As a kid I used to browse trough encyclopaedias a lot. Usually the section in books that I liked the most was about landmarks of the world. One landmark had a shape different from all the other and it got stuck in my head ever since.
I somehow knew that once I will get there, but had not idea it will happen while pursuing my dreams. Thanks to Vivienne and Albert, I had my chance to get to Australia and see that special building of the shape of shells white as sails. Sydney Opera House is truly something special.
Vivienne and Albert were both born in New Zealand. They have moved to Melbourne not that long time ago, but they have decided to have a wedding in Sydney.
We have always wanted to live overseas away from little New Zealand, and Australia was the next country over! The decision to move to Australia was done on short notice as we had exhausted treatment options for my brother Vialli in New Zealand. In order to receive better and more options with treatment, we decided it was best to come to Australia, specifically Melbourne to the specialist cancer treatment hospital, Peter MacCullum Cancer Centre.Vivienne
As the greatest amount of guests were from Sydney, we decided it was easier that the minority move to the majority. Plus Sydney was kind of half way between New Zealand and Taiwan.
Day 1: Chinese tea ceremony
Date: 7. 1. 2019
Location: Viviennes grandparents house, Canley Vale, Sydney, NSW, Australia
We had our tea ceremony in my paternal grandparents home. This is because thee ancestors are remembered above a buddhist shrine there. The groom and bride pays respect to the ancestors and this is a way to welcome the groom into the family and also acknowledging that he is here to take away the daughter. Traditionally after the tea ceremony, the groom takes the bride back to his family home.Vivienna
Tea is an important part of Chinese Culture and the tea ceremony is one of the main events in a traditional Chinese wedding. Serving tea is a significant way for the person serving the tea to show respect and gratitude to the person receiving the tea. It also represents the moment both families become one. It begins with formal introductions of the bride and groom. Then family members of importance will receive the tea. The order of those receiving the tea is as follows, parents from both sides, then grandparents from both sides then the eldest Uncles and aunties all the way to the youngest uncles and aunties. Then family friends of significance. As each person receives the tea, they would then offer their blessings and may give gifts or red pockets (red envelopes containing money) which are a symbol of good luck. Both the bride and groom are expected to serve tea.
Vivienne’s parents are both mainly Chinese born in Cambodia. They were 7 and 9 years old when the Pol Pot Civil war happened in 1970s. Her father’s family escaped into Vietnam but Vivienne’s mother’s family was captured to work in a camp where her father was killed. She was about 10 when she escaped with her family and arrived in Vietnam and lived in a refugee camp. There, she met Vivienne’s father. They grew up in Vietnam until they were in their 20’s and eventually came to New Zealand as refugees and got married. Both of Alberts parents were born in Taiwan but their ancestors are Chinese.
Day 2: Wedding day
Thermometer was showing around 30 degrees on that special Tuesday in January and around 190 guests arrived to celebrate with them. They came from different parts of Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan and me – all the way from Slovenia.
Date: 8. 1. 2019
Location: Curzon hall, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Wedding reception: Curzon hall
Wedding dress: Nifi Bridal
Wedding decoration: Amy Tran
Keywords: Curzon hall wedding, Wedding photographer Sydney, Australia wedding photography, international, summer wedding
Vivienne’s brother, Vialli has been battling a very rare sarcoma cancer called PEComa since 2015. He is the second person in the world to have it in the right eye orbit. The doctors had to remove his eyeball to remove the tumour. He did 2 years chemotherapy, over 80 rounds of radiotherapy, and immunotherapy but the cancer came back on the brain. It has become quite aggressive and he is currently doing a stronger chemotherapy in Melbourne. He is an incredibly brave and strong person.
We loved it for the location being convenient for guests, plenty of green space that is gated for the kids to play safely and especially the beautiful chapel connected to the reception hall. As christians we really wanted a chapel wedding and Curzon Hall ticked all our boxes!Vivienne
“We really love your drone photos” said Vivienne when we met one day before the wedding.
On the Eternal Garden of Curzon Hall there was geometrical criss-cross pattern that looked promising. I told the idea to whole team and they were excited to be part of it. Since at 3 pm the sun was super strong and the heat was keep rising, we did just one figure out many ideas that I already had in mind. And that one had to work.
Special heroes of that day were Deadpool, Batman, Superman, Captain America and Flash.
Some time after the wedding and when photos were already delivered I have received a mail from Australia …
… and that lovely thank you letter brought tears to my eyes.
Thank you so much for your trust, Vivienne and Albert! I know we will see each other soon. Europe and me are waiting for you!