Hayley and Chris’ Awesome DIY Brisbane Backyard Wedding

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There’s a lot I could say about this one…..the attention to detail, the festival feel, the colour, the vibrancy, the lashings of DIY, the unconventional-yet-perfectly-suited dress, the ’thrown’ together bouquets, the stunning bride, bridesmaids, the cake….I could honestly bend your ear off spraffing about all of these things if you let me…

The thought, creativity and hard work that went into the aesthetics of Hayley & Chris’ day was so very evident, a lovely little oasis of pretty in the comfort of their own back yard. So I was already feeling pretty confident, knowing that, as weddings go, everything was looking set for me to capture a gorgeous day.

…but I was soon to find out, while pretty things are important on a wedding day, this wedding day had much more than that.

I arrived to a best man meticulously decorating the venue with flower settings and tree stumps… you know, the usual stuff that best men do on the wedding day.

Upstairs, two bridesmaids washed dishes, while the third finished the cake off… you know, the usual stuff that bridesmaids do on the wedding day.

Behind the scenes, the Father of the Bride prepared food platters, arranging them beautifully… you know, the usual stuff that FOB’s do on the wedding day.

After the ceremony, the brother of the bride performed a stunning solo acoustic set… you know, the usual stuff that BROB’s do on the wedding day.

Two friends took the stage and performed a number of songs, with one song especially written for the couple, recorded and provided on CD for each guest to take home… you know, the usual stuff that FROB’s do on the wedding day.

All day long, the bridal party were backing and forthing with glasses, bottles of champagne, chairs, hats and other random objects that needed to be moved to another place… you know, the usual stuff that a bridal party does on the wedding day (well….ok, I’ll give you this one).

But get this…..prior to the day, a family member contacted me to let me know that the photographer (i.e. me) would be a present (from various guests) to the bride and groom as they couldn’t bear to let them get married without one….oh you know, just something wonderful that the most important people in your lives do for you…for your wedding day.

I realised that these two folks are pretty well loved, and that must mean that they are awesome… yes?


…so there I was, basking in the love that was flying in all directions on this special day, silently (and professionally of course) blubbering behind my lens as I felt overwhelmingly grateful to be part of this pretty (because as I said, it’s important), this wonderful, this magical togetherness.

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Alex and Dustin – Noosa – Australia

Alex & Dustin Blog - robandlizzie - 28Alex & Dustin Blog - robandlizzie - 37 Alex & Dustin Blog - robandlizzie - 52Deep in the Noosa rainforest there’s an old tree where young men go to carve the names of the women they love. 8 years ago a group of guys hiked into the forest, heading for the tree, and Dustin had a name to carve…

Noosa has played a big part in Alex and Dustin’s relationship so there was nowhere better to tie the knot than a little hidden grove overlooking the main beach.  Friends, family, cocktails, ferry rides, laughter, hugs, dancing, singing, sparklers and a healthy swig of Bundaburg Rum.

Our first shoot in Noosa… it wasn’t bad…

It was great..!
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Kaya and Ben – Midginbil HIll – Australia

Kaya and Ben Midginbil Hill 002 robandlizzieKaya and Ben Midginbil Hill 037 robandlizzieKaya and Ben Midginbil Hill 051 robandlizzieEarth, Wind, Fire and Rain…

Earth… Planet Earth… specifically Australia… more specifically New South Wales… even more specifically Midginbil Hill… but this was Earth nonetheless, and a really pretty corner of it.

There was rain certainly, which is kinda what you’d expect in such a lush forest valley, otherwise where would all the trees and grass and stuff have come from….but what’s good for a tree and what’s good for a wedding aren’t always the same thing. It would take more than a little rain to stop these guys, so the rain came, plans changed, every guest stepped up.

And there was fire, a huge fire. Large enough to warm a rowdy viking crew. Probably large enough to be seen from space, well maybe not SPACE space but certainly it was a decent sized fire…

Oh and there was Karaoke, which is like singing, kinda breathy and windy. Yeah, that counts as wind.

…so Earth, Wind, Rain and Fire… I stand by that..!

Of course there were people too… old friends and close family, filling every possible space with energy, you know, that rare kind of energy. The best kind.
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Fiona and Joe – Limassol – Cyprus

Fiona and Joe - robandlizzie - international wedding photography - 01Fiona and Joe - robandlizzie - international wedding photography - 41Fiona and Joe - robandlizzie - international wedding photography - 42There are some who say it can’t be done. To throw a wedding that straddles the line between a classy, stylish, cocktail soiree and an all-out, shirts off, split pants, dance fest. Surely it would take everything from bow-ties, lace and pearls to funk bands and fireworks. No-one could live at that speed!

Fiona and Joe told us that they were planning just such an event.

The day started well. A little tennis, a quick dip and then time for part one of the plan. Champagne and smooth suits, a beachside ceremony and sunset drinks, stylish and sophisticated… Bam! Done! Success! Time to turn it up to eleven.

Part two starts with a bang. Fireworks explode into the sky and the band launches into a scorching set of dance floor hits that has people literally dancing their clothes off.

Hands down the most fun we’ve ever had at a wedding without being guests.

p.s. the two of us managed to get through the night with our pants intact – just in case you were wondering.
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Katalina and Tasos – Limassol – Cyprus

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Anyone who knows us (or came to our wedding) is undoubtedly aware of our love of colour and all things colourful…so when Katalina asked if we could edit pretty much ALL of their wedding in high-key B&W… at first we may have been a little uneasy of this monochromatic challenge.

We asked ourselves, how do you shoot all the vibrancy of a big Cypriot wedding without colour? But it seemed that Katalina and Tasos, and all that their wedding encompassed, were made for monochrome. White walls, black ink, no colour….

…well maybe just a touch.

Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can yield surprisingly awesome results.
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Mariam & Mark – Paphos – Cyprus

M&M Solaris Photography Australia - 001M&M Solaris Photography Australia - 028M&M Solaris Photography Australia - 012Mariam & Mark are one of those special couples that you can sit down with and by the end of lunch you’re old friends with a full range of in-jokes and an unspoken language of hand signals.

We were already psyched about this wedding, an Egyptian Coptic ceremony (a first for us) in a 13th century church and then up into the mountains for dinner surrounded by olive groves and wheat fields, and then Mark upped the ante…

“We’re having a sunset yacht party the day before and it’s a pity you can’t come with us… hey… why don’t you come with us?”

We didn’t need a lot of convincing and by the end of the cruise we’d met their friends, family and even the Swedish priests that they’d bought with them from America. So when we arrived the next day, we were met with a church full of friendly faces.

Sometimes everything falls into place, two fun people very much in love, great guests, perfect vistas, and the golden light that hits just as you walk out into the field. By the end of the day Lizzie had learned a little bit about Seinfeld, I’d watched a man eating grapes straight from the vine and we’d made some “friends for life”.

On a side note we edited this wedding to Meatloaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell” but I don’t think it shows.
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