year it was a prime wedding date. I love a good March wedding, because chances are you get to enjoy the last warm days of summer without sweating like crazy in a 40 degree heatwave. October, November, March and April are my favourite wedding months. This also reflects in my bookings, with those months being the busiest and quickest to be filled (so if you’re reading this and thinking of booking yourself in – run, don’t walk).
It turned out to be a perfect day with just the right temperature for an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception. Jannah and Tommy got ready at their parent’s places, both in Bendigo. The getting ready is one of my favourite things to capture. You can feel the excitement in the air, and I love the moment that both see the photos and get an idea of what each other’s day looked like until they met at the aisle. Jannah’s parents also organised an old timer to take her to the ceremony. It was such a thoughtful surprise that made the day even better.
On the way to the ceremony, big dark clouds covered the perfect morning sky. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one crossing my fingers and toes that it wouldn’t suddenly rain right as Jannah walked down the aisle. So far I have witnessed pretty magical things happening at weddings weather-wise.
This was no exemption. It was a pretty emotional moment when Jannah walked down the aisle and a few guests already made use of their tissues – let me tell you, if I didn’t have to focus on taking photos I would’ve probably cried at 90% of my ceremonies so far. As soon as they stood and joined their hands, ready to do this marriage thing, the sky broke up and the sun lit up the tall trees behind them, which created the most beautiful scene. It stayed around for the signing of the certificate, only to be gone again by the time family photos commenced. I feel like sometimes the weather is like ‘hold on a sec, someone is finally tying the knot right now, let’s give them a bit of sunshine and save the torrential rain for next week’.
Jannah and Tommy were also lucky enough to have their wedding on the weekend right before Victoria, and the whole of Australia, went into lockdown because of Covid. At the time there were no restrictions at all, which allowed them to go ahead with around 150 guests.
When the reception came around, speeches were made, toasts were given, and platters were grazed before Jannah asked me to put my camera away and enjoy the rest of the night as a guest.
Later on ‘Sweet Caroline’ was playing, which appears to be my signature song, and a very happy and very tipsy Jannah grabbed me and pulled me onto the dance floor. It was such a great end to the night, and I certainly left on a high knowing I had so many amazing pictures to edit on the next day.