Terrigal Central Coast Wedding: Monique & Daniel – Part 2

It was such a perfect day in Terrigal for a wedding! While we were out snapping photos with Monique and Daniel, the friendly staff at Reef Restaurant were hard at work preparing the degustation lunch for their guests. The space was beautifully decorated with the help of Monique and Daniel’s wedding planner Kate at Plans of Love Wedding Planning. She did a fantastic job overseeing the day!

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We just loved all the paper lanterns in their springtime theme colours—they really dressed up the space perfectly!

Spring lunch wedding at Reef Restaurant Terrigal

Is this a lovely room for an intimate long lunch or what?

Whimsical spring wedding with lanterns and ribbons, elegant lunch wedding receptionReef Restaurant Terrigal lunch wedding reception

Peach and white elegant wedding cake, long lunch wedding cake

Reef Restaurant Terrigal headland wedding reception

Monique and Daniel’s beautiful cake was made by Project Cake. So elegant!

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After the guests ventured inside, we snapped a few more photos on the beach directly in front of the restaurant.

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Our happy newlyweds entered to much applause!

The degustation menu for the day looked absolutely scrumptious! Everyone started with this delectable looking plate of oysters:

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Monique and Daniel also hired the talented Cat Wood from The Piano Cat to provide some live music, enhancing the already amazing ambiance of the seaside venue. Her playing was absolutely beautiful!

Creative wedding photography NSW

The second course of the day looked even more scrumptious!

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Monique’s father began the speeches with some sweet words for his daughter.

Monique and Daniel’s wedding rings had one of the most unique features we’ve seen: the date along with longitude and latitude coordinates of their wedding! What a creative way to help them remember both their wedding day as well as their seafaring origins together.

Wedding rings with latitude and longitude

It was clear the staff at Reef Restaurant cared tremendously about not only the quality of the food, but the perfect presentation of each dish. Each one looked exceptional!

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For a little break, we all went down to the beach at sunset for a few family portraits. What a good looking group!

Terrigal beach wedding photography

The beach was all pastels in the dimming light. Gorgeous!

Elegant destination wedding photography Australia

Monique and Daniel, you two make such a lovely couple!

Seaside destination wedding AustraliaReef Restaurant wedding photos

Click to view this panorama larger!

Reef gourmet restaurant Terrigal wedding pictures

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Once inside again, everyone was ready for the next dish on the menu, a very yummy-looking pork belly!

Pink and white springtime wedding receptionTerrigal beach at twilight

The restaurant looked even more beautiful at twilight! Click to view this panorama larger.

Reef Restaurant Terrigal, architectural commercial landscape photography Australia

Inside, the mood was jovial as the guests enjoyed heart-warming stories and celebratory toasts from the speech-givers.

Our bride and groom finished off the speeches with some kind words of thanks for their loved ones.

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After a palate-cleansing sorbet dish, it was time for the beautifully-plated main!

And to finish off the amazing menu, the guests enjoyed this delicate meringue dessert.

Gourmet dessert at Reef Restaurant

The guests were next treated to a cute video project created by Daniel’s cousin, telling the story of how they met and all the wonderful places they visited together on the cruise ship they worked on while they were dating.

There was still more deliciousness for those who could fit it in their stomachs! It was time to cut that beautiful cake!

Monique and Daniel danced a beautiful and romantic first dance.

Reef Restaurant wedding reception

I just love these—they look so in love!

Terrigal wedding reception first dance photosCreative wedding photojournalism AustraliaBeautiful wedding photography Australia

Then the dance floor opened to finish off a fun day!

Monique and Daniel, congratulations again! We had such fun with you on your wedding day. We wish you many years of love and happiness together!

Friends and family of Monique and Daniel, leave a comment for the newlyweds below and let us know what you think of the photos!

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Terrigal Central Coast Wedding: Monique & Daniel – Part 1

To welcome in the first day of Spring, Jeff and I got to spend another lovely weekend out of town. This time, the destination was the New South Wales Central Coast for an elegant seaside wedding with a degustation lunch! Monique and Daniel have a wonderful story of how they first met, and it’s one that’s likely to make you a bit envious. Like many of our fabulous 2013 couples, these two love to travel—so much so that they both used to work on board a cruise ship! It was here that they first met and fell in love, sailing around the Caribbean and other exotic vacation spots, enjoying lots of gourmet cuisine onboard. How fun must that have been? Their travels then took them to the UK and into business together, before they decided to settle down in Monique’s home country of Australia. Monique and Daniel planned an intimate and elegant seaside affair, with a long lunch in honour of all the great meals they shared together during their courtship. We began the day at the Star of the Sea Terrigal, where their ceremony would later be.

Creative striking dramatic wedding photography Australia, BHLDN wedding gown

Monique chose a stunning Catherine Dean wedding gown, also featured in Anthropologie’s BHLDN collection. Anthropologie is one of my personal all-time favourite clothing stores, and the bridal line features some amazing and unique gowns.  Monique’s gown looked even more stunning in person, made of incredibly delicate silk tulle with intricate beading on the back. Gorgeous!

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I think this gown was made for Monique!

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Look at that incredible bead work… love!

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Someone at the wedding later said that Monique looked like Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. I think they were right!

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Monique’s hair and makeup was done by Grace by Kelly and her bouquet was from Valley Fresh Flowers.

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Terrigal wedding Central Coast New South Wales

Just stunning, Monique!

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Monique’s father had the cutest reaction once he saw her in her gown.

It may have been the first day of spring, but it was decidedly summery out! The sunshine was streaming down onto the balcony of their suite at Star of the Sea.

