Our daughter’s wedding – Adam & Zani part 1

Today I’m sharing part 1 of a wedding close to my heart … the wedding of our only daughter who we love more than we probably ever can express.

Apologies for the very long blog post, but this one is for all the family and friends who live so far from us and who we know would have loved to be here with us.

For over 25 years Deon and I have been part of the wedding industry.  First in South Africa and for the last 6 years in Australia.  We have seen many gorgeous brides, couples and weddings and we have experienced them all from a different perspective than the couple, parents or guests would have experienced it.  When we photograph a wedding, we are there to capture the essence of the day and we try and do it as quietly and non intrusive as possible.  We try and be the so called “fly on the wall”.  We capture anything and everything in the best possible way. At the end of the day the only thing any couple have left are their wedding photo’s and video and we want to make sure that we do a terrific job so that they can relive their wedding day through our work.  Being on the other side of my “normal” on a wedding day, I can honestly say that this is something no one should ever skimp on.  You only truly see and understand the importance of photo’s and video after the wedding day when you get to relive the day through it.

VENUE:

When you become the parents of the bride, you experience the wedding not like a photographer, but like any other parents of a bride/groom.  The build up to the actual wedding day was super special.  Adam & Zani took a lot of our experience on board when they started their planning process.  We’ve been part of so many weddings that we know the recipe for a successful or a disastrous day.  We always only gave our opinion, but it was up to them to use it.  This wedding had to be a resemblance of who they are as a couple.  Zani is not a fussy person. She knows exactly what she likes.  She wanted a cocktail/picnic style wedding where guests could enjoy being outdoors with a beautiful view over the city.  She has a very simplistic style so she did not want anything over the top.  We went venue scouting with the 2 of them, but we knew that Burswood on Swan would tick all of their boxes.  We’ve photographed a function at this venue before and we knew the view would be spectacular and the food is simply delicious.  Value for money and superb service. (Rachael, her wedding coordinator was such a pleasure to work with.  She did an amazing job throughout the year and on the day.)  They opted to have their ceremony and reception on the lawn area of the venue.  Guests did not have to drive around and best of all, parking is free!

DECOR:

She loved the idea of crates and wanted to incorporate them into her reception.  Like most other weddings we sure did have quite a tight budget to work with, so with Zani’s artistic flair, she did a lot herself.  She loved the look of miss match vintage chairs from Maisey Collections and they worked perfectly with the round tables for the reception.  She decided to have 5 round tables for the older guests and 5 crate tables with lots of blankets and pillows for the younger guests.  She pictured loads of glass jars filled with candles, but since January is high season for bush fires in Perth, we had to be very careful.  We collected glass jars for a year and only purchased a few extra candle holders which suited the theme.  This definitely was a plus for the budget.  She also wanted an outside dance floor with lots of fairy lights, so the cheapest option for us was to use solar fairy lights twirled around 4 poles which was placed at each corner of the wooden dance floor.  So with the help of hubby and 2 of their friends, her fairy light dance floor came to light.  Adam & Zani was very blessed to be gifted the usage of the dance floor.  This was a super saving and huge blessing for the 2 of them.  Throughout the year we purchased blankets and pillows which formed part of the picnic crate set up.  These were all at a greatly reduced price!  If you have time to look around, you always find loads of specials and bargains.

Marianna from The Wedding Place Perth is another very talented lady and a great friend of mine.  I met her when we photographed her niece’s wedding and I could see that she has an eye for detail.  Such a friendly and eager to help person.  She was happy to come and oversea the finer touches and she also brought along some of her decor pieces which added to the feel of the wedding.

FLOWERS:

Initially Zani only wanted a green leave garland running over the middle of each table.  She did not want any flowers.  Flowers definitely are a costly thing and although she loves flowers, she wanted to spend the budget on other more important things.  We tried our hand at doing the garlands ourselves, and even though we did an extremely good job and loved the look of the try we had, we realised that we will have problems keeping the garlands fresh in Perth’s heat.  We approached Maike of JEM Floral design and she was happy to take over this job from us.  She added a couple of different type florals and also made the bouquets, boutonniere’s and corsages.

COLOUR THEME:

Marsala, green, a touch of lilac & different shades of grey

THE SUIT:

Zani & Adam loved the colour Marsala and they decided that he will be the only one wearing this colour.  My friend, Mariette, is a very talented seamstress and so Adam had his jacket tailor made through her.  He loved the idea of having a bright print for the lining.  He has quite a quirky style and so wearing a coloured jacket was right up his ally.  He paired the jacket with black pants, a black tie, black suspender belt and a very fashionable print shirt.

THE WEDDING DRESS:

Dress shopping with Zani was super easy.  She knows what she likes and once she saw her dress, she was not interested to try on any more.  Myself, her dad and brother went along for this special occasion beginning of 2016.  Her dream designer is GaliaLahav, but we knew that those dresses would cost an arm and a leg and would be way over our budget.  Galia Lahav dresses are what dreams are made of!  Such gorgeous workmanship and the most beautiful materials.  Our first and only stop was at Dion for Brides  Very friendly and helpful staff quickly gave us a couple of instructions to help us search for the dress.  By that time, Zani and I saw a couture dress on a mannequin which had her name written all over it.  The #Grace dress from the “St Tropez Cruse” collection was THE dress.  I don’t think I own anything couture so all I knew was that this meant expensive!  Definitely out of our price range … at least that’s what we thought.  And yes, with a closer look at the price we knew that this beautiful dress was way beyond what we could afford.  But as luck would have it, this dress was on sale for nearly a 1/4 of the initial price.  When a smile says it all, then you know it’s meant to be!  This was the 2nd dress Zani tried and she was sold.  Once they added the veil, I was in tears and she definitely found her dress.  We found veils to be very expensive and so my friend made Zani’s beautiful veil for her.  Shoes was from Forever New.

