Other than the prospect of using Adelaide’s amazing Himeji Gardens for a wedding shoot, I was in for a treat at Wendy and Steve’s wedding. Photographing a traditional Chinese morning ceremony before a wedding was new to me in my 4 years as a wedding photographer, and then heading out after to do the glamour photos at Himeji Gardens before the ceremony was also quite different. Wendy and Steve’s families congregated for lunch to participate in and witness the trials Wendy’s bridesmaids set for Steve and his groomsmen in order to see Wendy as a bride. We then set out for Himeji Gardens and Veale Gardens for glamour photos before their ceremony taking place at the magnificent Brougham Place Uniting Church and reception at the Ballroom & Kozak Bar.

Wendy and Steve opted to take advantage of my all encompassing full day wedding photography package coupled with a second photographer throughout the day. It was a very long day for us, starting at 9am and not finishing until close to midnight, but we enjoyed every moment of it. Due to the length of the day and variety of different locations visited during the wedding however, I;ve decided to spread this wedding preview over two pages.

Preparation Photos

Wendy and Steve were prepared at separate houses, with my second photographer looking after Steve and his groomsmen, while I went straight to Wendy and her bridesmaids.

Chinese Wedding Traditions

While Wendy and Steve were not having a fully traditional Chinese wedding, they did want to participate in some traditional activities before the wedding ceremony. First, Wendy’s bridesmaids put together a set of trials for Steve and his groomsmen to successfully master in order to see Wendy in the morning. These involved things as innocent as asking Steve personal questions about Wendy, through to hanging grapes between each other’s legs in order to Steve to eat, and transferring an orange mouth to mouth. It’s this kind of fun activity that makes me love doing what I do. I had never participated in a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony like this before, and having just visited China a few months prior, it was very interesting to see the kind of activities one does at a Chinese wedding.

After this fun activity, the more serious events took place. Each significant member of the family and wellwishers of Wendy and Steve were presented a cup of tea in exchange for a gift. This tea ceremony was a wonderful way to show formal appreciation of the effort their guests had made to see Wendy and Steve on their wedding day. Each set of guests were then positioned in front of a traditional Chinese red wedding banner for a photo.

After the traditional events were over, Wendy and Steve reverted to a more western style wedding, with Wendy ducking out to change into a white wedding dress before heading out to the Benjamin on Franklin for a pub lunch and then Himeji Gardens for glamour photos.

Himeji Gardens Glamour Photos

The Himeji gardens would have to be one of the quintessential locations for Adelaide wedding photography being one of the most serene and beautiful destinations in Adelaide. With weddings no longer allowed to take place directly within the walls of the garden, wedded couples are free to walk about after, or in this case before, their wedding ceremony. The traditional Japanese gardens were a gift from Adelaide’s sister city, Himeji hence the name ‘Himeji Gardens’. Since 1982, the gardens have provided a shady refuge from the busy city streets. It was originally designed by council staff; however, following two visits by Japanese landscape designer, Yoshitaka Kumada in the late 1980s, its layout was improved to adhere to traditional principles. The garden in split into a sansui, a “mountain and lake garden”, and a karesansui a “dry rock garden” intended to evoke mountains surrounded by water.

After visiting Himeji Gardens, we went over the road to walk around veale gardens, another popular wedding spot for Adelaide wedding photography, thanks to it’s magnificent rock pools and large open, sweeping lawns.