Wedding ceremony at Star of the Sea Terrigal beach

After their arrival in Australia, Monique and Daniel had promptly adopted this adorable French Bulldog puppy named Roxy, who they tasked with being their ring bearer for the day!

French bulldog ring bearer, creative wedding photojournalismFrench bulldog ring bearer at wedding, cute wedding photos

Daniel was looking handsome as everyone waited patiently for the guests to arrive and for the ceremony to begin. Monique had a few quiet moments to herself and with her father before the big moment.

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And it was time!

Wedding at Star of the Sea Terrigal

Daniel looked so happy to see his beautiful bride!

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The guests had a spectacular view of the headland.

Roxy dutifully brought the rings to Daniel. Awww, so cute!

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What a beautiful moment!

Wedding on the New South Wales Central coastTerrigal wedding ceremony at Star of the Sea

After the beautiful ceremony, it was just a short walk down to the Terrigal headland for some shots by the seaside.

Our newlyweds were looking pretty smiley. They couldn’t get over the fact that they were now married!

Beautiful summery wedding NSW Central CoastPeach and pale green spring wedding in TerrigalCatherine Dean wedding gown Australia

Being such a nice and summery day, there were lots of people around, including this cute little girl who couldn’t help staring at our beautiful bride!

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The waves were pounding against the rocks on the coast. Such a beautiful dramatic place for photos, and a perfect spot for mutual lovers of the sea.

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What a beautiful coastline they have in Terrigal!

Terrigal wedding photos on dramatic coast cliffs

Australian spring wedding with pale pastel colour theme

Wedding photos on rocky ocean cliffs

Congratulations, Monique and Daniel! Stay tuned for Part 2 of this beautiful wedding, featuring some more portraits of our lovely bride and handsome groom, and of course the amazing degustation menu at their reception!

Friends and family of Monique and Daniel, leave a comment below for the newlyweds and let us know which photos are your favourites!

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Rebecca - Hi there im planning on getting married on the 25th of October its only goin to be a very simple ceremony with 6 people so I was wondering Wat ur packages start from wanted just a few pics of the ceremony den most of the shots by the beach hope to hear back from you soon

La Perouse Engagement Session: Maria & Talib

We’d like to introduce you all to another one of our wonderful 2013 couples: Maria and Talib! It’s safe to say that Jeff and I have been wonderfully spoilt this year with a fantastically diverse set of weddings to photograph. You all haven’t seen the half of it yet as our computers are brimming full of beautiful photos currently in our in-progress folders! We’ve photographed destination weddings in four cities and two countries, weddings with more than 300 people and a wedding with only two. We’ve had Christian, Hindu, Muslim, and non-religious ceremonies. We certainly haven’t been bored this year! When we met this kind-hearted couple early in 2013, we were even more excited about our upcoming weddings. Maria and Talib’s families are from Iran and Pakistan, and they were planning an elaborate multi-cultural two-day celebration for 300 of their family members and friends. We recently photographed Maria and Talib’s wedding and it was AMAZING. We can’t wait to share the images from their special day, but for now, let us share with you some images from their engagement session in La Perouse.

La Perouse Engagement photos, pre-wedding photos MaroubraLittle Bay Malabar Frenchman

Are they a good-looking couple or what? Maria and Talib met at a mutual friend’s birthday party, instantly hit it off, and have been together ever since!

Bare Island engagement session, Sydney pre-wedding pictures

Aside from being really ridiculously good-looking, Maria and Talib have a great sense of humor. They don’t take themselves too seriously and seem so comfortable with one another. They really seem like a perfect match!

Little Bay Yarra Bay engagement photo session SydneyLa Perouse pre-wedding photos Yarra Bay Bicentennial ParkYarra recreation reserve pre wedding photosVibrant photos La Perouse engagement session

Like many of our other 2013 couples, Maria and Talib love to travel. It was on a big trip to Europe that Talib proposed to Maria at the Trevi fountain in Rome… at midnight! Maria said she became so emotional that she balled her eyes out for 15 minutes before she could finally find the strength to say “Yes!”

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Elegant engagement photos Sydney eastern suburbs

Looking pretty sharp, you two! Gorgeous!

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It had been quite awhile since Jeff and I had photographed down in La Perouse, so it was really fun exploring some new hidden spots around the area, like this picturesque path.

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Maria brought along several beautiful dresses for the session, including this super cute, colourful sundress. It was just perfect for the summery day!


Aww, I love this one!

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We switched up the location again with this unique hidden spot…

Little Bay Long Bay Malabar pre-wedding photos

…and Maria switched up her outfit again with this stunning jewelled cocktail dress that she purchased specially for the session! It looked absolutely amazing on you, Maria!

La Perouse engagement photoshootLa Perouse pre wedding photos, Sydney portrait photographers

The setting sun looked gorgeous as it went behind the hillside.

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We loved this picturesque cliff face overlooking the ocean.

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We love these! You guys are so cute!

elegant sunset engagement session on rocky cliff New South Wales

The last spot on our La Perouse tour was Bare Island, for some sunset shots, of course! How pretty did Maria’s dress look in the golden light?

Wedding photos sunset on the rocks at La Perouse Sydney

Love love love!

Sunset at Bare Island La Perouse Sydney wedding and landscape photographers

Did you see the cinemagraph that we posted at the end of our last blog? We had to try another one with Maria and Talib. What do you think?

Cinemagraph Sydney La Perouse

Colourful vibrant elegant engagement wedding photos AustraliaYarra Bay Botany Bay Sydney sunset couples portraitsBare Island sunset engagment session

We finished off the session in our usual style with a panorama! Click to view this one larger.

