Bundaleer Rainforest Gardens
Every wedding day has its own distinctive narrative. It just so happens that this story includes a super-cute kitten named Oscar, wedding crashers, a lord of the flame, professional ballroom dancers, a blue bicycle, the Jackie-chan of brides and a bogan farewell ritual that would put the local footy grand final win celebration to shame! Read on to learn more!
Sukkwan and Travis were married at the enchanting Bundaleer Rainforest Gardens at Brookfield in Brisbane. My time with them, however, starts a little further back, around 6-8 months before.
First contact with Suki was via my website:
“stumbled across your website and i am absolutely in awe of your photos!!”
I am not sure why Suki was stumbling around – perhaps a knock to the head during Muay Thai training or one drink too many, but I am glad that she found me and that I was able to document their wedding day.
Suki and Travis are, to sound terribly clichéd, the yin to the others yang. As individuals they are strong, intelligent people, but as a couple they are strong, intelligent people who have fallen into a vat of super hero goop and have emerged as an unstoppable force of awesomeness. The combination of Suki’s “I can do anything .. as long as there is some food along the way” attitude and Travs ability to think of a sly and cunning plan to get things done efficiently, there is not too many obstacles that would phase this dynamic duo!
My wedding photography packages offer a complimentary couples shoot, I call it a pre-wedding shoot. During this time, I sit down with my couples and talk logistics of the day, we role-play a few key moments and then go and shoot some portraits.
As we moved to plan their couples shoot I got this message from Suki:
‘how long do u think we will be at yours for? Just wanna plan a time for dinner.’
Turns out food is big on Suki’s list of things to enjoy. In fact, I am pretty sure there were a couple references to this during the various speeches at the wedding. I guess it takes a bit to power her fists of fury! Yeah that’s right, this young lady is the Jackie-chan of brides!
In addition to taking care of her munchies after the pre-wedding shoot, Sukkwan wanted to bring her prized blue bike along to be included in some shots. A gift from Travis for their anniversary, it worked in with the landscape surrounding the studio perfectly!
During the pre-wedding shoot, I was really picking up on just what a great relationship these two had. With their infectious laughter and playful banter, they effortlessly sailed into my heart.
Such a considerate couple, they picked up on my experiences in Vietnam and shared their engagement story with me. Travis proposed to Suki in this amazing cave in Vietnam that few people have gone into. The adventure element of the proposal fitting in perfectly with the way they live their lives.
Another example of their kindness was when Sukkwan sent me the instructions for making the paper flowers that she was creating for her wedding bouquet. They knew that my daughter was interested in craft and thought she might appreciate them. So glad Suks turned out better than ours!
On the day of the wedding I made my way to Suki and Travs apartment. I was greeted by Oscar the ninja cat – who just loved playing in the folds of the wedding dress! Along with Oscar was a host of beautiful young ladies and Josh, the man of honour.
At this time the team from All Your Memories videography arrived and it was down to business. I use this time to chat with the bridesmaids, parents and in this case the man of honour in order to build a rapport with them and make them feel as comfortable with me as possible, In addition, I am photographing hair and makeup being completed, details such as the dress and anything else that strikes me as belonging in the narrative of the day.
Over at Bundaleer Rainforest Gardens, Travis was attending to last minute details and nervously awaiting the arrival of his bride. The wedding celebration was officiated by celebrant Fiona Mcintyre who does a great job of making the ceremony personal while maintaining professionalism.
It was during the wedding ceremony that I spotted what I thought to be an over enthusiastic ‘guest’ shooting with a couple of Nikon DSLR’s. I first became aware of them when their lens appeared above my head as the bridesmaids made their way down the aisle. The next time I really noticed them was when I was trying to get parental reaction shots and this ‘guest’ was standing in front of them. Throughout the ceremony I had a shadow that I just couldn’t seem to shake.
I didn’t think too much of it until later in the day when Travis asked me where my extra shooters had gone. The ‘guest’ it seems, was perhaps just a random putting in some time to build a portfolio?
With the ceremony concluded we went on the hunt for some bridal party photographs and it must be said that Suki’s “Can do” attitude really shone. She clambered her way through long grass and down a steep rock face to get some reflection shots in a nearby waterway. She was a bride possessed – it was as if she had seen a platter of food down there, nothing was stopping her, not even the protestations of her new husband!
For around an hour and half we went for a walk around Bundaleer Rainforest Gardens grounds, before returning for an amazing reception celebration.
The speeches were heartfelt, the food amazing (Suki knows a thing or two about good food) and the dancing a combination of incredibly amazing and incredibly terribly .. so I enjoyed myself thoroughly!
As a gift to the newlyweds Josh and his dance partner performed two amazing dances. As one of the guests commented, Josh has a bottom that most woman would die for. I think we can all agree that the guy knows how to wear a pair of tailored trousers for maximum effect.
During the reception we slipped out to the feature tree and went crazy with some sparklers. The sparkler sequence was so much fun to capture. To my ‘Lord of the Flame’ – thanks so much for your help with these images – you were good value!
With the night all but done, I got to spend some time chatting with a range of guests and even handed over one of my camera’s to a lovely young lady named Jen who was in the market for a new camera and lens. How did that work out Jen?
The bogan farewell? Well, nothing quite says bogan like legging with your beer at the end of the night!
Steve McMarson is a multi-award winning photographer based in South-East Queensland, Australia. His portfolio and Australian Photography Blog can be found at stevemcmarson.com.au
Check out the great video produced by All Your Memories!