Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens Engagement – Maryam & Scott

The amazing autumn colours of the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens were the backdrop of Maryam & Scott’s engagement shoot, and I must say it was a fantastic choice. We walked around the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens for around an hour, dodging the hundreds of tourists that also had the same idea and took advantage of the wonderful yellows and oranges that mother nature had provided. Once the gardens closed at 5pm, we headed to Veale gardens on south terrace for a couple more shots and a bit of a dance! Maryam & Scott had some friends with them, along with family members so we had a bit of fun with the situation 🙂

Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens

The Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens are a marvellous site in the Adelaide Hills, opened to the public in 1959 after having been in development since 1911, the gardens sprawl an incredible 97 hectares with a huge diversity of native and imported plants and trees, it’s a beautiful place to visit and take it all in.

After, Maryam & Scott asked be for suggestions for a second location to take photos in between Mt Lofty and their house in Mawson Lakes, so I suggested the Veale Gardens. I knew from multiple previous weddings I’ve covered as a wedding photographer here always turn out great, so we headed down there 🙂 While there, we got out a small handheld stereo and had a bit of a dance! Was a lot of fun 🙂

Acrylic mounted prints

I just had to write this blog today as I was so excited to see the new Acrylic mounted prints I had ordered as prizes from my recent 2015 people’s choice photograph of the year! These Acrylic mounted prints are hand mounted and sandwiched between two large pieces of high grade perspex. The result is a high gloss finish that shows off every minute detail of your image. It’s a printing and mounting process that really needs to be seen in person to fully enjoy.

As I’m quite passionate on creating works of art from your wedding photography that look fantastic when printed large to hang on your wall, I’m really excited to see these two prints come to fruition and I hope my two winners in Belinda & Jono and Kristy & Toby enjoy looking at them as much as I do!

I offer this amazing style of printing with any of my services, and I’d be super eager to print them for you! In fact I’d like to offer any of my previous clients a 20% discount on any print they order in this style. Prices of course depend on the size of print you’d desire. To read more about this style of printing, you can read more here.

Acrylic mounted prints

I so love this style of printing, I’ve had a couple of my fine art landscapes printed like this also. The one below is 142cm wide and is printed on metallic paper which makes for a surreal 3D effect when you stand in front of it. these Acrylic mounted prints are absolutely exquisite. More of my fine art works are available on my other website https://stevenduncanart.com

Best Man origin story

As a wedding photographer, I have a bit of interest and knowledge of the historical traditions that come with he whole wedding scene the Best Man origin story is one of the least politically correct origin story of many of the different wedding traditions around, but this is the case with many things that have their roots many hundreds of years ago. In modern times, being asked to be the ‘Best Man’ at a wedding is seen as a great honour and a sign of friendship and trust between the groom and the Best Man. The Best Man is supposed to make sure the day runs smoothly by organising things like seating, helping the groom get over nerves and ensuring he doesn’t party too hard the night before. All this of course before delivering a comical speech designed to embarrass the groom in front of their wedding guests. The history of being the Best Man is actually quite different.

The Best Man origin story

Back in the 16th century Britain, the practice of abducting brides from neighbouring towns was quite commonplace. It was the role of the Best Man to join the groom  and his entourage in their quest to kidnap the Bride from the comfort of her own home. This was of course all before the women’s rights movement, so men who had decided upon a wife often had to forcefully take her with him (or kidnap her) if her family did not approve of their marriage. Our custom of the best man is a throwback to this kidnapping custom.

This however was not the historic Best Man origin story, as the practice of having to kidnap the bride goes way back to Gothic Germany (0-200AD) where it was customary for a man to marry a woman from within his own community. When women came into short supply “locally,” bachelors would have to seek out and capture a bride from a neighbouring community. This was of course not a one man job, so the ‘Best Man’ for the  job of helping the groom in this task was chosen to help. Unlike in Britain however, where this was a somewhat accepted practice, in Germany there was a real threat of the woman’s family taking up arms to retrieve her. As such it was then the Best Man’s duty to help fend off any attackers. The Best Man and his entourage were often heavily armed and stayed by the groom’s side throughout the marriage ceremony. This is why it’s tradition, especially in the UK to have swords being worn by the men involved at a wedding.

The St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre (August 24, 1572), depicted below, was a bloody day in the history of France. The murderous events following the marriage of the Catholic princess Marguerite (Margot) and the Protestant ruler Henry of Navarre. History states that the wedding was not one that princess Marguerite really wanted and when the priest asked the equivalent of ‘Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband’ she did not say ‘I do’, then all hell broke loose. This may have been an over dramatisation of actual events, embellished for later plays and books, but the massacre did actually happen.