Panoramic wedding photos La Perouse Sydney

Sunset over Botany Bay Sydney

Maria and Talib, you two make a wonderful couple and we had a blast with you at the engagement shoot and your wedding events! We can’t wait to share the wedding photos with you!

Friends and family of Maria and Talib, leave a comment for the bride and groom below, and let us know what you think of the photos! We’ll notify commenters when the full gallery of images is ready to view online.

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Daylene Wilson Photography - Wow… Those were amazing photos! The lights were amazing makes each frame look perfect! I love it!

The Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres, Mexico Wedding: Jonathan & Nicola – Part 3, The Reception

It’s hard to describe just how much fun we had at Jonathan and Nicola’s wedding in Mexico. We’ve already shared their fantastic sunset beach bonfire welcome dinner that began the official festivities as well as their gorgeous ceremony under a rainbow on the beach, and yet it still feels like we haven’t quite communicated just how memorable the whole weekend was. As photographers, it was an honour to be asked to capture such a special weekend, not to mention an absolute delight photographing in a location where we were surrounded by so much eye candy! As guests and friends of the bride and groom, it was so special to witness their marriage and take part in all the fun alongside their close family members and lifelong friends. I guess you could say our feelings about the weekend could be summed up like this!

Fun Mexico wedding photography, Playa Mujeres Cancun beach wedding

Aren’t they a great looking bridal party?

Playa Mujeres beach wedding Mexico, summer destination wedding Mexico

Officially husband and wife, Jonathan and Nicola mingled with their guests at the cocktail hour held in another one of The Beloved Hotel’s beautiful spaces, this lovely tropical garden courtyard.

The Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres wedding cocktail hour

We’ve already mentioned the delicious food at the Beloved Hotel—it was fantastic at all of the restaurants! What they served for the wedding was no exception.

Cancun wedding cocktail hour

For their reception, Jonathan and Nicola had exclusive use of one of the Beloved Hotel’s beachfront restaurants, the Isla Grill. The open-air space was filled with ocean breezes and beautifully decorated in their theme colours of coral and ivory.

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The newlyweds named each table based on their favourite places they had lived in or visited—like Paris, where they got engaged!

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One of my favourite details was the beautiful place cards, each one with its own unique shell! So perfect for a beach wedding.

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What gorgeous sunset light!

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Our bride and groom left their guests to enjoy more all-you-can-drink margaritas and mojitos in the garden while we went down to the pool for some portraits.

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The sunset was shaping up to be quite nice…

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You looked so beautiful, Nicola!

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Belove Hotel wedding photos, bride and groom on the beach at sunset

We took a little stroll down the beach under the peachy clouds.

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I love this one! You guys look so in love!

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What a good looking bride and groom! :)

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What a perfect sunset on a perfect day. We can never get enough of tropical clouds at this time of day!

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In the twilight, the Beloved Hotel was all aglow, setting the scene for a memorable night ahead.

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Then it was time to welcome in the bridal party…

…and our newlyweds!

Wedding reception at the Beloved Hotel Resort and Spa

Jonathan and Nicola stepped up on the dance floor straight after they entered and surprised all of us with a full three-minute first dance to Michael Bublé’s version of Crazy Little Thing Called Love. They told us later they had been taking dance lessons in Sydney and keeping it a secret from us! We were so impressed with their moves!

Bride and groom dance at their wedding reception at the Beloved Hotel CancunBride and groom dance at their wedding reception in Mexico

The guests were enchanted with every step…

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They got some big claps and cheers from the guests! Excellent work you two!

Next, they were joined by father of the bride and mother of the groom, followed by the rest of their guests.

Vibrant and colorful wedding photography Mexico

The Isla Grill Restaurant had a very unique dance floor overlooking the infinity-edge pool.

International destination wedding photographers, Beloved Hotel wedding photos

The guests in attendance from stateside shared another American tradition with the British and Australian guests: tapping their cutlery on their wine glasses repeatedly until the bride and groom kiss!

The father of the bride began the speeches with some heartfelt words for his beautiful daughter.

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Jonathan’s best man also made a touching speech.

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Our groom finished off the speeches with kind words of thanks and some words of love for his new bride.

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It was such an honour not only to be the photographers but also guests at this wedding. It was pretty neat to have a seat at one of the beautiful tables with our own cute place cards.

A rare moment in one of our wedding blogs… yours truly featured in one of the photos! :)

We couldn’t get over how gorgeous a setting it was for a wedding!

The Beloved Hotel Mexico, travel photographers

Jonathan had the best expression here… haha!

Fun destination wedding photography

The boys had a surprise for Nicola up their sleeves! They sat her down and then launched into a word-for-word rendition of the classic American Pie, a tradition that Jonathan and his college buddies started several years ago, with a repeat performance at each of their weddings.

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They kept going… and going…

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They knew every word in the whole very long song!

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Love these dancing shots! Too cute!

Everyone got on the dance floor for the final song of the night.

The Beloved Hotel wedding reception, destination wedding photographers

We couldn’t resist making this cinemagraph to immortalize the mood of that magical night… so awesome!

Beloved Hotel Mexico wedding reception dancing

Jonathan and Nicola, words cannot describe how much we enjoyed being a part of your wedding! Thank you for being such awesome friends and clients. We will remember the fun in Mexico always! Wishing you many years of health, happiness, and joy as husband and wife!

Friends and family of Jonathan and Nicola, leave a comment for the newlyweds below and let us know what you think of some our favourite photos from the day. We’ll notify commenters when the rest of the images are ready to view online.