BRIDESMAIDS & GROOMSMEN WEAR:

Zani wanted to keep the cost low for her bridesmaids and so she found the perfect bridesmaids dresses at ASOS for a very good price.  She wanted 4 different style dresses in different shades of grey.  These dresses were delivered within 2 weeks and all of them was a perfect fit.  The guys were super easy.  Off white shirts were bought at Conner and paired with their own black pants, suspender belts and the different lilac bowties were bought from Ebay.

MAKE-UP & HAIR:

Jo from Hairart is a terrific person with a bubbly personality who did an amazing job with all our hair.  She has a heart of gold which came through throughout the day. I’ve worked with Jane from Make me Beautiful Jane a number of times before, and like always she did a fantastic job with make-up.

PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER

Being wedding photographers for so long, we knew that we weren’t going to take 2nd best.  We know Mario from Mario Sales Artistic Imagery for years and years.  He is one of South Africa’s top wedding photographers and have many awards to show for this!  He did an amazing job, just like expected.  He had a few visa jitters and like he said in his blog post, he probably spend more time on the plane than being on Aus soil.  But at the end of the day, he made it and could spend a day with our family before the actual wedding day.  Frans from Studio777  is another great friend of ours.  We worked together at weddings back in South Africa and they moved to Perth a few years before we moved to Brisbane.  We have always stayed in touch and when we were transferred to Perth 3 years ago, it was great to have some familiar faces around. Frans did an amazing job with the video.  He is like a true jack in the box … he had 3 camera’s set up which kept him very busy.  Every angle was covered with his footage.  I’ve always said that couples need to have a videographer because there are so many things that happen and are said during speeches and vows which makes up a vital part of the day.  Those speeches and vows only happen once and is forever lost if not recorded.  I find myself playing those clips over and over again.  There are a lot of things I find I missed out on the day and therefore these video clips are so important to help me relive every moment of the day and parts that I’ve missed.  Thank you Frans for blessing our kids with your video gift.  We all appreciate it so much.

SPECIAL MOMENTS:

All our family live in South Africa, so we knew that it would be difficult for most to come over.  We were super blessed to have my parents (both in their 80’s) as well as my sister Desire, her daughter Liezel & hubby Dennis over for the wedding.  Zani felt that it was so special to have them here and she decided to have her grandparents walk her up to her father from where he then walked her down the isle.  Such a small part, but a moment she will remember forever.

Since Zani grew up in South Africa, she obviously does not have any of her close school friends nearby.  I knew she would have loved having some of them here for the wedding.  I wanted to incorporate them in some way to help make her day a little extra special and so I got in contact with one of her closest friends and asked her to collect video clips with messages to Zani from them.  The morning of the wedding I had a couple of small gifts for her and displayed all their messages on the computer.  The first thing she saw when she entered the room was the laptop with all those familiar faces.  Zani is not a cry baby like her mother 🙂   Very few things tear her up, but this surprise had her in tears!  She did not expect this at all.  Once she was done listening to all the special messages she turned towards me and said “good job mom on getting me all teary, this was the best surprise”.  That was truly a special moment.

Click here to see PART 2 of their wedding day

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Her clutch is from her grandmother’s collection.  A very very old but beautiful and special vintage clutch.
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Just like me, Zani loves to shower her loved ones with gifts.  Especially when it comes to special occasions.  We did not expect anything from her and so when she gave me a hanky and card with the most heartwarming message written on it I was a mess.  It does not take a lot for me to cry, but this was so unexpected and special so I brawled like a baby 🙂
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I love these images of Deon and myself in the background while Zani is looking into the mirror.  This is a great capture by our friend, Mario.  That feeling of seeing your daughter change into a bride on her wedding day brings back all the beautiful memories of her as a baby, toddler and teenager.  It feels so surreal.   The emotions was so high.
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My kids love it when I’m a teary mess … I’m pretty sure they plan it this way so that they can enjoy giggles over my messy state!  This beautiful token of love will be forever in my heart.
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A moment that was super special and captured beautifully by Mario was when dad saw her for the first time in her wedding dress.  You can feel the love in these images.
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Adam’s mom, Diane, unfortunately passed away just before the 2 met, so Zani wanted to honour her in some special way.  She wanted Adam to feel his mom’s presence at the wedding so she came about the idea to make a pin with some of Diane’s jewellery which Adam had to pin inside his jacket.  He definitely felt his mom close to his heart.
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Another heartfelt moment when Adam gave his dad Barry a gift and a beautiful card.
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They opted to have their first look in a park near our house where Adam waited for Zani.  Love how happy both look in these images.  You can feel their excitement!

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We suggested they do their couple session before the ceremony.  That way they can have the ceremony start at 5.30 which then leads into the reception.  Doing it this way has two great outcomes … the guests does not have to wait long before the couple join them and the most important part is that this time is the only time the couple have alone on the day.  This is the time they can spend with each other and enjoy the moment without anyone other than the photographer & videographer around.  In Zani’s own words: “This was the best decision ever.  I’m going to let all my friends know that they should all do this on their wedding day.”  The University of WA was their first stop and then they took to the streets in Leederville for some graffiti backgrounds.

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HERE IS PART 2 OF THEIR WEDDING DAY