Something that  is related to all this, but not really to the Best Man origin story is that traditionally the bride usually stands to the left of the groom. This is again due to the unfortunate truth that she may actually be there due to being kidnapped, so the groom needs to have his sword hand at the ready to defend against any family members disapproving of the marriage. Also originating from this practice, which literally swept a bride off her feet, sprang the later symbolic act of carrying the bride across the threshold of her new home. The honeymoon is also related to this event, as presumably the bride’s family would still be quite upset about all of this that the newly weds would have to ‘disappear’ for a time so that to give the bride’s family time to come to terms of what has happened.

Thankfully modern society has no need for sword wielding best men and entourage to protect a bride and groom from ill-wishing relatives! However, the role of the best man in a general sense really hasn’t changed all that much, they are still supposed to make sure the day runs smoothly, be it from rampaging in-laws to negotiating with the reception venue over the price of the drink package. The Best Man is still about mateship, only in the old days this often meant putting your life on the line for your mate, where as today its more about poking fun at each other in your speeches 🙂

Barossa Weintal Wedding – Shelley & Chris

Shelley and Chris held their wedding at the Barossa Weintal resort, located in the beautiful Barossa, and I had the privilege of being their wedding photographer. Shelley and Chris opted to take advantage of my flexible customizable wedding package so they had me at their wedding for 4 hours. Both Shelley and Chris looked spectacular in their fully white getups, and their supporting family and friends made for a beautiful day.

Barossa Weintal Wedding Ceremony

Shelley and Chris’ ceremony took place in a small courtyard on the grounds of the Barossa Weintal resort which was shrouded in the most wonderful creeping vine. When the sun was out from behind the clouds, the vines caused the most wonderful of dappled light throughout the ceremony adding to the atmosphere.

Barossa Weintal Glamour Shots

Shelley had only recently suffered from a medical condition so much of our time was spent in and around the gardens right near the courtyard their ceremony took place in. There were plans to use their limousine to travel to a nearby winery for a larger variety of shots, but unfortunately we weren’t able. Be that as it may however, the gardens in and around the resort were quite awesome in their own right, lending some amazing green hues and tones to my wedding photography.

Barossa Weintal Reception

It was only a few months since I last visited the resort for a wedding, and last time I had trouble figuring out what their reception room was actually built for. I had speculated that it used to be a barn of some sort, but it was all actually purpose built as a function room for the resort. The area is circular, with a huge pointing roof, not unlike a circus tent, only made of brick. Its a beautiful room and a lovely space for a wedding reception.

Thanks go to Shelley and Chris for having me be their wedding photographer, your day was an absolute joy to be a part of and I wish you both the best!

Saint Francis Winery Wedding – Lucy & James

Lucy & James held their surprise wedding at the Saint Francis Winery in Old Reynella. If you aren’t aware of the dynamics of surprise weddings, they can be a lot of fun to be a part of, particularly as a wedding photographer. It’s fun as you generally turn up to a party that is otherwise going swimmingly, when a photographer with a giant camera shows up and starts taking your picture 🙂 Now obviously it’s not often you attend a small party, even an engagement party – as is what Lucy and James’ guest thought they were attending, where there is a professional photographer in attendance. So there was a bit of surprise.

Before Party

Lucy & James’ guests were invited to their engagement party and were treated to a lovely spread put out by the Saint Francis Winery, including cheeses, fruits and meat platters, including an open bar. The congregation was located out the front of the Winery, near the famed pond next to South road when I arrived amd all were having a great time 🙂 Not many even noticed Lucy and James slink off to change into their wedding finery.

Lucy & James’ Saint Francis Winery Wedding Ceremony

The wedding ceremony was set up within around 30 minutes, before the ceremony, but after everyone had arrived so that the secret was not blown. In past weddings I have covered at the Saint Francis Winery, the ceremony itself has taken place next to the lake, out the front of the winery, however as this one needed to be ‘hidden’, the ceremony took place in the grassy courtyard area surrounded by hotel rooms.

Glamour photos

Between their ceremony and their reception, Lucy and James had barely 40 minutes of sunlight in order to walk around the winery grounds for their glamour photos. But we made good use of the available light and took some crackers.

Wedding reception

I was only able to stay for a portion of Lucy and James’ reception as they had opted for having me at their wedding using my very affordable 3 hour package. In the limited amount of time I was there for, I was able to cover their first dance, speeches and even their wedding cake cutting.

Thankyou Lucy and James for having me at your lovely surprise wedding, it was a lot of fun to be a part of!