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Tom Lekawski - Absolutely fantastic photos, bringing back all those wonderful moments and memories of the wedding. Jeff and Erin, you have captured the full essence of Jonathan and Nicola’s love for each other, and the joy they bring to Family and friends whenever we are all together. Thanks for the memories.

The Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres, Mexico Wedding: Jonathan & Nicola – Part 2, The Ceremony

After their super fun pre-wedding bonfire on the beach, the big day for Jonathan and Nicola had arrived! The hot tropical sun was shining down over The Beloved Hotel, despite an incredibly brief and exciting thunderstorm that morning. Jeff and I sat down for lunch at the beach-side cafe in the sunshine, and in less than five minutes, the cutlery, napkins and cups were blown off the table with sideways rain soaking everything. Then, suddenly it was all gone, sunshine again! It was so brief that some of the guests didn’t even know it had happened. Everyone was really excited as they got dressed for the big event that afternoon. Our bride and groom had put in so much effort planning every detail of their international destination wedding all the way from Sydney, it was hard to believe the big day had finally arrived! Nicola finally got to reveal her amazing and gorgeous Maggie Sottero gown which we had a lot of fun photographing on their private terrace.

Creative Mexico wedding photography, Playa Mujeres Cancun beach wedding

Nicola had also chosen the perfect sparkly heels!

Beloved Hotel Mexico wedding, Cancun creative wedding photography

We mentioned a bit in the last post about how beautiful The Beloved Hotel is. The grounds are truly stunning, with meticulous landscaping, lovely modern architecture and perfectly pristine swimming pools. Nicola and Jonathan had an amazing 270° view of the ocean and resort from their room!

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They even had their own personal plunge pool on their top-level balcony.

Beloved Hotel La Amada Hotel Wedding Mexico

Jonathan and Nicola’s wedding bands were handmade by Nicola’s uncle. Aren’t they beautiful?

Creative wedding photography Mexico, beach wedding Cancun Mexico

Jonathan and Nicola had the foresight to make their wedding programs so that they would also function as fans to keep the guests cool. Perfect for a tropical beachside event!

Creative beach wedding photography, destination wedding MexicoThe Beloved Hotel Mexico wedding photos

The resort did an excellent job on the beautiful bouquets for the ladies.

Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres wedding pictures, coral and ivory beach wedding

We started off the morning with a few of the bridesmaids, who happened to be getting ready in nearby rooms.

When we found our beautiful bride, she was all smiles!

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Jonathan, who was getting ready in another suite downstairs, sent up this adorable card to his wife-to-be.

Nicola’s aunt created the beautiful french-twist updo for our bride.

The rest of Nicola’s six bridesmaids soon joined in on the fun and everyone was in happy spirits!

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Now it was Nicola’s turn to send some loving words to her groom…

Nicola gave each of her bridesmaids one of these beautiful personalised bracelets as a gift. So sweet!

Coral and ivory Mexico beach wedding pictures

I love this cute reaction of Nicola’s mum seeing her in her dress.

The lace on Nicola’s gown was just divine. Look at that beautiful train!

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Playa Mujeres Beloved Hotel wedding photojournalismMexico coral and ivory beach wedding, summer Cancun wedding photography

Meanwhile, our groom was getting ready in a room two floors directly below our bride.

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Jonathan chose some fun socks for the day!

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The boys were gifted with some awesome cufflinks!

Playa Mujeres Cancun Beloved Hotel wedding pictures

It was pretty cool that Jonathan had become so close to Nicola’s brother that he wanted him to have the honour of being a groomsman alongside his old college friends.

As usual, the boys were ready in no time, so there was plenty of time to relax. Jonathan spent his last minutes of bachelorhood playing a game of cribbage with his groomsmen, something they had bonded over back in college.

Groom and groomsmen playing cards before wedding Mexico

One last celebratory toast before the big event!

Groom and groomsmen celebrating at Beloved Hotel Mexico

Jonathan’s khaki-coloured linen suit, white shirt and coral-coloured tie were perfect for their beach wedding. Looking sharp, Jonathan!

As everyone was finishing getting ready, the resort was suddenly drenched in another brief thunderstorm just like the one we experienced at lunch! Like the earlier one, it lasted no more than ten minutes, and soon we were able to go outside for this shot that we couldn’t resist. Since their rooms were directly over each other two floors apart, we had everyone come out the balcony. Keeping with tradition, we made sure they couldn’t actually see each other, but we thought it was the perfect way for them to share a moment “together” before the ceremony. We loved these shots! Click to view them even larger.

Mexico destination wedding photographers Playa Mujeres

Creative destination wedding photos Mexico beach wedding

Down on the beach, the skies cleared just as suddenly as the storm had come, and the ceremony setup looked amazing! The resort created some stunning floral arrangements in their wedding colours of coral, orange and ivory. Gorgeous!

Mexico destination wedding photographers

Jonathan and Nicola also arranged to have a harpist, who played beautifully as the guests began to arrive.

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The rattan aisle scattered with rose petals was the perfect touch!

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The cloud cover came just in time to shade the guests from the intense tropical sun as the ceremony started. There was so much excitement in the air as the bridal party began to make their entrance.

Coral and ivory beach wedding Beloved Hotel

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A few onlookers sent smiles toward Nicola as she walked down the aisle with her father.

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Sooo beautiful!

Bride walking down aisle Mexico beach wedding Playa Mujeres

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As our bride and groom prepared to say their vows, some grey clouds began gathering again, providing some welcome breeze and cooler temperatures…

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As the clouds moved rapidly, suddenly we saw the most amazing thing: a beautiful long rainbow, touching down exactly where Jonathan and Nicola stood. How much more perfect could you get than that?

