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  • Writer's pictureBillie Mcgrane

Charmaine & Laughlan

'We just want to host a big party, hire a kombi-keg and let our friends let loose and feel the love.'

That was pretty much the brief when Char & Lachie shared with me the plans for their day. And I can tell ya what... they bloody nailed it!

I met Char & Lachie through their mates, whose wedding I shot the year before. When we first chatted over zoom, they told me that they loved how seamlessly I fit into their mate's wedding day - as if I was just another one of the gang - and that this is what they wanted for their day too. They told me they liked my photography style and my no-bullshit jeans and boots outfit, and so I agreed to shoot their wedding... I'm a sucker for flattery.

Char and Lachie are both big softies. They wear their heart on their sleeve and aren't afraid to show their vulnerability. Which is exactly why we were a match made in heaven. I felt completely at home amongst their families and friends, and knew I could get away with a cheeky jibe here or there to get a few laughs.

Flipping the traditional wedding timeline on it's head, Char and Lachie's ceremony started at 1pm. The kombi-keg taps? Well they started even earlier! Guests were welcomed to the family property from 11.30am, where they got to enjoy a beer (or five) amongst the epic 4m tall cacti flanking the reception area.

Hans (Lachie's grandad) had shown me his beautifully sculpted gardens with pride... not forgetting the Japanese bridge (where it was family tradition to have wedding photos taken). Later that day he gifted some guests with a cactus of their own (of which I was very jealous haha). But this was one moment of many, where I could see the kind of people Lachie's family were. Generous. Loving. Open. Kind.

And this sentiment continued in the way the pair greeted and embraced their guests, in the vows they shared and in the speeches told. Their wedding ceremony was the perfect mix between light-hearted banter delivered by their celebrant Renee, and deeply personal expressions of how they felt about each other.

After the ceremony, Lachie's aunt surprised him with a gift-box that she had been holding onto since his Grandfather passed away. Inside, was a biker's vest that had belonged to Lachie's grandfather, who had asked for it to be handed down to him, when the moment was right. Well... what better day to choose than his wedding day. The day that he was making a promise to be there for his family, as his grandfather had been for him.

It truly was a day built around love - for each other, but also for all the people in their life. With their ceremony so early in the day, the pair had a few hours to spend with their guests before we snuck off for some photos. These two were a bloody delight to capture. Their love and affection for each other was just so natural and easy.

Throwing out yet another formality, Char and Lachie decided to can the seating plan, and allow guests to move about freely. They had multiple areas for guests to chill - an outdoor seating area with fire-pits to keep everyone cosy, the beer tent where guests could help themselves to wine and beer on tap from the Kombi-Keg, and a beautifully styled hall complete with long tables, chairs and floral centre-pieces, where guests could choose where to settle in for dinner and speeches.

As the speeches wrapped up and the plates were cleared... the smoke machine came on, the DJ started, and it was really time to let loose. Dance-floor shots are some of my favourite moments from a wedding. And these folks did not disappoint!


Venue - Family farm in Wollongong

Drink Van - Kombi Keg

Celebrant - Renee Milthorpe

Hair - SLD Hair

Music - Matty Walker Music

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