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Our bride and groom exchanged rings and suddenly the wind picked up speed. Another thunderstorm seemed to be approaching at an incredibly rapid pace!

Beach wedding Mexico approaching thunderstorm and rainbow

The weather had everyone a bit fascinated, and wondering just how much time we had before the skies opened up! The celebrant decided to play it safe and postpone the sand ceremony, instead bringing out the official documents to sign!

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With their thumbprints, it was official! Yay!

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The bridesmaids suddenly noticed the beautiful rainbow behind them.

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And they were pronounced husband and wife!

Tropical destination beach wedding with rainbow

As quickly as they had come, the dark thunderclouds seemed to be passing on, and so it was on with the final part of their ceremony. A beautiful sand ceremony symbolised their newly official union. Like the sand, Jonathan and Nicola were now one and inseparable.

Tropical beach destination wedding Mexico

Congrats to our happy couple, back under blue skies again!

Playa Mujeres Beloved Hotel beach wedding

I think we were all a bit amazed that we didn’t get soaked! :)

Wedding ceremony Mexico Cancun beach wedding

How cute are our newlyweds?

Wedding photojournalism Mexico Cancun

That little storm was pretty exciting, but there was lots more excitement to be had at Jonathan and Nicola’s reception that evening. And that rainbow was pretty spectacular, but wait until you see what the skies did for us at sunset. We have lots more beautiful images to share of this beautiful couple in our next blog post. Congratulations, Jonathan and Nicola!

Friends and family of Jonathan and Nicola, leave a comment below for the newlyweds and let us know what you think of the photos. We’ll notify you when the full gallery of images is ready to view online!

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Zee - Gorgeous photos!! This resort looks amazing. We are currently planning our destination wedding for next year and were wondering how many guests they had at this wedding?

Amy Ratzki - These photos capture the moments so beautifully! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to enjoy the day all over again!

Tom Lekawski - Reliving those very special moments of the wedding through the photographs brings back all of that wonderful ceremony and these two very beautiful people, son and daughter-in-law. Looking forward to future posts, of the rest of the weekend’s events.

The Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres, Mexico Wedding: Jonathan & Nicola – Part 1, Bonfire on the Beach

The wait is over, folks, for some of The Wong Couple’s most anticipated photographs of the year—Jonathan and Nicola’s Mexico wedding! Remember this adorable couple? We just may have blabbed to a number of people this year that we’d be travelling to Mexico in August to photograph this fabulous fun-fest. For some reason the next question from everyone was, “Why did they decide to get married there?” Of course our first answer was, “Why not?”

“Why not? It’s fun!” is very “Jonathan and Nicola” if you ask us, but they did have another more logical reason for choosing an international destination wedding. Most of their dearest are not their nearest: their families and friends are scattered across three continents, not to mention their well-travelled, airline-employed fabulous friends who are always in another time zone. Our bride and groom were planning a Scouse-Yank-Aussie trifecta of awesomeness, and the world was their oyster. So where should the party be?

Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres Wedding Mexico, HDR Wedding photography

Jonathan and Nicola really chose the perfect location for their wedding. As mutual lovers of the beach, Mexican food, sunshine, and lots of laughter with friends and family, The Beloved Hotel in Playa Mujeres, just north of Cancun, fit the bill perfectly. The Beloved Hotel was the most luxurious resort that Jeff and I have ever stayed in, other than perhaps the end of our honeymoon! It was the first time we had ever stayed at an all-inclusive resort, and we’ve got to say: it was so much fun.

The facilities at the Beloved Hotel were truly top-notch, the food was delicious and the service was excellent. The all-inclusive nature of the resort meant you could really just kick back and enjoy, have spontaneous group lunches and dinners with other wedding guests—whomever materialised at the restaurants at the same time as you. Some guests stayed for over a week and others, like us, were there for about four days. Of course, there were lots of fun activities like kayaking, jet-skiing, and excursions into the jungle. You could be as lazy as you wanted lounging by the pool bar all day, or as adventurous as possible swimming with whale sharks! Experiencing these four days of fun in the tropical Yucatan Peninsula, with the friendly people, delicious food, extreme heat, icy margaritas, warm oceans, soft sands, sudden thunderstorms, beautiful sunsets, and all the smiling faces of Jonathan and Nicola’s family had us thinking that destination weddings are just the BEST!

Playa Mujeres Mexico wedding Cancun, beach wedding reception

Let us introduce you to the gorgeous surroundings of Playa Mujeres. The night before the wedding, Jonathan’s mother hosted a fantastic welcome dinner on the beach for everyone to enjoy. This dinner was also in the spirit of the American tradition of the “rehearsal dinner”, to which the English and Australian guests were introduced! We had our own private area of the beach complete with tiki torches, a buffet dinner, an open bar, and a bonfire!

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The setup looked beautiful with colourful accents in their summery, happy wedding-theme hues of coral and magenta.

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The tiki torches really provided some great ambiance!

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The food at the Beloved Hotel was simply excellent. For the bonfire buffet dinner, they provided an extensive salsa bar, including ceviche and lots of cold side dishes to help cool us off in the heat.

Mexico wedding salsa bar, beach wedding reception

The sunset was looking beautiful as the guests began to wander onto the scene.

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One great thing about destination weddings is that everyone is fully in “vacation mode”. All the guests looked so relaxed and chilled out!

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The Beloved Hotel was also fantastic for a wedding because of the size. It is a fairly small resort, compared to some of the other options in the Cancun area. This meant that Jonathan and Nicola’s wedding guests made up about a third of the whole resort, and were the only wedding on site at the time. The hotel is also very family friendly, and so we had some extremely cute kids in attendance!

Cancun wedding Playa Mujeres, cute and candid wedding images

Jeff and I were quite taken with the youngest attendees, as was his grandfather! This gentleman has to be the happiest, most doting grandfather we’ve seen in a long time. His affection for his grandkids was absolutely precious!

Fun Mexico beach rehearsal dinnerBeloved Hotel Mexico beach pre-wedding dinnerThe Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres beach wedding dinner

Everyone was treated to a delicious spread of Mexican specialities and seafood, including lobster tail and prawn skewers! Yum yum.

Cancun beach wedding buffet dinner

The bonfire started to burn as the sun lowered…

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See what we mean about this granddad? We couldn’t help but capture so many of these cute moments!

Tropical sunsets are just the BEST…

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How cute were our bride and groom?

Fun and candid wedding photos, Fun destination wedding photos

Ahh… gorgeous.

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The hot and humid summer afternoon gave way to a perfect evening. Nothing beats dining under a fiery sky with the cool sand between your toes and the warm seabreeze flowing through your hair. As photographers, we couldn’t get enough… it was magical!

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Another icon of American culture was definitely necessary given the bonfire: s’mores!

Smores at beach wedding bonfire party

Jonathan had fun instructing the English guests on how to make and eat s’mores… so fun! For our non-American readers, if you don’t know what a s’more is, you’re missing out on all that marshmallowy, chocolatey, graham cracker goodness!

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The fire was HOT! It didn’t take long to roast those marshmallows…

Creative wedding photography Mexico, beach wedding reception with bonfire

Everyone was really excited about what the next day would bring!

Mexico Cancun beach bonfire welcome rehearsal dinner photos

By the end of the night, certain individuals were pretty tuckered out! Haha!

How cute are our bride and groom to-be? :)

Mexico destination wedding photos, beach bonfire wedding reception

Cancun destination wedding pictures, bonfire on beach wedding welcome dinner

Just for fun, we setup a camera to capture Jonathan and Nicola’s sunset party in a timelapse video. Over two hours of partying condensed into just over a minute! Enjoy:

What a fun day in the sun! We could hardly wait for what the next day would bring. Just wait until you see the excitement of Jonathan and Nicola’s big day, the beauty of the rest of the resort, and their gorgeous ceremony and reception! Coming up next on the blog!

Friends and family of Jonathan and Nicola, leave a comment for the happy couple below and let us know what you think of the photos—we’ll notify you when the rest of images are ready to view online!

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Tom Lekawski - Fantastic photos. Really caught the essence and spirit of the events leading up to the wedding. Can’t wait to see the rest of your work, and the pictures of the wedding.

Daniel - Amazing photos :-) can’t wait for the wedding ones x good job jeff and Erin x

Sharon Lekawski - WOW!!! What great pictures. I love the video….you really captured the whole evening. Excited to see the wedding pictures.

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Hindu Wedding – Part 3

As we mentioned in some previous blogs, we were completely excited to get to travel to Queensland, to the lovely riverside city of Brisbane to photograph the final chapter of Niru and Charlie’s wedding! We met up with them in their gorgeous suite in the Stamford Plaza Hotel on the Brisbane river. It was a bit of a grey day in the city, but spirits were high! They were already married, of course, so no ceremony was planned for the evening—just a lot of fun, dancing, eating, and celebrating with their family and friends who weren’t able to make the journey to Sydney (plus quite a few who hadn’t had enough partying yet)! Niru and Charlie got ready together in their hotel which was a lot of fun to capture. I loved Niru’s sparkly accessories!

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Niru had a non-traditional sari with beautiful embroidery and fun tassels ready for the occasion.

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The boys had fun hanging out and helping Charlie get dressed.

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Niru and Charlie were looking pretty sharp and ready for an evening of dancing and partying!

Beautiful Hindu wedding Brisbane

We don’t get to capture a bride and groom getting ready together very often, so it was a fun experience.

Indian wedding photography Australia

Charlie helped Niru put on her ankle bracelets—very cute, guys!

Beautiful Indian wedding photography, vibrant and colourful wedding photos

Niru, you are completely stunning!

Beautiful wedding photography Brisbane Sydney, Indian wedding photography

Now that they were all dressed to the nines, we headed out for some portraits at the very cool Brisbane Powerhouse. Niru and Charlie wanted something a bit non-traditional, hip and urban, and the dilapidated backdrop of the Powerhouse fit the bill:

Brisbane Powerhouse wedding photos, urban wedding photos

You guys are the cutest!

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With such a grey rainy day, we were definitely not expecting the clouds to break up right at sunset… but oh boy did the sky put on a show for us!

Brisbane Powerhouse sunset wedding photos, Brisbane New Farm Park wedding photography

The park, the skyline, the sunset… and the couple… it was just perfect!

New Farm Park wedding photography, Australian wedding photographers

Love love love!

Queensland wedding photography, amazing sunset wedding photo

Our jaws had dropped with the sunset… but when we got to the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and got to see the amazing setup for the party, our jaws dropped even more! When Niru saw it for the first time, she let out squeal of delight. It was truly beautiful.

Brisbane Convention Centre wedding reception

The super-cool light-up ceiling bathed the room in beautiful purple hues. The purple shimmery linens, the white chivari charis, and the centrepieces with purple orchids and candles hanging in glass globes went together perfectly. So gorgeous!

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Each place setting also had a golden charger that was just perfect with the colour scheme.

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Their macaron cake was beyond amazing! It was huge and smelled soo divine.

Macaron wedding cake, Brisbane Convention Centre wedding reception

The ambiance was so dramatic and lush.

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After some cocktails outside, it was time for the guests to make their entrance.

Creative wedding photojournalism

One of the first orders of business was a little video for the guests. Niru and Charlie hired the lovely team at Rolling Canvas Presentations, who captured all four days’ worth of events alongside us. Their team did a fantastic job! Before the wedding day, they got together with our bride and groom to create a fun pre-wedding video about how these two first met. It was absolutely hilarious—check it out for yourselves here.

Brisbane wedding reception, purple wedding, blue wedding

Niru and Charlie were treated to many wonderful speeches made by their nearest and dearest.

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I mentioned before that I love Niru’s facial expressions… there were some truly fantastic ones during the speeches, especially during her brother’s speech! ;)

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Our bride and groom also made a touching speech, thanking everyone for all that they had contributed over the many days of celebration.

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Niru and Charlie had a beautiful dance choreographed for the two of them…

Brisbane Convention Centre Indian wedding reception

…and then they had a big surprise for their guests! The groomsmen suddenly joined in on the dance floor in the beginning of what was to become a huge flash mob! This amazing dance went on for quite some time and was all elaborately choreographed—we were so impressed! Check out some of their cool moves:

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Of course our playwright groom had to incorporate some “scenes” into the dance to tell a story. So fun!

Fun and creative wedding photojournalismDancing at Indian wedding reception

Even Niru’s father joined in on the continuing dance for a father-daughter number. We just love father-daughter dances!

Creative wedding photography, Indian wedding dances

This amazing dance finished with all the “cast” on the dance floor. Some real talent and clearly an amazing amount of effort went in to creating this performance. Well done, everyone!

Flash mob dancing at wedding reception

The dance party really kicked off with every single guest on their feet!

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The bride and groom left amid lots of hugs, cheering and clapping… what a memorable night.

Brisbane landscape photography, Brisbane river at twilight

Jeff and I had a wonderful time in this beautiful city on the river. We spent the rest of our time in Brisbane seeing the sights, riding the river ferry, and sampling some local restaurants. We were so honoured to have been a part of the happy beginning of this marriage! Thank you, Niru and Charlie, and may you celebrate and sing and dance together for many, many years to come. Friends and family of Niru and Charlie, leave a note for the happy couple below and let us know what you think of the photos! We’ll notify you when the full gallery of images is ready to view online.

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Charlie - To Erin & Jeff, The Wong Couple …all I can say is WOW! You may remember, Niru & I came to you with a series of concerns and requests. We had seen your portfolio and absolutely loved your work, but our major concern was the fact that we wanted a team who’d done a Hindu/Indian ceremony before.

Sydney has such an array of Indian photographers we could have chosen from – who we met with and who had an extensive portfolio in Indian weddings – but in the end it was your personality, approachability and genuine care that assured us no matter what, your heart and soul will go into ensuring that Niru & I get the photos we want from our big day. And oh my God(s), did you achieve that or what!

From our initial coffees at the Blackbird café, to your briefing chat with me the day before (sorry I left it so last minute), to your utter attention to detail – you gobsmacked me, Niru and our entire [very very large] family and friends with your brilliant work!

From the big ceremonial details & understanding of the significance of things, to the very small passing comments that you both retained – you guys are the full package. From our initial meeting, the approach you took with us was enough to tell us you both were the photographers for us.

Thank you so much for coming on this journey with us, for investing so much of your time and effort in ensuring you don’t miss anything significant (or insignificant), for never showing any signs of uncertainty, for researching every ritual and detail, and most importantly, always smiling! You both have been such a significant part of this journey, and we couldn’t thank you enough.

Your fans,

Charlie & Niru

Shai - You guys can really take some brilliant photos! Anyone that can make my brother look good deserves a LOT of praise :)

Reenay Mishra - Ok you two must be sick if me now! But all the images are amazing. So artistic and vibrant. I’m gobsmacked as to how you have managed to capture so many wonderful emotions and moments… true geniuses :-) wow just wow :-)

Dockside Darling Harbour Hindu Wedding – Part 2

It’s not very often that we get to see a bride walk down the aisle twice in the same day, but that’s exactly what Niru got to do! After the first half of the ceremony where guests bestowed their blessings on her wedding sari and gold thali necklace, Niru changed into this stunning red and gold sari and came back down the aisle carrying the wedding garland that she would drape over her groom’s shoulders.

Indian bride in red wedding sari, beautiful Hindu wedding photography SydneyBeautiful bride at her Hindu wedding at Dockside Darling Harbour

Niru and Charlie exchanged floral garlands, as a symbol of acceptance, and as a pledge that they will respect each other throughout their marriage.

Bride and groom being married in traditional Hindu wedding ceremony Australia

Then it was time for the tying of the Thali, or Mangalyam, a gold necklace for the bride that is meant to protect her marriage and symbolise good luck, love and friendship.

Family members held up a sheet while Charlie tied a knot in a golden cord, binding them together officially as husband and wife.

Tying of the thali at Sydney Hindu wedding, colourful and vibrant Indian wedding photosDockside Darling Harbour wedding photos, Maangalya tharanam ceremony

As the music played, Charlie secured the gold thali around Niru’s neck and their family members showered them with red rose petals.

Dockside Darling Harbour wedding, Hindu wedding pictures, tying of the thaliGuests throwing rose petals at Hindu wedding ceremony Sydney

Niru and Charlie were given a small mirror to look at themselves for the first time as newlyweds. They looked so happy!

Beautiful Indian wedding photography Sydney

Charlie dabbed Niru’s forehead with sindoor, the red vermillion powder worn by married Hindu women.

Groom putting sindoor on bride

The newlyweds placed a total of three garlands over each other, symbolising their unification as one soul in two bodies.

Hindu wedding garlands, Indian wedding photojournalismDockside Hindu wedding ceremony traditions

In one of the most important events in the ceremony, Niru and Charlie now began their seven circles walking around the sacred fire, signifying their transition into married life. They were led by the bride’s brother, her lifelong supporter.

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After encircling the fire, Niru and Charlie poured the special popcorn from the Bhatwaan night into the fire as an offering. It was all soo beautiful to watch!

Hindu bride and groom pour popcorn into fire during their wedding ceremony, Indian wedding photography Sydney

Then our bride and groom took seven final steps, representing seven special vows of marriage. They joined their feet together on a grinding stone, in the hopes that their marriage will be as firm and strong as the stone, and Charlie presented Niru with toe rings that indicate her married status.

Hindu wedding seven steps, groom placing ring on bride

Niru and Charlie played a fun game at the end of their ceremony: it was the game of “fishing the ring”, which would determine who would take charge in their relationship! Bangles were placed in a bucket of water and the first to grab hold of one would be the winner…

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I love this shot of Niru grabbing the bangle! Now she will always have the upper hand! :)

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Niru applied the sindoor to her new husband’s forehead at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Bride putting sindoor on groom, Hindu wedding Dockside

What a beautiful, beautiful ceremony! There were hugs all around.

Parents blessing couple during Hindu marriage ceremony, beautiful Hindu wedding photography

The weather outside looked absolutely beautiful on this unseasonably warm winter’s day. The guests all enjoyed some canapes on the balcony while the room was flipped for their lunch reception.

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The staff did a great job completely transforming the space at Dockside in only about 30 minutes!

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Our happy couple emerged again once all the guests were seated. What a good looking couple!

Beautiful Indian bride and groom at their wedding in Darling Harbour

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The formalities weren’t quite over yet. Though they were spiritually and emotionally already married, there was the legal side of things to take care of!

Darling Harbour wedding civil ceremonyDockside Cockle Bay wedding civil ceremony

The guests were served a delicious Indian lunch and treated to a heartwarming, touching speech by Niru’s father.

Dockside Darling Harbour wedding lunch reception speech

Niru’s father, a professor and researcher, presented his findings and investigations into when the happy couple really first met, revealing details that seemed to come as a shock to his daugther. Niru has some of the greatest facial expressions! Haha, love it!

Beautiful and natural Hindu wedding photographyWedding photojournalism, Hindu wedding, Indian wedding reception

Niru’s father’s tribute to her grandfather, who had recently passed away, made everyone tear up.

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For their first dance, Niru’s beautiful bridesmaids sang an amazing duet. Their voices were absolutely enchanting! I, for one, did not want them to stop singing!

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So cute. Bravo, ladies!

Creative Hindu wedding photography Australia

Everyone enjoyed the delicious lunch before departing. How lovely it was–click to view this panorama larger!

Dockside Darling Harbour wedding photos, Panoramic wedding photography

The sunset was approaching, so it was time to venture down to the harbour with this beautiful bridal party!

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Love these! You can’t tell in these shots, but they were certainly attracting lots of attention from onlookers, who all seemed a bit spellbound!

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Niru’s brother did something pretty cute here on his own… did you notice it? Haha!

Candid and natural Indian wedding photography

Niru and Charlie looked soo happy. I love these!

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Looking very cool, guys!

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Bride and groom at Sydney Opera House, twilight wedding photography

What a beautiful twilight sky and a gorgeous couple.

Twilight wedding photography, beautiful wedding portraits Sydney Opera House

The sun was gone, but there was still more fun to come! Everyone went to the groom’s house for the final ceremonies and games of the night.

Inside, they played a number of games, including a second round of Fishing the Ring! Guess who came out on top again?

Family members presented Niru with gifts of jewellery and many hugs.

Indian bride receiving gifts on her wedding day

As the last tradition of the night, Niru got to hold and play with a baby, to give her luck in her own endeavors at starting a family. How cute is this? A sign to come perhaps?

What an amazing day! We just loved being a part of Niru and Charlie’s first day as husband and wife and having the opportunity to capture such beautiful moments. The following weekend, we were all off to Brisbane for their gorgeous reception at the Brisbane Convention Centre for all the guests who couldn’t make the journey to Sydney. Stay tuned for the final installment!

Friends and family of Niru and Charlie, leave a note below for the happy couple and let us know what you think of the photos, and we’ll notify you when the full gallery of images is ready to view online.

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Sarbottam dutta - Fine quality singal&pear potrait image

Shristi - These pics are stunning! I feel like I was there. Just gorgeous and I love the blog. Beautifully explained. You guys can do no Wong!

Reenay Mishra - You two are amazing! You have managed to capture all the moments :-)
It’s so exciting to relive the week so vividly through your images :-)
I feel so happy looking at the photos. Can’t wait for more!

Niru - Oh my God Erin and Jeff, these photos are amazing! Love the colours and the lighting, and the moments!! Everything has been so beautifully captured!!! Can’t wait to see all of them! Thoroughly enjoying the blog as well! You guys have done your research!!! You know some of the rituals better than the family! Thank you so much guys! Looking forward to the next chapter! :D